ALS – Adaptive Load Sensing: Minimizing the Dispersion of Energy in the Hydraulic System of Telehandlers

More energy efficiency, more productivity, greater control, high customization possibilities, higher safety and stability, and the possibility of modernizing older machines represent all the advantages obtainable from the ALS system. Developed by Walvoil in collaboration with Dieci, the ALS system has won the Technical Innovation Contest of EIMA International 2020-2021.

Sustainable development in agriculture is one of the key factors for the future of our planet. Therefore, the continuous technological evolution of agricultural machinery towards more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions is essential.

Hydraulic systems for the operation of agricultural machinery are playing a very important role in this development process. In fact, digitization enables solutions that provide great opportunities for energy efficiency facilitating compliance with the stringent regulations regarding internal combustion engines and providing greater autonomy for the new hybrid and electric-drive technologies.

A typical cause of the loss of efficiency of a hydraulic system is the stand-by pressure differential. The hydraulic pump, in order to ensure the control of movements, generates a pressure constantly higher than the actual required one. It is defined as stand by Margin and constitutes an energy dissipation.

This is the context in which the solution designed by the synergy between Walvoil, one of the main manufacturers of integrated products, electronics, and complete mechatronic systems, and Dieci, an important player in the field of telehandlers, was born and developed.

The ALS Adaptive Load Sensing system minimizes the dispersion of energy in the hydraulic system of telehandlers, considerably improving the efficiency of the vehicle and consequently obtaining a reduction in wear and consumption.

ALS is made of a directional control valve, an electronic joystick, and an electronic control unit, with customizable modular software developed by Walvoil. The control unit collects information from the operations on the controls and from the machine sensors, and acts on the Load Sensing device, adapting the hydraulic pressure differential to the maximum efficiency value required by the vehicle.

The heart of Adaptive Load Sensing is represented by an electro-hydraulic device fitted to the directional control valve, which allows to dynamically modulate the Stand-by Margin, in order to minimize energy consumption according to the real working needs of the machine, automatically varying it only when and how required.

The differential pressure value can be selected also by means of two push buttons on the joystick, the “Precision Function”, which increases the movement controllability and precision, and the “Boost Function”, which increases the pressure value for a higher movement speed without the need to install pumps with higher flow rates.

In partnership with Dieci, the ALS system has been successfully tested on an AGRIPLUS telehandler, one of the top machines in the Dieci range for agriculture.

During the tests, the Walvoil-Dieci Technical Team found on the Agri Plus a drop in energy dispersion values equal to 28% during boom operations, and up to 45% during traveling phases, with a significant improvement in the overall machine performance at various speeds.

We could say that the use of the ALS system on each machine is equivalent to a reduction of 2,899 lb (1315 kg) of CO2/year, equal to the planting of 50-60 trees/year.

The tests highlighted also further important advantages, first of all in terms of safety: by acting directly on the hydraulic signal, the ALS avoids the functional complexity associated with the digital signal.

Furthermore, in case of failures, the original operation is automatically restored, avoiding machine downtime. Then in terms of stability: the control of the pressure value allows improving the machine stability, with a consequent more comfortable use.

And finally, in terms of modernization (Retrofit): the few elements of the ALS kit can be easily installed even on older telehandlers, extending their operational life and improving their performance.

The development of the ALS system takes advantage of the collaboration of TASC, “Smart and Clean Agricultural Tractors Project”, a project including the participation of the main university research laboratories of the Emilia Romagna Region – Italy, created with the aim of minimizing the environmental impact of agricultural mechanization.

The ALS system has won both the prestigious Eima International “Technical Innovation 2020-21” Award, dedicated to machines and devices with features of “absolute innovation”, and also the “Blu Award 2020-21”, attributed to the solutions that are outstanding for environmental aspects.

Discover more about the Walvoil ALS system:

About Walvoil

Member of the Interpump Group, Walvoil is a leading global manufacturer of hydraulic valves, pumps, motors, and complete mechatronic systems designed for mobile equipment: agricultural machines, construction and earthmoving, industrial vehicles, and material handling sectors. An integrated offer of hydraulic and electronic products and systems, all custom-tailored and specifically tested for each different application is what it shares with its customers worldwide.

Headquartered in Italy, in North America, it can count on its subsidiaries Walvoil Corp., located in Tulsa (OK), Red Wing (MN), and Galtech Canada, and on a capillary sales network throughout the whole United States.

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Jaclyn Krymowski
Jaclyn is a self-made freelance agriculture, food and animal industries writer, journalist and Communication Specialist. She hybridizes real-world experience with professionalism to present challenging and thought-provoking topics to a wide variety of consumers, producers and professionals in agribusiness. She is a 2014 graduate of the Ohio State University and a proud member of the American Agricultural Editors Association, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and is currently serving on the state's Young Ag Professionals Committee, as volunteer. Jaclyn blogs at the-herdbook.com where she evaluates difficult and current topics through a young agriculturalist’s perspective.