A Continuously Variable Power Split Transmission for Automotive Applications
Continuously variable transmissions, commonly known as CVT's, have been shown to be feasible alternatives to the conventional multi-step gear transmissions (standard or automatic) typically used in automotive applications. Most CVT applications, however, rely on a shaft-to-shaft transmission arrangement, in which the belt-sheave action limits the load capacity of the transmission, particularly at the high power ranges (low speed, high torque). In this paper, a system based on a combined planetary gear train and a continuously variable pulley system is presented. The uniqueness of this arrangement is that the variable pulleys provide a power/torque split and recirculation function, which, when combined with the planetary gear train function, produces a continuously variable power split transmission system.