In his latest article found on our Mobile Hydraulic Tips website, Environmental considerations for fluid power system design , Contributing Editor, Josh Cosford makes some excellent points about energy efficiency considerations of fluid power systems.
My two key takeaways from this article are that 1) leakage is a primary offender, and 2) system efficiency is available through proper component selection. Leakage has always been a concern for users of hydraulic systems but components have made great strides in minimizing leakage. In this way, our industry is indeed addressing environmental "green" concerns.
In addition to advances in leakage control, component manufactures across the board have continued to build efficiencies into their fluid power products. Choosing the best product for the job is a green initiative. According to Josh, hydraulic cylinders are already the most efficient components for hydraulic energy into mechanical energy. This gets back to my original comment about fluid power systems being energy efficiency by nature.
I know that component manufactures and system designers and builders are working on improving efficiency all the time. We have a way to go but fluid power is still a great design choice for making industry move forward!