The paper investigates the efficiency of a hydro-mechanical variable transmission combining experimental and numerical approaches in order to develop operating strategies for power transmission losses reduction due to hydraulic circuits design. Two operating regions, characterized by high working time, have been detected analyzing the telescopic boom handler load spectral map of a real off-road vehicle transmission; the first one characterized by high output speed and the second one by low speed and torque transmission.

The efficiency of the former region has been increased by improving the fluid dynamic behavior of the lubrication system, which is greatly affected by the high flow rate generated by the fixed displacement pump operating at high speed, while the latter has been improved regulating the flow pressure of the actuation system with a controlled relief valve. The power losses of the system are experimentally determined testing an instrumented transmission on an ad-hoc test rig.

CFD dynamic models are adopted for the lubrication circuit optimization, addressing its real geometrical features as well as the actual operating conditions. Furthermore, the influence of the hydrodynamic resistance of the reverse and first wet clutches on the transmission power losses is investigated regulating the lubrication flow through an on/off valve. Tests demonstrated that up to 6.5 kW can be saved at high transmission ratios.

Finally, the effect of the two regulating strategies have been estimated in terms of energy saving and C02 emission reduction on the total vehicle life. Results proved that 5600 kWh and 7250 kWh saved energy can be achieved for the two strategies corresponding to 3.7 tons and 4.6 tons of avoided CO2 respectively.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.