A hydraulic oil cooler is a heat exchanger that removes excess energy from hydraulic systems. It is a vital component in any mobile, manufacturing or industrial application using hydraulically driven equipment that generates heat during operation. The cooler removes the excess heat and helps to ensure that the system remains within its optimum working temperature range. Without a hydraulic oil cooler, the system could overheat and potentially damage the equipment.
Hydraulic systems use pressurized oil to actuate machine parts. The system needs a certain level of viscosity to function properly, but when the temperature of the hydraulic oil exceeds its operational specifications, it begins to thin. Thin hydraulic oil cannot adequately lubricate the machinery and will increase the risk of mechanical damage.
Typically found in power washers, engines and other equipment that uses hydraulically driven accessories, an oil cooler is designed to remove the heat generated by the cylinders, pumps and motors. The cooler works by transferring the heat from the hydraulic fluid to the cooling medium (either air or water) and then dispersing it to the atmosphere through a series of fins. The cooler can be air cooled, water cooled or both and is generally a round tube and fin design with a floating tube stack.
An important point to consider when selecting a hydraulic oil cooler is the watt/bhr rating of the cooling medium. This is a key factor to consider when calculating the size of the cooler, since the heat load that the system will experience is directly related to the watt/bhr rating of your cooling medium.
Engineers will usually calculate the heat load by determining the maximum temperature of the fluid, estimating ambient air temperatures and then adding a safety factor to account for unexpected increases in operating conditions. The higher the risk of operating in a harsh environment, the more the safety factor should be increased to ensure that the oil cooler will be able to handle the load.
The conductive transfer principle that all oil coolers work on sees the heat in the hydraulic fluid conducted to the cooling medium and then shed into the atmosphere. The cooling medium must be kept at a lower temperature than the oil to achieve this. Most systems utilize a forced-air or forced-water oil cooler with a fan that pushes the cooling medium over the tubes and core to achieve heat transfer.
Bowman offers a wide range of oil coolers to suit all applications. We have air cooled, water cooled and combined units as well as a computer based selection programme to recommend the correct unit for your specific application. Contact us for more information. Our team is always happy to help. hydraulic oil coolers