Purdue University Graduate School

File(s) under embargo: Shanmukh Sarode thesis

Reason: The content of the thesis are under a submitted patent application as well as under review for publication in journals.





until file(s) become available

Design and Analysis of An Integrated Electrohydraulic Axial Piston Machine

posted on 2023-06-13, 13:08 authored by Shanmukh SarodeShanmukh Sarode

Emission regulations and global policies to tackle climate change have forced industries and businesses to take measures to curb their impact on the environment. According to the United Nations Environment Program 2022 report on emissions [1], the transportation sector contributes to one-quarter of all energy-related CO2 emissions, and it is set to double by 2050. A recent report [2] suggests that off-road vehicles and equipment account for three-quarters of particulate matter and one-quarter of the nitrogen oxides emitted from mobile transportation sources in the US. The major challenge in decarbonizing or electrifying off-road machines is that they come in a wide range of sizes, weights, and functions, creating barriers to bringing down costs through economies of scale. Fluid power systems which are ubiquitous in these machines have been electrified in a compact and efficient manner to break even the costs of electrification. 

In off-road applications, where actuation systems heavily depend on hydraulics, there is a high demand for novel systems based on electric prime movers that can enable zero-carbon emission vehicles. An appropriate combination of electric prime movers and hydraulic machines commonly known as electrohydraulic units (EHUs) can help leverage the benefits of both these technologies. The integration of these two technologies in a single casing shaftless EHU can further maximize compactness and reduce cost. However, to achieve such an integrated EHU there is no standard procedure or recommended guidelines for equipment manufacturers owing to the interdisciplinary nature of the problem. 

This study proposes a generic design methodology to design electrohydraulic units (EHUs). As a starting point, a survey study was undertaken to compare different combinations of electric and hydraulic machines when designing an EHU. The different combinations were investigated for different operating drive cycles for their performance as well as other factors such as power-to-weight, cost, and the possibility of variable displacement. An axial piston machine (APM) was selected as a hydraulic machine (HM) to be integrated with a permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) as the electric machine. 

The design methodology is demonstrated for an integrated electrohydraulic architecture with the APM housed inside the core of the PMSM. Such an architecture not only makes the overall integration much more compact but also allows for better thermal management of the EM. In such an architecture, the EM governs the overall power density of the integration and the total mass of the integration owing to inherent torque density differences. An EM design optimization is adopted for a predefined HM architecture to design the proposed EHU integration. The design optimization is used to quantify the effect of key EHU design specifications on the EM size and performance. EHU specifications such as sizing torque, operating voltage, aspect ratio, cooling efficacy, number of poles, and power-to-weight ratio have been studied to draw generic trends. These generic trends in the design specifications are used to outline clear guidelines on the impact of each of the EHU specifications for future EHU designers.

Using the generic design trends, the design methodology is extended to size the EHU based on typical operating demands using the HM variable displacement, EM overload capability, and the EM flux weakening operation. These sizing studies allow the designers to size the EHU for the specific drive cycle operating demands and avoid oversizing the EHU. The EM flux weakening mode of operation allows the EM to be sized for a peak power level lower than the corner power of operation. The EM overload operation allows a reduction in the sustainable sizing torque lower than that of the maximum torque demand. The variable displacement in the HM can be used for improving overall EHU efficiency when selecting a low voltage or using a compact EM as well as to reduce the EM sizing torque. Two operation algorithms are proposed to define the EHU operation using variable displacement. Additionally, the sizing of a single EHU for multiple applications is also demonstrated. Such multi-utility EHU sizing can promote mass production and improve the rate of electrification in off-road machines.

Finally, a prototype-tested EHU design based on the sizing study is demonstrated and the design considerations in such a design process are discussed. The prototype of the integrated EHU with a fixed displacement APM was able to reach the full capability of the reference APM. Thermal considerations are made on the EM sizing, to ensure the reliability of the designed EHU.  A novel self-sustained EHU architecture using the HM working fluid as a cooling fluid for the EM was designed. This was achieved by proposing a three-port valveplate design to divert part of the delivery stroke to cool the EM. A lumped parameter HM model was used to optimize this third port for an EHU prototype.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Andrea Vacca

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Lizhi Shang

Additional Committee Member 2

Scott Sudhoff

Additional Committee Member 3

Jose Garcia-Bravo