Even if you own a lot of hydraulic equipment, you still might not really know what a hydraulic power unit is – hey, just because you own it doesn’t mean you know every component and system that’s in it.
Technically speaking, hydraulic power units are the main driving components of hydraulic systems and include a motor, hydraulic pump, and reservoir for the hydraulic fluid. The fluid is put under pressure and is used to move mechanical components such as arms, blades, brakes, buckets, and more. Working in harmony, these elements make up a hydraulic power unit and can generate a tremendous amount of power to run a wide range of hydraulic equipment, such as machine tools, construction equipment, material handling systems, food processing machinery. You get the picture.
OK, so how much power does a hydraulic unit have?
Well, that depends. Speaking technically once again, hydraulic power units are based on something called Pascal’s Law of Physics and get their power from ratios of area and pressure – the more of each, the more power generated. Some important factors that can affect hydraulic power unit performance and the power it generates are its physical size and pumping strength, which is determined by the reservoir volume (how much hydraulic fluid it can hold), power capability, and pressure limits. The science behind all this is actually pretty simple: force is applied at one point and transmitted to another point using an incompressible fluid (usually on oil).
What’s cool about hydraulic power units is that it’s pretty easy to multiply the force in theory – simply change the size of one piston and cylinder relative to the other and you can increase or decrease the hydraulic power unit’s power.
So how much power does a hydraulic power unit have? If you’ve bought the right hydraulic equipment for the right job, as much as you need it to.