Switching characteristics of a high-speed rotary valve for switched inertance hydraulic converters

Chenggang Yuan, Andrew Plummer, Min Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)
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The switched inertance hydraulic converter is a sub-domain of digital hydraulics which relies on digital switching to adjust pressure or flow instead of the dissipation of power by throttling, providing an energy-efficient alternative to conventional proportional or servo valve-controlled systems. The high-speed switching valve is a key component to realise the digital switching and its switching characteristics has significant effects on the performance of switched inertance hydraulic converters. In this article, the switching characteristics of a high-speed rotary valve are investigated. The switching orifice area of the valve is calculated based on the movement of the valve components with a consideration of the design of the valve body and leakage. This is validated using the computational fluid dynamics model and in experiments. The valve is theoretically modelled considering the switching orifice, leakage, transition throttling and compressibility effect, and the results are validated by computational fluid dynamics and experimental tests. The valve is able to deliver a flow rate of 40 L/min at a pressure drop of 10 bar and switch at the maximum frequency of 317 Hz, with a switching transition time of about 1 ms, which shows promising performance for the use in digital hydraulics. The theoretical and computational fluid dynamics models can assist the design and optimisation of digital high-speed rotary valves, which can be very useful for understanding, analysing and optimising the characteristics and performance of switched inertance hydraulic converters in digital hydraulics.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberJSCE-21-0299
Pages (from-to)1421-1441
Number of pages21
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part I: Journal of Systems and Control Engineering
Issue number7
Early online date8 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the RAEng/The Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (grant number LTSRF1819\15\16), the RAEng Proof-of-Concept Award (PoC1920/15) and the China Scholarship Council PhD studentship (201706150102).


  • Digital hydraulics
  • digital hydraulic valves
  • high-speed rotary valves
  • switched inertance hydraulic converters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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