By Dez Duran-Lamanilao
Using a load-sensing hydraulic control system can help adjust the pressure and flow rate of an industrial equipment. Using LS control, sometimes known as power matching control, will adjust the output flow, thus maintaining a constant pressure drop across an orifice. An orifice can be a flow-control valve, a needle valve, a directional control valve’s spool opening, or a fluid conductor restriction.
Load sensing describes a type of pump control that is used in open circuits. There are two alternatives to creating load-sensing (LS) systems: by using a fixed pump or a variable pump. Constant pumps are usually associated with higher energy losses due to pressure drop across the control valve (metering orifice) and an LS system with a variable pump will often be dependent on power limiter with pressure limitation.
What specific benefits companies can gain from using a load sensing control system?
- Minimizes the power lost to heat
- Improves pump and circuit efficiency
- Increases actuator control
- Provides constant flow that is free from the constraints of pump shaft speed variations
- Offers the most precise control of fluid power
- Saves on oil heating requirements
- Removes the need to discharge part of the oil across a relief valve
- Helps increase pump longevity
- Reduces idle losses, specifically with bank valves that have several sections
Load sensing allows an industrial company to operate with lower energy use, less heat and longer component life. Whether you choose to use load sensing with a pump compensator, a flow sharing valve and fixed displacement pump, or an electronic pump displacement control for your mobile hydraulic system, it is important to choose the most advanced options that are suitable to your needs. Know the pros and cons of each method and choose a load sensing system wisely for improved hydraulic efficiency.