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Hydraulic Mobile Equipment and Reservoir Design Solutions ben lee

When designing hydraulic mobile equipment, it’s a necessity to position the reservoir in a suitable location. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that happens with every designer. They can be difficult to position in a compact area and can often be irregular in shape and then be situated in awkward and hard to reach locations.


Keep in mind that the mobile hydraulic equipment is usually operating under more extreme conditions than the static hydraulic machine. In addition to the limitations of needing to be smaller to retain the mobility, the limitations means that they are usually custom designed so that they can fit the exact space and requirements for optimal performance. It is possible to minimize size, cost and weight of the reservoir whilst ensuring that performance and efficiency do not suffer by taking time to consider what’s possible.


Quite often designers will use 3D modelling to produce the best designs for use and from a manufacturing point of view, designs that are complicated can be difficult and expensive to make. Here’s what is taken into consideration:


Balancing drawdown: the reservoir must provide enough fluid for the cylinder rods to operate effectively. There also needs to be enough time for the fluid to rest in the tank for contaminants to settle out and for air bubbles to coalesce. Here at HydraProducts we often use the rule of thumb to provide 1/3 of maximum pump output.


Thermal expansion: the reservoir needs to be large enough to be able to house fluid that has expanded from heat. This is why it’s important to not overfill the reservoir with cold fluid without considering what happens when that same fluid reaches maximum operating temperature.


Vented or pressurized: whether a reservoir is vented or pressurised depends on its location and what the inlet requirements of the pumps are. We usually recommend pressurisation otherwise there can be issues with cavitation which results in surface fatigue of metal.

Even humid air can get into the system if the oil level drops. Water can also get in by condensing on the interior walls when the ambient temperature drops. This condensate can lead to rust deposits and all manner of issues. Mobile reservoirs will usually be made of aluminium or stainless steel or steel to cut down on such issues.


Our mobile hydraulic solutions are designed carefully and to make the best of the limitations of size and weight. Call us today if you would like to discuss your requirements and we’ll see what we can do to help. 

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