overheating hydraulic system

Hot to Locate Abnormal Heat Load

Overheating problems can come from two areas: 

The cooling circuit or the hydraulic system.

If the indications are that the cooling circuit is functioning satisfactorily but the system is overheating – then we need to locate the source of the ‘abnormal’ heat load.

When fluid moves from a high pressure zone to a low pressure zone we call this pressure drop.

When a pressure drop occurs WITHOUT useful work, heat is generated. For example, the pressure drop across the ports of a properly functioning motor produces torque at the motor’s drive shaft and ultimately useful work.

On the other hand, the pressure drop across a relief valve doesn’t produce any work, so this energy is converted to heat – which is an undesirable heat load on the system.

Because a pressure drop without useful work creates heat, an infra-red thermometer can often be used as a quick and effective means of locating abnormal heat load.

For example, if oil is passing over a relief valve, the localized heat generation means this component will be hotter than the rest of the system.

Craig Cook

Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved.