Fluid Power on Capitol Hill

NFPA, CCEFP, and several industry supporters visited Capitol Hill on February 27-28, 2017 to promote the proposed Commercial Off-Road Vehicle R&D Program through the Vehicle Technology Office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

This program is important to the fluid power industry because:

  • The commercial off-road market consumes 8% of total transportation energy, which is larger than either marine or aviation.
  • The commercial off-road vehicles in the U.S. consume 17.3 million gallons of fuel per year, containing 2.4 quads of energy and generating 180,000 tons of CO2.
  • The commercial off-road vehicles market exceeds $100 billion and employs more than 250,000 people in the U.S.
  • Energy efficiency and productivity innovations are key drivers for jobs, exports and technological leadership in the global off-road vehicle market

There is currently no dedicated program in the federal government for pre-competitive research in this area. We are requesting $5 million for FY17 and $10 million for FY18 for pre-competitive R&D to improve the energy efficiency of fluid power systems for commercial off-road vehicles. Research would be conducted by teams of industry and university researchers selected through an open competitive grant process.

Potential technologies to achieve this level of energy savings include:

  • Increased efficiency enabled by new architectures and more efficient fluid power components
  • Systematic modeling tools to investigate new architectures, user interfaces, controls, and connectivity
  • Tighter integration of fluid power systems with combustion engines
  • Connected and automated off-road vehicles to improve efficiency and productivity

The NFPA and CCEFP will help bring people together so that university and industry proposal teams can be formed. More information will be forthcoming.

If you are interested in learning more about NFPA’s involvement in promoting fluid power technology within the U.S. Department of Energy, please contact NFPA President/CEO Eric Lanke at elanke@nfpa.com.


Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell

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