€25 million joint venture to develop Digital Displacement® for off-highway machines

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Radically improving the efficiency of off-highway vehicles

Danfoss Power Solutions and Scottish technology firm Artemis Intelligent Power have launched a $US29 million (€25 million) project. This, to radically improve the efficiency of off-highway vehicles.

The 42-month project

Part-funded by the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre the project was launched in August 2018. It aims to help the partners develop a new generation of Digital Displacement® hydraulic pumps and motors.

Working in collaboration with Scottish firm Robbie Fluid Engineering, Danfoss and Artemis are aiming to reduce the energy used by off-highway machinery by at least half.

At the heart will be a new generation of Digital Displacement® pumps and motors, which are a fundamental innovation invented by Artemis. These will bring hydraulic power into the digital age by embedding digital control into the heart of new machines.

“Digital Displacement® technology is an incredible innovation which is set to revolutionize the off-highway market,” says Eric Bretey, Director, Digital Displacement® at Danfoss Scotland.

“It utilizes a radial piston machine which enables and disables cylinders in real time, using ultra-fast mechatronic valves. These intelligent, digital controls mean a digitally-enabled machine is highly controllable and extremely efficient. The net result is dramatically lower energy losses, drastically faster responses and the reduction of annoying, high-frequency noise. For the customer, this can mean improved productivity, longer duty cycles and lower fuel consumption - or all three,” Bretey says.

Danfoss has already committed to building a new multi-million $ manufacturing facility adjacent to Artemis’s R&D HQ just outside Edinburgh. It is scaling up its team to commercialize the technology.

Fuel consumption down, productivity up

In a series of field tests, Danfoss has equipped off-highway demonstrators with Digital Displacement® pumps with extremely positive results. For these demonstrations, the original axial piston pump has been replaced by a Digital Displacement® pump as a simple pump upgrade.

Bench-marking to a conventional 16-ton excavator, fuel consumption on a standard work cycle was reduced between 16 and 21 percent. At the same time, productivity was increased by 28 percent.

“We believe that this is just the beginning,” Bretey continues.

“Digital Displacement® will enable us to redesign vehicles from the ground up, bringing new architectures and radical increases in power, control and productivity. We estimate we can reduce the energy consumed per duty cycle by more than half. This will benefit our customers, and significantly reduce emissions of CO2,” Bretey concludes.