The novel Common Pressure Rail Hybrid system by Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) applied to excavators, which results in significant improvements in energy-efficiency, has received the Volvo Technology Award 2021.
The Volvo CE team from Sweden and South Korea has worked closely with Finnish company Norrhydro in the research project, leveraging an idea initially born out of academic collaborations. 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.
The innovation enables new ways to reduce energy losses in hydraulics. In the new system architecture all the machine’s work functions are connected to a hydraulic energy storage via a common pressure rail, comprising 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, 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 both efficiency increases and cost benefits for the customer.
The Volvo Technology Award is a mark of recognition for technical advances that contribute to the enhancement of the Volvo Group’s high-tech competitiveness and technological expertise. Previous recipients have included innovations such as the Duo-Prop marine drive, the City Filter used to purify trucks and bus exhausts, Volvo’s side airbags (SIPS) and the Electric Site emission free quarry research project.
The winners of the Volvo Technology Award 2021 are:
Kim Heybroek, Sangki Bae, Junwoo Kim, Byeongmo Ko, Donghun Oh, Wonkil Choe, Wontaek Oh and Namgyu Kim.