Reducing Horsepower Loss in Hydraulic Systems

Blog | January 12th, 2018

Mysterious loss factors don’t simply leach horsepower away from a hydraulic system. That kind of magical thinking would solve a lot of headaches, but it’s not exactly the most logical way of looking at the issue. In reality, there are causative forces in play. Guilty of plundering a systems’ energy transmitting faculties, equipment designers are finding ways to reduce the horsepower losses, ways that necessitate a carefully implemented balancing act.

Categorising Horsepower Reductions 

Attenuated fluid energy hampers mobile hydraulic functionality. The equipment becomes unresponsive and unreliable when the fluid lacks impetus. Worse still, the gear can no longer be relied upon as a rock-solid load manipulator. Like a chronic health condition, the problems intensify, performance characteristics go downhill, and a general malaise sets in within the machine frame. What’s causing the horsepower reduction? Deep in the hydraulic circuit, inefficient proportional actuators are failing. Meanwhile, directional control devices are working too hard while fluid contamination issues aggravate the problem. Elsewhere, deflected flow conditions are impairing power flow. Heat is the result. The heat is actually all of this system interference amassing as a horsepower enfeebling whole.

Horsepower Loss Reduction Solutions 

With that interference condition fully active, the heat soaks the equipment. Consequently, expansion and contraction problems worsen, then the vicious cycle starts again. The power impairment sequence needs to be broken. We do this by weighing the costs imposed by the primary input pump. Fixed and variable capacity displacement pumps both have much to offer, so consider the duty cycle of a specific application when selecting a horsepower production source. Similarly, system managing actuators cause pressure drops when they’re in motion, but this drop can be regulated so that the horsepower loss is mitigated. Finally, what about the hoses and fittings that channel the horsepower? They’re not perfect. In fact, a clogged hose can become a significant heat loss source. All of those pipes and fittings, perhaps clogged or loaded with a contaminated fluid, act as heat radiating surfaces, even though they’re shaped as thin tubes. Reduce liminal horsepower loss in a hydraulic system by addressing fitting and pipe deterioration problems.

And so it goes, this chronic heat loss predicament. Some thermal spikes are natural here, but only the balancing act described above can really keep the temperature firmly under control. Fixed and variable displacement characteristics must match the duty cycle of the specified application. Next, the pressure drops across the control valves will require some adjustment. Finally, keep those hoses and fittings clear, for these fluid channels can displace massive quantities of lost heat.

Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road
Keysborough, Victoria, 3173

Phone: (03) 9798-6511

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