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Hydraproducts provides subsea hydraulics to a number of businesses in the oil and gas industries. Our marine related products are designed to resist water ingress, water pressure of deep sea and corrosion caused by salt water.
Here’s what we have learnt about the oil industry on our travels:
Oil is key to the world’s economy. In fact, it’s what has been the lifeblood for the developing world over the last century and accounts for as much as 2.5% of the GDP of the world. It also provides at least 1/3rd of the energy required for humanity. It’s oil and gas that powers all of the transportation that we have on this planet, apart from a small number of vehicles that are electric powered. However, without oil it’s hard to move any vehicle at more than 25mph. It’s not possible to operate a modern economy without it. If oil stopped flowing, then modern civilisation would not run as it does currently, it would most likely collapse. Oil has become so important to modern life that it could be compared against agriculture.
Oil and gas have their own transport infrastructure that comprises of millions of miles of pipelines and shipping routes. The pipelines that distribute gas in the United States alone, could reach as far as to the moon and back between 7 and 8 times. Natural gas, crude oil and refined products are moved around in all of these pipes. Consider how you most likely have gas pipes in your home, these pipes connect to thousands of wells in rock that laid down millions of years ago. That is quite an amazing fact. Your home has a direct connection to the Pliocene era - thanks to the distribution infrastructure of the oil and gas industry. Also, thanks nowadays to subsea hydraulic power units!
Almost half of sea going cargo is oil. Surprisingly there is more cargo on the sea than there are fish in the sea. Although cargo that is oil is generally being transported for a much shorter period of time than most fish is alive for. So this makes the amount of oil that travels each year far greater than the fish biomass. Consider that for a moment. The sea isn’t full of fish…it’s actually full of oil cargo.
It’s very disturbing for some people to know this, but the scale at which oil and gas is currently being used is going to make it practically impossible to replace it with another solution during our lifetime. Renewables aren’t likely to replace oil any time soon. Oil is a huge commodity that is highly depended upon by industries and individuals all over the planet. Although both wind and solar power are renewable powers that are expanding, they are so small that they aren’t even making a dent.
Oil is the major wealth of this planet
It’s not just wealth for producers, but it’s wealth for all users of it. It’s a tool for productivity and is notably a cause of economic growth. The human condition can be greatly improved by the use of it. The Mayans discovered that it was energy that secures success for nations just a little bit too late, whilst China grasped that fact and used it to boost their economy. Whenever a cheaper and cleaner more concentrated energy source is used, there are dramatic results in global wealth. When electricity was used, it created serious growth between 1900 and 1950. Then oil helped with the boom from 1950 to 1970 and gas from 1970 to 1995. Due to coal consumption in Asia since 2000, the growth has been smaller and taken over by the digital revolution and impacted by the Great Recession.
Surprisingly oil companies don’t make as much money as you might imagine. They have a lot of bad years (for example the 1990s) and have to make a lot of layoffs. However, discovery and exploration costs are huge.
As you can see, the world of oil and gas is fascinating and it’s an industry that we’re proud to be involved in. We create subsea hydraulic power units that are used by a variety of marine related energy companies. Call us today for a no obligation chat if you’re looking for reliable subsea hydraulic power units.
In this article we want to explain the ins and outs of hydraulic powerpacks. A vital piece of equipment that is used with so many machines we see every day.
In a nutshell, hydraulic powerpacks are self contained units that are used instead of a built in power supply for hydraulic machinery. Hydraulic power uses fluid to transmit power from one location to another in order to run a machine. It really is as simple as that.
So what do they look like?
In order to recognise and better understand hydraulic powerpacks, it is a good idea to get to know the key components. Hydraulic powerpacks come in many different shapes and sizes, some are very large and stationary whereas others are much smaller and more compact. In fact, some hydraulic powerpacks are so compact that they can easily be transported in a small van or even an estate car.
The only real way to identify hydraulic powerpacks is through its main components. No matter the size of the unit, all power packs will have the following; a hydraulic reservoir, regulators, a pump, motor, pressure supply lines and relief lines.
What do these components do?
It may be obvious to some but in this post we wanted to explain every component as simply as possible. So here goes.
First up is the hydraulic reservoir which quite simply holds the fluid. Reservoirs will come in different sizes.
Then we have the regulators. Regulators are vital as they control and maintain the amount of pressure that the hydraulic powerpack delivers.
Thirdly we have the pressure supply lines and relief lines. The supply line simply supplies fluid under pressure to the pump and the relief lines relieve pressure between the pump and the valves. The relief lines also control the direction of flow through the system.
Finally we have the pump and a motor. We will begin with the simpler component of the two, the motor. The motor is simply there to power the pump. Easy as that. Now the pump generally performs two actions. Firstly, it operates as a vacuum at the pump inlet and through atmospheric pressure forces fluid from the reservoir into the inlet line and then to the pump. It then delivers the fluid to the pump outlet and pumps it into the hydraulic system. We did warn you that the second part would be slightly more confusing.
So what is the function of hydraulic powerpacks?
Hydraulic powerpacks deliver power through a control valve which in turn runs the machine it is connected to. Hydraulic powerpacks come with a variety of valve connections. This means that you can power a variety of machines by using the appropriate valves.
Hydraulic powerpacks are relied upon by a range of different machines that use hydraulic power to do its work. If a machine is required to carry out heavy or systematic lifting then its likely it would need help from a hydraulic powerpack.
To make it easier for you to understand, we have included a list of trades that regularly rely on our powerpacks. On a building site you will see machines like bulldozers and excavators, which both need hydraulic powerpacks. But, it is not just on building sites that you will find these types of machines. Fishermen and mechanics both need hydraulic powerpacks too. If we did not have them then how would fishermen lift their nets or how would mechanics lift our cars?
When picking a hydraulic powerpack there are a variety of pumps and options to pick from and it is important to pick the right pack to meet your machines needs. It is also important to consider a pack that will help maximise productivity and minimise cost.
Many people will overlook the necessity of hydraulic powerpacks, but they really are vital to ensuring our society runs efficiently.
Do you need to maintain hydraulic powerpacks?
Yes you do and this is hugely important! Hydraulic powerpacks require regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly and safely and to help extend their life. Maintaining hydraulic powerpacks is relatively simple and includes checking the tubing, this can be for any noticeable problems such as dents or cracks. It is also vital to regularly change the hydraulic fluid and look at the reservoir to check for any corrosion or rust.
What hydraulic powerpacks do we provide?
Generally we provide four different types of hydraulic powerpacks. You can pick from a standard powerpack, a mini powerpack, a micro powerpack or a bespoke powerpack.
The standard hydraulic powerpack uses a standard range of modular components and is ideal for the most demanding industrial applications. The mini powerpack is ideal for applications requiring up to 5.5kW. The micro hydraulic powerpacks were originally produced for mobility applications, so are great for when space is limited. Finally, if none of these seem to fit your needs then we offer bespoke hydraulic powerpacks ensuring your application gets the hydraulic powerpack it requires.
Finally, who is the genius behind hydraulic powerpacks?
The man behind hydraulics was Laissez Pascal. A French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher who lived in the mid seventeenth century. Pascal made observations about fluid and pressure which led to Pascal’s law. Pascal's law states that when there is an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container. Hydraulic powerpacks have been designed based on Pascal's law of physics, drawing their power from ratios of area and pressure.
So, interested in our Power Packs? Come on over to the main website and see what we can do for your Hydraulic Power Pack Needs .
There are many factors involved in how much subsea hydraulic related applications are able to grow and increase in usefulness in the marine related industries. For example, key considerations are how long they can be kept in use without there needing to be maintenance performed or costly repairs and engineering undertaken. How safe are they for both the ocean and for people? How can the harsh environment be overcome for industries to achieve their goals?
Some maintenance for subsea work is of course something that cannot be avoided. For example, the high external water pressure, corrosion, powerful currents and operating machinery by remote control all come at a price. With clever design and careful planning, it’s possible to keep costs to a minimum.
Pressure compensation and seals
Something that can affect performance of any system is external pressure. Pressure compensation can be used to enable better underwater operation. Used as a means to keep pressure constant between the reservoir and the seawater, it helps to ensure that seals can still operate as they are usually designed to operate for flow travelling in just one direction, and to handle pressure drop for just one way.
The majority of components that are designed for hydraulic systems are land or surface based. They will have been built to cater for the environment without any specific issues such as high pressure. These components therefore cannot withstand the pressure found in deep water or even pressure drops that are severe.
One of the solutions to handling and supporting pressure-sensitive components in their operation is to seal them inside a protective chamber. However this can be difficult and costly to implement. The chamber would need to be of rigid construction with heavy-duty rugged seals installed that could handle the high external pressure. Pressure compensation is another method that is often seen as being more effective. It’s used by applying a pressure that is equal and opposite to that of the pressure found outside the component.
Piston rods and reservoirs
Plasma arc welding is used to apply high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) gun and cobalt-alloy coatings to piston rods that will be used in subsea deep water conditions as part of a hydraulic cylinder.
When it comes to reservoirs, they will often be replaced by sealed reservoirs. They will contain a flexible medium separator to ensure that the pressure of the external environment will also be in the reservoir, just as can be found in normal surface systems. However, the difference being that the oil and the seawater do not mix as they are prevented from doing so.
This ingenious system then makes it possible to use any component that is used on the land, underwater, as long as any areas are filled with fluid as opposed to the air that would normally be in them if they were operating on the surface. They will then need to be connected to the reservoir to maintain the balance of pressure.
Corrosion is a subsea challenge
Another area of challenge is that of corrosion. The study of keeping seals and seawater working together is known as tribology. It’s essential for subsea hydraulic system designers to be familiar with the concepts involved – keeping seawater out and hydraulic fluid inside a system. For large hydraulic cylinders, keeping the integrity of the piston rod in full operation, even after being exposed to extreme environmental conditions is critical for securing a long-term operation of the system.
Another area of concern is ensuring that all subsea application machinery is designed to a level that does not hurt the ocean environment or people.
Overall, the challenges of designing subsea equipment are multiple due to the harsh environment of the ocean, the reliability required for operators in addition to safety. As industries opt to travel deeper into the ocean, we can only see the challenges increasing.
When it comes to actuators, there are a few differences that you should know about if you’re in the engineering field. If you haven’t had a whole lot of experience, then here’s the lowdown.
Every mechanical movement system has a linear actuator in operation. It operates in a straight line but might be in the form of components, an assembly or a finished product. Used to perform the job of converting energy into movement or a force, an actuator might be powered by electricity, pressurised air or fluid.
Here’s what you need to know about the most common linear actuators, and what their pros and cons are.
How Actuators Work
Pneumatic line actuators. Consisting of a hollow cylinder with a piston inside, either a manual pump or an external compressor will move the piston. As pressure builds, a linear force is developed and the cylinder moves along the axis of the piston. It will then return to its original position using either fluid from the other side of it, or by a spring-back force.
Pneumatic actuators are really quite simple. They have bore sizes between ½ and 8 inches with a maximum pressure rating of 150 psi. So between 30 to 7,500lbs of force can be delivered. Steel versions can deliver forces between 50 to around 38,500 lb.
Because they don’t have any motors, and therefore produce no magnetic interference, they are often used in situations with extreme temperatures. You’ll find that they are very cost effective in addition to being lightweight and not needing of much when it comes to maintenance. Their components are durable as they aren’t under a lot of strain.
When it comes to disadvantages, they can suffer from pressure losses and therefore can be less efficient. Lower pressures equal slower speeds and lower forces. In addition, pressure must be made even if nothing is moving, so it’s necessary to continually run a compressor for them. For them to work most efficiently, they need to be sized for the job at hand and that makes them inflexible when it comes to other applications.
Hydraulic linear actuators. Working in a similar way to pneumatic actuators, this type of actuator is moved by incompressible liquid from a pump.
Being able to produce forces that are up to 25 times that of the pneumatic cylinder, they are considered to be rugged and well suited to high-force applications. The hydraulic actuator is able to hold force and torque without needing extra fluid or pressure sent through from the pump. Fluid is incompressible. This also makes it possible for hydraulic actuators to have both their motors and their pumps situated a distance away without suffering from loss of power.
The downside of the hydraulic actuator is that they can leak fluid and this can lead to them being inefficient. These leaks of hydraulic fluid can potentially damage components such as motors, fluid reservoir, heat exchanger etc…
Electric linear actuator. Powered by a torque converted from electrical energy connected to by a lead screw. As the screw rotates, either a ball or threaded lead nut will be driven along matching threads.
With the best precision control possible, the electrical actuator operates in a smooth and quiet fashion. They can also be reprogrammed and networked in a considerably short period of time. Without any fluid leaks, they are also less of an environmental hazard.
On the negative, each electrical actuator costs far more than that of either a pneumatic or a hydraulic actuator of similar power. They are also not suited to all areas either such as hazardous or flammable areas. There is also a danger that they can overheat due to having a continuously running motor.
Whichever motor is used is going to be reflected in terms of how much thrust, force and speed limits are required. If any of these need to be changed, then it will be necessary to acquire another motor.
As you can see for yourself, actuators come in 3 flavours, and it will depend upon your individual circumstances with regards to which one will give you what you need with the least disadvantages.
Every hydraulic motor requires a power source to operate it. This is where hydraulic power units come into play. Here at Hydraproducts, we manufacture a range of hydraulic power units, but we call them hydraulic power packs.
Most of our clients who purchase hydraulic power units will use them on one of these types of applications:
Our units are compact and we can also make them bespoke for your situation if need be. Our units are manufactured with pumps, filters, relief valves, reservoirs, sight gauges and more so that you can rely on your unit to deliver continual power to your equipment. They are used for a number of different purposes including pressurizing lube systems, providing pilot flow to servo valves and of course, powering hydraulic motors and cylinders.
Hydraulic units are offered with options. Your application may require either a single or a bi-directional rotation.
There are benefits of using a hydraulic power unit, whether it’s a micro sized one or a standard one. It will usually be quieter than some solutions in addition to making it possible to eliminate a potential leak point. In these modern times, there are improved diagnostics and our products are created to protect against system shock.
Hydraulic Power Units For Every Application
A hydraulic power unit will often be at the core of a broad variety of system. They may be used on:
· Scissor lifts
· Tipping trucks
· Plant trailers
· Access control and security equipment
Our hydraulic power packs are available in the following sizes:
· Micro power packs
· Mini power packs
· Standard power pack
Our micro hydraulic power units are perfect for applications that require hydraulic power, but that are limited when it comes to available space.
If you need any assistance making your choice, give us a call and we’ll guide you in the right direction.
When it comes to reliable power sources for subsea production systems, our hydraulic power units have been recognised as some of the best. We design, manufacture and test all of our systems in house and on site to deliver a collection of products that make it possible to meet all standards for a variety of subsea pressure systems and control systems.
About our product:
Our hydraulic power units (HPUs) are carefully designed in alignment with your project specifications. We also meet international standards with our durable, complete units that are comprised of pumps, instruments, filters, valves, accumulators, motors. Our machines are made to operate in the harsh environments of deep sea settings.
Our systems are the best with regards to health and safety, durability, reliability and operational ease. They meet what you would hope for in terms of both your operational needs and expectations. Developed according to your specifications to keep plot space and weight low.
With a broad range of HPUs built for subsea, from large hydraulic systems to the smallest, compact and portable hydraulic systems. We can also provide you with highly complex, advanced and state of the art installations that will operate in either arctic or tropical environments.
Our engineers have decades of combine experience in the design, manufacturing and testing of hydraulic systems for a variety of industries. Our systems and solutions are innovative and state of the art and can provide you with what you need to meet your challenges.
We have been providing bespoke solutions for years. All of our systems have safety in mind in addition to productivity. Wherever you are located in the world, we can provide safe control of processes whether you are operating an oil and gas plant or a small application for which you need one of our micro hydraulic power units.
Focused on providing solutions, we have a good understanding of machinery that uses hydraulic power as a solution. Our network of leading vendors means we can source the best components to meet what needs.
Our Added Value
What do you need to know to keep yourself and other people safe in the workplace?
Keeping a load safe is dependent upon ensuring that the pressure of fluid is correct. If the pressure of it becomes too high, then it will want to give that energy to other surroundings, and it’s only the soundness of the components that will prevent it from doing so. It will try to escape any way possible and this includes through weak seals, valves or other points of plumbing failure.
The metering devices such as valves, flow controls and counterbalances prevent the fluid from running away. To demonstrate this, a cylinder that is installed with rod down, and tension under load will often have a meter-out configuration to stop the load from taking control of the cylinder
Although this is safe, there is still a risk of the pressure on the rod-side intensifying. If the piston seals get blown by this, then the load will drop.
Some engineers will use a counterbalance to avoid metering out errors from occurring. Although a counterbalance valve is considered to be the same a pressure valve, it is what controls the speed of an actuator. It will control how fast the cylinder moves, even if there is a pressure intensification.
Another situation that can cause a catastrophic failure and even personal injury is a leak in the cylinder hose or tube. If fluid in the actuator exits through a broken conduit, it is no longer able to hold up a load. In the event of a conduit failure, the counterbalance valve will prevent the load from dropping. Another safety function that will hold a load is a pilot-operated check valve. Although it will hold a load indefinitely, it will not be as smooth with control of load induced movement.
The essence of a hydraulic system is pressure. It’s something that is required to make the system as powerful and effective as it is. However, there are many reasons why pressure can easily rise including load spikes, ‘water hammer’, intensification and even thermal expansion. If there isn’t enough control over pressure, then components can fail and seals can give way – leaving the machine to be unsafe. It’s for this reason that the hydraulic system has so many different types of pressure control valves.
Damage can be prevented by limiting pressure with relief valves. They can control the pressure in the main system or in isolated sub-circuits. In some systems, it’s necessary for sub-circuits to operate at different pressure to others. This can be achieved through the use of the pressure reducing valve which is able to limit pressure downstream of itself. It is also able to reduce pressure in situations where the fluid has become too heated and therefore has increased its pressure. In some systems there are a number of valves that will work to ensure that pressure is limited to a safe level in every part of the machine.
In summary, it’s important to control both the pressure and the flow in hydraulic systems. It enables safe operation of the system and movement of loads. Safe employees are everybody’s concern.
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