Don't underestimate the benefits of fluid power technology, especially the power densities that are possible when it comes to control of heavy equipment like excavators. A lot is also being done to optimize these systems for greater fuel efficiency.
In reality, a lot of mobile hydraulics work in areas where electrical power would be rather inconvenient. BUT adding a start-stop function to the driver as well as a system to only deliver the required power could be a good start. Using variable speed drive and on/off control valves instead of servo valves offers a good improvement in efficiency, and also has the potential for better performance. The best part is that the biggest new development would be in the controls, not in the hardware. Of course, design for minimum loss is the other requirement, but it is not new at all. These are the ways to double hydraulic system efficiency.
Sounds great that energy efficiency is coming to the mobile hydraulics world. I would think this market would be a natural for EV technology. Even though this is "mobile" hydraulics, much of its use is in a relatively small area, small enough that a plug running to the equipment would be reasonable in many instances.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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