Modeling and experimental evaluation of a load-sensing and pressure compensated hydraulic system
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Heavy load equipment, such as tractors, shovels, cranes, airplanes, etc, often employ fluid power (i.e. hydraulic) systems to control their loads by way of valve adjustment in a pump-valve control configuration. Most of these systems have low energy efficiency as a consequence of pressure losses across throttle valves. Much of the energy is converted into heat energy which can have determinantal effects on component life and the surrounding environment. From an energy efficiency point of view, an ideal hydraulic system is one that does not include any throttling valve. One such circuit is made of a variable pump and motor load (pump/motor configuration). The velocity of the load is controlled by manipulating the pump displacement or by changing the rotary speed of the pump shaft. In such a system, the transient response of the load is often unsatisfactory because it is difficult to quickly and accurately manipulate the pump displacement or change shaft speed. Thus circuit design must be a compromise between the energy efficiency of the pump/motor system and the controllability of a pump/valve/motor combination. One possible compromise is to use a pump-valve configuration which reduces energy losses across the valve. One way to achieve this is by controlling the pressure drop across the valve and limiting it to a small value, independent of load pressure. Based on this idea, a type of hydraulic control system, usually called load-sensing (LS), has recently been used in the flow power area. This type of system, however, is complex and under certain operating conditions exhibits instability problems. Methods for compensating these instabilities are usually based on a trial-and-error approach. Although some research has resulted in the definition of some instability criterion, a comprehensive and verifiable approach is still lacking. This research concentrates on identifying the relationship between system parameters and instability in one particular type of LS system. Due to the high degree of non-linearity in LS systems, the instabilities are dependent on the steady state operating point. The study therefore concentrates first on identifying all of the steady state operating points and then classifying them into three steady state operating regions. A dynamic model for each operating region is developed to predict the presence of instabilities. Each model is then validated experimentally. This procedure, used in the study of the LS system, is also applied to a pressure compensated (PC) valve. A PC valve is one in which the flow rate is independent in variations to load pressure. A system which combines a LS pump and a PC valve (for the controlling orifice) is called a load sensing pressure compensated (LSPC) system. This research, then, examines the dynamic performance of the LSPC system using the operating points and steady state operating regions identified in the first part of the research. The original contributions of this research include: (a) establishment of three steady state operating conditions defined as “Condition I, II & III”, which are based on the solution of steady state non-linear equations; (b) the provision of an empirical model of the orifice discharge coefficient suitable for laminar and turbulent flow, and the transition region between them; (c) and the development of an analytical expression for orifice flow which makes it possible to accurately model and simulate a hydraulic system with pilot stage valve or pump/motor compensator. These contributions result in a practical and reliable method to determine the stability of a LS or LSPC system at any operating point and to optimize the design of the LS or LSPC system.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorBurton, Richard T.
CommitteeUkrainetz, Paul R.; Schoenau, Greg J.; Krus, Petter; Habibi, Saeid R.; Wood, Hugh C.
Copyright DateDecember 2003
steady state operating point
pressure compensated valve
load sensing system