Journal article

Vegetable and synthetic hydraulic fluids to improve the overall efficiency of a hydrostatic transmission


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Publication Details

Author list: Dahlén, Leon

Publication year: 2001

Start page: 263

End page: 276

Number of pages: 14

ISSN: 0265-6582



The purpose of the investigation reported here was to determine whether or not a hydrostatic transmission can act as an alternative to a conventional one, and, if so, to ascertain to what extent the fluid type contributes to an improvement in the efficiency of the hydrostatic transmission. The results presented in this paper are derived from an experimental field test of the hydrostatic transmission of a belt conveyor. This belt conveyor is one part in an ore-transport line at LKAB mining company in Kiruna. The hydrostatic transmission replaced a conventional transmission consisting of an electric motor, a belt drive and a gearbox. The hydrostatic transmission was operated using three different hydraulic fluids: Shell Tellus TX 68, a conventional mineral oil; Mobil SHC 526, a synthetic fluid; and Binol Hydrap II, a vegetable fluid. All fluids have the same ISO viscosity grade, VG 68. The measurements on the transmission show a 3% overall efficiency improvement when using vegetable and synthetic hydraulic fluids compared with the mineral oil. The current at the start of the transmission was reduced by a factor of 6, compared to that of the conventional transmission. The installed 110 kW electric motor was replaced with one of 55 kW. The test also showed that a closer study of all operating conditions, and a selection of components suited to the size of the load, can improve the overall efficiency of the hydrostatic transmission.


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