A novel, variable displacement, low-speed high-torque hydraulic motor is being developed that is expected to be highly efficient across a broad operating range. To ensure the final hardware achieves the expected performance, the models used in the development of the motor must be experimentally validated and revised. The focus of this work is on mechanical energy loss models that were used to guide the design of a single-cylinder motor prototype and then experimental tests used for validation.

Losses were modeled and organized into five primary groups: main shaft bearings, main shaft seal, case windage, valve actuation, and linkage losses. The single-cylinder prototype was fabricated, and test parameters were defined. Two test rigs were designed and built to capture losses of the motor experimentally; one was used to collect low torque, zero/low-pressure differential results, and the other used to collect high torque, high-pressure differential results. A staged assembly procedure was developed to capture the independent contributions of each loss.

By reviewing the quality of correlation between test observations and model predictions and revising the model when necessary, the models were validated. The correlation was improved by reviewing and modifying model inputs. This allows future solutions to be more accurately predicted in the design phase to drive the design of better machines. The validated model package was able to predict the motor performance within an acceptable range of error.

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