Wheelchair lifts are commonly driven by hydraulics, due to the compact size of the hydraulic actuators and pumps. Often configured in a similar way to a scissor lift these platforms enable wheelchair movements between floor levels.
Hydraulic lifts are used to enable public access free access to shops and public buildings. The Disability Discrimination Act was passed in 1995 requires equal access for wheelchair users. Through floor lifts are common place and allow wheelchair to access upper floor levels.
Principle of operation:
To raise a disability lift the hydraulic power pack must be started. This will enable the hydraulic pump to deliver oil under pressure into the hydraulic ram.
To lower the hydraulic platform lift a solenoid activated check valve is energised passing the oil in the hydraulic ram to flow back into the tank under the weight of the lift. It is critical that this is done under control so the wheelchair moves at a maximum speed.
Hydraulic wheelchair lift components
Hydraulic Power Pack
- Micro hydraulic powerpacks are favored by the wheelchair lift as they are very compact and can be incorporated into the frame of the disabled lift.
- Hydraulic Powerpacks with motor and pump specifically designed for low noise are normally fitted to the through floor lift. This is important as the are found in shops, hotels and domestic lifts.
- Both these style of hydraulics power units are compact and bring together the electric motor, hydraulic pump and oil reservoir into one package.
- A vital part of the lift these hydraulic cylinders will be carefully integrated into the lift structure. Construction is of standard welded type and pressures rarely exceed 210bar.
- Due to lifting regulations the speed of movement must be controlled. Hydraulic flow control valves are often incorporated into the cylinder base.