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Power Control Unit, Hydraulic - Equations

Given the tremendous variety in PCU designs presentation of a single set of equations that governs all design is not possible. However, a general approach can be outlined and the equations developed in other modules can be applied. Developing a math model is a non-trivial task and some experience with math modeling is beneficial before developing a comprehensive PCU math model.

The equations for a power control unit starts with the basic servovalve equations. The servo (or spool valve) that provides position control for the actuator is controlled by one of 4 methods:

flapper nozzle, jet pipe, solenoid or mechanical linkage. For a flapper nozzle or jet pipe configuration the equations are detailed in Servovalve, Hydraulic – Equations. Keep in mind, though, that characterizing jet pipe behavior requires empirical equations developed through test. The actuator model is shown in Actuator, Hydraulic – Equations.

Equations for other components – servos, check valves, accumulators, relief valves, etc. – can be found in the equations modules for these components. For more details, see Servo, Hydraulic – Equations, Accumulator, Hydraulic – Equations and Pressure Relief Valve, Hydraulic – Equations as well as other components. The dynamic equations presented in the equations modules form a compatible system of equations when combined into a bigger model. This approach is described in Modeling – Hydraulic Networks.

For PCUs, modeling requires combining equations for each component (provided in the equations module for the component) and putting them together in an overall PCU system model following the approach in Modeling – Hydraulic Networks. Additional information on PCU modeling can be found in Servovalve, Hydraulic – Position Control. This module shows block diagrams for PCUs incorporated into position control loops and supplements equations shown in Servovalve, Hydraulic – Equations.

As an example, the fundamental models for the simple PCU shown in Figure 1 would be a servovalve and the actuator. The servovalve would address the electrohydraulic servovalve operating characteristics and dynamics. The actuator model is identical to the model in Actuator, Hydraulic - Equations. If the servovalve and actuator is a single unit, any flow losses between the servovalve and actuator can be ignored. Thus, the actuator chamber pressures are the downstream pressures to the servovalve ports. Under normal operation, the shut off valve would be open and the pressure relief valves would be closed. Neither would affect performance and would not need to be included in a model when examining normal operation. The pressure drop through the filter and shut off valve should be included – an easy method to account for these losses would be to lower the supply pressure to account for the pressure losses. If shut off valve timing or pressure relief valve affects were to be included in the model, then the equations for these components would be added to the PCU model.

Figure 1 PCU Diagram Off the shelf simulation programs can also be used to develop

Figure 1

PCU Diagram

Off the shelf simulation programs can also be used to develop PCU models. Understanding the basic approach described in the equation modules will be helpful when using an off the shelf program.