A short guide to hydraulic pumps, control panels, and power units

Hydraulic pump | Bygging-Uddemann

Before anything else, what is a hydraulic pump, a hydraulic control panel, or a hydraulic power unit?

  • A hydraulic pump is a component of hydraulic drive systems that converts mechanical power into hydraulic energy. They are used to power various hydraulic heavy lifting equipment such as rod and strand climbers.
  • A hydraulic control panel controls the operation of the pump unit. They are complete electrical control units that allow for the automatic operation of the hydraulic system.
  • A hydraulic power unit, or power pack, can refer to one of two things: a complete unit of hydraulic high-pressure hydraulic oil pumps of various types, including oil lines with fitting, or as “the motor” of different kinds of high-pressure hydraulic pumps.

How does a hydraulic pump work?

A hydraulic pump is a mechanical device that converts mechanical power into hydraulic energy and can generate flow with power that is sufficient to overcome pretty much any pressure induced by the load. A hydraulic pump works by two fundamental functions: First, the mechanical action creates a vacuum at the pump inlet which, in turn, allows atmospheric pressure to force liquid into the pump’s inlet line. Secondly, the mechanical action delivers this liquid to the pump outlet and then forces it into the hydraulic system.

Listed below are the main components of a hydraulic pump:

  • Hydraulic system
  • Electric motor
  • Oil pump
  • Oil reservoir
  • Operating valve
  • Ball valve
  • Filter cartridge
  • Pressure gauge
  • Pressure guided return valve
  • Return line oil filter

How to: Hydraulic pump maintenance

The lack of maintenance of hydraulic systems is the leading cause of system and component failure. It is very important to understand and carry out proper maintenance techniques of a hydraulic oil pump system to ensure uptime and quality. This includes both preventative maintenance as well as corrective maintenance. 

Listed below are some basic maintenance procedures and protocols to be followed:

  • Identify the hydraulic system’s operating conditions
  • Understand the requirements and operating parameters for preventive maintenance and hydraulic fluid
  • Check the level of hydraulic fluid inside the hydraulic pump
  • Check the hydraulic system for leaks
  • Change the hydraulic filters and filter the hydraulic fluid
  • Clean the inside and outside of the hydraulic reservoir
  • Check and record the hydraulic pressure and pump flow

And there you have it, a brief introduction to the hydraulic pump system and a few hydraulic pump accessories, what they are and their application areas.