Due to rising energy costs and tighter emissions restrictions from law regulations, mobile machinery and off-road vehicles manufacturers are forced to develop and exploit new techniques for the reduction of fuel consumption and pollutant emission. The main focus in this direction is the optimization of the matching between the fluid power circuit and the thermal engine to improve the efficiency of the hydraulic system and reducing the fuel consumption. A specific research activity has been started in this field by the authors to define methods and techniques for the mathematical simulation of off-road vehicles, where usually hydraulic systems are powered by internal combustion engines. The models proposed in the paper and the related results clearly show how these simulation tools can be used to improve the energy efficiency of the overall system, leading to an interesting reduction in fuel consumption by merely changing the engine rotational speed instead of adopting a constant-speed strategy.
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