Several types of off-road machinery, such as industrial trucks, forklifts, excavators, mobile cranes, and wheel loaders, are set to be operated in environments which can differ considerably from each other. This sets certain limits for both the drive transmissions and working hydraulics of these machines. The ambient temperature must be taken into account when selecting the hydraulic fluid since the viscosity and density of the fluid are changing at different operating temperatures.
In addition to the temperature, energy efficiency can also be a problem in off-road machinery. In most off-road machines, diesel engines are employed to produce mechanical energy. However, there are energy losses during the working process, which causes inefficiency in produced energy. For better energy efficiency, hybridization in off-road machinery is an effective method to decrease fuel consumption and increase energy savings. One of the possible methods to save energy with hybrids is energy regeneration. However, it means that the basic hydraulic system inside off-road machinery needs to be modified. One solution for this is to utilize zonal or decentralized approach by means of direct driven hydraulic (DDH) system.
This paper aims to investigate a DDH system for off-road machinery by means of modelling and analyzing the effect of the temperature. In the direct-driven hydraulic system, the actuator is controlled directly by the hydraulic pump which is operated by the electric motor. Specifically, it is a valveless closed-loop hydraulic system. Thus, there will be no energy losses caused by the valves, and the total efficiency is assumed to be significantly higher.
In order to examine the DDH system, a thermo-hydraulic model was created. Additionally, a thermal camera was utilized in order to illustrate the temperature changes in the components of the DDH system. To reproduce the action of the system in different circumstances DDH system was run at different ambient temperatures, and the component temperatures in the system were measured and saved for the analysis. The thermo hydraulic model was proven capable to follow the general trend of heating up.