One type of hydraulic system you don't want
One of our members (name withheld for reasons you'll understand in a moment) sent me this beauty:
An interesting article for this newsletter? As you can see, he did offer.
There are four problems here:
Let's take a look at each in more detail.
Being cheap to the penny
With hydraulics, like most other things, you get what you pay for. Design on price alone (especially if you don't know what you're doing) and you'll end up with a load of rubbish. Which is exactly what we've got here.
Oh sure, there's lots of hydraulic equipment users out there who don't know any better. And plenty of equipment builders who are short-sighted enough to accommodate them.
But if this guy can't build a properly engineered system, fit for the purpose and get his oilfield customers to pay that price - whatever it may be, he should go find something else to do. I mean, someone please remind me what the price of oil is at the moment? Sheesh.
If you are going to go 'cheap' you need to know what you're doing. By that I mean: what you can and can NOT get away with. I don't think it would be possible to come up with a more inefficient hydraulic system than the one we've got here. Let's take a quick look at what it comprises:
Have I upset anyone yet? Write this in blood: EVERY component in a hydraulic system is a heat generating device. But some are much worse, read: more inefficient, than others.
So if you grab a whole bunch of the most inefficient ones and throw them together, you better make sure you've got a BIG cooler. But wait, the 'budget' won't allow for a cooler will it? Darn it then, let's just cross our fingers and hope it will work OK without one. It's false hope.
Asking the wrong questions and looking for a 'silver bullet'
He knows he's got an overheating problem. And he's also at least vaguely aware that his choice of components is a contributing factor. But he's completely paralyzed by his wallet.
Asking: "How can I get this hydraulic system to run cool without sending any more money?" is futile.
Because it presupposes there is a magic solution. One which will defy the physical laws at the root of the problem. There is no such solution.
So what is the answer? Well despite this member's protestations to the contrary, I reckon I could design a power unit around a variable displacement piston pump and still be cost-competitive enough to consign his cheap 'n nasty version to the scrap heap. It would definitely be a lot simpler. And it would certainly work out cheaper in the long run.
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