Power distribution plays a crucial role in energy efficiency in hydraulic equipment. Electric motors, featuring batteries and inverters that deliver up to 50kW of power, are replacing fossil-fuel powered engines.
However, when internal combustion engines are replaced with electric motors but integrated with hydraulic pumps and systems, noise and inefficiencies are inevitable. Axial piston pumps, for example, emit high levels of noise that are more noticeable because electric motors operate silently. Energy efficiency is poor, too: high torques at low speeds cannot be achieved because power is dissipated too quickly due to system inefficiency.
How Flow On Demand Delivers An Efficient Solution
In a ‘Flow on Demand’ system, a variable speed motor drives the motor, while a flow sharing block distributes the flow to where it is needed. The pump only activates at the point at which there is a power demand from the user, who requires the actuator to move at the desired speed. The required flow is calculated and used to actuate both the valves and the electric motor.
Flow on Demand solutions offer a highly efficient, stable, and versatile alternative to load-sensing systems, which require complex damping to suppress oscillations and prevent pressure losses:
1) Improved Control
For hydraulics systems to achieve optimal efficiency, agility and responsiveness are critical. Flow on Demand responds directly to user controls, without the sluggishness that can affect efficiency levels. Overall system stability is better, while it is possible to reduce or eliminate damping.
2) Lower Noise Levels
In hydraulic systems, the speed of the pump will be accurately patched to the required flow. This results in a significant reduction of noise, with levels dropping to the minimum, thereby improving the working environment, and making it possible to operate multiple hydraulic systems without noise protection measures being necessary.
3) Better Energy Efficiency
With Flow on Demand, multiple increases in energy efficiency are possible, resulting in lower carbon emissions and more cost-effective energy consumption. A fixed displacement pump is preferable to a swashplate pump, as energy efficiency is higher (a swashplate pump requires some electrical flow to adjust, leading to lower overall efficiency).
To find out more about the best power management options for your hydraulics systems, please contact us today on 01353 721704.