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E-Steering offers greater efficiency in commercial vehicle applications

07 December 2016

Parker Hannifin is now able to offer complete E-Steering solutions to the commercial vehicle market.

The company can work with bus, coach and truck OEMs to develop complete, easy-to-install pre-wired systems featuring Parker’s Electro-Hydraulic Pump (EHP) technology.

Parker’s EHP functions differently to traditional systems that permanently drive a variable displacement pump connected to a power take-off (PTO) situated in the engine compartment. Instead, the EHP comprises a Permanent Magnet electric AC motor (PMAC) coupled directly to a hydraulic pump that is controlled by a high-performance drive – this enables the power used by the vehicle’s steering to be matched to the quantity of energy needed at any given time. Importantly, the system can be positioned close to the steering system at the front of the vehicle. 

The benefits for customers seeking intelligent control in commercial transportation applications are widespread. For instance, greater efficiency can be achieved as the pump runs on demand (fixed displacement pump in combination with variable speed). In turn, this helps to generate a saving of 20-30 bar pressure during operation. Additionally, safety is improved thanks to the removal of hydraulic tubing from the engine compartment, thus reducing the risk of fire. 

Parker’s E-Steering solutions are also cleaner and help minimise maintenance as potential oil leaks are reduced in line with fewer hydraulic line connections. Furthermore, engine designers will find that they are able to reduce the size of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) by averaging the required steering power through the electric power stored in the battery. A smaller ICE helps improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, which is vital on many city centre bus operating routes where low-emission zones are now prevalent.

Each high-efficiency, low-noise E-Steering system is pre-engineered with fully validated pressure, flow and voltage characteristics. Moreover, the drives, low-inertia PMAC motors and hydraulic pumps are mechanically matched, so there is no need for extra adaptors. Notably, Parker is able to partner with customers in order to maximise their profitability through reduced development and installation time. 

Typical operating voltages range from 24 to 800 VDC to adapt to every battery pack, alongside a flow rates up to 300l/min, and a pressure up to 300 bars can be achieved. Higher pressure ratings can be obtained on request through another pump technology. 

Ultimately, Parker’s E-Steering solutions will help commercial vehicle OEMs towards key industry goals that include power system downsizing, improved safety, reduced noise, better fuel economy and lower emissions. 

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