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Is it just about “three times flow rate”?
The widespread use of the “three times flow” rule of thumb serves well but current pressures on space, economics and environmental issues warrant a closer examination of this rule.
So what are the factors to be considered?
• Hold enough oil for system function
• Sufficient surface area to dissipate heat to the surroundings
• Large enough volume so turbulence is minimized allowing entrained air to escape and contaminations to settle
• Separating the suction from the return areas.
• Access for maintenance and cleaning
• Air space conditions, pressure, dryness and cleanliness
• “Real-estate” for fitting of main system components
Basic features of a traditional oil reservoir:-
There are a wide range of choices over an even wider range of budgets, but the right hydraulic oil will prolong your machine life and reduce your overall running costs.
Three initial questions must be answered:-
1) In what type of equipment will the hydraulic fluid be used?
2) How severe will the duty be?
3) What operating temperature and pressures will be experienced?
4) Environment food safe etc
Answers to these questions will lead to the primary choices of viscosity grade (VG) and hydraulic fluid types.
In what type of equipment will the hydraulic oils be used?
Selection of a hydraulic fluid with a viscosity that bests suits the system pump is a good place to start. Manufacturers will normally specify a range of oil viscosity. These will vary dependent upon the pump type. Vane pumps typically require 14-160 cSt, Piston pumps are more durable than a vane pump and require 10-160cSt. Gear pumps are the most tolerant to contamination and a conservative range would be 10-300cSt. Industrial machinery is typically designed to operate within a cleaner more stable environment, where outdoor and mobile applications will more likely have severe temperature variations, higher humidity and more demanding duty cycles.
How severe will the duty be?
Duty would normally be described by running time, environmental factors, likelihood of contamination ingress, maintenance arrangements etc.
Examples of Low/Medium/Heavy Duty would be:-
> 24 hours
Heavier duty demands will normally lead to the use of a mineral oil with a good additive package (such as a HVLP) to improve performance or the selection of a fully synthetic oil.
For hydraulic systems with high running times a fluid with a high viscosity index (VI>130) will avoid damage and breakdowns as it extends lifetime of hydraulic pumps and components.
What operating temperature and pressures will be experienced?
Where temperature extremes are large (below -5oC and above +60oC) and pressures above 250 bar the use of a fluid with a good mix of additives will be important. Mineral based oils (HM/HLP) will be sufficient in the most common applications as these often have anti-wear additives, oxidisation inhibitors and viscosity improvers. Fully synthetic oils will however out-perform mineral hydraulic oil ensuring that the viscosity and lubricity remains stable over a longer period.
Viscosity Grade (VG)
A hydraulic fluid has a low viscosity when it is thin and a high viscosity grade when it is thick. The viscosity reduces as the temperature rises and visa-versa. The hydraulic fluid must be thin enough to flow through the filter, inlet and return pipes without too much resistance. On the other hand, the hydraulic fluid must not be too thin, in order to avoid wear due to lack of lubrication and to keep internal leakage within limits. Viscosity grade is expressed at 40oC eg ISO46 which is an oil with a viscosity of 46 cSt measured at 40oC.
According to DINISO 2909 oil viscosity changes versus temperature, Viscosity Index (VI), is normally between 90-110. VI above 130 are largely insensitive to temperature change.
A viscosity range of 12-80sCt is recommended for a large range of commercially used hydraulic equipment.
Hydraulic oil specifications
Hydraulic power packs can be used with a wide range of hydraulic oil grades, commonly:-
· Hydraulic Oil (ISO11158-HM) – Mineral based – hydraulic oil grades widely used in light duty applications where temperature and pressures are moderate.
· Hydraulic Oil (DIN51524-2-HLP) – Mineral based with additives for oxidation, corrosion and wear protection. Used for general applications where temperature and viscosity conditions are observed.
· Hydraulic Oil (51524-3-HVLP) – Premium grade mineral based as per HLP but with improved viscosity temperature behaviour (VI>140).
· Biodegradable hydraulic oil – HETG, HEPG, HEES and HEPR – A developing technology and is yet to replace mineral oils in all applications. Storage and service life is limited, particularly at elevated temperatures.
· Fire Resistant Fluids (ISO12922 – HFA, HFB, HFC and HFD) – HFA,HFB and HFC contain water solutions and must only be used with specifically designed products. Not suitable for systems containing aluminium and some paint products. Seal compatibility must be checked.
For Hydraproducts powerpacks we recommend the following:-
HPU and HPR Micro powerpacks
HPM Mini packs
HPS Standard Hydraulic power units
Some sources of these oils would be:-
HM32 – Shell Hydrau HM32 – Castrol Hyspin VG32
HLP32 – Shell Tellus 32 – Castol Hyspin AWS32
HVLP32 – Shell Tellus S3V 32 – Castrol Hyspin HVI 32
Where environmentally sensitive fluids are required the use of Castrol Carelube HES32 can be employed in all our products, for light and medium duty ONLY.
Where a small level of fire resistance desirable then the use of a Castrol Anvol SWX FM HFDU fluid may be implemented in all of our products, for light and medium duty ONLY.
When connecting a DC hydraulic power pack to the battery it is important to get the cable sizing correct. The battery cable will carry high currents and they must be sized to minimise voltage drops. When a DC powerpack is running at full load currents up to 300 amps can be required.
Maximum current draw of your DC powerpack can be estimated as follows, but for exact current figures the dc motor performance curves must be referred to.
On many vehicles and trailers the battery can be mounted some distance from the power pack the length of the battery cables must be considered. This is because the voltage drop calculation is proportional to the resistance of the battery cables and therefore the amount of copper used.
These figures are based on the use of a Tri-rated cable (BS6231) as this a flexible and high temperature multi-stranded high current cable. Battery cable must be terminated with crimped ring ends, ensuring these are securely tightened onto battery and dc hydraulic power pack terminals.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines can cause excessive voltage drop in the cables at full load current. This can cause damage to the power pack and also result in dangerous overheating of the cables and connected equipment. The use of a suitably sized fuse is recommended.
In the mobile hydraulic industry there are a wide range of safety and conformity regulations that should be adhered to for both safety and product performance and reliability.
The E Mark is an ECE mark to designate approved vehicles and vehicle components sold in the EU.
The E11 Mark is the British specific Mark that covers equipment/vehicles supplied to the automotive industry. This includes commercial vehicles, construction machinery and general vehicle use and basically means the unit has been approved by ECU compliance and quality control regulations.
The E Mark number differs dependent on which country the product inspection had taken place in. So, Germany for example uses the E1 Mark while Turkey uses the E37 Mark.
When businesses buy new products they expect that product to live up to expectations and do what it is claimed to do. When dealing with DC hydraulic power packs this is crucial as the safety implications of such a unit failing when in use could be catastrophic and cost a business dearly.
To achieve the E11 status in the UK, a DC hydraulic power pack product must meet EMC standards. To certify this is the case an approved test house must be engaged to carry out and verify compliance. As well as this a COP must be in place, this is essentially a quality control plan to ensure all future manufacturing is done to the same standard. This is externally verified periodically.
The E Mark system was implemented in the 2004/104/EC directive for the regulated movement of electronic goods used for motor vehicles around Europe.
It’s no secret that water can cause incredible damage to any hydraulic system.
If you’ve been a hydraulic system engineer for some time, you may have already seen a system that has cloudy oil in it. Cloudy oil is the result of having so much water in oil that it is above the saturation level. Most often the saturation level will be at 200 to 300 ppm at a temperature of 68°F or 20°C.
Going the other way on the scale, by reducing water in a system, you can increase the life of it by a significant amount. For example, by ensuring that it’s at a level that is lower than 100 ppm, the life of a bearing could be increased by 150%. (According to Timken Bearing Company in their Stauff Contamination Control Program).
If oil is cloudy, then it will have at least 200 ppm of water in it. Of course, the greater the level of water in the oil, the more issues you’ll have in terms of performance and reliability. We once had a look at a system for a client and it had more than 10,000 ppm of water which is more than 1%.
Here’s a checklist of why you don’t want water in your hydraulic fluid:
· It decreases the presence of some additives
· It reacts with some additives to make corrosive products that will attack metals
· Clogs filters
· Increases cavitation
· Increases air entrapment
· Reduces lubrication
Although if you do your own research, you may come across information that states that having 0.1% of water in your system is perfectly acceptable, according to the Timken Bearing Company report, it is far better to have as little as 0.01% of water in your hydraulic fluid as it will increase life expectancy of bearings in their case, but components etc. in ours.
If that isn’t enough information to convince you, then take note that 500 ppm of water and over can even create micro-biological contamination if you have the following elements also present:
· Food: i.e. nitrogen, carbon or phosphorous from the oil
· Oxygen: there is usually between 7 and 10% of air in hydraulic oil
· Temperature: bacterial growth can occur between 24°C and 49°C
· Low flow: the reservoir is a great place for breeding to take place
· Particles: these will help to transport and colonizing
Although you will need each of the above present to help keep bacterial growth going, water is what is behind the success of it. Therefore, keeping your oil dry is critical in stopping growth.
Offshore containers for Hydraulic Power Units (HPU)
Hydraulic equipment that is used and transported on and off ships is often housed within a container. Hydraulic power units are commonly required for Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Winches. This would be normally designed to meet Offshore or Maritime standards.
The offshore containers are designed for moving around supply ship decks and must withstand dynamic loads from “snatching” of installation cranes.
The portable offshore container has a maximum gross weight less than 25,000 kg for continuous transport of goods and equipment, and will be handled in open seas between fixed or floating platforms and decks. This differs from the containers used in the containerised transport of goods on a ship.
The offshore container will be designed and certified to meet the DNV Standard for Certification No 2.7-1 (April 2006) with effect from in 1989. This standard was introduced as the sea transport container standard (ISO 1496) was not intended offshore containers.
Basically the offshore container must be “tough” to support this DNV 2.7-1 focuses on strength and integrity in all stages of transport.
· shoreside (by fork lift truck)
· supply vessel
· craning on and off offshore platforms
Containers must have sufficient strength so not to suffer failure when subjected to extreme loads that may be encountered during offshore movements.
Containers designed according to DNV 2.7-2 will largely meet the design and certification needs to also satisfy CSC (Convention for Safe Container), IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code) and the ISO1496 standards.
Whilst DNV 2.7-2 focus generally on the dimensions and weights another standard that runs alongside this is the European Standard EN12079. The bulk of this standard concentrates on the safety and recording documentation. Sections of EN12079 (Offshore containers and associated lifting sets) will shape the general design:-
● An offshore container should be designed to allow loading and unloading in wave heights to 6 m
● Must have an outer framework and pad eyes at or near the top
● Protrusions to be avoided
● Designed to withstand temperature of -20℃
● Must withstand 30˚ angle without tipping
The owners or representative are responsible for recording and maintaining certification of all containers. Periodic inspection including records of substantial repair, modification must ensure traceability.
Transit crash frames give essential protection for Offshore HPU’s. Hydraproducts can offer guidance on how to comply with the standards necessary when handling marine quality hydraulic power packs.
For most hydraulic applications, induction type variants are commonly used comprising of single phase to 3 phase motors.
To answer this question, we need to look at the type of application you are using and its function. So, for example, if you need a motor for a commercial vehicle application such as a tipper, tailift or trailer the DC motor will suit your needs, whereas AC motors are more commonly found in car lifts, security barriers and dock levellers.
It is therefore always necessary to specify your end use application first when enquiring about which motor you require.
One important fact to remember when positioning your electric motor on a power unit is its location away from other components. It is always recommended to leave sufficient space to allow the motor to breathe effectively especially if your system will be running high temperatures.
As well as the motor mountings, the general level of the ground the power unit stands on should be even as any kind of tilt could affect the motor should it suffer any short circuit forces while operational.
Electric motors are typically configured to run to temperatures from -20C up to +40C and the information on the motors running plate should be strictly adhered to.
• Take care to avoid rotating parts on the motor whilst it is in operation
• While the unit is energised it is imperative that the terminal boxes are not touched or opened as this could lead to a safety hazard
In order to maintain the reliability of the motor, manufacturer service schedules should be strictly adhered to and individual motor components such as seals and bearings should be regularly inspected for any wear or damage and replaced as necessary.
Hydraulic Power Pack
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