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Modeling and Optimal Control of a Wheel Loader in the Lift-Transport Section of the Short Loading Cycle

Abstract: Optimal control of a wheel loader operating in the short loading cycle is studied in order to investigate the potentials for fuel consumption reduction while maintaining acceptable production rates. The wheel loader is modeled as a system with five states and three control inputs including torque converter nonlinearities. The torque converter is modeled with no lockup enabling power transmission in both directions. The geometry of the wheel loader boom and the demanded force in the lift cylinders during lifting are used to ensure that the in-cylinder pressure remains below component's limits. The lift-transport section of the short loading cycle is divided into four phases due to discontinuities in the gearbox ratios and fuel consumption is calculated in each phase. Time optimal and fuel optimal transients of the system and the power consumption in each and every component is presented showing the dominance of the torque converter losses compared to the other components especially in the time optimal solutions. It is shown that introducing path constraints on the maximum lifting speed of the bucket due to limitations in hydraulic pumping speed moves the diesel engine operation towards higher speeds in order to maintain the lifting speed. Trade-off between fuel optimal and time optimal transients is calculated which is found to be in agreement with the results of experimental studies.

Vaheed Nezhadali and Lars Eriksson


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