Design and testing of a high power piezo pump for hydraulic actuation

Nathan Sell, Tom Feehally, Andrew Plummer, Peter Wilson, Jonathan Du Bois, N Johnston, Jens Roesner, Andrea De Bartolomeis, Tom Love

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Traditional valve-controlled hydraulic cylinders are usually very inefficient due to power loss through the control valve. An efficient alternative architecture is to distribute power electrically rather than hydraulically to a group of cylinders and drive each cylinder via individual servomotor-driven pumps. This arrangement is called electrohydrostatic actuation. Such actuators are currently available for power ratings of several hundred watts or greater, but not in the sub-100W range. This paper details the design, simulation and testing of a piezopump which is intended to address this gap. The motivation is for aerospace applications, and in particular accessory actuators used in the landing gear system. The 10W-100W range is a high-power output for a piezopump, and to achieve this a novel design using disc-style reed valves was developed to allow pumping frequencies above 1kHz. These high frequencies necessitated the development of custom power electronics capable of delivering 950\,V peak-peak sine wave excitation to a largely capacitive load. Experimental results show that the piezopump is capable of delivering over 30W of hydraulic power, and at no-load can deliver up to 2L/min of flow at 1250Hz. Future development includes a transition to multi-cylinder pumps, and improved reed-valve modelling to improve the accuracy of simulated performance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Publication statusAcceptance date - 15 Feb 2023


  • Piezoelectric
  • hydraulics
  • piezoppump
  • piezoelectric-hydrostatic actuator


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