Abstract

In mobile hydraulic applications, more efficient machinery generally translates to smaller batteries or less diesel consumption, and smaller cooling solutions. A key part of such systems are hydrostatic pumps and motors. While these devices have been around for a long time, some of the causes of energy loss in pump and motors are still not properly defined. This paper focuses on one of the causes of energy loss in pumps and motors, by identifying the energy loss as a result of the process of commutation.

By nature, all hydrostatic pumps and motors have some form of commutation: the transition from the supply port to the discharge port of the machine (and vice versa). During commutation, the connection between the working chamber and the ports is temporarily closed. The chamber pressure changes by compression or decompression that is the result of the rotation of the working mechanism. Ideally, the connection to one of the ports is opened once the chamber pressure equals the port pressure. When the connection is opened too early or too late, energy is lost.

This paper describes a method to predict the commutation loss using a lumped parameter simulation model. To verify these predictions, experimental data of a floating cup pump was compared to the calculated values, which show a decent match. Furthermore, the results show that, depending on the operating conditions, up to 50% of all losses in this pump are caused by improper commutation.

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