Extended Analysis of a Valve-Controlled System with Multi-Chamber Actuator
Keywords:Digital fluid power, Multi-chamber actuators, Resistive control losses
This paper outlines an extended analysis on how multi-chamber actuators can improve the efficiency of valve-controlled systems. Resistive control is a major source of energy losses in valve-controlled systems that share the same pump to drive multiple loads. By combining different chambers, the load on multi-chamber actuators can be transformed into different pressure and flow rate levels. This allows the adaptation of its load to the loads on other actuators. This can lead to a reduction of resistive control energy losses that occur between pump and actuators when driven simultaneously. As a case study to highlight how the system efficiency can be improved, a load sensing system with a conventional and a multi-chamber actuator is analysed. The equations that describe the system steady state behaviour are presented to evaluate the effect of the load transformations on the system efficiency. A disadvantage of such architecture is the fact that load transformations result in different actuator speeds. To reduce this effect, a compensation factor for the command signal to the proportional valve is presented. The highlight from this paper is the potential for efficiency improvement enabled by the adoption of multi-chamber actuators in a valve-controlled architecture. Further research is required for the selection of number of chambers and their areas since they directly affect the system efficiency.
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