Why Install Hydraulic Oil Coolers

The high-pressure hydraulic oil used to transmit and transfer power throughout your equipment generates a great deal of heat. If you don’t take steps to regulate its temperature, you risk damaging the pump, destroying your machine and endangering workers nearby. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to this problem: installing a hydraulic oil cooler.

Hydraulic oil coolers are designed to remove excessive heat from the fluid used to lubricate machinery, vehicles and mechanical equipment. They work by transferring thermal energy from the hydraulic oil to a cooling medium, typically air or water. Coolers are available as a separate component or a complete system, including fans, pumps, shrouding and bypass valves. They can be mounted on the tank, wall or floor and can be positioned remotely for added convenience.

While it’s not possible to eliminate all the sources of hydraulic heat, a properly installed hydraulic oil cooler can substantially reduce the issue. In fact, a well-designed hydraulic oil cooler will help to extend the life of your equipment and maximize its performance.

The hydraulic oil cooler removes heat by passing the hydraulic fluid through a network of tubes exposed to a constant flow of low-temperature coolant. The coolant absorbs the excess heat from the hydraulic oil, and the cooled hydraulic fluid sheds that heat into the environment.

Coolers for hydraulic systems are commonly referred to as “heat exchangers.” The heat exchanger’s primary function is to prevent the lubricating oil in closed or open hydraulic systems from over-heating. Over-heating can result in reduced hydraulic system efficiency, excessive wear of the reservoir, piping and hardware, and decreased lubrication efficiency.

All hydraulic machines generate heat as they operate. Internal motor and pump leaks, hoses and valves all contribute to the heat load. The hydraulic fluid itself is a heat-generator, and the high temperatures produced by the pistons and other components cause it to lose its non-compressible viscosity, turning the once-productive hydraulic oil into a system-degrading goop.

As such, a hydraulic oil cooler must be sized appropriately to address the maximum system (oil entering) and reservoir (oil exiting) temperature limits. The actual thermal load created during operation varies throughout the machine’s cycle, and environmental factors also play a role in defining cooling requirements.

Bowman’s range of hydraulic oil coolers includes models suitable for a wide variety of applications and operating conditions. They are offered in round tube and fin designs, as well as shell and tube styles that use either a water or air flow to cool the hydraulic oil. They can be supplied with SAE oil flange connections, or with BSP fittings for marine installations. They are typically made from stainless steel or brass, and can be fitted with bypass valves for increased performance and ease of maintenance. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive line of mobile hydraulic coolers. These coolers can be used on mulchers, log splitters and other hydraulically driven attachments for skid steers, excavators, tractors and other construction equipment.

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