A hydraulic system transfers power via a pressurised fluid.
The fluid used is oil (specific oil for hydraulic systems) whose main feature is to be incompressible. The different parts are interconnected by the specific high-pressure pipes.
Main advantages of installing an oil hydraulic system on board
- Proportionality Devices can be controlled in a proportional way (thus managing the amount of power delivered via a joystick)
- Maximum flexibility and customisation Devices can be added or modified without the need to change the system Devices with very different characteristics can be connected (e.g. warping motors and thrusters)
- Continuous service You can take full advantage of devices without a time limit and without damaging them
- Reduced dimensions, less weight While the tank requires some adequate space where to be accommodated, hydraulic motors are relatively small and light compared with AC motors
- Minimum maintenance
An hydraulic system consists of at least three units of components:
- The generator unit in which mechanical energy is transformed into hydraulic energy.
The generator unit consists of a pump and a tank.
The pump ensures a flow rate and oil pressure according to the rotation speed.
The tank ensures sufficient oil for the different devices and cools and filters the oil.
- The control unit, consisting of control valves which regulate the right oil pressure and flow rate for each device and that permit inverting direction.
- The group of appliances (windlasses, thrusters etc.)which use the oil under pressure coming from the pump to generate a rotation (motor) or a translation (actuator)