Advanced hydraulic controls save 40 percent in fuel: Excavator at IFPE 2011

The Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) will highlight the center’s booth with a high efficiency excavator developed at Purdue University. Advanced controls result in 40% fuel savings.


Advanced hydraulic controls are capable of saving 40% in fuel in some applications, important as petroleum-based fuels increase in price. A Bobcat 435 Compact Excavatorhigh efficiency excavator, one of four test beds being developed through the research program of the National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), will be among the highlights at the Center’s booth at IFPE 2011 (Booth #13004). The excavator, being developed at Purdue University under the direction of Professor Monika Ivantysynova, serves as a platform for demonstrating research advances throughout the CCEFP.

The stock load sensing hydraulic system on a five-ton Bobcat 435 excavator was replaced with a displacement controlled hydraulic system. The new hydraulic system reportedly shows a 40% fuel savings, on average, in side by side testing with a standard machine of the same model. With the new system architecture, all functions are controlled electronically thereby allowing the use of advanced control strategies. An advanced machine power management control strategy has been implemented on top of the displacement control platform to minimize the fuel consumption of the machine according to the working cycle performed. The improved efficiency offered by displacement controlled technology has led to lower working temperatures for the hydraulic fluid which should lead to longer fluid life and less maintenance.

“The work on this test bed at Purdue, supported by additional research throughout the seven universities in the Center’s network, has significant implications for future advancements in fluid power technology and for energy savings,” according to Dr. Kim Stelson, CCEFP Director. “IFPE and CONEXPO-CON/AGG exhibitors and attendees alike will want to see the excavator first-hand.” Additional information about the this project will be available at the CCEFP booth and in presentations included in the 52nd National Conference on Fluid Power (NCFP) during sessions scheduled for March 24, 2011.

Fluid power research in other areas sponsored by CCEFP will also be featured at the CCEFP booth and as a part of the Technical Conference, where more than forty of the Center’s faculty and students will take their place among a total of 120+ presenters. The Center will also hold its 5th Annual Meeting in conjunction with IFPE. Industry supporters of CCEFP are encouraged to participate in the meeting which is scheduled for March 22 in an area immediately adjacent to the IFPE show floor. Posters describing CCEFP research will be presented by Center students following the Annual Meeting.


Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)

- Edited by Gust Gianos, Control Engineering,

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