Traditional variable displacement piston machines achieve high efficiency when operating at high displacements, but struggle with poor efficiency at low displacements. The pistons are connected to high pressure and low pressure in conjunction with the output shaft position and the displacement is changed by changing the piston stroke, resulting in almost constant friction, leakage, and compressibility losses independent of displacement. In digital displacement machines, the rotary valve is replaced by two fast switching on/off valves connected to every cylinder. By controlling the fast switching on/off valves, the cylinders can be controlled individually and friction, leakage and compressibility losses can be minimized resulting in high efficiency even at low displacements. Previous studies have shown that high efficiency digital displacement machines require fast switching valves with high flow capacity and optimal valve timing strategy. When the digital displacement motor is to start, stop or be controlled at low speeds, the on/off valves must be able to open against high pressure difference. When opening the valves actively, the valve timing has to be conducted properly to minimize valve throttling losses and flow and pressure peaks. First, this paper shortly describes a previously developed method to estimate valve characteristics like transition time and flow capacity for a digital displacement machine. Then the paper presents a novel method of describing the required valve accuracy and repeatability to keep the valve throttling losses low and machine efficiency high.

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