First of all, hydraulic power is the means of converting energy from a piston into a much greater power through the use of pressurised fluids, powering everything from forklift trucks to aircraft landing gear, in essence, anything that requires heavy lifting. So what is an HPP? They are self-contained units that can be used anywhere that power or lifting is needed, the smaller ones are portable, making them ideal for use in situations where power is not normally available, particularly outdoor applications such as construction sites.
Their compact design means they can be used in places where space is an issue but a lot of power is still needed. They are an efficient way to use power compared to other motorised solutions, they are easier to maintain as there are fewer moving parts, and the simple controls of levers and buttons mean they are easier to operate and to stop and start. They come in a wide variety of sizes and power options, from micro units up to some the size of a small hatchback.
Electric or Petrol/Diesel power?
The power packs can operate by either electric or combustion engine power. They both exhibit different characteristics in their torque/power ratio and in their delivery of it, so advice should always be sought before deciding which is best for any particular application. A Hydraulic power pack should be chosen with care, a good selection of the available types can be seen here: hydraproducts.co.uk.
In general terms, a diesel or petrol-powered pack needs to run at much higher speeds than an electrical one in order to power the pump. A detailed analysis can be seen here.
What are the component parts?
The pack will usually consist of an accumulator, which has the job of maintaining the pressure by collecting the fluid from the pump. Depending on the system, the power pack can have single or multiple pumps. However, only one is usually in use at any given time. Then there is the tank which contains the fluids which will almost invariably have a filter attached at the top. The filters are self-contained units and can often be changed even during the operation of the power pack. Heaters and coolers are fitted to the pack to ensure that it runs within safe parameters, and finally, there will be the power unit controllers with an array of switches and display monitors.