Presented by Meagan Santos from Hydac USA
Hydraulic systems run only so long before oil and filters need changing. Meagan Santos, an application engineer with Hydac USA, will refresh attendees with a presentation on filtration fundamentals, gearbox filtering and cooling, hydraulic power units, and brake system best practices.
“We’ll bring some equipment samples to pass around. One will be a gearbox-lubricant filter, cut-away to show construction and how it works,” says Santos. Most filter systems are 2-stage designs so the samples will illustrate the two stages and the bypass protection. “Same thing with gearbox breathers,” she adds.
Oil cooling will also get attention. “We’ll bring cutaway samples to show inside the core. Most cooling systems are oil-to-air, using either forced or passive air to cool the oil,” she says. One detail to illustrate with the cutaway, from the standpoint of best practices, is to show its convoluted air pathways. These require cleaning. “You have to take a little care cleaning the cooling fins so we’ll show where things get caught in the small passageways,” says Santos
She will also give an overview of the lube system to show where the gearbox oil flows, how much of it flows to the cooler, and a view of the functions.
With respect to best practices, Santos’ presentation will talk about changing the filter element. “For example, ideally, you drain the housing and you don’t put dirty oil back in on the clean side, things like that,” she says. There are also best practices for taking oil samples. Simple things like flushing the lines first, using clean containers, and properly labeling them with needed information. She will also cover checking the oil level in the gearbox and verifying oil level.
Charging accumulators will also get a portion of the presentation. Accumulators work in general hydraulic systems and some are found on hydraulic pitch and yaw controls.
There are proper methods for charging one. “For example, you want to charge the nitrogen slowly, because if done fast, you can generate a shock and damage the accumulator,” says Santos.
Furthermore, she observes, there are OEM filters and then there are aftermarket options. “So you can go to a finer filtration or larger capacity to change the service interval if the original equipment is not lasting long enough,” she says.
Technicians should also be aware that when a site has high humidity issues, there is an option of a water removal feature as part of the filter.
In addition to general maintenance, there is special maintenance. If you have a turbine with too much water in the oil, rather than go through normal procedures, consider taking a filter cart up tower to filter the oil and remove the water. That operation can take a few days. “We’ve also seen fancy water-removal devices that are not cost effective, so we are looking at an absorptive media, material to remove free water, as opposed to dissolved water.”
WindTech 2012 will be held in Sweetwater, Texas, November 29 and 30. Register here: www.windtechevents.com
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