In the modern automation technology, there are often two ways to complete a drive task: pneumatically or electrically. In order to remain competitive with the electromechanics and to contribute to the achievement of climate protection goals, manufacturers and users of pneumatic systems are required to increase the energy efficiency of pneumatics. One of the primal and simplest methods to reduce the energy consumption of existing and to-be-developed pneumatic systems is the correct sizing of actuators. However, even in the most modern machines drives are often overdimensioned thus creating a higher energy consumption than necessary.

To counteract this, different dimensioning methods have been developed in the last few years, which could contribute to a significant reduction of energy consumption. Design tools based on dynamic simulations are highly reliable, but their calculation methods can be complex and non-transparent. Therefore, more pragmatic and simple dimensioning methods have been developed, based on algebraic approaches like force equilibrium, exergy equilibrium and pneumatic frequency ratio. In this paper these methods are evaluated using mathematical analysis and practical drive examples. Their possible application fields and limitations are shown and compared.

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