Classification and review of pump-controlled differential cylinder drives

Søren Ketelsen*, Damiano Padovani, Torben O. Andersen, Morten Kjeld Ebbesen, Lasse Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Pump-controlled hydraulic cylinder drives may offer improved energy efficiency, compactness, and plug-and-play installation compared to conventional valve-controlled hydraulic systems and thus have the potential of replacing conventional hydraulic systems as well as electro-mechanical alternatives. Since the late 1980s, research into how to configure the hydraulic circuit of pump-controlled cylinder drives has been ongoing, especially in terms of compensating the uneven flow requirements required by a differential cylinder. Recently, research has also focused on other aspects such as replacing a vented oil tank with a small-volume pressurized accumulator including the consequences of this in terms of thermal behavior. Numerous references describe the advantages and shortcomings of pump-controlled cylinder drives compared to conventional hydraulic systems or electro-mechanical drives. This paper presents a throughout literature review starting from the earliest concepts based on variable-displacement hydraulic pumps and vented reservoirs to newer concepts based on variable-speed electric drives and sealed reservoirs. By classifying these drives into several proposed classes it is found that the architectures considered in the literature reduce to a few basic layouts. Finally, the paper compares the advantages and shortcomings of each drive class and seek to predict future research tasks related to pump-controlled cylinder drives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1293
Issue number7
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct-driven hydraulics
  • Linear hydraulic actuation
  • Pump-controlled cylinder drives
  • Throttleless hydraulics
  • Valveless hydraulic drive


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