Hydraulic power units are common in many different industries, including automotive, aerospace and manufacturing. In fact, they can be found in many everyday objects, such as the braking system in your car, dishwashers and petrol pumps.
What is it?
A hydraulic power unit is a self-contained unit that supplies the hydraulic pressure needed to power a hydraulic system. In a hydraulic system, power is transmitted through the circulation of a pressurised fluid into a motor that converts it into mechanical output). The hydraulic power unit provides the necessary power. A unit usually contains a motor, fluid reservoir and pump.
How does it work?
When a hydraulic power unit is employed, hydraulic fluid is pulled out of the tank by the gear and moved into an accumulator (a container attached to the actuator). Once the pressure within the accumulator reaches a predetermined level, a pumping action begins, and fluid starts to circulate. Fluid is released by the pump via a charging valve and back into the tank. If pressure drops significantly, the charging valve reactivates and the accumulator refills with fluid.
What special features can a hydraulic power unit have?
There are many different types of hydraulic power units available, with different physical and performance specifications. All are equipped with a pump, but this can be a single motor pump or multiple devices with just one operating at a time.
Many hydraulic power units also have air coolers or fans which are installed to prevent temperatures from rising above predetermined levels. Alternatively, the temperature may need to be raised by the use of a heating agent such as an oil-based heater.
In addition, most hydraulic power units will have a controller with an interface displaying monitoring information.
What to consider when choosing a hydraulic power unit?
One of the most important considerations is the motor, which provides the unit’s power. The motor’s horsepower, pressure and pumping efficiency are all vitally important to prevent burnout and reduced efficiency. Other considerations include the type of motor (electric, gasoline or diesel), reservoir volume, unit size, pressure limits and power capacity.