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1. (WO2016054611) ENERGY SAVING DIRECTIONAL-CONTROL VALVES FOR PROVIDING INPUT-OUTPUT COMPATIBILITY WITH STANDARD NON-ENERGY SAVING DIRECTIONAL-CONTROL VALVES
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What is claimed is:

1 . A pilot-operated directional-control valve comprising:

a valve body;

at least four fluid ports;

a valve spool;

a first pilot cylinder;

a second pilot cylinder;

a first biasing member;

a second biasing member;

a normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a normally-pressurized pilot solenoid valve, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports, valve spool, the first pilot cylinder and the second pilot cylinder are disposed within the valve body;

the valve spool is moved to a first position when the first pilot cylinder is pressurized and the second pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a second position when the second pilot cylinder is pressurized and the first pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a third position by the first and second biasing members when the first and second pilot cylinders are de-pressurized;

the normally-depressurized pilot solenoid controls pressure to the first pilot cylinder;

the normally-pressurized pilot solenoid controls the pressure to the second pilot cylinder; and

the first pilot cylinder has a first diameter and the second pilot cylinder has a second diameter and second diameter is smaller than the first diameter.

2. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 1 wherein the second diameter is at least 5 percent smaller than the first diameter.

3. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 1 wherein the second diameter is at least 10 percent smaller than the first diameter.

4. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 1 wherein the second diameter is at least 20 percent smaller than the first diameter.

5. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 1 wherein the second diameter is at least 30 percent smaller than the first diameter.

6. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 1 , wherein:

the at least four fluid ports comprise a supply port, an exhaust port, a first outlet port, and a second outlet port;

when the valve spool is in the first position, the supply port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication;

when the valve spool is in the second position, the supply port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication; and

when the valve spool is the third position, the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the supply port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication.

7. A pilot-operated directional-control valve comprising:

a valve body;

at least four fluid ports;

a valve spool;

a first pilot cylinder;

a second pilot cylinder;

a first biasing member;

a second biasing member;

a normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a normally-pressurized pilot solenoid valve,

a shuttle valve comprising a first and second inlet port, and an outlet port; and a spring-return pilot-operated 3-way valve, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports, the valve spool, the first pilot cylinder, the second pilot cylinder, the shuttle valve, and the spring-return pilot-operated 3-way valve are disposed within the valve body;

the valve spool is moved to a first position when the first pilot cylinder is pressurized and the second pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a second position when the second pilot cylinder is pressurized and the first pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a third position by the first and second biasing

members when the first and second pilot cylinders are de-pressurized; the outlet port of the shuttle valve supplies pilot pressure to the spring-return pilot-operated 3-way valve;

the spring-return pilot-operated 3-way valve pressurizes the second pilot cylinder when de-energized and de-pressurizes the second pilot cylinder when energized;

the normally-depressurized pilot solenoid controls the pressure to the first pilot cylinder and to the first inlet port of the shuttle valve; and

the normally-pressurized pilot solenoid controls the pressure to the second inlet port of the shuttle valve.

8. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 7, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports comprise a supply port, an exhaust port, a first outlet port, and a second outlet port;

when the valve spool is in the first position, the supply port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication;

when the valve spool is in the second position, the supply port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication; and

when the valve spool is the third position, the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the supply port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication.

9. A pilot-operated directional-control valve comprising:

a valve body;

at least four fluid ports comprising a first outlet port and a second outlet port; a valve spool;

a first pilot cylinder;

a second pilot cylinder;

a first biasing member;

a second biasing member;

a first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a third normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve; and

a spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve comprising a pilot port, wherein: the at least four fluid ports, the valve spool, the first pilot cylinder, the second pilot cylinder, the shuttle valve, and the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve are disposed within the valve body;

the valve spool is moved to a first position when the first pilot cylinder is pressurized and the second pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a second position when the second pilot cylinder is pressurized and the first pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a third position by the first and second biasing members when the first and second pilot cylinders are de-pressurized;

the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve controls fluid communication between the first outlet port and the second outlet port, such that the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication when the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve is energized, and the first outlet port and the second outlet port are not in fluid communication when the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve is de-energized;

the first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the first pilot cylinder;

the second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the second pilot cylinder; and

the third normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the pilot port of the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve.

10. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 9, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports also comprise a supply port and an exhaust port; when the valve spool is in the first position, the supply port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication;

when the valve spool is in the second position, the supply port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication; and

when the valve spool is the third position, the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the supply port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication.

1 1 . A pilot-operated directional-control valve comprising:

a valve body;

at least four fluid ports including a first outlet port and an exhaust port;

a valve spool;

a first pilot cylinder;

a second pilot cylinder;

a first biasing member;

a second biasing member;

a first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a third normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a shuttle valve comprising a first inlet port, a second inlet port, and an outlet port; and

a spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports, the valve spool, the first pilot cylinder, the second pilot cylinder, the shuttle valve, and the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve are disposed within the valve body;

the valve spool is moved to a first position when the first pilot cylinder is pressurized and the second pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a second position when the second pilot cylinder is pressurized and the first pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a third position by the first and second biasing members when the first and second pilot cylinders are de-pressurized;

the outlet port of the shuttle valve supplies pilot pressure to the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve;

the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve controls fluid communication between the first outlet port and the exhaust port, such that the first outlet port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication when the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve is energized, and the first outlet port and the exhaust port are in fluid communication when the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve is de-energized; and

the first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the first pilot cylinder and to the first inlet port of the shuttle valve;

the second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the second pilot cylinder; and

the third pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the second inlet port of the shuttle valve.

12. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 1 1 , wherein:

the at least four fluid ports also comprise a supply port and a second outlet port;

when the valve spool is in the first position, the supply port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication;

when the valve spool is in the second position, the supply port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication; and

when the valve spool is in the third position, the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the supply port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication.

13. A pilot-operated directional-control valve comprising:

a valve body;

at least four fluid ports including a first outlet port and a supply port;

a valve spool;

a first pilot cylinder;

a second pilot cylinder;

a first biasing member;

a second biasing member;

a first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a third normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a shuttle valve comprising a first inlet port, a second inlet port, and an outlet port; and

a spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports, the valve spool, the first pilot cylinder, the second pilot cylinder, the shuttle valve, and the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve are disposed within the valve body;

the valve spool is moved to a first position when the first pilot cylinder is

pressurized and the second pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a second position when the second pilot cylinder is pressurized and the first pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a third position by the first and second biasing members when the first and second pilot cylinders are de-pressurized;

the outlet port of the shuttle valve supplies pilot pressure to the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve;

the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve controls fluid communication between the first outlet port and the supply port, such that the first outlet port and the supply port are not in fluid communication when the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve is energized, and the first outlet port and the supply port are in fluid communication when the spring-return pilot-operated 2-way valve is de-energized; the second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the second pilot cylinder and to the second inlet port of the shuttle valve; and

the third normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve controls pressure to the first inlet port of the shuttle valve.

14. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 13, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports comprise an exhaust port and a second outlet port; when the valve spool is in the first position, the supply port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication;

when the valve spool is in the second position, the supply port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication; and

when the valve spool is the third position, the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the supply port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication.

15. A pilot-operated directional-control valve comprising:

a valve body;

at least four fluid ports including an exhaust port;

a valve spool;

a first pilot cylinder;

a second pilot cylinder;

a first biasing member;

a second biasing member;

a first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a third normally-pressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a first 3-way valve comprising a first pilot port and a second pilot port; and a second 3-way valve comprising a first pilot port and a second pilot port, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports, the valve spool, the first pilot cylinder, the second pilot cylinder, the shuttle valve, the first 3-way valve and the second 3-way valve are disposed within the valve body;

the valve spool is moved to a first position when the first pilot cylinder is pressurized and the second pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a second position when the second pilot cylinder is pressurized and the first pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a third position by the first and second biasing members when the first and second pilot cylinders are de-pressurized;

the first pilot solenoid valve is configured to control pressure to the first pilot port of the first 3-way valve and the second pilot port of the second 3-way valve; the second pilot solenoid valve is configured to control pressure to the second pilot port of the first 3-way valve and the first pilot port of the second 3-way valve; the first 3-way valve is configured to couple the first pilot cylinder to either an outlet of the third normally-pressurized solenoid pilot valve or exhaust; and

the second 3-way valve is configured to couple the second pilot cylinder to either an outlet of the third normally-pressurized solenoid pilot valve or the exhaust port.

16. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 15, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports comprise a supply port, a first outlet port, and a second outlet port;

when the valve spool is in the first position, the supply port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication;

when the valve spool is in the second position, the supply port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication; and

when the valve spool is the third position, the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the supply port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication.

17. A pilot-operated directional-control valve comprising:

a valve body;

at least four fluid ports;

a valve spool;

a first pilot cylinder;

a second pilot cylinder;

a first biasing member;

a second biasing member;

a first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a third normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve;

a first shuttle valve comprising a first inlet port and a second inlet port;

a second shuttle valve comprising a first inlet port and a second inlet port; and a single-acting spring return cylinder comprising a piston, wherein:

the at least four fluid ports, the valve spool, the first pilot cylinder, the second pilot cylinder, the first shuttle valve, the second shuttle valve and the single-acting spring return cylinder are disposed within the valve body;

the valve spool is moved to a first position when the first pilot cylinder is pressurized and the second pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a second position when the second pilot cylinder is pressurized and the first pilot cylinder is de-pressurized;

the valve spool is moved to a third position by the first and second biasing members when the first and second pilot cylinders are de-pressurized;

the outlet port of the first shuttle valve is configured to supply pressure to the first inlet port of the second shuttle valve;

the outlet port of the second shuttle valve is configured to supply pressure to the single-acting cylinder;

the first normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve is configured to control pressure to the first pilot cylinder and configured to control pressure to the first inlet port of the first shuttle valve;

the second normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve is configured to control pressure to the second pilot cylinder and configured to control pressure to the second inlet port of the second shuttle valve;

the third normally-depressurized pilot solenoid valve is configured to control pressure to the second inlet port of the first shuttle valve; and

the spool of the directional-control valve further comprise detents, such that the detents are engaged by the piston of the single-acting cylinder when the single-acting cylinder is energized.

18. The pilot-operated directional-control valve of claim 17, wherein: the at least four fluid ports comprise a supply port, an exhaust port, a first outlet port, and a second outlet port;

when the valve spool is in the first position, the supply port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication;

when the valve spool is in the second position, the supply port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the exhaust port and the first outlet port are in fluid communication; and

when the valve spool is the third position, the first outlet port and the second outlet port are in fluid communication and the supply port and the exhaust port are not in fluid communication.