Summer is here and it’s bringing the heat! You know what else brings the heat? Hydraulic equipment! That’s right, heat—whether you want it or not—is generated by hydraulic equipment. It is important to understand how heat impacts hydraulic systems and how you can reduce heat generation in your system. Keep reading to learn more about heat generation and its effect on hydraulic systems!
Heat is most simply explained as a form of energy that is associated with the motion of molecules. In a hydraulic system, heat is defined in a slightly more workable manner to help people better understand. Essentially, consider heat as when fluid flows from a high to low pressure, without producing a mechanical work output.
In a hydraulic system, there are a few causes of heat generation. The first is flow restriction or throttling. This occurs when flow controls are used to create a pressure drop. Another cause of heat generation in a hydraulic system is excessive flow velocities. When fluid conductors are sized incorrectly, excessive heat is generated. Slippage in pumps, internal valve leakage, gas-filled accumulators, and non-regenerative release of potential energy are other ways that heat is generated in hydraulics.
Heat has some detrimental effects on the components in a hydraulic system. The most detrimental effect caused though, is when heat breaks down the oil. Oil temperatures should be strictly maintained for optimum performance and at high temperatures, oil oxidation increases. This effectively shortens the fluids life by creating sludge and acids that will eventually corrode metal parts.
If you are looking to reduce heat generation in your system there are a few steps that you can take. The first is to unload the pump when pressure is not required. You can also increase the size of the reservoir to the biggest size practical for your system. Additionally, setting the main system relief lower or placing the tank in a location that provides the greatest air flow are other options to reduce heat generating in a hydraulic system.
Heat can wreak havoc on a hydraulic system and it’s important to know how to handle that. If you are struggling to reduce unwanted heat generation in your hydraulic system or have any other hydraulic needs, contact Bernell Hydraulics today! Since 1977, we’ve been providing exemplary hydraulic services in Riverside, CA and the surrounding areas. Not only do we offer preventative maintenance services for hydraulics, but we also provide emergency 24/7 hydraulic repair services and custom builds. With over 42 years of experience, you can trust Bernell Hydraulics with any hydraulics job, large or small. We have four conveniently located retail stores carrying full lines of hydraulic components, so stop in or call 800-326-7252 to learn more about our services!