Hydraulic Systems

A hydraulic systems is a mechanism operated by the resistance or the pressure transmitted when a liquid is forced through a small opening or tube.

In general, hydraulic systems provide a drive or transmission arrangement that utilises pressurised liquid to power mechanisms within multidiscipline machinery. They are an integral part of complex machinery and equipment where the power to weight ratio is to be kept to a minimum and space constraint are to be observed.

A simple hydraulic system comprises four main components or sections: the power unit, the control station, the interconnecting pipe work and, finally, the actuator. Each of these sections has several individual components that form the complete section. Each of these individual components has a unique and specific function which is integral to the operation of the complete machine. Complete systems would also include a fluid reservoir, control valves and pressure and temperature regulators.

Carful design and accurate calculations are required to determine suitable components that will work efficiently, safely and reliably in the hydraulic systems and thus provide a long and trouble free working life-span for the complete machine. Consideration to noise levels of the hydraulic system is also an important part of this design process; noise cannot be totally eliminated but careful design work and techniques exist to reduce noise to an acceptable level.

KGAL engineers have designed hydraulic systems for numerous applications in our core markets of moving structures (bridges, hoists, linkspans), water control (gates, active barriers and pumping stations) and hydropower (governors, valves and spillways). Our experiences include addressing the most frequent risks to reliability: leakages, stability and oil contamination. Our expertise extends to all calculations (including cost calculations) and design elements to enable the proposed unit to operate dependably and efficiently under the applicable environmental conditions.

The image shows the hydraulic system controlling one pair of lock gates at Cumberland basin lock in Bristol, England where KGAL has provided a number of design services for the whole installation.