A Cost-Effective Electro-Hydraulic Actuator Solution with Open Circuit Architecture


  • Shaoyang Qu Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Purdue University, Indiana, USA https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4885-5185
  • David Fassbender Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Purdue University, Indiana, USA
  • Andrea Vacca Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Purdue University, Indiana, USA
  • Enrique Busquets Bosch Rexroth, South Carolina, USA




Electro-hydraulic actuator, open circuit, 4-quadrant functionality


With the recent electrification trend in the fluid power area, more research has been incentivized to propose cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions for hydraulic systems. Hence, electro-hydraulic actuator (EHA) architectures receive increasing attention. The paper proposes a novel open-circuit EHA architecture, with the goal to obtain a cost-effective solution for mobile applications while maximizing the overall system efficiency. The proposed EHA is capable of meeting or exceeding traditional off-road machine performance, therefore enabling further electrification of off-road machines. Four-quadrant functionality, covering the full speed range, is achieved by a combination of a variable electro-hydraulic drive and valves with different functions. Focusing on the steady-state performance, the functionality is validated by numerical as well as experimental methods. A simulation model based on the Amesim environment and a dedicated test setup was developed to verify the performance. The good match between simulation and experimental results confirms the potential of the formulation approach of the proposed EHA for applications with different duty cycles and power levels.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Shaoyang Qu, Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Purdue University, Indiana, USA

Shaoyang Qu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University since Fall 2018. He attended Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, where he received his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering and B.S. in Business administration in 2018. Currently he is a research assistant in the Maha Fluid Power Research Center. His research interests focus on the electrification of the mobile hydraulic applications, including design and control of hydraulic systems and hybrid systems such as electro-hydraulic actuators.

David Fassbender, Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Purdue University, Indiana, USA

David Fassbender received the Diploma degree in mechanical engineering from Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) in 2020. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in Automation Science and Engineering at Tampere University and in cooperation with Bosch Rexroth. From 2017 to 2018, he was a student research assistant with the Institute of Fluid Power at TUD, and in 2019, he stayed for eight months at Purdue University’s Maha Fluid Power Research Center as a visiting scholar. His research interest includes hydraulic systems design and control, heavy-duty mobile machinery as well as vehicle hybridization.

Andrea Vacca, Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Purdue University, Indiana, USA

Andrea Vacca is a the Maha Fluid Power Faculty Chair and a Professor at Purdue University. He currently leads the Maha Fluid Power Research Center which was established in 2004 by the late Prof. Monika Ivantysynova.

Dr. Vacca completed his studies in Italy (Ph.D. from the University of Florence in 2005) and he joined Purdue University in 2010 after being an Assistant Professor at the University of Parma (Italy). Fluid power technology has been Dr. Vacca’s major research interest since 2002. Dr. Vacca authored the textbook “Hydraulic Fluid Power” by Wiley and more than 150 technical papers, most of them published in international journals or referred conferences. He is chair of Fluid Power Systems and Technology Division (FPST) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and a former chair of the Fluid Power Division of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Dr. Vacca is also one of the Directors of the Global Fluid Power Society (GFPS). Furthermore, he is also the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Fluid Power. Dr. Vacca also received the 2019 J. Braham medal of the Institution of the Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Enrique Busquets, Bosch Rexroth, South Carolina, USA

Enrique Busquets is the North American engineering director at Bosch Rexroth with prior leadership experience on engineering systems and software development. His current responsibility includes the development and commercialization of products for the off-highway market with emphasis on electronics, electrification, connectivity and automation. He is as well responsible for the North American test center comprising component testing, vehicle integration lab and proving grounds. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from Purdue University.


A. Vacca, “Energy efficiency and controllability of fluid power systems,” Energies, vol. 11, no. 5, 2018.

L. Love, E. Lanke, and P. Alles, Estimating the Impact (Energy, Emissions and Economics) of the US Fluid Power Industry, no. December. 2012.

D. B. Beck, D. E. Fischer, D. G. Kolks, D. J. Lübbert, D. S. Michel, and D. M. Schneider, “Novel System Architectures by Individual Drives,” 10th Int. Fluid Power Conf., pp. 29–62, 2016.

Z. Quan, L. Quan, and J. Zhang, “Review of energy efficient direct pump controlled cylinder electro-hydraulic technology,” Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev., vol. 35, pp. 336–346, 2014.

H. Liu, Y. Jiang, and S. Li, “Design and downhill speed control of an electric-hydrostatic hydraulic hybrid powertrain in battery-powered rail vehicles,” Energy, vol. 187, p. 115957, 2019.

R. Navarro, “Performance of an electro-hydrostatic actuator on the F-18 systems research aircraft,” NASA Tech. Memo., no. 206224, 1997.

S. Frischemeier, “Electrohydrostatic actuators for aircraft primary flight control-types, modelling and evaluation,” Proc. Fifth Scand. …, pp. 1–16, 1997.

J. P. Henderson, A. Plummer, and N. Johnston, “An electro-hydrostatic actuator for hybrid active-passive vibration isolation,” Int. J. Hydromechatronics, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 47, 2018.

G. Altare and A. Vacca, “A Design Solution for Efficient and Compact Electro- hydraulic Actuators,” Procedia Eng., vol. 106, pp. 8–16, 2015.

S. Alfayad, F. B. Ouezdou, F. Namoun, and G. Gheng, “High performance integrated electro-hydraulic actuator for robotics – Part I: Principle, prototype design and first experiments,” Sensors Actuators, A Phys., vol. 169, no. 1, pp. 115–123, 2011.

T. Yu, A. Plummer, P. Iravani, J. Bhatti, S. Zahedi Obe, and D. Moser, “Testing an Electrohydrostatic Powered Ankle Prosthesis with Transtibial and Transfemoral Amputees,” IFAC-PapersOnLine, vol. 49, no. 21, pp. 185–191, 2016.

T. Lin, Q. Chen, H. Ren, W. Huang, Q. Chen, and S. Fu, “Review of boom potential energy regeneration technology for hydraulic construction machinery,” Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev., vol. 79, no. July 2016, pp. 358–371, 2017.

S. Hui, Y. Lifu, and J. Junqing, “Hydraulic/electric synergy system (HESS) design for heavy hybrid vehicles,” Energy, vol. 35, no. 12, pp. 5328–5335, 2010.

W. Zhao, X. Zhou, C. Wang, and Z. Luan, “Energy analysis and optimization design of vehicle electro-hydraulic compound steering system,” Appl. Energy, vol. 255, no. July, p. 113713, 2019.

Parker, “Compact EHA Electro-Hydraulic Actuators for high power density applications.” Catalog HY22-3101E 9/20.

T. B. Sweeney and M. C. Royer, “(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2012/0067035 A1,” 2012.

T. Pietrzyk, D. Roth, K. Schmitz, and G. Jacobs, “Design study of a high speed power unit for electro hydraulic actuators (EHA),” 11. Int. Fluid Konf., no. Dc, 2018.

D. Padovani, S. Ketelsen, D. Hagen, and L. Schmidt, “A self-contained electro- hydraulic cylinder with passive load-holding capability,” Energies, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 1–19, 2019.

L. Schmidt, S. Ketelsen, M. H. Brask, and K. A. Mortensen, “A class of energy efficient self-contained electro-hydraulic drives with self-locking capability,” Energies, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 1–27, 2019.

L. Ge, L. Quan, Y. Li, X. Zhang, and J. Yang, “A novel hydraulic excavator boom driving system with high efficiency and potential energy regeneration capability,” Energy Convers. Manag., vol. 166, no. April, pp. 308–317, 2018.

T. Lin and Q. Wang, “Hydraulic accumulator-motor-generator energy regeneration system for a hybrid hydraulic excavator,” Chinese J. Mech. Eng. (English Ed.), vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 1121–1129, 2012.

S. Ketelsen, D. Padovani, T. O. Andersen, M. K. Ebbesen, and L. Schmidt, “Classification and review of pump-controlled differential cylinder drives,” Energies, vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 1–26, 2019.

H. Liu, X. Zhang, L. Quan, and H. Zhang, “Research on energy consumption of injection molding machine driven by five different types of electro-hydraulic power units,” J. Clean. Prod., vol. 242, p. 118355, 2020.

S. Qu, D. Fassbender, A. Vacca, B. Enrique, and U. Neumann, “A Closed Circuit Electro-Hydraulic Actuator With Energy Recuperation Capability,” 12th Int. Fluid Power Conf., pp. 89–98, 2020.

K. Heybroek, J.-O. Palmberg, J. Lillemets, M. Lugnberg, and M. Ousbäck, “Evaluating a Pump Controlled Open Circuit Solution,” Proc. Int. Expo. Power Transm. IFPE’08, no. 24, pp. 681–694, 2008.





GFPS 2020