What type of Hydraulic power pack do I need?

If you are at that stage of knowing you need a source of hydraulic power, but you don’t know where to go next then this article may help you narrow down the options.

Before you can go any further we are going to need to gather some information about your hydraulic requirements.

Firstly there is going to need to be a little bit of maths. The hydraulic energy needed must be calculated. So information about the forces needed to be generated and speeds achieved will have to be gathered. There are a lot of “hydraulic calculator” tools on-line that can help get from this to establishing a hydraulic pressure and flow rate. You can check out our at www.hydraproducts.co.uk/hydraulic-calculators or https://www.tss.trelleborg.com/apps/hydraulic_cylinder/

Once the hydraulic pressure (bar or PSI) and flow rates are understood then you are ready for the next stage of the process.

How are you going to provide the power?, that is what source of energy do you have available.

In vehicle based applications this is typically a DC power from a battery or bank of batteries, 12VDC, 24VDC, 48VDC or 72VDC. With the increase in the popularity of Electric vehicles battery technology has improved and DC motor technology has too.

For the land based applications it is preferable to use mains power if available. Single phase at around 220V and Three phase at around 400V, this gives a low cost and efficient power source. Always check what is available locally as voltages and frequencies vary around the world.

For more remote or mobile/marine applications an Internal combustion engine might be used to directly drive the hydraulic pump. This can range from a small Petrol engine to a much larger Diesel engine at 100KW+.

Here we have summarised with a chart of typical power sources and power levels.

Based on what is economic to build this should give you a guide as to what is possible.

On the bottom of the chart you will see how our Hydraulic power pack ranges fit into this process.

Are there any other considerations?

Yes of course, here are just a few that might change our view of which power pack is best for you.

Ambient temperature, hydraulic pumps like to live in an ambient range approximately -15 to 40degC. This means that the hydraulic oil will maintain a good viscosity and seal materials remain elastic. Outside of these temperatures special materials and oils will push up costs and limt the type of power pack to a more bespoke design.

Cleanliness, Hydraulic power units love to operate with clean oil and simply last longer and more efficiently. If the working environment is full of contamination this could end up in the hydraulic pumps and valves. So Oil filtration will need to be introduced and to do this will often require specialist hydraulic circuits.

Servicing, will it ever be serviced to the expected level. Sadly the reality it may not, so we as hydraulic engineers need to provide a system that is robust enough to give acceptable service life.

We hope that this article has given you a flavour of the thought processes that go into choosing the type of Hydraulic power pack that best suits your needs.

If you would like to find out more about hydraulic power packs, feel free to visit our knowledge hub here.