We have looked at how mini hydraulic power packs are used to affect a lifting and lowering motion in lorry loading platforms, but there are many more lifting applications where a mini hydraulic power pack, either 12v or 24v, is used to create the same type of motion for moving different things.
Passenger lifts, in office blocks and shopping centres, use hydraulics to raise and lower the lift from floor to floor, with sensors in place to stop the lift at the required floor. These sensors know where the lift is and are activated to stop the lift, as requested by a passenger at the desired floor. The sensor tells the hydraulic system to stop at the right place, and an algorithm determines whether the lift goes up or down next, depending on the floors requested and the current position of the lift. The lift moves up and down through the floors and changes direction thanks to a solenoid valve, which allows for motion in both directions. These systems work together seamlessly to move people from floor to floor and most of us take this entirely for granted when we use lifts.
Wheelchair users rely on lifts of this type and dedicated wheelchair lifts in buildings that feature split levels in order to get around. Lifts to lower people in and out of swimming pools and in and out of hospital beds also use hydraulics to affect the raising and lowering action in a controlled manner. In bespoke homes, it is becoming more and more common to find lifts being installed, which is allowing people to remain in their homes into old age, when they are not be able to cope with the stairs. Homes built for people who already have mobility problems may also have a lift installed to help with moving around the home. In America, there are even lifts that allow people to store large and bulky items in their attics; although these work with electrical systems the principle is the same.
Passenger lifts in commercial settings need to be able to handle large loads and their capacity is always clearly stated inside the lift car to prevent overloading. The hydraulic power pack used to drive the system must therefore be capable of moving the maximum permissible load without overheating or causing undue strain on the system. These lifts are usually in large buildings where the lift is installed during the construction process and therefore, the size of the hydraulic system is not such a concern as it is when retrofitting a lift in a private home.
In a private home where a lift is being installed as a retrospective project the size of the hydraulic system is a concern, as the space available is at a premium. The good news is that the lift installed in a private home will only be carrying one person, or perhaps two if a Carer is needed at all times. The load that private lifts must carry is considerably smaller than that of a commercial passenger lift; therefore, a smaller mini power pack can be used. As the electricity supply to domestic homes is AC, it is important that an AC motor is used to drive the system, so that it can run on the main electrical supply in the home. If the system is designed to be integrated into the main electrical supply, then a backup systems should be incorporated, to ensure safety during a power cut – not having a backup system means that a wheelchair bound person could be in danger, if they are not able to leave their homes during a power cut or storm should a medical emergency occur. The backup system may take the form of a battery to power a secondary DC system, or may involve a hand pump over-ride, so that the system can be powered manually, which means no alternative power source is needed.
Whatever your lifting needs, we have a wide range of AC and DC mini hydraulic power packs that will fit the bill across these lifting applications and many more. We can even build a bespoke power pack for new systems where existing components do not fit well. Call us today on 01452 523352 to discuss your needs.