Throttling loss is a major contributor to the low system efficiency in hydraulic systems. Hydraulic transformers can potentially be an energy efficient, throttle-less control approach for multi-actuators systems powered by a common pressure rail (CPR). The transformer transforms the input CPR pressure to the desired pressure of the actuator instead of throttling it. Regenerative energy can also be captured. For transformers to be useful, they must also have good control performance. This paper presents a a passivity based trajectory tracking controller for a hydraulic actuator driven by a transformer consisting of two mechanically coupled variable displacement pump/motors. In addition to controlling the motion of the actuator, the transformer speed can also be regulated at the most efficient operating speed. The nonlinear controller is designed using a Lyapunov function that is based upon a recently discovered natural energy storage function for hydraulic actuators. Experimental results validate the efficacy of this controller.

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