The efficiency of digital hydraulic machines is strongly dependent on the valve switching time. Recently, fast switching have been achieved by using a direct electromagnetic moving coil actuator as the force producing element in fast switching hydraulic valves suitable for digital hydraulic machines. Mathematical models of the valve switching, targeted for design optimisation of the moving coil actuator, are developed. A detailed analytical model is derived and presented and its accuracy is evaluated against transient electromagnetic finite element simulations. The model includes an estimation of the eddy currents generated in the actuator yoke upon current rise, as they may have significant influence on the coil current response. The analytical model facilitates fast simulation of the transient actuator response opposed to the transient electro-magnetic finite element model which is computationally expensive. Fast simulation of the problem is crucial for optimising the switching valves, especially when using several design variables in an optimisation algorithm.

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