Aqua Drive System

Bulletin “FLUID POWER” Vol.30,No.2(2016.5)
Special issue on the 60th Anniversary of JFPA foundation

      Part1 General Introduction, Part2 Future Prospect, Part3 Product Trends [PDF]

IFPEX 2014
      Water: the new power for machines!2014 [PDF]


New Water Hydraulics – Promoting the advanced ADS technology

i_1Social sustainability, safety, cleanness, and hygiene are some of vital elements for today’s technology development. Fluid power industry is not an exception when it comes to producing drive products, which conventionally incorporate a single or combination of oil hydraulic, pneumatic, and electronic powers. To offer a fluid power drive that is socially sustainable, the industry has started upgrading a long-surviving technology, water hydraulics, to adapt it into our modern life style.

To respond the trend, Japan Fluid Power Association (JFPA) implemented “Technical Study on Environmental Friendly Water Hydraulic Drive Systems” from 1998 to 2000 and subsequently “Research and Study for the Practical Use of the Aqua Drive Technology” from 2001 to 2003. These projects, supported with the Machinery Promotion Fund from Japan Motorcycle Racing Organization, have promoted “aqua drive system (ADS) technology,” which strictly uses “tap water” as the working fluid. Since then, the ADS technology has been drawing attention in the United States and Europe as a suitable solution to coop with environmental safety and hygienic issues.

i_2JFPA has complied the study outcome in a booklet “Aqua Drive System / Technical Guide” in 2000. It further released the 2nd report in 2003 ( click here ) as a sum of the 2nd project, which consists of detailed information of ADS, its practical application examples and products developed by companies joined for the project. In terms of feasibility, current ADS markets, their scales and potentials were also explored.

The Universal Aqua Drive System (UniADS) program, which runs from April 2005 to March 2007, has started to help expand new fluid power markets where ADS advantages will fulfill various safety demands from the society of the next generation. This program further explores feasibility of the tap water hydraulic power to a wide range of machinery for transforming them into environmentally friendly equipment. The proposed system converts pressure of tap water pipe network of social infrastructure into drive power of various levels. With the UniADS system, machinery driven by multiple power sources can be run by the single power source: water pipe pressure. UniADS requires no other power unit because it utilizes pressure in the existing water pipe network, and this convenience will push popularize ADS. (See the application range of UniADS.) From the perspectives, the project focuses feasibility of the UniADS, in terms of a total system including low-pressure actuator engineering.



Committee of the UniADS feasibility study

Title Member Organization
Chairman Dr. Atsushi Yamaguchi Yokohama National University
Vice-chairman Dr. Ato Kitagawa Tokyo Institute of Technology
Vice-chairman Dr. Shigeru Ikeo Sophia University
Organizer Dr. Shimpei Miyakawa Takako Industry Co., Ltd.
Member Dr. Shigeru Oshima Numazu National College of Technology
  Mr. Takafumi Inoue Kitamura Shoko Co., Ltd.
  Mr. Akira Ohashi Yuken Kogyo Co., Ltd.
  Dr. Kazuhisa Ito Sophia University
  Mr. Yukihiro Shoji Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp
  Mr. Yoshihiro Ohbayashi Takako Industries Inc.
  Dr. Seiichi Nagata Kayaba Industry Co., Ltd.
  Mr. Wataru Takezaki Toyooki Kogyo Co., Ltd.
  Mr. Hiroshi Morohashi TOKYO KEIKI INC
  Mr. Katsuaki Ogiwara Taiyo, Ltd.
  Mr. Tsutomu Iguchi Hirose Valve Industry Co., Ltd.
  Mr. Yasuo Konishi Kawasaki Precision Machinery Ltd.
  Mr. Katsumi Matsui NOK Corp.
  Mr. Junichi Mizuno CKD Corp.
  Mr. Yuuki Kinoshita TACO Co., Ltd.
  Mr. Yoshitada Doi SMC Corp .
  Mr. Tadamasa Murakami Konan Electric Co., Ltd .
  Mr. Akio Nakano FLO-TEC, Ltd.
  Mr. Sadao Orita Maruyama Excell Co., Ltd.
  Mr. Osamu Koito Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Secretary Mr. Yoshinari Miura Japan Fluid Power Association

 Aqua Drive System – Technical Guide 2
(This Guide is available from JAPA; contact JFPA Office for this Guide.)

- Table of Contents -

Chapter 1 Approaches Toward Application of ADS 1
Chapter 2 Guide for Selecting ADS Components 3
  2.1 List of components and suppliers 3
  2.2 Types and specifications 6
    2.2.1 Overview of water hydraulic components 6
    2.2.2 Specifications of water hydraulic components 10
  2.3 Materials for components and systems 17
Chapter 3 Water Quality Control for Aqua Drive System 18
  3.1 Water quality 18
  3.2 Water quality evaluation test 18
    3.2.1 Test apparatus and conditions 18
    3.2.2 Test result 19
  3.3 Guidelines for water quality control 21
Chapter 4 Operating Aqua Drive System 23
  4.1 High-speed operation 23
    4.1.1 Experimental apparatus and method 23
    4.1.2 Experimental results 25
    4.1.3 Simulation 29
  4.2 ADS operational guideline 32
    4.2.1 Pressure loss and flow rate 32
    4.2.2 Surge pressure prevention 33
    4.2.3 System configuration and operational considerations 35
Chapter 5 Application of Aqua Drive System 37
  5.1 Applicable fields of ADS 37
  5.2 Published ADS applications 38
Chapter 6 Future Perspectives of Aqua Drive System 41
  6.1 Social demand and ADS 41
  6.2 Market and prospects of ADS 41
  6.3 Boosting the ADS-related industries 42
JFPA Water Hydraulics Committee Members: Companies and Universities 43
  “ Technical Study on Environmental Friendly Water Hydraulic Drive Systems”
    from 1998 to 2000 
“ Research and Study for the Practical Use of the Aqua Drive Technology”
    from 2001 to 2003


Quick Q&A

What does the use of tap water pressure mean?

ADS utilizes the pressure of tap water pipe network, namely the pressure of tap water coming out of taps. While there are regional differences, the standard pressure range is 0.15 to 0.74 MPa; the appropriate pressure for ADS is 0.25 to 0.4 MPa. Using this pressure, ADS can drive a variety of water hydraulic components.

Where are water hydraulic components available?

Water hydraulic components for ADS are now developed by and available from many companies. For details, see Chapter 2 of Aqua Drive System – A Technical Guide 2 (available in English and Japanese) and Aqua Drive System – A Technical Guide 3 (available in Japanese only). Visit the URL below and access to the page 17 to download the Guides:

What are advantages of using water hydraulics, in addition to environmental benefits?

ADS uses tap water as working fluid and lets only the tap water come out in the event of leakage. Thus, it eliminates the necessity for oil spill equipment, which is generally required for oil hydraulics. ADS is also advantageous in terms of the cost of working fluid; tap water is clearly less expensive than hydraulic oil. ADS has a lower running cost and therefore contributes to reducing the overall cost of system operation.

How are water hydraulic systems used and appreciated by their users?

In Japan, ADS has been adopted in cases where the technology was determined as the best choice through the comprehensive evaluation of cost factors. Though in a few cases, ADS has provided the best total solution under current social and legal circumstances. Changes in the social climate will further highlight the economic advantage of ADS as a total solution. For details, see “Research on the current situation and market forecast of water hydraulic components” (available in Japanese only).

Are there companies that undertake engineering work for system construction, including planning and installation?

See Table 2.1 “Water hydraulic component manufacturers and suppliers” in Chapter 2 of Aqua Drive System – A Technical Guide 2 (available in English and Japanese).