As you know, handling a hydraulic system means controlling the flow of pressurized hydraulic fluids. Hydraulic systems are comparatively easy to install and maintain. But, sometimes they are risky too. The important reasons for hydraulic system failure are over-temperature, over-pressure, contamination, etc… In this article, the discussion is on how your hydraulic system can be protected from over-temperature. Temperature is one of the crucial reasons for system failure and hazards.
We consider the hydraulic system as heat generators. The continuous flow of fluid through the system, the friction between system components, long-time operations, and many other factors together will increase the temperature of the fluid. This increased temperature will affect the viscosity of fluid, increases system wear, damages the lubricative film, increases the risk of cavitation, internal leakages and thus reduces the lifespan of the system. Most of these concerns of hydraulic system overheating can be solved by choosing an effective method for the system cooling.
There are two methods to prevent overheating issues in the hydraulic system. The first method is by improving the reservoir size and by using a large volume of hydraulic fluid that can neglect the generated temperature. But, this approach is expensive and creates hydraulic fluid wastage. Comparatively, the second method is more efficient and here the circulating hydraulic fluid is passed through certain cooling components for reducing heat. Mostly this cooling component will be oil coolers. A system with an oil cooler for heat reduction can be operated for a long period effectively without overheating.
Also Read: Maintaining The Temperature of Hydraulic System
What is an Oil Cooler?
Oil coolers are also known as heat exchangers. The primary function of the oil cooler in the hydraulic system is preventing the system from over-temperature. Oil coolers in both closed and open hydraulic system will pass the hydraulic oil through a coil or core to reduce the generated heat of the oil. Also, this cooling component can mitigate the effect of environmental surroundings. The following are the other important benefits of using oil coolers.
- Stable cooling and filtration performance
- Unaffected by fluid flow and duty cycle variation.
- The size of the oil cooler can be varied on the basis of heat load
- Extend the life of the hydraulic system and hydraulic oil
- Pressure in the return line doesn’t affect the oil cooler. Because it is placed separately
- Improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the system
- Easy to maintain and repair.
- Entire system shut down not required for repair/maintenance
Hydraulic oil coolers are used in different industries like agricultural, manufacturing, automobile, etc… The important components required for the construction of hydraulic oil coolers are oil reservoir, cooling fan, relief valve, filter, mini hydraulic motor, etc… The size of the oil cooler is directly related to the heat load. For a system with higher heat generation, the cooler sizing needs to be proportionally greater to withstand that load. The other major consideration in choosing a hydraulic oil cooler are flow required, desired oil temperature, oil viscosity, and more.
Air-cooled oil coolers and water-cooled oil coolers are the two important categories of oil coolers used in the hydraulic system. In the air-cooled oil cooler, it will be equipped with electric or hydraulic ventilator and it cools down the heated fluid by streaming air through it. The water-cooled oil cooler utilizes liquids for cooling the hydraulic oil. This cooler is more efficient, quieter and compact in size. To prevent contamination of both fluids, a barrier is used for separation.