Government pumps £11m into digital hydraulic power

A consortium of Scottish investors has secured £11m from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre to help develop digital displacement hydraulic pumps for use in construction and agricultural vehicles.

Digital displacement utilises a radial piston machine which enables and disables cylinders in real time, using ultra-fast mechatronic valves controlled by an embedded computer.

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These digital controls mean an Artemis machine is enormously efficient as individual cylinders are only called into action when required, and once fully developed, the emissions reduction of each digital displacement excavator will be equivalent to taking 18 diesel family cars off the road.

The net result is:

  • lower energy losses
  • faster response (typically10 times faster)
  • elimination of high-frequency noise

The 42-month project is led by Edinburgh technology firm Artemis Intelligent Power, which is working in collaboration with hydraulic equipment manufacturer Danfoss and Scottish firm Robbie Fluid Engineering.