Christiaan B. – BASIS Chandler

Project Abstract

In recent years, automobile manufacturers such as Subaru, Nissan, and Toyota have included Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) in their lineups, especially for small, economical vehicles. CVTs provide several marked advantages over other transmission technologies, such as faster acceleration, better fuel economy, and a stepless transition between gear ratios. Furthermore, electronic CVTs can bring improvements to the traditional CVT formula by eliminating mechanical parts that compound the chance of breakage and providing more finite control over the car's gear ratios. My project investigates the differences between regular, mechanical CVTs and electronic CVTs by examining the transmission system built by the Sun Devil Racing team at ASU Polytechnic and testing it along with a 10Hp Briggs and Stratton engine via a dynamometer. The SDR transmission serves as a good case study, since previous years' and other teams' cars make use of mechanical CVTs and thus can readily be compared to the current model. The variables that will be measured include input-to-output efficiency, durability, and cost viability.

(Senior Project) A Comparative Analysis of Electronic and Mechanical Continuously Variable Transmissions in Miniature Off-road Vehicles