Valveless Hydraulics Cuts Fuel Consumption in Construction Vehicles
Purdue University professor Monika Ivantysynova and doctoral student Naseem Daher discuss research related to new hydraulic steering technology, while graduate student Michael Sprengel looks over the electronic controls of a front loader. Researchers led by Ivantysynova, a fluid systems professor at Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering, have shown how to reduce fuel consumption while improving the efficiency of hydraulic steering systems in heavy construction equipment. (Source: Mark Simons/Purdue University)
I appreciate all these comments about the logistics of the new solution, and whether it will in fact simplify efficiency or create more complexity. It makes for a lively discussion. I'm not an engineer myself, so I won't even try to enter this debate...I will leave that to the experts.
A pump for each actuator is an eay way to grow the system almost without bounds. And each pump would need to be an expensive variable displacement reversable flow type. And the plumbing would become a bit heavier as well.
The ultimate solution would be a single reversable-flow pump under software control, and a large number of on/off low pressure drop routing valves to select which function got the pressure and flow at any particular time. It would make the software a bit more complex, but it would reduce both the losses and the number of pumps. But the plus side is that it could easily contain it's own diagnostics. But it would indeed be a bit more complex than present systems, but not a lot. And the best part is that it would not really require any new hardware being created.
More pumps and more pump controllers. Sounds like adding a bunch of complexity. And more service costs because of what will have to be repaired/replaced when something doesn't work.
Needs to be tested for 4000 hours at max load and and extreme temperatures to see how it might hold up. And then needs to be left sitting outside in extreme weather for a year. If it still works without major service it might be practical.
Sorry if I sound pessimistic, but I have used these devices and have a son who maintains this kind of equiptment.
I agree with you guys, TJ and Chuck--it seems like an obvious fix in some ways, so I am surprised someone didn't come up with it sooner. But now they have, and it should be a great boon for designers of these machines in terms of making them more economical and fuel efficient.
Ah, I take it you either live in Indiana as well or somewhere in the Midwest, RogueMoon, where winter is rapidly approaching, I'm sure! That does sound like a good test. Snow is quite heavy and dense, so it would be a good way to see how the new machine performs.
This is a nice idea. Variable speed pumping opens up possibilities rather than crashing the energy into losses across valves. As it often snows in Indiana, they might have a good opportunity to try out this modified loader in a real world application by moving the snow from the parking lots. Winter is coming!