The Digital Hydraulic Power Management System (DHPMS) is a solution based on the digital pump-motor technology and has shown to be a promising approach to improve the energy efficiency of hydraulic systems. The DHPMS is controlled by active on/off valves, but unlike the digital pump-motors the DHPMS has multiple independent outlets; hence, the DHPMS can operate also as a transformer. In this experimental study, a proportional control of a mobile boom is compared with a displacement control when a six-piston DHPMS is used. In the proportional control, the system pressure is controlled by the DHPMS and a lift cylinder with a proportional valve. In the displacement control, the cylinder fluid volumes are controlled directly using the DHPMS. Firstly, the systems under study are presented along with the control methods. Then the control performance of the DHPMS is studied and finally, the energy losses in the systems are analysed. The results show the versatility of the DHPMS; it is capable of fast and accurate pressure control but also handles the direct flow control. According to the measurements, the losses are significantly smaller in the displacement controlled system thanks to the minimised throttling losses and the energy recovery. Nevertheless, the energy losses in the prototype DHPMS are rather high due to the leakage in the control valves and their low flow capacity, and therefore improvements in the design are needed.

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