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Open and Closed Circuit Hydraulic Pump Systems 101

Hydraulic systems can be designed using either an open circuit or closed circuit hydraulic pump configuration. It is important to understand the differences between the two to ensure you select the right configuration for your applications.

What Is an Open Circuit Hydraulic Pump System?

An open circuit hydraulic system is one where the fluid flows through the system, then returns to the reservoir. Fresh fluid is then drawn from the reservoir and pumped through the system.

What Is a Closed Circuit Hydraulic Pump System?

A closed circuit hydraulic system is one where the fluid flows continuously through the system from pump to motor and back with only case drain oil returning to the reservoir.

How Do They Operate?

In a closed circuit system, commonly used in vehicle drive trains control of the direction and speed of vehicle movement is all done by controlling the direction and velocity of fluid in the pump.

In an open circuit system, the fixed or variable displacement pump is fed from a reservoir and then the fluid passes through a directional valve which directs it to the services and the used low pressure return flow back to the reservoir.

Closed circuit systems are better suited to providing driving transmission motors, while open circuit systems are more appropriate for applications where cylinders are being used.

For further assistance in designing a closed or open circuit system or help determining which one would be best for your applications, please feel free to contact White House Products Ltd. at +44 (0) 1475 742500 today!

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