There is a very interesting report just released by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NFPA for the Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the report was to estimate the consumption of energy by fluid power systems and the potential for energy savings by enacting best practices and focused R&D programs. Reducing emissions is another result of efficiency and this too is a goal for the industry.
The fluid power industry currently consumes 4.446 to 5.127 Quads of energy per year. A Quad equals a Quadrillion btus of energy which produces over 300 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide. The near term solution that can be brought about though implementation of Best Practices has the potential of saving more than .855 Quads/year, reducing emissions by 59.7 MMF carbon dioxide/year and saving industry and consumers more than $17B/year in energy cost in 5 years.
The breakout in energy consumption by segment includes: Mobile Hydraulics at .597 Quads, Industrial Hydraulics at 1.096 Quads, Aerospace at .119 Quads, and Pneumatics at 2.635 Quads. It makes sense that Industrial Hydraulics and Pneumatics would be higher users of electric energy because most of these systems are powered by electric motors.
I will be posting more information about this very interesting report.