Electro-Hydraulic Variable-Speed Drive Networks—Idea, Perspectives, and Energy Saving Potentials

Lasse Schmidt, Kenneth Vorbøl Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Electro-hydraulic differential cylinder drives with variable-speed displacement units as their central transmission element are subject to an increasing focus in both industry and academia. A main reason is the potential for substantial efficiency increases due to avoidance of throttling of the main flows. Research contributions have mainly been focusing on appropriate compensation of volume asymmetry and the development of standalone self-contained and compact solutions, with all necessary functions onboard. However, as many hydraulic actuator systems encompass multiple cylinders, such approaches may not be the most feasible ones with respect to efficiency or commercial feasibility. This article presents the idea of multi-cylinder drives, characterized by electrically and hydraulically interconnected variable-speed displacement units essentially allowing for completely avoiding throttle elements, while allowing for hydraulic and electric power sharing as well as the sharing of auxiliary functions and fluid reservoir. With drive topologies taking offset in communication theory, the concept of electro-hydraulic variable-speed drive networks is introduced. Three different drive networks are designed for an example application, including component sizing and controls in order to demonstrate their potentials. It is found that such drive networks may provide simple physical designs with few building blocks and increased energy efficiencies compared to standalone drives, while exhibiting excellent dynamic properties and control performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1228
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Electro-hydraulic Cylinder Drives
  • Electro-hydraulic Variable-speed Drive Networks
  • Energy efficiency
  • Hydraulic actuation
  • Linear actuation
  • Power sharing


Dive into the research topics of 'Electro-Hydraulic Variable-Speed Drive Networks—Idea, Perspectives, and Energy Saving Potentials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this