Digital hydraulics is a new technology providing an alternative to conventional proportional or servovalve-controlled systems in the area of fluid power. Research is driven by the need for highly energy efficient hydraulic machines but is relatively immature compared to other energy-saving technologies. Digital hydraulic applications, such as digital pumps, digital valves and actuators, switched inertance hydraulic converters (SIHCs) and digital hydraulic power management systems, all promise high energy efficiency. This review introduces the development of SIHCs and evaluates the device configurations, performance and control strategies that are found in current SIHC research, particularly focusing on the work being undertaken in last 15 years. The designs for highspeed switching valves are evaluated, and their advantages and limitations are discussed. This article concludes with some suggestions for the future development of SIHCs.

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