Inventor creates energy-efficient hydraulic technology
Posted by keelynet on January 25, 2009
“Essential as it is to a lot of heavy work, even the most efficient hydraulic equipment wastes about 65 percent of the energy it consumes. But a Fort Wayne entrepreneur just received a patent on an invention he expects to revolutionize the industry. It was an important moment for Elton Bishop’s Fort Wayne company, DigitalHydraulic LLC, and for what could become a new northeast Indiana industry. “We want to get the technology into a form that is streamline mass producible, and we want to be retrofitting actual machinery,” he said. “We’ll remove their existing valve blocks and install our DHTs in place of that and save customers a lot of money,” he said. “We’ll be teaming up with Indiana businesses to do that.” Bishop invented the digital hydraulic transformer in 2001, after at least three years of extensive research. A typical hydraulic system uses an incompressible fluid — usually a petroleum product — to transmit energy from a piston device through a pipe to another piston device. The principle behind the control of pressures in conventional hydraulic systems relies on a throttling valve restricting the free flow of hydraulic fluid. Without throttling flow, a DHT can increase or decrease pressure to a hydraulic cylinder by controlling the volume of fluid it displaces. The DHT does this by dividing a piston device into multiple chambers, shaped like concentric circles. Each of the chambers holds twice the fluid volume of the next smallest chamber. The chambers can be pressurized individually, all of them can be pressurized simultaneously or any combination of them can be pressurized together at the same time. The multichamber device at the heart of the DHT is called a “transtatic bridge.” A digital control varies the combinations pressurized instantly, based on the amount of pressure required to accomplish a task. The DHT’s four-quadrant functionality involving motoring and pumping allows energy to be recycled and reused by hydraulic machines in a process that approaches perpetual energy. “The DHT replaces the throttling valve in conventional hydraulics,” Bishop said. “The transformer concept is not new. There’ve been many attempts to create it. This four-quadrant functionality is like the holy grail of hydraulics.” – Source
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