Innovative electro-hydraulic system for excavators wins Volvo Technology Award
Volvo Construction Equipment has received the Volvo Technology Award, a mark of recognition for technical advances that contribute to the enhancement of the Volvo Group's technological expertise. Volvo CE's Common Pressure Rail Hybrid system improves hydraulic efficiency in excavators while reducing CO2 emissions. This is in line with Volvo Group's ambitions to be net zero by 2040.
The Volvo CE team from Sweden and South Korea has worked closely with Norrhydro in the research project, leveraging an idea initially born out of academic collaborations. Today, the innovation has matured into a real-world solution with ongoing customer trials in the field and it is expected to accelerate the introduction of e-mobility across Volvo CE's larger excavator platform. The company anticipates the new technology to be available in the excavator market in a near future.
How it works
The innovation enables new ways to reduce energy losses in hydraulics. In the new system, all the machine's work functions are connected to a hydraulic energy storage via a common pressure rail, comprised by two or more pressure lines.
The energy storage, which consists of hydraulic accumulators, enables energy-efficient recovery of kinetic energy and peak power supply. For cylinder-driven functions, so-called "smart actuators" are used to achieve energy-efficient conversion from hydraulic power to a variable force and speed.
The system also allows energy recovery and performance increase of the machine's rotating loads, such as the swing function through the introduction of variable hydraulic machines. Due to greatly reduced energy losses and the power contribution from hydraulic accumulators, a smaller power source can be used and the need for cooling is reduced. With a higher available power, cycle times can be shortened, for example when loading a truck, which contributes to increased efficiency and cost benefits for the customer.