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Hydraulics Go Off-Road

Under pressure to meet EPA emission mandates, off-road OEMs and equipment makers are integrating hydraulic generators into traditional hybrid powertrains for a clean boost of efficiency.

Under pressure to meet EPA emission mandates, off-road OEMs and equipment makers are integrating hydraulic generators into traditional hybrid powertrains for a clean boost of efficiency.

New power innovations in the consumer automotive market may get the most attention, but some of the most exciting hybrid changes today are coming from off-road OEMs and makers of construction and farm equipment.

According to a new article by Jay Schultz on Machine Design, these equipment makers are looking for new power solutions to help meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emission mandates on reducing diesel engine emissions.

"Designing and making engines that comply with the EPA rules have made those engines larger, heavier, and more costly," Schultz writes. Integrating hydraulic generators into traditional hybrid powertrains, however, might help mitigate these issues and bring these manufacturers the clean boost of low-cost efficiency they need.

One off-road hybrid concept, Schultz notes, comes from Terzo Power Systems and is being investigated by many off highway vehicle OEMs.

 It adds a smart hydraulic pump (the Hydrapulse pump) to the vehicle, and it can run off of battery power. The Hydrapulse incorporates Parker Hannifin’s high performance electric motor, the global vehicle motor (GVM), power electronics, and a Parker hydraulic pump—all in a compact package.

The engine runs at a constant speed and powers a generator. The generator is sized to keep a battery pack fully charged when the vehicle travels under power from the engine. On the work site, the engine can be shut down and the battery will power the Hydrapulse pump, which can then operate the vehicle’s onboard work equipment—such as drills, cranes, and back hoes—without emissions.

 

Read the full story of off-road hydraulics on Machine Design.
Machine Design is a NED companion site in Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.

 

 
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