Closed-circuit hydraulic systems, like hydrostatic transmissions and Displacement Controlled (DC) architecture systems, require an integrated low-pressure system. These low-pressure systems provide several important functions to the hydraulic system. They prevent cavitation, provide cooling flow through the cooler, replenish the hydraulic system with cool oil, assist in the oil filtration process, provide pressure to the hydraulic unit control systems and, in the case of DC systems with differential cylinders, balance the unequal cylinder flow. Traditionally, the sizing of low-pressure systems is accomplished using a static sizing approach. In this approach, a constant efficiency of the hydraulic units is assumed, and the system is operating at a maximum power condition. The result is often an oversized charge pump and accumulator, if one is present. A dynamic sizing method has been developed using MATLAB/Simulink® with high fidelity empirical loss models for hydraulic displacement machines. Using realistic duty cycles for hydraulic systems and measured data, the low-pressure system can be accurately sized. Dynamically sizing low-pressure systems reduce parasitic losses on the prime mover because of smaller pump sizes, thus freeing power to be used elsewhere. Another concept presented in this work is the possibility of isolating the hydraulic unit control pressure supply and the low-pressure system. Realistic examples have been simulated to demonstrate the power savings of dynamically sizing low-pressure systems.

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