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What Power Pack is right for me? ben lee

Which Power Pack is right for me?

Hydraulic power units are used for a broad range of applications from operating control valves in the outback of Australia to raising parking barriers in Siberia. To match this range of applications there are an equally large range of hydraulic systems and products.

Whether you are designing, specifying, manufacturing or purchasing a hydraulic power pack there are several pointers that will narrow down this range.

Firstly an assessment of the power that will be required. This does often require the use of appropriate hydraulic and mechanical design tools. Some useful tools can be found here http://www.hydraproducts.co.uk/hydraulic-calculators.aspx. When the power (kW) level is known this leads to second stage of deciding upon what power source might be available.

Power sources are typically electrical, combustion engines or mechanical drive. Electrical sources will divide into AC and DC, this will depend greatly on the application and location. Where electrical sources are not possible, such as trailers, petrol, diesel or gas combustion engines can form the centre of a hydraulic power pack. Common for vehicle based hydraulic systems a DC, or battery will give the motive power source.

Each of the power sources will have their practical and economic limits.

Typically DC Power available on the majority of vehicles is a maximum of 3kW. A small commercial vehicle or van would be 12VDC and a maximum battery power of 2kW. Whereas a larger heavy goods vehicle could have a 4kW 24VDC system. Forklifts and other goods handling equipment will often be 48 or 72VDC.

AC electrical power can generally be spilt into two camps, 1 phase and 3 phase. For domestic/office applications 220-240V 1phase will be available up to a limit of 2.2kW. Site work will often be operated at 110V 1 phase and this will be limited to 1.5kW. 3 phase power covers a much larger range from 0.09kW to over 100kW, and this will be common in all industrial applications.

Combustion engines cover a wide range, with small single cylinder petrol engines starting at 4HP and diesel engines starting slightly higher than this at 6HP up to over 100HP.

This chart summarises the maximum power source ranges:-

ELECTRICAL

COMBUSTION ENGINES

MECHANICAL

VDC

AC 1 PHASE

AC 3 PHASE

PETROL

DIESEL

Unlimted

12

24

48/72

110V

220V

415V

2kW

4kW

9kW

1.5kW

2.2kW

100kW +

25kW

100kW+

This chart is based on products that can be built economically, and not what is physically possible.

The next question to ask yourself might be what is the operating duty of the powerpack will have to work within.  This is important when selecting which type of powerpack as for example it may not be possible to specific features such as tank size or motor type that will ensure they can run continuously.  If we simply divide these into S1 (running 100% of a day) and S2 (running for a short operating time).

This chart will allow some division of our product range based on operating duty:-

  

 




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