This paper presents a detailed model of a novel electropneumatic valve actuator for both engine intake and exhaust valves. The valve actuator’s main function is to provide variable valve timing and variable lift capabilities in an internal combustion engine. The pneumatic actuation is used to open the valve and the hydraulic latch mechanism is used to hold the valve open and to reduce valve seating velocity. This combination of pneumatic and hydraulic mechanisms allows the system to operate under low pressure with an energy saving mode. It extracts the full pneumatic energy to open the valve and use the hydraulic latch that consumes almost no energy to hold the valve open. A system dynamics analysis is provided and followed by mathematical modeling. This dynamic model is based on Newton’s law, mass conservation, and thermodynamic principles. The air compressibility and liquid compressibility in the hydraulic latch are modeled, and the discontinuous nonlinearity of the compressible flow due to choking is carefully considered. Provision is made for the nonlinear motion of the mechanical components due to the physical constraints. Validation experiments were performed on a Ford 4.6 l four-valve V8 engine head with different air supply pressures and different solenoid pulse inputs. The simulation responses agreed with the experimental results at different engine speeds and supply air pressures.

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