16ST1: AC Hydraulic Pump/Motor

Project Leaders: James Van de Ven, Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Eric Barth, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Institutions: University of Minnesota & Vanderbilt University

While a high percentage of electrical systems are AC, there are virtually no hydraulic AC systems available. This project will model, design, prototype, and experimentally characterize a novel pump based on AC hydraulics for the application of displacement control.

The majority of existing hydraulic circuits using metering valves to control the load. Such valves that throttle the flow fundamentally dissipate power as a means of controlling delivered power. A more efficient alternative is to utilize a variable displacement pump to control each actuator, termed displacement control. Critical to displacement control is the performance and efficiency of the variable displacement pump across a wide range of displacements and pressures. For multi-actuator circuits where multiple pumps are driven on a comm on shaft, the package size and weight of the pump are also important.

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