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6/28/2016

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CorrectChargePressureSettinginClosedloopTransmissions

Home>>Let'sTalkHydraulics>>SettingYourChargePressureStraight!>>

pressurevalve
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InthisshortseriesIwouldliketotalkaboutoneofthemostbasicclosedloopadjustmentsthechargepressure,
addressingthetwoquestions,thatnormallyariseinrelationtothisveryimportantsetting,namely:
a)Howhighshouldthechargepressurebe?and
b)Wheretoreadthechargepressure?
Whichwillbediscussedintwoseparateparts,starting,obviously,withthePart1.

Letustakealookatbasicclosedlooplayout.Theprimarypurposeofachargepumpistomakesuretheloopstays
filledwithoilwithoutittheoilwouldeventually"escape"theloopthroughthepumpandmotorinternalleakage,and
ourtransmissionwouldcavitateitselftodeath.Thechargepumpisconnectedtotheclosedloopviaacoupleofcheck
valves(singlecheckvalveincaseofunidirectionaltransmissions),whichmakesuretheloopis"charged"alwaysatthe
lowpressureside.Areliefvalve,whichismostofthetimesmountedinsidethepump,limitsthechargepressuretoa
certainlevel,whichifsetincorrectlynegativelyinfluencesthetransmission'sperformance.
Theruleofthumbisthechargepressureofaclosedloopshouldbesettoavaluehighenoughtoensurecorrect
operationoftheloop,andnotmore!Thechargesystemisapureheatload,thereforesettingthechargepressuretoohigh
resultsinunnecessaryoilheatingandenergywaste.Anothergoodreasontokeepthechargepressureaslowaspossibleis
thefactthatthemotor'soutputtorqueisdefinedbythelinesdeltaP,andnottheabsolutepressureatthehighpressure
loopside,thereforethesameoutputtorquecanbeachievedatalowerabsolutepressurewithalowerchargepressure
setting.Loweringtheabsolutehighpressureofasystemreducesinternalleakage(decreasinglosses),aswellasthehigh
pressureloadonpipes,hoses,andotherhighpressureexposedcomponents.

*T&Capply

Indeed,beforegoingintotheadjustmentitself(mostofthetimessimpleanddullprocedure,whichresumestoturning
anadjustmentscrewandsecuringitwithanut)wemustdefineitsvalue.Theeasiestwaytogettheanswerisby
consultingthemachine'stechnicalmanualtheanswerwillbethere,andanymechanicwillbeabletoperformthe
adjustment.Howevernotallmechanicscananswerthisquestionswithcertaintywithoutamanual,norcantheyjustifythe
necessityofthepressuretobesetatthatparticularvalue.ErgothefollowingIHelucidation,aimedtothose,whoprefer
"knowingwhy"over"blindfollowinginstructions".

Anotherveryimportantissueaboutthechargepressureisthereliefvalveoperation.Unlikeacommonreliefvalve,
whosefunctionistostayclosedandopenonlyduringpressuresurges,thechargepressurereliefvalvestaysopenmostof
thetime,meteringoiltotanktomaintainthedesiredpressurelevel.Insomedesignsthesevalvescandemonstrate
significantpressureoverride(differencebetweencrackingpressureandfullflowpressure),whichcausesthecharge
pressuretodropwhentheflowthroughthevalvedecreases(eitherduetoloweringthepumpspeed,orduetothesystem
pressureriseandconsequentleakageincrease).Itisimportanttotakethisunderconsideration,andthatiswhythecharge
pressureadjustmentshouldbeperformedatnormaloperatingtemperatureandspeed.
OK,settingthechargepressuretoohighisbad,butwhataboutsettingittoolow?
Absolutemajorityofclosedlooppumpsusesthechargepressuretosupplyservopressure.Asarule,closedloop
pumpsaredesignedinawaythattheinternalhighpressureinducedforcesacttodestrokethepump,whichmeansthatthe
servopressurecanbecomeapressurelimitingfactor.Forexample,inautomotiveclosedlooptransmissionsthatusehigh
valveplatecarryoveranglesandstrongspringsintheswashplatecenteringmechanism,theservocylindermayrequire
2530barstoallowthehighpressurereach420440bar.Settingthechargepressureata20barlevelwilleffectivelylimit
themaximumattainablepressureofsuchtransmissiontoanunacceptablylowlevel.
Itisalsoveryimportanttoconsiderclosedloopcircuitsequippedwithloopflushing.Mostmoderndesignsuseflushing
valveswithrelativelylowforcespringsandfixedorificesinthepoppet,whicharearoughanalogueofflowlimiters,and
aren'tadjustable.Howeverinsystemsthatusepressurelimitersforloopflushingpurposes,settingthepumpcharge
pressurebelowtheflushingvalvesettingwillrendertheflushingcircuitinoperablesomethingthatcaneasilyresultin
instantoverheatingandleadtoamajorfailure.Thereforeitisimportanttodistinguishbetweendifferentflushingvalve
types,andtounderstandthatwhenapressurelimitervalveisusedforflushing,itisthisvalvethatlimitsthecharge
pressurewhenthepumpisonstroke.
Resumingalltheabovethechargepressureshouldbesettoa"goldenmiddle"valueaslowaspossiblewithout
compromisingthecorrecttransmissionoperation.Setittoohighandyouwillhaveunnecessarylosses,setittoolow
andyoumaylimityoursystemmaximumpressureorjeopardizetheloopflushing.Thebestwaytodeterminethisvalueis
throughexperimentandobservationsomethingtheguysatthefactoryalreadydidbeforeputtingtherecommendedvalue
inthatmanual.Ifyouhaveitgooduseitasareference.Ifyoudon'thaveituseyourheadandtheabovementioned
factorstodeterminethebestchargepressurevaluefortheloopyouaretweaking.
Itisverydepressingtofindclosedloopswithchargepressuresetto35barswhen18barsisenough,itislike
watchingthemricholdfolksburntheirmoneyonslotmachinesdoesn'tcauseyouanyharmatall,butstillmakesyou
wonderwhythrowingawayallthatmoney...
And,toallthecraftsmenoutthere:
IfyoubelievethattuningthechargepressureupalittlecanboostperformanceItcan't!(unless,ofcourse,thecharge
pressurehadbeenpreviouslysettoolow).
Ifyoubelievethatwhenaclosedloopstartsloosingchargepressure,turningthechargepressureadjustmentscrewina
coupleofturnscanhelpitcan't!Repairingthecomponentswill...
http://www.insanehydraulics.com/letstalk/chargepressure1.html

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6/28/2016

CorrectChargePressureSettinginClosedloopTransmissions

Ifyoubelievethatscoringofachargepressurereliefvalveseatandpoppetisasufficientreasontoreplaceitmostof
thetimesit'snot!Thevalvewasn'tbuilttostayclosedandleakproofitisleakingallthetime!Doesthepoppetmove
freely?Itdoes?Thenleaveitbe...
Now,withnodoubtsleftasforthecorrectchargepressuresetting,whatneedstobediscussedisthechargepressure
reading(where,howandwhatfor),whichwillbedoneinPart2.

HydrostaticTestUnits
Petrol,DieselorElectricHydrostaticTestUnits

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