International Journal of Energy Engineering          
International Journal of Energy Engineering(IJEE)
Frequency: Yearly
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Sri Bandyopadhyay(Australia)
Study of a Pneumatic-electrical System for Exhaust Air Energy Recovery
Full Paper(PDF, 602KB)
IIn comparison to hydraulic and electrical actuators, the significant drawback of pneumatic actuators is low energy conversion ability which is due to the open-circuit structure in nature. This paper represents a hybrid pneumatic-electrical system for the purpose of recycling exhaust compressed air energy from existing pneumatic actuator outlets to generate electricity. A proper control strategy is developed to manage the actuator system operation and to ensure the energy recovery work well. The pneumatic-electrical system mathematical model and the simulation results are presented. The laboratory experimental tests are described. The system energy efficiency is also analyzed. The simulated and experimental studies demonstrate that the whole system operated by the designed controller can successfully recover exhaust compressed air energy under appropriate working conditions.
Keywords:Pneumatic Actuators; Electrical Systems; Energy Recovery; Mathematical Modelling; Process Control
Author: Xing Luo1, Jihong Wang1, Hao Sun2
1.School of Engineering, the University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
2.School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK
  1. (2010) The Energy Resources Center of the Illinois Industries of the Future. [Online]. Available: iof/comp_air.html.
  2. (2009) Energy Conservation and Environment Protection Center and SMC Corporation, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics. [Online]. Available: news/ news.asp?id=43354.
  3. M.L. Cai, and T. Kagawa, “Energy consumption assessment and energy loss analysis in pneumatic system”, Chinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering, vol.43, iss.9, pp.69-74, 2007.
  4. M.L. Cai, K. Kawashima, and T. Kagawa, “Power assessment of flowing compressed air”, Journal of Fluids Engineering, vol. 128, pp. 402-405, 2006.
  5. P. Andrew, Hydraulics and Pneumatics: A Technician’s and Engineer’s Guide, Oxford, U.K.: Butterworth Heinemann, pp. 3-25, 1998.
  6. G. Belforte, New developments and new trends in pneumatics, keynote lecture of FLUCOME 2000, in the 6th International Symposium on Flow Control, Measurements and Flow Visualization, Canada, 2000.
  7. T. Kagawa, M.L. Cai, T. Fujita, and M. Takeuchi, “Energy consideration of pneumatic cylinder actuating system”, in Proc. of the 6th Triennial International Symposium on Fluid Control, Measurement and Visualization, Sherbrooke, Canada, 2000.
  8. S. R. Majumdar, Pneumatic Systems: Principles and Maintenance, Tata McGraw-Hill, pp.1-33, 1996.
  9. J. Wang, L. Yang, X. Luo, S. Mangan, and J.W. Derby, “Mathematical modelling study of scroll air motors and energy efficiency analysis - Part I”, IEEE/ASME Trans. on Mechatronics, vol. 16, pp. 112-121, 2011.
  10. T. Yanagisawa, “Performance of an oil-free scroll-type expander”, Technical report, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Fluid Machinery Group, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, City University, London, 2003.
  11. Y. Chen, N. Halm, E. Groll, and J. Braun, “Mathematical modelling of scroll compressors—part I: compression process modeling”, International Journal of Refrigeration, 25(6), pp731–750, 2002.
  12. X. Luo, J. Wang, L. Shpanin, N. Jia, G. Liu, and A. Zinober, “Development of a mathematical model for vane-type air motors with arbitrary N vanes”, in Proc. of World Congress on Engineering, 2008.
  13. J. Wang, X. Luo, L. Yang, L. Shpanin, N. Jia, S. Mangan, and J.W. Derby, “Mathematical modelling study of scroll air motors and energy efficiency analysis - Part II”, IEEE/ASME Trans. on Mechatronics, Vol. 16, pp. 122-132, 2011.
  14. A. E. Fitzgerald, C. Kingsley, and D. U. Stephen, Electric machinery, 5th ed., Singapore, pp. 254-272, 1992.
  15. S.J. Chapman, Electric machinery fundamentals, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill, pp. 267-289, 2005.
  16. A. Zentai, and T. Daboczi, “Model based torque Estimation of permanent magnet synchronous machines”, in IEEE International Symposium on Electric Machines, Power Electronics and Drives, Cracow, 2007.
  17. (2009) Mathworks, Matlab software user help files on Simpowersystem. [Online]. Available: help/toolbox/physmod/powersys/ref/permanentmagnetsynchronousmachine.html.
  18. (2008) Specification of M4-200X dc servomotor, Callan technology. [Online]. Available: technology _products/M4-200X/M4-200X.html.
  19. (2008) Handbook of AC synchronous brushless servomotors series EKM, Motor Technology. [Online]. Available:
  20. J. L. Wei, J. Wang, Q. H. Wu, “Development of a multi-segment coal mill model using an evolutionary computation technique”, IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, Vol. 22. pp. 718-727, 2007.
  21. W. L. Kam, Applied Thermodynamics: Availability Method and Energy Conversion, Taylor & Francis, pp.10-45, 1995.
  22. M.L. Cai, and T. Kagawa, “Energy consumption assessment of pneumatic actuating systems including compressor”, IMechE, pp381-380, C591/03302001, 2001.
  23. T. Eastop, and A. McConkey, Applied Thermodynamics for Engineering Technologists, Singapore: Longman, pp12-67, 1993.
  24. K.W. Li, Applied Thermodynamics: Availability Method and Energy Conversion, London: Taylor & Francis, pp. 22-60, 1995.
  25. X., Luo, H., Sun, and J., Wang, An Energy Efficient Pneumatic-electrical System and Control Strategy Development, in Proc. of American Control Conference, San Francisco, U.S.A., 2011.