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Power-Saving Solutions for Pre-Compensated Load-Sensing Systems on Mobile Machines

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 64(5): 1435-1448. (doi: 10.13031/trans.14376) @2021
Authors:   Xin Tian, Patrick Stump, Andrea Vacca, Stefano Fiorati, Francesco Pintore
Keywords:   Efficiency, Experiments, Hydraulic, Load sensing, Modeling, Pump.


Two methods (VPM and HVM) are proposed to improve the hydraulic system efficiency of agricultural tractors.

VPM and HVM both target reducing the power loss at the flow control valve of the hydraulic system.

The solutions are presented conceptually and then numerically modeled, and VPM is tested on an actual tractor.

Results show that the VPM solution achieves 6.7% power saving, while HVM achieves 15.6% power saving.

Abstract. Load sensing (LS) is a dominant fluid power actuation technology in mobile machines, particularly in construction and agriculture. It has the advantage of guaranteeing good controllability in systems with multiple actuators while promoting higher energy efficiency. Several variants of LS systems have been proposed over the years, and research on cost-effective methods to further increase their efficiency is still of interest for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the fluid power community. This article presents two solution, referred to as variable pump margin (VPM) and hybrid variable margin (HVM), suitable to improve the energy efficiency in pre-compensated LS systems such as those used in agricultural tractors. Both methods allow either downsizing the control valves or reducing the power consumption over the working range. Compared to a standard LS system, the VPM solution lowers the pump pressure using an electronic proportional pressure-reducing valve (ep-PRV), while the HVM solution uses a second ep-PRV in the compensator‘s pilot line to further minimize the pressure differential across the LS valve. Simulation and experimental results show that, among the main working conditions, the VPM solution on average achieved 6.7% power saving over the standard LS system, while the model predicted an average improvement of 15.6% for the HVM solution.

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