Improving the Energy Efficiency of Single Actuators with High Energy Consumption

An Electro-Hydraulic Extension of Conventional Multi-Actuator Load-Sensing Systems


  • David Fassbender
  • Tatiana Minav
  • Christine Brach
  • Kalevi Huhtala



Electro hydraulics, energy efficiency, cost efficiency, eavy-duty mobile machinery, load-sensing system


A load sensing (LS) supply in combination with control valves is one of the most common solutions for the actuation of implements on heavy-duty mobile machines (HDMMs). A major drawback of this approach is its relatively low energy efficiency due to metering losses—especially for multi-actuator operation and load braking. Several novel, more efficient concepts have already been proposed but involve high component costs for each actuator, which is not acceptable for HDMMs with many actuators that have a medium to low energy turnover. Therefore, this work proposes a novel system design which is based on a conventional LS system—for cheap operation of a high number of low-energy-consuming actuators—but allows to avoid metering losses for single high-energy-consuming actuators by replacing their metering valves with electric-generator-hydraulic-motor (EGHM) units that work similar to pump-controlled concepts. The benefits of the novel concept are explained in detail by looking at the three main throttling functions of an actuator in a typical valve-controlled LS systems, which the novel concept avoids by applying pressure in the actuator return lines and recuperating energy electrically instead of dissipating it by throttling. Furthermore, advantages and challenges for the novel concept are analyzed, and ways to address the latter are presented. Before the novel concept is simulated, the required control algorithms are presented. The simulation study in Amesim and Simulink focuses on a telehandler that utilizes the novel concept for the boom, extension and tilt actuators. Simulation results show that the novel system can decrease the required input energy for typical duty cycles by up to 34% compared to a conventional LS system. At the same time, simulations show that, from an economic perspective, it seems most reasonable to utilize the novel EGHM units only for the boom and extension actuators of the studied telehandler.