Motion-mode energy method and its implementation based on active hydraulically interconnected suspension

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Vehicle motion and vibration control is a fundamental motivation for the development of advanced vehicle suspension system, and high performance active suspension with its forcefulness, flexibility and effectiveness is desired to fit the control role. However, the main constraint for the commercial application of these active suspensions is their high component cost and power consumption. The principal idea of this thesis is that by proposing an energy efficient control strategy and a novel active suspension system, the active suspension’s initial cost can be reduced and its running power consumption can be minimised. The new control strategy, designed to improve energy efficiency by prioritizing the dominating vehicle dynamic aspects, is based on a motion-mode energy method (MEM). It classifies vehicle body-wheel motions into several motion-modes according to their modal properties and quantifies the contribution of each motion-mode by its energy intensity in real time. The motion-mode energy and mode contribution ratio are used to determine the control priority on the control of the most dominating motion-mode. Neural networks are trained to implement the MEM in practice in an economical manner, and an MEM-based switched control is proposed to perform the multi-mode control. The new suspension system developed to implement the MEM-based switched control strategy is called active hydraulically interconnected suspension (active HIS), which is equipped with only one servo valve to reduce the system’s cost and energy consumption. In addition, by switching its hydraulic configuration into different modes, the vehicle primary dynamic response can be significantly improved with less power consumption. Three test facilities have been designed and developed to study this novel suspension system, including a six-channel vehicle dynamic test rig, a multi-functional anti-roll HIS test rig and a reconfigurable HIS test rig. Test results provided include vehicle parameter estimation, passive anti-roll HIS laboratory and field test, and active HIS anti-roll test. The active HIS is found to be an effective and feasible way of controlling a vehicle’s motion. However, further investigation into this system, including the full-car MEM-based switched control and circuit reconfiguration test, is recommended for future studies.
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