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Investigation of Mechanical Differentials as Continuously Variable Transmissions

[+] Author Affiliations
Dax B. Wells, Benjamin C. Groen, Robert H. Todd

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Paper No. DETC2011-47479, pp. 645-652; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 8: 11th International Power Transmission and Gearing Conference; 13th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle and Tire Technologies
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5485-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In recent years the increasing demand for fuel efficient and less pollutant vehicles has stimulated the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. These vehicle platforms often incorporate drivetrains which utilize multiple power sources for vehicle propulsion to increase fuel mileage and reduce emissions. Understanding the torque and RPM relationship within the power transmission device used to combine power sources is fundamental to overcoming the design challenges associated with hybrid/electric vehicle platforms. Results from this research include the fundamental torque and RPM relationships that exist in a multiple-input, single-output power transmission device. Results were deduced from a test incorporating two separate power inputs into a mechanical differential, which produced a single output. Testing showed that a mechanical differential has the ability to function as an infinitely variable transmission (IVT). Additionally, recommendations for overcoming some of the challenges associated with using a mechanical differential as a multiple-input, single-output device were identified.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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