Mobile applications of hydraulics systems are possible because of mini power packs. Some specific examples of these applications are tipper trucks, forklifts, and sanitation trucks. Because of the small size of a compact power unit, it is capable of providing high pressure and low flow, at an economical price.
Different types of hydraulic power units
Hydraulic power units are characterised according to specifications. Based on how the power unit functions; the classifications are:
- Single-acting hydraulic power unit
- Double-acting hydraulic power unit
In terms of output, a Mini Hydraulic Power pack comes in DC or AC units. The tank installation of a power pack is also distinguished as either horizontally or vertically mounted.
Components of a hydraulic power unit
The following are the main components of a hydraulic power unit which converts the primary drive source into hydraulic flow:
- Internal combustion motor or engine
- Hydraulic pump
- Tank or reservoir
- Filtration inlet pump
- Pressure filtration pump
- Return filter
The primary drive source of the power pack is either direct from the motor’s battery or alternating current. The power produced moves the fluid flow and pressure. The next phase of the unit function is in the hydraulic pumps. Choosing a hydraulic pump depends on the required flow, pressure, cost, and noise produced.
The purpose of a hydraulic reservoir is to store the oil needed for individual components to operate. The reservoir also ensures that oil remains in optimum working condition. Another vital part of a hydraulic power unit is the filtration which minimises wear and tear. The strainers ensure that large contaminants do not enter the pumps.
The control section of a hydraulic power unit
The control components of a hydraulic power pack monitor many of the essential functions of the unit.
- Pressure control valve. The purpose of a pressure valve is to regulate or restrict the pressure within the system.
- Directional control valve. These valves direct the fluid flow and can be electrical, manual, or pneumatic.
- Oil level and temperature switch
- Pressure switch
- Filter block switch
The unit also needs to be able to control the temperature because efficiency will be reduced if the unit continues to work at very high temperatures.
The auxiliary components of a power pack
The auxiliary or miscellaneous parts of a power pack may only play supporting roles but are equally important. Depending on the model or type of power pack, auxiliary components may vary. Some examples of these parts are accumulators, switches, suction pipes, and central manifold.
- Tank. The tank also functions as a heat sink, air separation medium, and reservoir for impurities.
- Central manifold. It is the part that connects the gear pump and motor which also acts to simplify the piping and, in turn, makes the integrated control valves compact. Depending on the specifications of the power pack, the central manifold can be replaced with a different manifold control valve, thus making the unit more versatile.
The specifications of a hydraulic power unit are essential to ensure that it suits the intended application. Although most power packs are versatile and intended for mobile use, finding the right unit will guarantee functional efficiency and reliability.
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