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IFPE Paper 29.

Modeling, simulation and analysis of a simple load-sense


system
Leroy O. Garciano, Latinus E. Boylston, Jr., Stephen Cromer
Danfoss Power Solutions

ABSTRACT
Hydraulic load-sensing (LS) systems have found increasing applications in an open circuit hydraulic system work function
for off-highway mobile equipment. By providing only the needed power requirements in a work function generates energy
savings, thus increasing machine productivity and reducing cost of fuel. A conventional LS system is composed of a
variable displacement pump with feedback control, other hydraulic components and the load. The feedback control
strategy is realized by monitoring the pressure differential between pump outlet and the LS signal, and regulates servo
pressure to move the swashplate angle to the commanded position to provide only the required flow. However, it is well
known in the mobile hydraulics industry that the nature of the dynamic response of a LS system is oscillatory. Depending
on the degree of mismatch between the hydraulic power system and load, could lead to instability. This instability causes
intense oscillation of some components in the machine and is often accompanied by high frequency noise. This causes
operator discomfort and is a safety concern. In a work function application in a paving machine as an example, there are
reports of LS system instability. This paper investigates a generic open circuit hydraulic power system of a work function
in a paver machine. This circuit is then modeled and simulations were conducted using the Matlab Simhydraulics toolbox.
The high system pressure oscillation is then analyzed using phase portrait [2] to show the limit cycle oscillation and
Fourier Transform analysis was conducted. Mathematical analysis based on a research finding that was reportedly
recently [1] was applied. One solution is proposed to reduce the amplitude of the oscillation.

INTRODUCTION
In the design of energy efficient off-highway mobile machines, hydraulic power system architectures are focused on
energy savings strategies. In a mobile hydraulics work function, load sensing (LS) systems are widely adopted. The LS
system has controllability and the control strategy is to provide only the flow that is needed and at the pressure that is
required to match the greatest load to optimize system pressure and minimize heat losses. Load sensing (variable
pressure) works like a constant pressure system where constant pressure is matched with the greatest load thus
generating power savings. However the feedback mechanism of an LS system is well known to have system instability.
The objective of the paper is to conduct modeling and simulation of instability of a generic open circuit hydraulic system
for work function of a paving machine using Matlab Simhydraulics toolbox and present a solution that attenuated the
amplitude of the oscillation.
A BRIEF REVIEW OF ENERGY EFFICIENT HYDRAULIC POWER SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURES
Figure 1(a)-(d) shows various hydraulic power system architectures with their corresponding work cycle efficiencies.
Figure 1(a) show a fixed displacement pump with a relief valve. In this circuit, when the control valve handle is in neural
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position, the fixed displacement pump is delivering a maximum flow of 6.3e-4 m /s (10 gpm) that goes to the hydraulic
reservoir at a system pressure of 207 Bars (3000 psi). When the control valve is opened, the pump is still delivering a
-4
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constant flow of 6.3e m /s to the linear actuator at a system pressure of 207 Bars as illustrated in Fig. 1(a). The required
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flow to move the actuator with load is 3.17e-4 m /s (5 gpm) at a pressure of 68.94 Bars (1000 psi). The work done by the
system is only 2.2 Kw (2.9 hp). Total power generated by the system is 13 Kw (17.5 hp). The efficiency during the work
cycle is 17%.
An LS unloader circuit is shown in Fig. 1(b). In this circuit, when the control valve handle is in neural position, no load
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sensing signal exists. Therefore all pump flow of 6.3e-4 m /s flows to the reservoir at a system pressure of 207 Bars.
Applying a LS signal from the control valve directs pump flow to the circuit and when the pump outlet pressure reaches a
pre-set value above the load sensing signal, i.e., 79.3 Bars (1150 psi = system pressure of 1000 psi + margin=150 psi),
pump flow is metered off to the tank. Thus, only the pump flow needed for the work function is supplied to the control

valve at a pre-set pressure. The work done on the system is 2.2 Kw (2.9 hp). The total power generated by the system is
5 Kw (6.7 hp). Efficiency during the work cycle is 43% as illustrated in Fig. 1(b).

(a)

(b)

(a)

(b)

Work being done


Total power input

(10 gpm)(3000 psi)/1714 = 17.5 hp

Efficiency during work cycle


(2.9 hp out) / (17.5 hp in) = 17%

(c)

Work being done


(5 gpm)(1000 psi)/1714 = 2.9 hp

(5 gpm)(1000 psi)/1714 = 2.9 hp

(c)

Total power input


(10 gpm)(1150 psi)/1714 = 6.7 hp

Efficiency during work cycle


(2.9 hp out) / (6.7 hp in) = 43%

Work being done


(5 gpm)(1000 psi)/1714 = 2.9 hp
Total power input

(5 gpm)(3000 psi)/1714 = 8.8 hp

Efficiency during work cycle


(2.9 hp out) / (8.8 hp in) = 33%

(d)

Work being done

(5 gpm)(1000 psi)/1714 = 2.9 hp

Total power input


(5 gpm)(1200 psi)/1714 = 3.5 hp

Efficiency during work cycle


(2.9 hp out) / (3.5 hp in) = 83%

Fig. 1 Open circuit hydraulic power system architectures for energy savings. (a) fixed displacement pump
with relief valve; (b) fixed displacement with load sense unloading valve; (c) variable displacement pump
with pressure compensation; (d) variable displacement pump with load sensing control feature
A variable displacement pump with pressure compensation is shown in Fig. 1(c). The variable pump will provide full flow
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at pressures below the compensator setting. Once the pump flow is restricted to 3.17e-4 m /s, pressure will rise to the
setting of the pressure compensator and then the pump will de-stroke to the level needed to maintain the compensator
pressure setting. The work done on the system is 2.2 Kw (2.9 hp). The total power generated by the system is 6.6 Kw
(8.8 hp). Efficiency during the work cycle is 33% as illustrated in Fig. 1(c).
Figure 1(d) shows a variable displacement pump with LS control feature. The variable displacement pump will provide
only the needed amount of flow at a set pressure (system pressure plus margin). The work done on the system is 2.2 Kw
(2.9 hp). The total power generated by the system is 2.6 Kw (3.5 hp). Efficiency during the work cycle is 83% as
illustrated in Fig. 1(d).

From the above example, among the various hydraulic power configurations for energy savings, the LS system, as
illustrated in Fig. 1(d), has the highest efficiency of 83%. This is the reason why LS system architectures are widely
adopted in the mobile hydraulics industry.
OPEN CIRCUIT HYDRAULIC LOAD SENSING WITH ROTATIONAL LOAD

f1

f2

Fig. 2 A generic open circuit hydraulic system work function for a paver machine

Figure 2 shows a generic open circuit hydraulic system for a work function of a paver machine. It is composed of a
variable displacement pump, with pressure compensators and proportional valves, load sensing lines LS1 & LS2, and it is
driving two auger motors. A shuttle valve will select only the highest load pressure between the motors that is then fed
back to the LS port, and the variable displacement axial piston pump responds to the load either by stroking or de-stroking
the swash plate. The pressure compensator will maintain a constant pressure drop across the proportional valve and will
try to limit the load oscillation that is reflected back to the system.
MATLAB SIMHYDRAULICS REALIZATION OF THE HYDRAULIC CIRCUIT
Variable Orifice #1

Va, pa

Hydraulic
motor #1

Hose #2
Pressure
Comp #1

Vb, pb
Hose #3

f1

Auger #1
LS #1

PC-LS Pump

LS #2
Shuttle valve
Hose #1

Variable Orifice #2

Ab
Damping
orifice, Ab

Va, pa

Hydraulic
motor #2

Hose #4
Pressure
Comp #2

Vb, pb

f2

Hose #5

Damping
orifice, Ab

Auger #2

Fig. 3 Matlab SimHydraulics realization of the generic hydraulic open circuit work function of a paver machine.

Fig. 3 shows a Matlab SimHydraulics realization of the generic hydraulic circuit (Fig. 2). An almost 1-to-1 representation
of an actual system is obtained in Simhydraulics, which is much more intuitive compared to the Simulink toolbox. The
model shows a LS pump, pressure compensators and variable orifices (that represented the proportional valve), two
hydraulic motors to drive the augers and a shuttle valve. This system with pressure compensators is called a load
independent system.
A REPRESENTATIVE SIMPLIFED MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS OF THE OPEN CIRCUIT HYDRAULIC SYSTEM

qa

Va,pa
Hydraulic hose, H1

Variable orifice
Hydraulic
pump

Hydraulic motor

Jt

Tm

Dm

m
qb

Reservoir
Damping
Orifice, Ab

Vb,pb
Hydraulic hose, H2

Fig. 4 Constant flow system, rotational load and damping orifice, Ab

Fig. 4 shows a representation of a constant flow system, a rotational inertia load, a variable orifice, inlet and outlet
hydraulic hoses and a damping orifice (Ab). In the mathematical development of this circuit [1], continuity of flow and force
balance of applied forces and torque equations are shown as follows [1]:

qa Dm

d m Va dpa

dt
e dt

(1)

d 2 m
Jt
Dm ( pa pb ) Tm
dt 2
d
V dp
Dm m qb b b
dt
e dt
qb qa C q Ab

pb

(2)
(3)

(4)

Linearization and performing a Laplace transformation of eqs. (1) (4) leads to eqn. (5)-(8) as reported in [1] as follows:

Qa Dm s m

Va

sPa (5)

e
2
J t s Dm ( Pa Pb ) Tm
Dm s m Qb

Vb

(6)

sPb (7)

Qb K cb Pb (8)
where,

K cb

qb

(9)
pb
2 pb b

According to [1], an optimal value K cb opt that leads to obtaining the optimal area of the damping orifice (
the oscillation is shown in eqn. (10) as follows:

C q Ab

Ab ) to attenuate

K cb opt Dm

Vb 3 / 4
(10)
e J t ( 1)
where,

Va
(11)
Vb

1
hmax ( 1) (12)
2
and for optimal damping, the area of the damping orifice Ab is,

Ab

qa K cbopt
C q2

(13)

FORCED FREQUENCY TEST OF THE SIMHYDRAULICS MODEL


Fig. 5 shows a block diagram of a dynamical system subjected to a forcing frequency that produces oscillation. The
objective is to attenuate the amplitude of the system response.

System
Output or
System Response

Input or
Load

Fig. 5 Block diagram representation of a force frequency test of a system

SIMULATION RESULTS
Two cases are presented in the simulation results, i.e., Case I involves simulation without any damping introduced to the
system and Case II presents two simulation results by varying the volume ratio between Va and Vb and obtaining an
optimal damping orifice (eqn. 12).
Case I: Volume ratio Va=Vb and without damping orifice (Ab)
Figure 6(a) shows the experimentally obtained load at the hydraulic auger motor and simulation system pressure
response (Fig. 6(b)) of the Simhydraulics model (Fig. 3). In this case, without introducing any damping in the hydraulic
circuit, the maximum amplitude of oscillation is about P=75 Bars (Fig. 6(b)). A phase portrait [2] and Fourier Transform
(FT) analysis shows a limit cycle oscillation (Fig. 7(a)) with a frequency of oscillation of f1=11.38 Hz (Fig. 7(b)). The
existence of a limit cycle oscillation and the sub-harmonic frequency (f1/3) confirms the nonlinear dynamics of the system
(Fig. 7(a) & (b)).
(a) Experimentally obtained
load at auger motor

80
60
40
20

100

Pressure [Bar]

Pressure [Bar]

100

(b) Simulation system response


Peak at approx. 75 Bars

80
60
40
20
0

Time [s]

Time [s]

Fig. 6 (a) Experimentally obtained input and (b) simulation system response of the SimHydraulics model.

(a) Phase portrait diagram

(b) FT analysis of system response

Limit cycle oscillation

80

f2=1.2 Hz (peak = 0.97)

60

Log(Pressure [Bar])

System Pressure [Bar] @ (t+t)

100

40

20

f1/3

f1 = 11.38 Hz (peak=-0.66)

-1

-2
0

20

40

60

80

100

10

15

Frequency [Hz]

System Pressure [Bar] @ t

Fig. 7 (a) Phase-portrait analysis of Fig. 6(b) showing a limit cycle oscillation; and,
(b) FT analysis of Fig. 6(b)
Case II: Volume ratios Va=5Vb & Va=10Vb with damping orifice (Ab)
Figure 8 shows the Simhydraulics simulation results for the system response of the circuit due to an input load applied to
the hydraulic motor. Figure 8(a) show pressure trace without damping; and the corresponding reduction of amplitude by
15% and 18% shown in Fig. 8(b) & (c)) respectively, by changing the volume ratios between Va and Vb. With all other
parameters given, the corresponding optimal area of the damping orifice (Ab) is obtained (see eqn. 13). The higher the
volume ratio between the inlet to the outlet at the hydraulic motor, the greater the amplitude reduction. The results
obtained here is just a solution in many possible solutions in trying to reduce the amplitude of oscillation.

(b) With 15% amplitude attenuation

(a) Without damping


100

100

Pressure [Bar]

60

Pressure [Bar]

Va Vb;
2;
Ab 0

80

40
20
0

Va 5Vb ;

6;

80

Ab 1.93e 6 m 2

60

40
20
0

Time [s]

Time [s]

(c) With 18% amplitude attenuation


Pressure [Bar]

100

Va 10Vb ;

11;

80

Ab 2.17e 6 m 2

60
40
20
0
0

Time [s]

Fig. 8 Simhydraulics simulation results showing time series data of system pressure. (a) Without damping; (b) With
damping showing 15% amplitude attenuation; and, (c) with damping showing 18% amplitude attenuation.

100

(b) FT analysis of system response

80
2
60

Log(Pressure [Bar])

System Pressure [Bar] @ (t+t)

(a) Phase portrait diagram

40

20

f2=3.5 Hz

f1 = 10.25 Hz (peak=-0.30)

-1

-2
0

20

40

60

80

System Pressure [Bar] @ t

100

10

15

Frequency [Hz]

Fig. 9 A phase portrait and FT analysis of Fig. 8(c).


A phase portrait and FT analysis of Fig. 8(c) is shown in Fig. 9(a) and (b), respectively. The phase portrait analysis in Fig.
9(a) is not a limit cycle oscillation and no sub-harmonic frequency exists as compared to Fig. 7(a) and (b) respectively.
This probably indicates that the nonlinear dynamic behavior of the system (i.e. without damping) was brought into a more
stable regime when damping was introduced.

CONCLUSION
A generic hydraulic LS control system for the work function of a paver machine was investigated. The generic circuit was
modeled using Matlab Simhydraulics. System pressure oscillation due to high torque load that was reflected to the
hydraulic LS control system showed high amplitude of oscillation characterized by a limit cycle. The existence of a limit
cycle oscillation and the sub-harmonic frequency f1/3 is a well-known nonlinear dynamics system behavior. Mathematical
modeling and analysis using continuity equations, force balance and torque loads about the hydraulic motor that was
previously reported were utilized in this paper. The results indicated that by varying the volume ratios between Va and Vb
by as much as Va=10Vb, an optimal damping orifice (Ab) was obtained. The simulation results showed a reduction of
amplitude oscillation by 18%. In addition, the phase portrait analysis probably indicated that the initial nonlinear dynamics
behavior of the system without damping was brought to a more stable regime when damping was introduced that
attenuated the amplitude of oscillation by 18%. This approach is a solution of various possible solutions to attenuate the
intense oscillation of an unstable response of a hydraulic LS control system. The modeling and simulation results need to
be experimentally validated to be able to confirm the results reported in this paper.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to acknowledge Abhijit Das, Advance Systems Engineer and Charles Throckmorton, Principal Engineer
for Danfoss Power Solutions for their technical assistance in this paper.

REFERENCES
th

1. Axin, M. and Krus, P. Design Rules for High Damping in Mobile Hydraulic Systems, The 13 Scandinavian
International Conference on Fluid Power, SICFP2013, June 3-5, 2013, Linkoping, Sweden.
2. Garciano, L.O., Torisu, R., Takeda, J. and K. Sakai. Random, Quasi-Periodic and Chaotic Vibrations of Farm
Tractors Journal of JSAM, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2002, pp 91-99
3. Wikipedia.org

CONTACT
Leroy O. Garciano is a Systems & Application Engineer for Danfoss Power Solution at the Ames, Iowa location. He has
a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of San Carlos, Philippines. He obtained his MS/PhD degrees in
Bio-Engineering resources at Iwate University, Japan. Prior to joining Danfoss, he worked in Japan at the Tokyo
University of Agriculture and Technology; in the US at the Univ. of California, Davis; and in North Dakota. His research

and industry experiences include vehicle dynamics; development of commercially-off-the-shelf (COTS) sensor devices for
soil dynamics research; 3D Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) of a cutting tool in soil; multispectral and hyperspectral
technologies for crop yield prediction; and precision agriculture technologies for assisted-steer and auto guidance for
agricultural machineries. His published peer-reviewed papers are in the areas of vehicle dynamics, multispectral and
hyperspectral technologies, as well as in soil dynamics research. He is conversant in several languages. Mr. Garciano
can be contacted at lgarciano@danfoss.com.
Latinus E. Boylston, Jr. is a Systems and Applications Engineer for Danfoss Power Solutions at the Ames, Iowa
location. He has dual BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering from Washington State
University in Pullman Washington. Boylston started his career in Texas Instruments DMOS6 wafer fabrication facility as
an Equipment Engineer in Dallas, Texas. He has developed power management systems for Texas Instruments and
Micrel Semiconductor, in Huxley, Iowa, as an analog and mixed signal integrated circuit designer. Additionally, Boylston
worked for Iowa State University as a Technology Licensing Manager managing ISUs diverse portfolio of engineering and
physical sciences intellectual property assets. Mr. Boylston has given presentations and written articles on diverse topics
from novel ADC techniques to management and marketing of intellectual property. Mr. Boylston can be contacted at
eboylston@danfoss.com

DEFINITIONS, ACRONYMS, ABBREVIATIONS


Limit cycle - is a closed trajectory in phase space having the property that at least one other trajectory spirals into it either
as time approaches infinity or as time approaches negative infinity. Such behavior is exhibited in some nonlinear systems.
Ab
Cq
Dm
Jt
Kcb
Kcbopt
Pa
Pb
qa
qb
s
t
Tm
Va
Vb

h
m

f12
t

= Damping orifice opening area [m ]


= Flow coefficient [-]
3
= hydraulic motor displacement [m /rad]
2
= Rotational inertia load [kg-m ]
4
= Flow-pressure coefficient for the damping orifice [m -s/Kg]
4
= Kcb which gives the highest damping [m -s/Kg]
= Pressure on inlet side of motor [Bar]
= Pressure on outlet side of motor [Bar]
3
= flow into the motor [m /s]
3
= flow into the motor [m /s]
= Laplace operator
= time [s]
= External torque [N-m]
3
= Volume on inlet side of hydraulic motor [m ]
3
= Volume on outlet side of hydraulic motor [m ]
= Bulk modulus [Pa]
= Parameter [-]
= Maximum damping [-]
= Rotational angle [rad]
3
= Density [kg/m ]
= Orifices [m]
= Phase lag [s]