Faculty Advisor

Van de Ven, James D.


Current throttling hydraulic systems involving multiple actuators and a single hydraulic power supply have poor efficiency. The purpose of this project is to implement switch-mode control in a multi-actuator circuit and demonstrate the improvement in efficiency over a traditional hydraulic system with throttling valve control. To accomplish this task a hydraulic crane arm powered by two actuators, high pressure low flow and low pressure high flow, was designed and constructed. After designing and testing the hydraulic crane, the team concluded that high-speed switch technology with multiple actuators is feasible. This new technology, once implemented on a larger scale in realistic applications, will reduce losses in hydraulic systems that depend on multiple actuators to function.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering