Valveless mobile hydraulic system boosts efficiency, fuel savings

Perdue electro-hydraulic power steering system increases fuel efficiency by 43 percent.

Comments Off on Valveless mobile hydraulic system boosts efficiency, fuel savings September 25, 2013
Mike McLeod

Purdue University professor Monika Ivantysynova and doctoral student Naseem Daher discuss research related to a new hydraulic-steering technology, while graduate student Michael Sprengel looks over the electronic controls of a front loader. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

Purdue University professor Monika Ivantysynova and doctoral student Naseem Daher discuss research related to a new hydraulic-steering technology, while graduate student Michael Sprengel looks over the electronic controls of a front loader. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

Researchers at Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering have developed a hydraulic steering system for heavy construction equipment they say significantly reduces fuel consumption and improves efficiency.

“Fuel consumption of heavy off-road equipment accounts for a significant portion of total global fuel usage, so improving efficiency is very important,” said Monika Ivantysynova, Maha Fluid Power Systems Professor in Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering.

In essence, the new approach eliminates the wasted energy introduced by the valves common in most heavy off-road equipment’s hydraulic systems. Instead, a pump precisely control each actuator’s motion by adjusting the pump displacement. This, in turn, allows the diesel engine to run at optimal, fuel saving speeds.

According to the Perdue researchers, their “electro-hydraulic power steering system” showed on a 15 percent fuel savings and 23 percent increase in machine productivity during tests performed on a front loader. In total, the test resulted in fuel efficiency increase of 43 percent during steering maneuvers.

In previous projects, Maha researchers have shown that valveless systems could reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent in an excavator and a 70 percent productivity improvement in terms of tons of soil removed per kilogram of fuel consumed.

The Perdue lab’s research paper detailing the system will be presented during the SAE 2013 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress on Oct. 1-3 but the researchers say its prototype is close to commercialization and readily adaptable to machines now in use.

The Maha Fluid Power Research Center is part of the Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, funded by the National Science Foundation.
www.purdue.edu