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Paper Number

24.4

Evaluating a Pump Controlled Open Circuit Solution


Kim Heybroek, Jan-Ove Palmberg
Fluid and Mechanical Engineering Systems, Linköping University, Sweden

Johan Lillemets, Martin Lugnberg, Martin Ousbäck


Volvo Construction Equipment

ABSTRACT art. In this study the test results and experience of the
hydraulic system implemented in a medium-sized wheel
In this article the authors have studied a hydraulic loader are presented. The emphasis in this study is to
system configuration where each actuator/supply system compare the performance in open circuit pump control to
comprises an electrically controlled variable other pump controlled solutions as well as to
displacement pump/motor working in an open circuit conventional load sensing technologies. The comparison
together with four separate electrically controlled valves. primarily covers energy efficiency and system
complexity level.
Performance, operability and energy consumption are
evaluated in a wheel loader, first with its original load THE OPEN CIRCUIT SOLUTION CONCEPT
sensing hydraulic system and then modified with a
completely new pump controlled hydraulic system. If the pump does not have a pre-defined high and low
Measurements published in this article demonstrate the pressure compartment, it is said to work in a closed
advantages and drawbacks of pump control in an open circuit. In the other case, when the pump only operates
circuit compared both to a pump controlled, closed against high pressure on one side, it is working in an
circuit solution and to a valve controlled, load sensing open circuit. The open circuit solution, in this article
system. Performance is evaluated by looking at the fuel referred to as OCS, comprises four separate valves
consumption, productivity, and operability of a wheel combined with a number of sensors on top of an
loader. Theoretical calculations of energy efficiency electronically controlled pump, used for either pressure
including the dominant losses in system components are or flow control. Figure 1 illustrates the simplified
evaluated and validated. Fuel consumption is measured schematics of an implementation of the OCS on two
and put side by side with measurements of the same drives. The two functions are mechanically connected in
machine equipped with a load sensing hydraulic system. parallel via the pump shaft. There are three pressure
sensors for each drive, which is a prerequisite to achieve
INTRODUCTION all the modes of operation studied in this article. The
required controllers for the pumps and valves and a
There are three energy related key benefits using an supervisory control are also shown in the figure. The
open circuit pump controlled system instead of a OCS was first presented by K. Heybroek, J-O. Palmberg
traditional valve controlled system in a wheel loader. in 2006(1).

1) No metering losses arise because of unequal


drive pressure levels, due to separate pumps for
each drive.

2) The pressure drop over valves is maintained at


Supervisory controller

a low level as to valves are not used for flow anti-cavitation


throttling at any great extent. This includes check valves

energy recuperation. p valve


contr.
p p valve
contr.
p
on/off and pressure
proportional transducers
3) The differential pressure resulting in a meter-in valves
open-circuit,
pressure drop, caused by the load sensing p pump
contr. cross-center
p pump
contr.

architecture is eliminated. pump


further
drives

Obvious drawbacks in a pump controlled system are the


greater number of components and the increased
Figure 1 - Simplified circuit diagram of the open
complexity in control. By studying the results from a
circuit solution implemented on two drives.
demonstration machine the advantages and drawbacks
of the open circuit solution is compared to state-of-the-
STATE-OF-THE-ART see Figure 3. Additionally, shut-off valves for load
holding in emergency situations, as well as high
Today’s mobile machines most often contain valve pressure relief valves are optional. If several drives are
controlled drives arranged in an open loop circuit. For needed, these can be coupled via the low pressure side,
the purpose of saving energy the constant pressure sharing the charge pump and the accumulator. The total
systems have often been replaced by load sensing number of components can consequently be kept low. In
pumps and load sensing valves. a similar way to a hydrostatic transmission this circuit
handles four-quadrant actuation of the asymmetric
Regarding pump-controlled solutions, some concepts cylinder in a simple hydromechanical manner, making
have previously been developed by, for instance; Habibi, the solution robust and reliable. The hydraulic machine
S. and Singh, G.(2), Wendel, G.(3), Rahmfeld, R. and works as pump or motor depending on the load
Ivantysynova, M.(4),. For various reasons, not all of these quadrant, automatically recuperating energy through the
concepts are suitable for mobile applications. pump shaft when possible. In construction machinery
the desired lowering speed can be comparatively high,
LOAD SENSING SYSTEMS often twice as high as the lifting speed. This means that
the pump in a closed circuit must be dimensioned to
In mobile applications the load sensing solutions have, handle the lowering flow. The closed circuit was
in the past, significantly reduced the energy implemented in an O&K wheel loader and evaluated and
consumption. The load sensing concept renders a cost compared to a standard valve controlled machine(6). The
effective and compact solution, as there is usually only a measurements from the evaluation demonstrated a
need for one pump to power several cylinder drives. The reduction in fuel consumption of 15% in a truck loading
load sensing systems use variable pressure controlled scenario. The energy recuperation capabilities are
pumps, where the pressure reference is set by the claimed to be the main reason for that reduction.
cylinder load having the greatest pressure magnitude.
control command
However, in applications with several drives operating at
unequal drive pressure levels, the load sensing systems
Q B, p B
still result in energy losses, referred to as metering 5 61 91
31
losses. A pressure difference over the valve is required
to create flow which yields a load velocity. This is EDC
2
achieved by the pump controller, often LP

hydromechanically setting the supply pressure to the 1 4


load pressure plus an additional differential pressure, 32 92

here referred to as LS- p. The LS- p yields a pressure 7


drop over the valve and is thereby yet another source of
62
losses. Another inherent problem with the load sensing Q A, p A
solution is the throttling losses associated with meter-out
flow control instead of recuperating energy. The
schematic of a conventional load sensing regulator is
illustrated in Figure 2. In this study the load sensing Figure 3 - Closed circuit solution schematics(7).
system is abbreviated LS-S.

TARGET APPLICATION

THE WHEEL LOADER

The wheel loader is a true multipurpose machine used in


all sorts of environments, Figure 4. However, the main
purposes of the machine are often simple; lifting,
lowering and transporting loads. To achieve this, both
Figure 2 - A load sensing pump with a conventional working hydraulics and a propulsion system are
hydromechanical regulator(5). essential. These two systems dominate the useful
energy consumption to a large extent the non-
useful energy consumption in the wheel loader. One
PUMP CONTROLLED SYSTEMS reason why the wheel loader was chosen as the target
application of this study is the good possibility to save
The most competitive pump-controlled controlled energy in the working hydraulics by energy recuperation
hydraulic concept comparable to the OCS is the closed from lowering motions, energy which today is dissipated
circuit solution, here referred to as CCS, presented by as heat.
Rahmfeld and Ivantysynova. In the circuit, the differential
volume of the asymmetric cylinder is balanced on its low
pressure side by a charge pump and an accumulator,
control mode. In the OCS-prototype the pumps are
mounted in a tandem configuration shown in Figure 6.

Figure 4 - The target application is a medium sized


wheel loader.

Figure 6 - Electronically controllable pumps, 100%


THE OPEN CIRCUIT SOLUTION PROTOYPE
displacable in both directions, mounted in tandem.
The OCS is customized to fit onto a medium sized retail Valves – A valve package for the lift and the tilt drive
wheel loader. The old load sensing system is still was manufactured, consisting of eight custom made
present, but is now only used for steering. The original seat valves, illustrated in Figure 7. The valves used for
85 cc pump was replaced with two 28 cc pumps, which meter-out flow control are proportionally controlled and
is more than enough for steering. For the working electrically pressure compensated Valvistor® valves.
hydraulics, two 75 cc electrically controlled open circuit
pumps were added to the power take-out (PTO). A
software priority function resembles the system behavior
of the reference machine in prioritizing the tilting drive.
Also, a torque limitation is implemented to justify the
comparison with a system with less installed hydraulic
power. The working hydraulic LS-valve is replaced with
a new valve block, with separated sections for the lift
and the tilt functions. The powertrain configuration and
auxiliary hydraulics left unmodified. An overview of the
hydraulic system is illustrated in Figure 5.

Figure 7 - Custom made valve block containing eight


proportionally controlled poppet valves.

Tank pressure enhancement – When oil is taken from


the tank the pressure must be enhanced by about 5 bar
to avoid cavitiation. In the OCS demonstrator this is
achieved by the use of a pressure relief valve, set to a
fixed cracking pressure, alternative a) in Figure 8. In
alternative b) the check valve is replaced with an
electrically controlled on/off valve. Alternative c) is a
third solution, where the tank is a closed system in which
the pressure has been enhanced by other means.

Alt. a) Alt. b) Alt. c)


Plift Tcommon Ptilt Plift Tcommon Ptilt Plift Tcommon Ptilt

Figure 5 - Schematics of the hydraulic system of the


OCS prototype wheel loader. pT,enhanced

Pumps –Two open circuit pumps power the lifting and


tilting drives respectively. These pumps are electrically Figure 8 – Optional solutions to tank pressure
controlled and are operated either in flow or pressure enhancement.
Sensors – Three pressure sensors are used for each pressure sensor failure and the auxiliary control loop
drive, where one is integrated in the pump. In addition to handles load holding functionality. In the actual OCS
pressure, shaft speed and swashplate angle are also prototype, steps 2b, 4 and 5 are at this stage not yet
measured. implemented.

Control system – The software used for control and data


acquisition is implemented in a real-time controller unit Mode
Selection
Power
Management
Mode
Transition
operating at a sample rate of 100 Hz.
1 4 6
Load quadrant Power-need Define method for
CONTROL STRATEGIES definition evaluation pressure matching

This section describes the desired features of a


2 5 7
Mode efficiency Revise selected Supply pressure
controller for the open circuit solution. The basic evaluation control mode build-up

controller workflow is shown in Figure 9, where the steps 3 8

are: Preliminary mode


selection
Deploy valve
setting

1) Identify the present load quadrant by looking at


load pressure levels and operator command Pump control Safety functions control Auxilliary control

signals.
Figure 9 - Schematics of a proposed controller for
2) The present load pressure and the desired
actuator velocity are used in an algorithm to the OCS when used in a wheel loader.
select the best mode with regards to energy
THE IMPACT OF MODE SELECTION
efficiency. The main components in such
evaluations for recuperative motions are:
The four valves render a solution versatile in control, as
the cylinder chambers can be connected to pump and/or
a. Minimize losses in valves comparing
tank as well as be closed at any time. In previous
different control modes.
studies the authors has investigated what influence
alternative control modes have on energy efficiency(8).
b. Minimize losses in components such as
What is here referred to as “control mode” is the way of
pumps, cylinders and hydraulic lines, have
controlling the load at a requested velocity, i.e.
comparing different control modes.
lifting/lowering a hanging load is achieved either in non-
differential or differential mode, either with or without
3) A preliminary mode is selected for further
meter-out flow control. The objective is to recuperate the
evaluation.
most energy possible for a commanded specified motion
and still fulfill the lowering speed requirements. Ideally,
4) Investigate if there is any immediate need for
the recuperated energy equals the energy required to lift
energy to be recuperated and if the workload on
the load; in reality, this ratio is much lower due to losses.
the engine can be reduced.
The losses are mainly related to the efficiency of
cylinders, valves and pumps(7).
5) Find an alternative control mode that matches
the power need, go back to 4 and iterate over
Measurement results from the OCS prototype show the
the mode selection until a match is found.
differences in potentially recuperable energy in different
modes of operation. In the non-differential and
6) Given the selected mode, define rules for how to differential control mode the maximum lowering speed is
match pump and load pressure prior to opening restricted by the maximum pump flow. If meter-out
valves. control is used the lowering speed is restricted by the
flow taken through the meter-out valve. In tests where
7) Command a pump pressure defined by 6. meter-out is used the mean lowering time is specified as
3 seconds. All tests are performed with the diesel
8) Execute valve settings defined by the selected operating at idle speed, 700 rpm. The efficiency in
control mode. recuperation is here referred to as the recuperation ratio,
defined in Equation 1:
Depending on the chosen mode of operation the pump
must be controlled differently. This is handled by the
pump controller which has the mode and operator
E recup
η recup = (1)
joystick signal as input. The control signals are sent to Ein
the pump, which has its own distributed electrical control
system, regulating the swashplate angle. The control
where Erecup is the recuperated energy output on the
signal for the pump is either relative displacement or
pump shaft and Ein is the energy input on the pump shaft
pressure. A safety control loop handles for example
powering the hydraulics.
Non-differential lowering Differential lowering

Figure 10 illustrates the valve setting and operating Figure 13 illustrates the valve setting and operating
region of the control mode “non-differential lowering”. region for the “differential lowering”.
v v
F F F F

Differential
Normal working region
working region

open open open

qp pp vn* v qp pp vd* v

Figure 10 - Left: valve configuration for non- Figure 13 - Left: valve configuration for differential
differential control. Right: working region for mode. control. Right: working region for mode.
As the entire load flow is controlled by the pump in non- Due to the differential coupling the limited maximum
differential lowering, no throttling losses related to meter- allowable load force in this mode is decreased.
out control are present (the left efficiency plot in Figure Exceeding this limit requires pressure control in order to
11). The pump/motor efficiency combined with the valve stay below maximum system pressure(10). The entire
losses in non-differential mode is illustrated to the right load flow is still controlled by the pump; the left plot in
in Figure 11. Figure 14 shows that no throttling losses related to
5 System efficiency 5 System efficiency
meter-out control are present, although higher lowering
speed is achieved.
x 10 x 10
0.8

0.6 0.5 0.7

0.6

0.3
0.9
0.8

0.7
0.6 0.5
0.2 0.1

η η
0.7
0.6

0.10.2
0.5
0.4

6 6
0.3

0.2
1

0.4 0.3
0.7
0.40.3

0.4
0.5

5 5 5
x 10 System efficiency x 10
5 System efficiency
0.2

0.4

0.4
0.8 0.7

0.8
η

0.1
4 4 0.

0.2
0.3
6

0.7
0.5
0.6
6 2

0.2

0.2
0.8

0.3

0.3
0.7

0.6
0.9
0.8

0.3
0.7
0.6 0.5
0.2 0.1
F [N]

F [N]
0.7
0.6

0.10.2

0.3
0.5
0.4

0.9
1

0.6
0.3

0.2

0.5
0.3
0.5

0.7

3 3
0.8

5 5
0.5
0.40.3

0.4
0.5
0.4
0.6

0.4
0.6

0.1
0.9

0. 0.2
2 2 4 0.3 4
4
0.2

0.7 0.5 0.3

0.
1

0.40.2
0.8

F [N]

0.80.7
F [N]

4
0.1
0. 0.8 0. 0 .

0.3
0.5
0.6
7 6

0.3 2
7 0.5 0.
0.8

1 1
0.9
0.8

0.6

0.3
0.7
0.6

0.
0.2

3 0.9 0.9 3 6
0.7
0.6

0.2 0.1
1

0.4
0.5
0.4

0.5 0.7
0.3

0.2

0.5 1 0.4 0.2 0.1


0.

0.4
0.3 0.1
3

0.

0.5
0 0

0.
0.7 0.6
2 2

0.4
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5

3
0.4
0.5
0.1
0.9
V [m/s] V [m/s]
0.8

0.8
1

0.6

1 1
0.7

00..320.4
0.5

0.8

0.1

0.7
0.7
0.6 5

0.06.5
0.

0.2

0.6
0.9

0.4 0.3
0.2 0.3 0.1
Figure 11 - Left: efficiency including valve losses.
0.50.1 0.4
0 0 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.3
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
V [m/s] V [m/s]
Right: efficiency including valve and pump losses.

Lowering loads in non-differential mode is associated Figure 14 - Left: efficiency including valve losses.
with unacceptable lowering times, almost 15 seconds. In Right: efficiency including valve and pump losses.
Figure 12 the power and energy are illustrated for the Lowering the load at the same engine speed as in the
mode. The bar to the right illustrates the recuperation non-differential control mode the operation now takes 6
ratio calculated from measured pump pressure, relative seconds instead of 15. However, the recuperation ratio
pump displacement and calculated pump/motor is lower than for the non-differential control mode,
efficiency. The average recuperation ratio is 36%. averaging 30%.

Power and energy ηrecup


Power and energy ηrecup 1.0 1.0 1
1.0 1.0 1
0.9
0.75 0.75
0.9
0.75 0.75
0.8
0.8 0.5 0.5
Normalized Energy [-]
Normalized Power [-]

0.5 0.5 0.7


Normalized Energy [-]
Normalized Power [-]

0.7
0.25 6s 0.25
0.6
0.25 15 s 0.25
0.6
0 0 0.5
0 0 0.5
0.4
-0.25 -0.25
0.4
-0.25 -0.25 0.3
-0.5 -0.5
0.3
Power 0.2
-0.5 -0.5
0.2 -0.75 -0.75
Power Energy 0.1
-0.75 -0.75
Energy 0.1
-1.0 -1.0 0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
-1.0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
-1.0 0 Time [s]
Time [s]

Figure 15 - Power, energy and recuperation ratio.


Figure 12 - Power, energy and recuperation ratio.
Non-differential lowering + meter-out Differential lowering + meter-out

Figure 16 illustrates how increased lowering speed is Figure 19 illustrates how increased lowering speed is
achieved by meter-out flow control. achieved by meter-out flow control.
v v
F F F F
Fn*
q-contr. Normal + meter-out q-contr.
working region Differential + meter-out
working region

open open open


qp pp qp pp vd* * v
vmax
vn* v

Figure 16 - Left: valve setting for non-differential + Figure 19 - Left: valve configuration for differential +
meter-out control. Right: working region for mode. meter-out control. Right: working region for mode.

In order to achieve the required lowering time of 3 The differential mode is not sufficient to fulfill the
seconds, flow must be throttled over the meter-out requirement of 3 seconds in lowering time. However, in
orifice, whereas the loss related to control mode this mode half of the flow is throttled to tank. Again, the
increases dramatically. Only a fifth of the lowering flow pump losses are considered in combination with the
goes through the motor, the rest is throttled to tank. The losses associated with the control mode. The resulting
efficiency for this strategy is illustrated in Figure 17. efficiency is presented in Figure 20. It should be noted
that the operating conditions for the motor have changed
5
x 10 System efficiency x 10
5 System efficiency due to the transformation in pressure and flow that come
with this mode.
0.3

0.7
0.8

0.4

η η
0.7
0.3
0.8
0.6

0.3
0.7

0.6

0.5
0.4
0.2

6 6
0.5
0.4

0.3

0.2
0.9

0.1 0.2
0.7
0.6
0.5

0.6
0.1
1

0.4 0.5

0.2

5 5

5
x 10 System efficiency x 10
5 System efficiency
4 4 0.

0.8
0. η 3
η
1 0.70.9

0.6
0.1
0.3

2
0.8

0.4

0.7

0.5
6

0.1
F [N]

F [N]

0.7
0.3

0.4
6
0.8

0.3

0.20.3
0.3
0.6

0.7

0.
0.7

0.6

0.5
0.4
0.2 0.1
0.5

2
0.4

0.3

0.2
0.9

0.2 0.1 0.4


0.7
0.6
0.5

0.8 0.6

3 3
0.6

0.5
1

0.2
0.3
5 5
0.5

0.2
0.9

0.8

0.5

2 2 0.6 0. 0.
0.3 0.2

0.4
4 3

0.4
4 4
0.7 0.5

0.9
0.8
F [N]
F [N]

0.7

0.6
1

1 1

0.1
0 . 0.

0.8
0.3
0.4

0.5
0.8

0.1
0.6

0.4
0.20.3
0.3

7 8

0.7
7 5 4
3

0.0.5 0.2 0 . 0.
8

0.6 0.5
0.6

0.9 3
0.2

0.

0.2 3
0.

0.1 0.9
0.2
0.4

0.3

0.4 0.3
0.9
0.6
0.5
0.7

0.7

0.6
0.1

0.5
1

0.6
0.1 0.1

0.3
0.2

0.4
0 0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
2 2
V [m/s] V [m/s]

0.5
0.4
0.6
0.5
0.7

0.7
1 1 0.8

0.8

0.7
1

0.1
00.0.5.6
0.7
0.8

0.5
0.9

0.1
0.6

Figure 17 - Left: efficiency including valve losses.


0.2
0.4

4
0.3
0.4

0.3 0.3
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.2
0.5 0.3 0.1 0.2
0 0 0.1
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5

Right: efficiency including valve and pump losses. V [m/s] V [m/s]

The limit where meter-out control becomes necessary Figure 20 - Left: efficiency including valve losses.
naturally depends on pump size, engine speed and Right: efficiency including valve and pump losses.
piston area. In Figure 18 the bar to the right shows the
recuperation ratio for the lowering motion. The average The calculated recuperation ratio is roughly double for
ratio over three cycles is 8%. The achievable lowering the differential + meter mode compared to the non-
speed in this mode is a trade-off in recuperated energy differential + meter-out mode. The average ratio
versus lowering time. calculated over three cycles is 16% with a lowering time
averaging the targeted 3 seconds.
Power and energy ηrecup
1.0 1.0 1
Power and energy ηrecup
0.9 1.0 1.0 1
0.75 0.75
0.9
0.8 0.75 0.75
0.5 0.5
Normalized Energy [-]

0.8
Normalized Power [-]

0.7
0.5 0.5
Normalized Energy [-]
Normalized Power [-]

0.25 0.25 0.7


2s 0.6
0.25 0.25
2s 0.6
0 0 0.5

0 0 0.5
0.4
-0.25 -0.25
0.4
0.3 -0.25 -0.25
-0.5 -0.5
0.3
0.2
Power -0.5 -0.5
-0.75 -0.75 0.2
0.1 Power
Energy
-0.75 -0.75
0.1
-1.0 -1.0 0 Energy
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Time [s] -1.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
-1.0
10
0

Time [s]

Figure 18 - Power, energy and recuperation ratio.


Figure 21 - Power, energy and recuperation ratio.
Conclusions from the mode selection evaluation: Heavy material is loaded and lifted up slowly to a truck,
followed by rapid lowering in differential mode.
It is important to note that all calculations are based on
measurements from a lifting and lowering operation with
the wheel loader standing still at idle engine speed. At
low speed the hydraulic machine has a comparatively
high internal leakage, resulting in poor efficiency both in
the lifting and the lowering phase.

The fact that the recuperation ratio is higher in the non-


differential mode than in the differential mode might
appear surprising. This is a result of the additional
pressure losses apparent in the differential mode due to
its extended flow path via several sharp bends and
edges, illustrated in Figure 22. If a dedicated valve,
connecting the cylinder chambers, is installed closer to
Figure 23 - Mode selection in different fields of
the load, the losses in differential mode will be reduced.
application.
Moreover, the increased pressure level in differential
mode affects the cylinder efficiency, but to what extent
has not been further investigated within the framework of
this study. SYSTEM PERFORMANCE

v v The goal of this study is to evaluate the OCS with a


F F degree of emphasis on energy efficiency and compare
Normal Differential the system to a conventional load sensing system. In
Flowpath Flowpath order to do so several tests were conducted. A first
simple test is to perform a single function efficiency test,
then proceed to a more complex loading cycle efficiency
open open open test, finally looking at a long distance efficiency test.

qp pp qp pp The performance of the new hydraulic system is


evaluated by comparing various measurement results of
Figure 22 - Flow path in non-differential and two wheel loaders following the same assignment.
differential mode. Besides the modification, the machines must be
equivalent to ensure a credible comparison between the
Important in this comparison is how great a recuperation two. The machine chosen as reference machine is of the
ratio can be achieved for a given speed and force couple same brand and model as the new prototype with
identical specifications as to the working hydraulics.
• If v < vd* a higher recuperation ratio is achieved Figure 24 shows the simplified schematics of the
in differential mode than non-differential mode + reference machine’s hydraulic system.
meter-out for the same speed

• If v < vn* operation in non-differential mode


yields a higher recuperation ratio than
differential mode

The differential meter-out mode is more energy efficient


than the corresponding non-differential mode, which is
probably a result of the higher pump efficiency in that
case. At load forces exceeding Fd* the differential mode
is not an option unless pressure control is applied.
However, the limits in speed and force are determined
by the maximum pump size and cylinder area properties
that can be optimized given a specific field of
application. An example of how different modes can be
used to achieve a broader working region with
maximized energy recuperation is illustrated in Figure
23. In case 1 the wheel loader is used for material
handling. High elevation is reached rapidly and loaded
material lowered carefully in non-differential mode. In Figure 24 - Simplified hydraulic system layout of the
case 2 the wheel loader is used in a truck loading cycle. reference machine.
EFFICIENCY TEST - SINGLE FUNCTION 1,2
Fuel consumption / max fuel consumption
LS-S

Normalized fuel consumption [-]


OCS
It is interesting to compare the theoretical expectations 1 19.2%
decrease
as regards hydraulic energy reduction from energy 0,8
recuperation to the reduction in fuel consumption in
23.3%
practice. The test is performed by simple lifting and 0,6
decrease
lowering a defined load a specified number of times,
0,4
measuring the fuel tank level just before and after the
operation. 0,2

In order to compare the results between the two 0


Heavy w height bucket Empty bucket
machines it is necessary to mention a few things about
the energy distribution in the wheel loader during this
specific test. Only one function is used at a time Figure 26 - Single function efficiency test results.
throughout the test. The significant difference between
the OCS-prototype and the reference machine is that
energy is recuperated by the OCS machine. Assuming The result with weight bucket is a 19.2% improvement
the hydraulic system to be the dominant consumer of compared to the reference machine. The result with an
useful diesel energy and the losses in the lifting phase empty bucket is a 23.3% improvement. The weight
are equal for the two machines; the reduction in fuel bucket test is performed in non-differential + meter-out
consumption depends only on how much energy is control mode and the empty-bucket test in differential
recuperated. The percentage reduction is thereby also mode + meter-out. Relating to the theories presented in
directly comparable to the recuperation ratio described the previous section the test with weight bucket should
in the previous section. The energy flow through the be compared to the scenario where non-differential
reference wheel loader is illustrated to the left in Figure lowering with meter-out is used. However, in this case
25. First, the fuel energy is transformed into heat and the test is conceived with a greater load and a lower
mechanical energy in the diesel, which is then speed, resulting in lower throttling losses, and thereby a
transformed into hydraulic power which is used to higher recuperation ratio. The empty bucket test should
actuate the load. When lowering the load again the be compared to the differential + meter out control
potential energy is transformed into heat in the hydraulic mode. Also during this test, less flow is throttled to tank
valves. No work has been achieved. To the right is the compared to the scenario described in the previous
corresponding energy flow through the OCS prototype section, resulting in a recuperation ratio closer to “pure”
loader. differential lowering.

LS-S ELS-S,fuel OCS »ELS-S,fuel (1-erecup) EFFICIENCY TEST – TRUCK LOADING CYCLE

To evaluate the working hydraulics efficiency in a typical


field of operation for the wheel loader, a truck loading
Diesel Diesel cycle is considered. Operation in the truck loading cycle
is often the main purpose of these machines; therefore,
the cost effectiveness of the cycle has economic
»Eh
significance for the entrepreneur. The cycle illustrated in
Ed,loss Ed,loss
(» 0.6 ELS-S,fuel) PTO (» 0.6 EOSC,fuel) PTO
Eh,recup= Figure 27 lasts for about 30 seconds and includes the
Eh Eh
Eh erecup machine going into a pile of granular material, lifting a
hyd. hyd. full bucket, reversing out from the pile, forwarding to
Eh,other Eh,other
empty the bucket onto a truck, going back out while
Eh,loss
Eh,loss lowering the empty bucket and then starting the next
cycle. The energy distribution in the truck loading cycle
differs considerably from the single function test. In this
Figure 25 - Illustration of energy saving from cycle the working hydraulics, transmission, brakes and
recuperation in the single function efficiency test. steering interact continuously with each other. What
remains the same for both systems is the actual work
being done during the loading cycle. The powertrain,
Each cycle of lifting and lowering lasts for 20 seconds including the propulsion system, is also the same for
and is repeated 15 times for each machine. The test is both systems. In the reference wheel loader about 50%
performed with two different loads: an empty bucket and of the diesel engine’s output power is used by the
a weight bucket. The lowering time is the same for both propulsion system; the rest is used by the hydraulics.
cases and takes about 6 seconds. The measurement
results are presented in Figure 26.
Pother = Pidle,loss + Pcooling + Pcyl . fric.,loss + Pline,loss (5)

The power losses integrated over the loading cycle yield


the total energy loss for the load sensing hydraulic
system.

cycle t .

E loss .tot − ref = (P p ,loss + Pthrottle + PLS − ∆p + Pother )dt (6)


t =0

The energy distribution in the reference wheel loader is


presented in Figure 28. The distribution is based on
Equations 2-6, using measurement data from a truck
loading cycle.

LS-S
ELS-S,fuel

Ein,LS-S

Diesel hydraulic
Figure 27 - The short loading cycle is a typical field system
of application for the wheel loader(9).
Ethrottle+metering losses
Losses in the reference wheel loader: Ed,loss Epump losses
PTO ELS-Dp losses
(» 0.6 ELS-S,fuel)
What really differ between the two systems are the 0.5 0.5 Ework Eother losses
losses in the hydraulic system. The predominant losses prop. hyd.

in the hydraulic system of the reference machine are Ep,loss Eh,loss


listed below: Ewheel Ework

The pump losses are calculated from measured Figure 28 - Energy distribution in the wheel loader
pressure, shaft speed, relative displacement and during the truck loading cycle, using the load
mapped pump efficiency. sensing system.

1 Losses in the OCS-prototype wheel loader:


Ppump ,loss = ∆p P ,i ⋅ ε p , i ⋅ D p ,i ⋅ n p ⋅ −1 (2)
i = drive η p ,tot
For the OCS prototype losses in the hydraulic machine
working as a motor, occur during the recuperative
The throttling losses are calculated from the energy motions, calculated from measured pressure, shaft
dissipated over meter-out orifices during regenerative speed, and relative displacement and mapped
motions measuring actuator speed and pressure drop efficiency.
from load to tank side.
Pmotor ,loss = ∆p m ,i ⋅ ε m , i ⋅D p ,i ⋅ n p ⋅ (1 − η m ,tot ) (7)
Pthrottle = Ai ⋅ x p ,i ⋅ ∆p ( L −T ),i (3) i = drive
i = drive

However the PLS- p term is no longer valid and the Pthrottle


The LS- p losses are calculated from the sum of term is significantly reduced due to the possibility in
pressure losses in the load sensing valves using recuperation. The Pother element has increased due to
measured actuator speed and pressure drop from pump increased idling losses even though the cooling term
to load side. decreases with the decrease in total losses. The total
hydraulic loss for the OCS prototype is given by Eq. 8.
PLS − ∆p = Ai ⋅ x pi ⋅ ∆p ( P − L ),i (4)
i = drive cycle t .

Eloss.tot −OCS = (P p ,loss + Pm ,loss + Pthrottle + Pother )dt (8)


All other hydraulic losses are collected into the term t =0
Pother in this text listed in order of importance; energy
required for cooling, idle losses in pumps, cylinder The energy distribution in the OCS-prototype is
friction losses and line losses. presented in Figure 29.
OCS 5 System efficiency ηrecup
x 10
EOCS,fuel 0.3 1

0.2
0.6
η

0.3
0.4
6 0.9

0.3 0.5
Ein,OCS » 0.8 Ein,LS-S

0.7
0.8

0.1
0.8

0.2
0.
5 3
0.4

0.9
0.7

0.1

0.5 0.4
Diesel hydraulic Erecup 4 0.6
system 0.5

0.2
F [N]
0.4

0.6 0.7

0.3
0.6

0.4
0.5

0.3
3

0.8
0.7

0.1
0.5
0.4

0.1 0.2

0.6
0.7
Emotor losses

0.5
2 0.9 0.3

0.4
0.6
Epump losses
Ed,loss 0.2
PTO Ethrottle losses

0.5

19%
0.6
(» 0.6 ELS-S,fuel) 1

0.2
0.3
Eother losses 0.7 0.1

00. 0. .6
Ework 0.8 0.7

0.7
34
0.5 0.6 0.5 0.5
0 0.1 0.2
0.1 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.3
0.1
0.1 0
prop. hyd. -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4

Ep,loss V [m/s]
Eh,loss
Ewheel Ework
Figure 31 - The energy recuperation ratio in the truck
Figure 29 - Energy distribution in the wheel loader loading cycle.
during the truck loading cycle, using the open circuit
solution. Lowering an empty bucket in the differential mode is not
a problem, but regarding differential operation of the
Switching to the differential control mode in the tilting drive, a full bucket of gravel unfortunately often
recuperative phase yields a different point of operation in results in too high a pressure level. However, choosing
pressure as well as displacement. This means that the the cylinder area ratio differently a higher recuperation
pump efficiency at a given speed and force couple ratio could also be achieved in this drive. In Figure 32
depends on which control mode is applied. In Figure 30 the power, energy and recuperation ratio throughout the
the pump efficiency during the recuperative phase of the loading cycle are illustrated, including both drives.
loading cycle is presented, operating in the two modes ηrecup
Power and energy
respectively. The efficiency is found through 1

interpolation in measurement data delivered by the 0.9

pump manufacturer where pressure level, relative 0.8

displacement and shaft speed have been considered in

Normalized Energy [-]


Normalized Power [-]

0.7
the calculation. As seen in the figure the pump efficiency 0.6
is 5-10% higher in the differential control mode. 0.5
Lift
Tilt 0.4

1
0.3
Normal state
Differential state 0.2
0.8 Power
0.1
Energy
0
0.6 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
ηm,tot

Time [s]

0.4

Figure 32 – Power, energy and recuperation ratio.


0.2

The energy consumption during a truck loading cycle is


0
62.5 63 63.5 64 64.5 65 65.5 66 66.5 67 measured according to Volvo standard fuel
Time [s]
measurement procedures. The two machines were
driven by an experienced driver. The tests were
Figure 30 - Pump efficiency in the recuperative performed during the same day, loading gravel from the
phase of the loading cycle depending on chosen same spot. For every six cycles the truck was fully
mode of operation. loaded and weighed. Each machine was driven until four
truckloads were filled. Each cycle was clocked in order
The force and speed characteristics of the lifting drive in to measure productivity. The measurement results are
one typical loading cycle is illustrated in Figure 31. The presented in Figure 33. The left staple pair shows a 9%
speed and force data is derived from pressure- and reduction in consumed fuel volume per loaded mass of
position signals, acquired during operation. The contour gravel, representing how the efficiency in pure
plot in the background shows the system efficiency. The Newtonian work is affected. The middle staple pair
efficiency calculation encompasses pump losses as well shows how the system saves 13% in fuel volume over
as valve losses given the best possible control mode. time. The right staple pair shows a 2% longer average
The bar to the right shows the recuperation ratio for the cycle time. The error bars on top of the staples show the
truck loading cycle, in this case 19% of the hydraulic maximum and minimum measurement value throughout
energy input for the lifting drive throughout the cycle. the tests. The reduced size of the error bars in
About the same percentage applies for the tilting drive, measurements from the OCS indicates that the
resulting in an average of about 20% of the energy input operability of the machine is good.
being recuperated throughout one cycle.
Perform ance LS-S EFFICIENCY TEST - TRANSPORTATION DRIVING
1,2 2% OCS
9% 13% longer
1 less less In both wheel loaders the hydraulic pumps are directly
powered from the power take-out unit which is
Normalized individually [-]

0,8 mechanically coupled to the diesel engine.


0,6
Consequently the pumps are in motion as long as the
engine is on. In the reference machine there is only one
0,4 pump powering the working hydraulics, steering and
auxiliary functions. In the OCS two pumps are used for
0,2
the working hydraulics and for the steering and auxiliary
0
functions, two small pumps had to be installed instead of
fuel volume/loaded mass fuel volume/time cycle time one big pump, due to space limitations. The result is four
pumps instead of one. To measure how the increased
number of pumps affects the energy consumption, a
Figure 33 - Performance measures from the truck
transportation driving test was arranged. The distance
loading cycle.
driving test was performed on an oval test track at the
Volvo Construction Equipment testing ground. The
engine speed was set to 1600 rpm and the gearbox is
The comparison elucidates some important energy
locked in the fourth gear for both test objects. The test
related benefits and drawbacks of the two systems,
was carried out during 15 minutes of driving. The
which are summarized in Table 1.
measured difference in fuel consumption is presented in
Figure 34.
Table 1 - Apparent energy related aspects by
introduction of the OCS and their importance.
LS-S
Effected energy aspects Impact on fuel 1,2 Fuel consum ption in distance
5.4% more fuel OCS
by introducing the OCS consumption in a
1
hydraulic system truck loading cycle
Fuel consumption [-]

0,8

Elimination of p-margin Medium impact – the


0,6
related to LS-control pumps are mostly able
to keep this margin 0,4
except at maximum flow
0,2

Elimination of metering Low impact – because 0


losses related to unequal the drives are actuated LS-S OCS

drive pressure levels, simultaneously only to a


introducing separate very small extent Figure 34 - Fuel consumption in a transportation
pumps for each drive driving test comparing the OCS prototype machine
to the reference machine.
Reduction in energy Low/medium impact –
required to cool the oil reducing the total
being throttled to tank in energy consumption
lowering motions as well implies less energy OPEN VERSUS CLOSED CIRCUIT SOLUTION
as cooling of engine required for cooling of
losses (in case of saving) diesel losses In measurements from 2004, the CCS demonstrated a
fuel consumption reduction of 15% in a truck loading
Introduction of increased Low/medium impact – scenario similar to the one described in this article. Why
losses related to the increased viscous the energy reduction presented in this study is lower
presence of extra pumps friction losses according naturally depends on many factors. One probable
to next section reason is the conceptual differences in the propulsion
system. The CCS prototype uses a hydrostatic
transmission whereas the OCS prototype uses a
Introduction of energy High – if the best control
hydrodynamic transmission. In a system where the
recuperation in lowering mode is chosen
propulsion requires less energy, the impact of an
motions according to previous
improvement in the hydraulics is greater. A better way of
section
comparing the performance of the two solutions is to
look at the capabilities of the individual systems side by
side without a specific application involved. In Table 2
the overall capabilities and thereby similarities, strengths
and weaknesses of the systems are listed.
Table 2 - Quality measures. FUTURE CAPABILITIES
Quality measures OCS CCS
The open circuit solution is not restricted to use only with
Four-quadrant operation Yes Yes
the diesel engine as primary mover, but would actually
Energy recuperation Yes Yes benefit from the presence of an electro-hydraulic hybrid
power system. In such a system the diesel engine is
Recuperation in differential mode Yes No replaced by electrical motors to power each drive
independently. Moreover, a cost effective solution would
Pressure sensors needed Yes No
be to replace the variable pumps with smaller, high
Charge pump needed No Yes speed, fixed displacement pumps, independently speed-
controlled by the electrical motors. This would increase
Accumulator needed No Yes
the recuperation ratio due to greater maximum flow in
Based on closed loop control No Yes the differential mode and consequently reduce the
throttling losses. Moreover, a prerequisite to save
Increased tank pressure needed Yes No energy in the OCS prototype is that the recuperated
energy is consumed instantly. In an electro-hydraulic
hybrid system with energy storage this would not be an
Regarding the differences in hardware requirement, the issue. An alternative to the meter-out flow control would
aspects of component integration must be considered. be to use the excess flow to boost the hydraulic fan
Both concepts require pressure relief functionality, anti- motor. In future development of this type of mode-
cavitation and load holding functionality. In the CCS switching systems one should always consider the
almost all the components can be integrated to the differential mode when selecting the cylinder area ratio
pump housing, including charge pump, pressure relief in order to fully benefit from using the potential load
valves, check valves and load-holding valves. For the energy in recuperative quadrants on all cylinder drives.
OCS it is suggested that a distributed valve configuration
be used, mounted as close as possible to the cylinder CONCLUSION
drives. However, in the valve configuration, pressure
relief functionality anti cavitation and load holding The calculated results from the single function efficiency
functionality are easily incorporated(10). test showed that the non-differential mode is more
energy efficient than the differential mode, but the
Regarding four-quadrant actuation, the CCS intrinsically differential mode soon becomes a better alternative if
operates over all four quadrants; whereas the OCS meter-out flow control is needed in order to achieve the
operates over only two quadrants. To make the open required lowering speed. The test showed how the open
circuit solution controllable over all four quadrants, the circuit solution, within reasonable limits in lowering
four valves must be controlled actively. This of course speed, saves about 20% fuel compared to the reference
makes control more complex, but it also results in machine, equipped with conventional load sensing
greater flexibility when it comes to the selection of hydraulics. In the truck loading experiment fuel
modes targeting the highest possible efficiency. consumption was reduced by about 10% compared to
the reference machine. According to the theoretical
In lifting operations both concepts are more or less calculations this result corresponds to a 20% reduction
equally energy efficient. The dominating loss component of losses in the OCS hydraulic system. In a final test the
in this quadrant lies in the pump efficiency. In lowering OCS-prototype was driven a longer distance without
operations the OCS is capable of operation at higher using the hydraulics. The result showed how the
efficiency over a larger region of operation, due to the increased number of installed pumps increases the fuel
possibility of operating in the differential control mode. consumption by about 5%. Comparing the open circuit
The CCS cannot recuperate energy in the differential solution to the closed circuit solution, the OCS has a
mode as a hydraulic coupling of the cylinder chambers greater potential for energy recuperation over a broader
results in equal pressure on both sides of the hydraulic working region while fewer sensors and more active
machine, whereas no torque is generated. control are required for the closed circuit. Concerning
operability, where smoothness in control and system
For the wheel loader in this study the CCS would require response is important for a wheel loader application,
much larger pumps to achieve the specified lowering many of these parameters are easily adjusted in
time of 3 seconds. The flow leaving the lift cylinder is software which makes the hydraulic system usable in
about 4*10-3 m3 which in terms of displacement many other applications as well.
corresponds to a 350 cc pump at the given engine
speed. Another almost as big pump is required for the ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
tilting motion. Having such big pumps when only one
third of that size is sufficient to achieve the specified We wish to thank the staff at the department of
lifting times, does not render the solution cost effective. Management and Engineering as well as staff at Volvo
Construction Equipment for helping out with much of the
practical work presented in this article.
REFERENCES E-mail: kim.heybroek@liu.se, Tel: +46 (0) 13 28 11 63

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p(L-T) Load pressure minus tank pressure Pa
CONTACT p(P-L) Pump pressure minus load pressure Pa

Kim Heybroek, M.Sc., Ph.D.-student at the division of xp Piston displacement m


Fluid and Mechanical Engineering Systems at the
Department of Management and Engineering (IEI),
Linköping University, Sweden.