Comparison of Electrical, Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems

Comparison of electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems can be done in aspects like energy source, energy storage, energy cost, distribution system, linear actuators, rotary actuators and controllable force.

S.no Aspect
Electrical
Hydraulic
Pneumatic
1 Energy source Usually from outside supplier Electric motor or diesel driven Electric motor or diesel driven
2 Energy storage Limited (batteries) Limited (accumulator) Good (reservoir)
3 Distribution system Excellent, with minimal loss Limited basically a local facility Good. Can be treated as a plant wide service 
4 Energy cost Low cost Moderate cost High cost
5 Linear actuators Short motion via solenoid. Otherwise via mechanical conversion Cylinders. Very high force Cylinders. Medium force
6 Rotary actuators AC and DC motors. Good control on DC motors. AC motors cheap Low speed. Good control. Can be stalled Wide spread range. Accurate speed control difficult
7 Controllable force Possible with solenoid & DC motors complicated by need for cooling Controllable high force Controllable medium force.
8 Problems Dangers from electric shock Leakage dangerous and unsightly. Fire hazard Noisy
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