Though gas-powered, internal combustion engine driven vehicles have been the norm in the automotive industry for over 100 years, electrification is growing. The traditional engine design was efficient, reliable, and easy to use, but gasoline powered vehicles are loud, dirty, and harmful to the environment. Given these drawbacks, electric vehicles have started to gain market share in commercial and personal markets. Public transportation is moving toward electrification at a faster pace than other markets, spurred by the deployment of electric vehicles in China.Electrification brings new challenges
When an electric motor is implemented, the noise created under the hood is significantly decreased. This is a huge benefit of electrically powered vehicles, but also causes noises from other systems to become noticeable. Power steering, A/C systems, and hydraulics introduce a new layer of sounds that can be annoying to drivers and riders.An innovative solution
Parker’s Pump & Motor Division teamed with the Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems Division to create the Electro-Hydraulic Pump System, or eHPS. The eHPS combines the low noise performance of the PGP505H’s helicoidal design with the high performance of the GVM motor, creating a system that provides on-demand power steering, a simplified installation process, high efficiency, and quiet operation. Quiet and powerful, the eHPS is robust enough for most electric bus applications. Benefits of the eHPS include:
The eHPS is ideal for buses and large commercial vehicles that require large amounts of hydraulic power for steering assistance, but also necessitate the quiet operation of an electric system. In addition, the eHPS has IP67 protection, is tested to SAE J1455 vehicle standards, and designed to ISO 16750 standards, making it ideal for replacement applications. Electrification is the future of the automotive industry, and public transit is leading the charge. Learn more about Parker’s innovative new product today.
The Pump & Motor Division is a market leader in gear pump and low speed-high torque gerotor motors, that continues to blaze a trail in the industry by developing new technologies while maintaining the high level of service synonymous with Parker Hannifin. Between its two locations in North Carolina and Tennessee, the division employs decades of industry experience to better serve you and your application.
This article was contributed by CT Lefler, marketing product manager (e-business), Pump & Motor Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
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Phil Meyer, operations manager of the Whitman County Public Works Department, in Washington State, is tireless in his search for the right tools to help his 42-person team maintain over 1,900 miles of roads and 360 bridges and large structures in Southeastern Washington. The department has a daunting workload and inclement weather that can border on the extreme, productivity, durability and versatility are critical requirements of the equipment used at Whitman County. Typical projects include ditching to maintain flow lines, culvert maintenance, placing rip-rap, brush removal, bridge demolition, gabion basket installation, sloping and more.Selecting the best equipment
Meyer's search lead him to Parker, the manufacturer of the PowerTilt Tilting Coupler and PowerGrip Multi-Purpose Jaw Bucket. The construction equipment attachments were exactly what Meyer’s team needed to maintain the county road system by preventing, reducing or restoring the roadway infrastructure and for maintaining the stormwater runoff by providing proper drainage, preventing flooding and road damage. "We switched to PowerTilt from cylinder-style tilting buckets and couldn’t be happier. Our tilting buckets didn’t offer the rotation we needed and weren’t durable enough. PowerTilt provided us with greater angles of rotation and since all moving parts are fully enclosed — PowerTilt has been virtually maintenance free," states Dave Stine, Whitman County equipment operator.Benefits with a wide variety of maintenance projects
The seven PowerTilts and their PowerGrip have been important assets for the Whitman County Public Works department. With PowerTilt and PowerGrip, the department accomplishes most tasks 25 to 50 percent faster. The Whitman County Public Works department has even recommended PowerTilt and PowerGrip to other local agencies such as the Washington State Department of Transportation and the North Latah County Highway Department in Idaho.
The Whitman County Public Works team explained that PowerTilt is extremely effective for shoulder maintenance tasks. Great care is required when ditching and sloping next to fragile habitats and consideration must be paid to the most effective water runoff target zones. The main objective is to provide shoulder stability by creating a smooth transition from roadway surface to shoulder. By utilizing PowerTilt, with 180-degree of smooth rotation, the equipment operator can work primarily from the road surface, diminishing the impact on sensitive roadside vegetation and habitats meanwhile producing the clean “V” shaped ditches the department requires.
When working on a culvert project, PowerTilt virtually eliminates the need for back-breaking manual labor. The PowerTilt is used to angle the bucket to dig around both sides of the pipe. Once the soil is loosened around the pipe, the equipment operator can hook the end of the pipe and lift it right out. With the utilization of a PowerTilt, labor intensive, time-consuming digging by hand is eliminated. Often, using the attachments, most tasks can be accomplished by an equipment operator and a truck driver resulting in efficient utilization of resources.
PowerGrip has proven very helpful in placing rip-rap around bridges as well as for removing the old wooden pilings. PowerGrip has also made life easier when it comes to removing brush and trees from the roadside and right-of-ways. The multi-purpose tool eliminates the need to switch attachments between tasks.The rotary actuator technology
PowerTilt uses Parker’s innovative sliding-spline operating technology to convert linear piston motion into powerful shaft rotation. Each actuator is composed of a housing and two moving parts — the central shaft and piston. As hydraulic pressure is applied, the piston is displaced axially, while the helical gearing on the piston outer diameter and housing’s ring gear cause the simultaneous rotation of the piston. PowerTilt's end caps, seals and bearings all work in tandem to keep debris and other contaminants out of the inner workings of the actuator.Engineered for Durability and Performance
Over a decade of research, innovation and engineering has gone into making the PowerTilt and PowerGrip attachments integral solutions for work site efficiency. PowerTilt’s robust design has allowed Whitman County Public Works to keep a PowerTilt on their machine 100 percent of the time, year-round.
PowerTilt is available for equipment up to 75,000 pounds in eight sizes with standard rotation of up to 180 degrees. Each model is designed for a specific class of machinery and individually customized to fit the carrier. PowerGrip buckets are available for equipment up to 20 tons, in three sizes, with bucket width ranges from 24 inches to 48 inches in the trenching profiles and 48 inches or 60 inches in the ditching profiles.
Within the construction industry, PowerTilt and PowerGrip have built a reputation for their versatility, durability and efficiency – learn more today http://solutions.parker.com/powertilt
This article was contributed by Jessica Howisey, marketing communications manager and Daniel Morgado, applications engineer, Helac Business Unit, Cylinder Division.
Gold Cup Heavy-Duty Pumps and Motors have long been respected in the industry for technical excellence in hydrostatic transmission applications in marine, drilling and shredding applications, among others.
You are also probably aware that the heavy-duty Gold Cup series of pumps and motors represent Parker's and Denison's combined expertise in hydrostatic transmission applications.
Their tried and true design incorporates features such as, integral servo and replenishing pump, hot oil shuttle, and a unique servo control system; all of which combine to provide a rugged self-contained package that can withstand the harshest of conditions and continue to perform with trouble free long life.
But you may not be aware of Gold Cup's, heavy-duty hydrostatic piston pump and motor value-added features and benefits listed below:
For more details, check out Parker's Hydraulic Pump and Power System's You Probably Didn't Know About Gold Cup infographic.
There's more than one way to maintain an asset. Power plant and maintenance managers implement various strategies to prepare for and respond to maintenance issues. While there isn't just one correct way to maintain your machines, each solution offers its advantages and disadvantages.
Selecting your power plant system's optimum maintenance strategy can be the difference between significant downtime and smooth operation to prevent unplanned outages. Note that the best approach for some machines will be different than others. Here are the three most popular and effective strategies that power plant leaders use to maintain their equipment on the plant floor.
Often referred to as "crisis management," this type of maintenance is designed to respond to power plant equipment issues. With this kind of maintenance, repairs are completed when there is a noticeable problem with functionality or condition. For example, if a combustion turbine valve is leaking, maintenance leaders should plan an immediate repair to limit downtime. The complication with this "run-to-failure" approach is the higher probability of unplanned maintenance activities and shutdowns. This type of maintenance also encourages high replacement-part inventories, so power plants that utilize corrective maintenance need to have a high volume of spare parts. While this may not seem like the most efficient strategy, it can still be the most effective type of maintenance for specific components.
But what does this strategy mean for the lifespan of power plant parts? Unplanned maintenance repairs are a result of parts that have gone through wear and tear. A corrective approach could be disastrous for a power plant if backup parts are not available. However, with the proper preparation, it's possible to have a seamless transition and avoid costly downtime.
No matter what maintenance strategy your plant utilizes, having instant access to replacement parts is essential to limit downtime. Parker's Valve Service program aims to replace and refurbish aging fuel and water control valves on 7E and 7F turbines. Due to the many years of service that these valves have seen, wear and corrosion may be reducing their effectiveness.
This time-based maintenance is the shift from unplanned to planned maintenance activities. While corrective maintenance is based on a reactive approach, preventive maintenance takes on a more proactive approach. Scheduled maintenance inspections are intended to reduce or eliminate machine failures on the plant floor. Depending on the frequency of the planned inspections, routine maintenance can cut downtime and lessen the severity of unplanned outages.
Plants that utilize a preventative maintenance strategy are well prepared; however, it could result in unnecessary downtime. If machines and equipment are running efficiently, unneeded inspections can disrupt a plant's production flow. Lost uptime and revenue can be enough reason to use a different maintenance approach.
The bright side to a preventive maintenance approach is fewer unplanned outages, which can result in less wear and tear on an asset. However, it’s important to realize that equipment can still malfunction between scheduled repairs, so it’s still safe to stock up on your parts inventory.
Predictive maintenance, also known as condition-based maintenance, is the most technologically advanced form of maintenance that replaces arbitrary inspection check-ups. Instead of planning inspections when your equipment is functioning at peak performance, predictive maintenance allows your machines to alert you when repairs are needed. Typically, this would be done by monitoring system parameters like pressure, flow rate, or temperature to look for changes over time that may indicate that a component is nearing end of life or needs repair.
Operating costs for this type of maintenance can be expensive due to the instrumentation required to study the system, but it is likely more than offset by reducing unwarranted scheduled inspections and unplanned machine failures. However, predictive maintenance is not always worth the investment depending on the machine or equipment.
This form of maintenance can be great for the longevity of machine parts, as the reduction of failures cuts down on repairs.
Whether planned or unplanned, outages can impact any plant. Due to the unpredictability of an unplanned outage, the proper preparation isn't often implemented. So, when a seasonal planned outage occurs, it's essential to make sure your team is ready. But how do you prepare for an outage, and what should you be thinking about?
Review reports for prior outages
Looking at past reports is the first thing to do when preparing for a planned outage. The purpose of preparation is to reduce downtime and increase efficiency, so it's always a good idea to make contingency plans to learn from past issues.
Perform a pre-outage data review
It's important to evaluate your operations before the outage to see the success of your post-outage overhaul. This assessment will also help find any abnormalities that you should include in the full scope of your outage. Create an initial benchmark to compare to your post outage production.
Make sure your facility is properly equipped
After performing an in-depth evaluation of your plant floor, you'll want to make sure you have your facility equipped in advance. When you don't have the right equipment during an outage, you expose yourself to costly delays or potential injuries from using the wrong equipment. Parker can help set your plant up with spare parts for any aging assets at risk for failure.
There are many more steps to take when preparing for a planned shutdown, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to plan. It is recommended that you begin your shutdown preparation 18-24 months prior to the scheduled shutdown.
Whether you are still preparing for the next planned outage or just operating your plant with one of the maintenance plans above, it is always a good idea to have spare parts on hand. And you can always rely on Parker to make that happen. For years, our goal has been to support power plants with technical and commercial information and to simplify the process of obtaining new products in the most efficient way possible.
In order to address the potential issue at hand, it is important to identify the valves that need attention. These types of aging 7E and 7F turbine valves, which have been in service for 20-30 years, need an inspection. They include:
Click here to learn more and download the FREE Valve Resource Guide.
Article contributed by Mitch Eichler, Business Development Manager, Hydraulic Valve Division, Parker HannifinRelated articles:
Time to Inspect and Service Your Combustion Turbine Valves
Replace Turbine Valves to Prevent Unexpected Shutdowns on the Plant Floor
Eliminate Maintenance Concerns on Gas Turbine Fuel Control Valve
Reduced Maintenance for Dual Fuel Gas Turbines With New Check Valve Design
Nearly every equipment operator has found themselves operating in muddy, mucky conditions whether working on ditches, drainage fields, ponds or other waterlogged environments. Experienced operators know how these harsh conditions can cause wear and tear on their excavator's attachments, shortening the life of their equipment and resulting in costly downtime. For the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR), PowerGrip is just the tool to overcome these job site obstacles. PowerGrip, a versatile, durable multi-purpose bucket with enclosed rotary actuator hinge technology, consistently delivers outstanding performance without suffering the downtime and maintenance issues experienced with cylinder-style buckets.A safer, reliable and durable alternative
Bill Ryan, operations team supervisor at the Wisconsin DNR, has witnessed the durability and reliability of PowerGrip in the field. His skilled team restores miles of fragile trout stream habitat in Wisconsin, which involves bringing back the natural features of the stream that is critical to trout viability such as riffles, pools, meanders and woody debris. The habitat around the stream also must be restored often requiring difficult bank sloping and vegetation removal and replacement. Over a year ago, Wisconsin DNR replaced a cylinder-style jaw bucket on their CAT 320C with a PowerGrip to alleviate the service and maintenance issues they were previously having with the cylinder-style jaw bucket. They also found PowerGrip to be a safer solution as there are fewer external moving parts that they need to contend with, resulting in greater productivity.
"We replaced our cylinder-style jaw bucket with a PowerGrip and couldn’t be happier. Due to the enclosed actuator hinge mechanism, we haven’t had to do anything with it, except complete the tasks on hand. PowerGrip has proved to be safer, more reliable and is extremely durable,”
Bill Ryan, operations team supervisorAn innovative operation design solution
The harsh conditions in and around the stream often wreak havoc on heavy equipment and attachments. PowerGrip is equipped with a durable, enclosed rotary actuator hinge that’s ideally suited for working in muddy, mucky conditions. With the rotary actuator hinge technology offering 120 degrees of jaw movement, there are no exposed cylinders and rods in the bucket shell or clam that can become polluted with debris, leading to attachment malfunctions. The rotating movement is generated by the massive rotating pivot point between the jaw and back of bucket with Parker’s Helac sliding spline operating technology, which converts linear piston motion into powerful shaft rotation. The end caps, seals and bearings work in unison to keep debris and contaminants out of the inner workings of the actuator, prolonging life and reducing required maintenance. High strength, abrasion resistant steel is used throughout for added durability. In over a year, Wisconsin DNR hasn’t had to do any maintenance to PowerGrip, allowing them to get more work done in less time.A versatile tool for multiple tasks
When dealing with the various obstacles inherent in restoring a trout stream, sloping a ditch or building a retention pond, it is imperative to have an adaptable multi-purpose tool that can change jobs on the fly. PowerGrip has been engineered with the flexibility to function as a trenching, grading or clamshell bucket and for gripping and loading. The inherent flexibility of our actuators allows the Wisconsin DNR to keep PowerGrip on their machine 80 to 85 percent of the time, year-round. PowerGrip’s versatility allows operators to accomplish a wide variety of tasks without having to change machines or attachments. When selecting the PowerGrip, the Wisconsin DNR went with the PG-08 product model that’s available for 20-ton machines. PowerGrip buckets are available in three sizes with bucket width ranges from 24 to 48 inches in the trenching profiles and 48 or 60 inches in ditching profiles.Time is precious
Whether you are doing demolition work, road construction, pond building, site-preparation or restoring miles of trout stream; every second counts. Maximizing productivity can prove to be much more than an organizational objective towards profitability, in the case of restoring a fraye trout stream ecosystem - it can prove to be the difference between survival and extinction. PowerGrip increases the tasks a single machine can perform, reducing the number of dedicated-task machines needed on a job site. PowerGrip can do everything a thumb can do, and more. And it’s ready-to-use, pin-on attachment that’s easier to install and operate. There’s no welding, fabrication or in-field measurement needed to install or remove the attachment, saving you valuable time and money.
Learn more about PowerGrip and the wide range of models for excavators and backhoes up to 45,000 pounds by visiting www.parker.com/cylinder
This article was contributed by Jessica Howisey, marketing communications manager and Daniel Morgado, applications engineer, Helac Business Unit, Cylinder Division.
Solar power is the most plentiful source of energy on the planet. Light from the sun can be directly converted to electricity via photovoltaic (PV) cells or by using heliostats, which include mirrors or lenses, to concentrate sunlight to a central receiver that collects the solar energy and converts it to heat (concentrated solar power or CSP). According to the Solar Energy Technologies Office, the thermal energy generated can then be used as a power or heat source in many industrial applications including power generation, water desalination, chemical production, and enhanced oil recovery. Additionally, through the use of thermal storage, CSP technology can provide solar power-on-demand — addressing grid integration challenges caused by solar energy variability. Thermal solar fields and CSP installations require supplemental power to reposition arrays during high wind loads.
A parabolic trough system is a type of CSP technology that is comprised of large mirrors shaped like the letter U. These troughs track the sun during the day. The sun's heat is reflected and sent to a receiver tube that contains a heat-retaining fluid. Basically, this super hot liquid heats water in a heat exchanger and the water turns to steam. The steam is sent off to a steam turbine, and from there, a generator producing electricity. Ultimately recyclable, once the fluid transfers its heat, it's recycled and used over and over. A major benefit of a trough system is that the heated fluid can be stored and used, even on a cloudy day or after the sun has set.
From towers to dishes to linear mirrors to troughs, concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar heat to generate electricity. A single CSP plant can generate enough power for about 90,000 homes. This video from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy explains what CSP is, how it works, and how systems like parabolic troughs produce renewable power.Piston accumulators
Some of the solar installations have an array of solar panels (PV), or parabolic mirrors (CSP) which will move as the sun arcs through the sky. The main goal here is to place the mirror or panel at the proper angle to the sun in order to capture the most energy. This movement may be affected by a hydraulic cylinder, electrohydraulic or all-electric actuator.
Hydraulic piston accumulators can be incorporated into solar tracking systems for several reasons:
For hydraulic actuators, a power source is needed, and an accumulator could be used in two applications within this hydraulic system:
A piston accumulator is a kind of pressure containment vessel. Its function is to absorb hydraulic shock, eliminate pulsation and reduce noise. It can also have the function of energy storage, energy recovery and energy compensation for the system.
The accumulator is comprised of a cylindrical barrel, a piston that travels along a guide rod within this barrel, and end caps with ports on either end of the cylinder – one port exposed to the hydraulic system, and the other port for an isolated, inert gas volume. Hydraulic pressure and oil volume enter into the accumulator on the system side of the piston. This pressure moves the piston within the cylinder barrel, compressing the gas that is on the opposite side of the piston. If hydraulic pressure is lost, as in the event of a hydraulic power unit failure, this highly compressed gas will expand, moving the piston and forcing the hydraulic fluid out of the accumulator into the hydraulic system. This stored energy/pressure can then be used to do work – move a cylinder or actuate a valve.
Watch this video to learn more about a piston accumulator's operation
When used as an auxiliary device of a hydraulic system, an accumulator offers
When used as an auxiliary energy source that augments a hydraulic pump, an accumulator can reduce the pump capacity requirements and can be used as an energy storage link, allowing the stored energy to be quickly distributed. The loading mode and cycle frequency of an accumulator determine the relative longevity of an accumulator, with low cycles resulting in longer operational life. An accumulator plays an irreplaceable role in maintaining the normal operation of the hydraulic system, improving its dynamic quality, maintaining working stability, prolonging working life and reducing noise.
An accumulator is one of the more dangerous parts of a hydraulic system, so special attention must be given to safety during operation. One of the first steps to safety in a hydraulic system is identifying the accumulator. It should be labeled with the part number, manufacturer, serial number, maximum pressure and pre-charge pressure -- a good rule of thumb is to always consult an expert when working with accumulators.
Designed for use in critical hydraulic applications, Parker's SBA Series Accumulator Safety Blocks make it possible to protect, isolate, and discharge hydraulic accumulators from a single device. Each incorporates a shut-off, pressure limiting, and pressure release feature in one housing rated for working pressures to 350 bar. Modular in design, Parker's SBA line uses an integrated manifold approach to reduce plumbing and leak points. All safety blocks have 2 maintenance ports and can be used with bladder, piston, and diaphragm accumulators.
The SBA Series accumulator safety blocks are designed for use in a wide variety of critical hydraulic applications to benefit end-users in several ways including:
Parker SBA Safety Blocks represent a single-unit solution for manufacturers tasked with European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) 97/23/EC compliance. The directive states a safety device must be fitted to all accumulators to provide a shut-off facility, pressure limiting and pressure release function as well as measurement points. A CE-certified relief valve is also included on all units to satisfy PED compliance. New SBA Safety Blocks are suitable for use with all types of accumulators - bladder, piston and diaphragm. Their compact, multi-function design saves space and reduces connections.
"In comparison with traditional safety systems, the new SBA Series makes it possible to protect, isolate and discharge a hydraulic accumulator from a single unit. Each SBA Safety Block incorporates a shut-off, pressure limiting and pressure release feature in a compact and robust housing rated for working pressures up to 350 bar. As leaks are also a safety concern in any hydraulic system, the integrated manifold approach of our product provides added value through the elimination of plumbing and leak points."
Bryan McGehee, application engineer, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Global Accumulator Division
Choosing an accumulator
To ensure safe operation, when choosing an accumulator for a CSP application, it is important to consider the technical requirements and capabilities of the product, as well as the reputation of the supplier and support services they provide. Some key things to look for include:
Questions to ask a supplier include:
Parker piston accumulators, for example, are an optimal choice when fluid energy storage, hydraulic shock adsorption, auxiliary power or supplemental pump flow is required. As the world’s leading manufacturer of hydraulic piston type accumulators, Parker has the ability to combine high volume production along with completely custom designs due to our extensive manufacturing capabilities. This allows us to manufacture the standard line of piston accumulators as well as create highly unique and custom piston accumulators for a wide variety of applications at competitive prices.Features and benefits
Heavy-duty service with high operating pressures up to 20,000 PSI
Noor Energy 1 uses Parker piston accumulators
A recent solar project highlights a few challenges faced by the use of CSP.
The Noor Energy 1, the 950MW CSP+PV solar power project in Dubai, now in Phase 4, has broken a dozen world records in solar CSP history. It has three technologies to produce 950MW of clean energy — 600MW from three parabolic trough CSP plants, 100MW from a solar tower, and 250MW will be generated from photovoltaic panels.
The initial 700MW CSP project will be completed by the end of 2022. The first parabolic trough CSP plant is planned to be operational on August 21, 2021, the central tower CSP plant finished on November 21, 2021, and the second and third parabolic trough plants to be completed by the end of 2022.
8 of the world records for CSP industry made by Noor Energy 1
Article contributed by Spencer Sun, territory sales manager, Industrial Hydraulic - North China, Parker Hannifin with support from the Global Energy Team.
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The lift truck industry is growing not only in volume, but in sophistication. Societal expectations for friendly interfaces, predictable performance, increased productivity, IoT connectivity and environmental safety are raising the bar on lift truck design. Forklift engineering and design teams are confronting a number of challenges that are rapidly transforming major industrial markets worldwide:
Partnering with the right forklift component supplier can help lift truck engineering and design teams take advantage of these trends by providing innovative design concepts that can be customized to meet the characteristic profiles associated with each OEM’s brand.Component Innovations
Parker's forklift products and technologies provide next generation solutions, for example:
Hose Design - An OEM’s initial investment in high-performance hosing is likely to significantly improve dealer, and ultimately customer, satisfaction. A Parker hose using the highest quality of materials and manufactured to withstand the toughest of applications can best fulfill exacting performance requirements.
Display Modules - Parker's compact, easy-to-read, full-color touch screen displays, with graphical programming capabilities, support multiple languages and enable rapid application and customized menu screen development. The electronic displays are compatible with both CAN and USB
communication protocols. Advanced systems can even feature NTSC.PAL video support to help keep your customers’ fleets moving when problems occur.
Gear pumps - Silent fixed-displacement gear pumps for applications demanding noise levels less than 65cb, where high power density is required
ORFS - Seal-Lok’s Trap-Seal™ technology was created to proactively protect against O-ring fallout and pinch. The trapezoidal-shaped seal sits snugly in Seal-Lok’s ORFS captive O-ring groove (CORG) ensuring improved retention and providing maximum assurance for leak-free connections.
Parker would welcome an opportunity to become your engineering and technology partner - optimizing and scaling individual components to meet your specification requirements and ensuring predictable and consistent component performance worldwide.
Download our white paper, Improving Lift Truck Safety...One Component at a Time, to learn more about Parker's products and solutions for forklifts.
This article was contributed by the Hydraulics Team.
Although wind currently provides 5 percent of the world’s electricity, the growing push for renewables has led many scientists and engineers to predict that wind turbines may generate at least half of all power by 2050. That is not a given, however, as significant advances must first be made in understanding the atmosphere at higher altitudes, predicting weather patterns and re-engineering turbines to perform at higher levels of efficiency.
The overriding objective throughout all the redesigns and enhancements is to build larger and more powerful wind turbines to produce more energy for the cost, thus lowering the per-unit cost of electricity. According to Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), in 2019, the average turbine size surpassed 2,750 KW. This was a 72% increase in average size over the past decade.
Wind turbine improvements
Previously, wind turbine design has focused largely on optimized blade shapes; lighter-weight, flexible, yet durable, materials; and the addition of intelligent control and monitoring systems. Some in the industry believe, however, that we have reached a point in technological advancements where advancements are incremental at best.
Simply increasing the size of the towers, blades and other components is not the answer, as this would lead to turbines that are excessively costly and heavy. That has prompted an ongoing search for advanced, lighter-weight materials that withstand increased forces without failing prematurely, as well as simplified designs that remove costs and weight.
Download our white paper How Technology and Design Advances Are Making Wind Turbines More Efficient and Popular to learn how engineering innovations are propelling wind power to the next level to capture a larger sector of the global energy market.Creating more power more efficiently
Meeting global targets for wind energy generation means finding ways to generate a lot more energy from existing wind farms. Historically, engineers have focused on the performance of individual turbines, but newer approaches are based on the performance of the wind farm as a whole.
Consider the fact that wind turbines produce the most power when pointed directly into the wind. However, when multiple turbines are near each other, they create wakes from upstream generators that can interfere with the performance of turbines located downstream. Researchers found that turbine wakes can reduce the efficiency of downwind generators by more than 40 percent.
This revelation has led to the practice of pointing turbines slightly away from the oncoming wind—a practice known as wake-steering— to reduce interference and improve the quantity and quality of power from the wind farm. This can also help to lower operating costs.
Of the various renewable options, wind energy is probably the most variable. Wind velocity can change without warning, as can the direction of the wind. That means blades and rotor RPM must be able to adjust accordingly to adapt to wind speed. Otherwise, operational and cost inefficiencies could result.
Conventional wind turbines were not designed to change directions or speeds quickly, and they are even more challenged to do so as rotor blades have increased in size. Larger rotor blades have made it necessary to consider blade/rotor concepts that can adjust themselves to non-homogenous wind flow, such as gusts, turbulence spots, shear, etc. The longer the blade, the greater the difficulty to define the optimal operating point since the inflow situations may vary quite a bit along the blade. Determining the optimal operating point is critical for reducing loads and increasing or smoothing out power output.
The challenge to maintaining the optimal operational point, despite wind inconsistency, has opened the door to what is known as smart rotor technology. Design options include:
Wind turbines with tip-rotors.
Replacing a large single rotor with a multiple rotor system consisting of a large number of standardized rotors.
Extending service life with predictive maintenance
Advances in sensors and analytics allow for predictive and preventative maintenance strategies to reduce unplanned outages. In the past, condition monitoring systems for wind turbines focused on the detection of failures in the main bearing, generator, and gearbox because these are the most expensive components of a wind turbine. Today there are several ways to help maintenance teams stay ahead of failures, including fluid sensors, particle counters and vibration sensors. Contaminated fluids and worn bearings due to vibration are two leading causes of gearbox failures.
Making wind energy more cost-competitive
With other forms of renewable energy also showing promise, pressure is on OEMs in the wind industry to lower costs.
“We’ve seen a trend of getting better performance using less. Because of this streamlining, the cost of wind turbines has come down 40-60% in just the last five years as everyone is working harder to design them bigger, better, and cheaper while making them last longer.”
Tom Ulery, business development manager, renewable energy, Parker Hannifin
While there is still a need to identify alternative materials that will result in cost savings, the big focus is on streamlining the overall design and reducing component complexity. There’s an increased need to standardize sizes to realize economies of scale and facilitate installations in multiple countries. Additional cost savings can be realized by maximizing the efficiency of wind turbines and minimizing maintenance costs.
Overcoming energy storage issues
Energy storage remains a key challenge, as the greatest potential for wind energy occurs at night when demand for electricity is typically lower. Battery technologies have evolved a lot but do not fully solve the problem of long-term storage. In addition to being expensive,
Lithium-ion batteries are limited as to how much energy they can store.
Flow batteries offer a lot of promise but are not currently able to operate at a utility scale.
Currently, all eyes in the industry are on converting excess energy into hydrogen as a preferred storage option. Hydrogen is ideal for storing energy for long periods of time because of its high energy density. Being lightweight makes it easier to handle. Hydrogen, however, is not without its challenges.
Minimizing environmental impact
Although wind energy is seen as environmentally friendly, it has been criticized for its detrimental effect on wildlife. It’s been estimated that between 140,000 and 500,000 bird deaths occur at wind farms each year. Wind turbines have also been found to be one of the leading causes of mass bat mortality, with some estimates as high as 888,000 bat fatalities a year.
Another environmental concern relative to wind turbines is noise pollution. As turbines grow, so does the noise they make, with most of the noise occurring at the outer edge of the blades. Yet, size is not the only factor affecting noise pollution. It is also about the location of the wind turbines relative to each other.
What steps can help improve the efficiency of your wind operations?
While new innovations are coming onto the market to improve the cost and efficiency of wind energy overall, there are some simple, yet highly impactful, things that can be done operationally to optimize the performance of existing wind turbine designs and materials.
Download our white paper How Technology and Design Advances Are Making Wind Turbines More Efficient and Popular to discover innovations that are helping wind farm owners reduce operating costs, extend service life and minimize environmental impact.
Article contributed by Tom Ulery, business development manager, Energy Team Parker Hannifin, North America Wind industry.
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In the off-road machinery industry an easy-to-use operator interface is increasingly important. Because of innovation and technology enhancements, users expect encoder, push-button and touch screen access to real-time data on the machine. With a comprehensive range of material handling equipment, the material handling OEM was looking for a rugged, full-feature, color display that could be easily implemented with a variety of its fork trucks, including both electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
The OEM needed a flexible solution for how and where the display would be mounted. They also needed easy-to-use software to program the display for a wide variety of operator screens for various fork trucks.
Parker's PHD displays are general-purpose displays that offer full color, touch-capable screens with built in CAN and I/O. The PHD displays are designed to withstand a variety of environments from outdoor weather to industrial freezer to high-impact applications.Easy to program customized display
Each fork truck application required a slightly different operator interface. For example, the screens on the display for a small electric drive fork truck are different from the screens used on a large container handler. However, the OEM required that all the displays share several common images and screen arrangements.
Parker’s displays have easy-to-use software that allows for rapid application development. The programming tool uses a graphical development environment that allows the programmer to see the screens being developed as they would appear on the actual display. The software uses a “no hardware in the loop” simulation that allows the developer to “run” the application on the PC to see how the screens and transitions would appear without needing the hardware.
The programming tool allows for image files and screen layouts to be easily imported between applications. Images of screens do not have to be recreated which reduces development time for new applications.Various sizes and mounting requirements
Since the OEM was looking to use the same display on a wide range of fork trucks, they had a need for different display sizes. Parker’s display screens are available in three sizes, 2.8-inch, 5-inch and 7-inch. All three sizes have a core design that allow for a variety of bezel and mounting adaptors to be developed without having to redesign the PHD housing. Since the PHD housing is standard, many hours and thousands of dollars in testing and certification are saved when a new mounting approach is needed.
Parker’s PHD display screens continue to gain an ever-increasing role in the design and enhancement of modern machinery. Parker’s experience developing highly engineered components and systems, combined with its engineering and manufacturing expertise, enables its OEM customers to take advantage of the developments to create more productive and efficient machines.
This OEM considered several other mobile display platforms prior to deciding to leverage its existing partnership with Parker to create a unified solution to meet their need for an advanced cost-effective display solution across their fleet of fork trucks. Flexibility and ease of programming were key to the PHD display’s success at this OEM.
By partnering with Parker, the OEM successfully implemented a common display solution for lift trucks used for very different material handling applications. The PHD displays are used on the OEM’s end rider, reach and very narrow aisle electric trucks. The same display family is used on the OEM’s internal combustion engine large truck container handler and counterbalance trucks. By using the same display solution, the OEM was able to keep development costs low while implementing a scalable solution that fit their various design and functionality requirements.
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Article contributed by Kirk Lola, product manager, Electronic Motion and Controls Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
The West Virginia Department of Highways has the responsibility to maintain and repair thousands of miles of public roads and state highways to support the environment and communities that call West Virginia their home. The Department of Highways in West Virginia needed a durable tilt attachment that could withstand the use and abuse of digging in rocky soil. They also wanted a tool that would reduce their reliance on manual labor to perform a variety of tasks such as cleaning ditches, laying and repairing pipe, and removing asphalt. When they added a PowerTilt to their backhoes, they found a tilt attachment that outlasted their previous backhoe without needing any repairs, and it improved their productivity between 30 to 75 percent depending on the task performed.PowerTilt reduced pipe installation by 75 percent
Before PowerTilt, installing pipe in landscaped areas in West Virginia required a lot of time-intensive manual labor and finish work to clean up the job site. Since the machine couldn't always be leveled to obtain the level bottom in the ditch that these installations required. West Virginia Department of Highways used a PowerTilt to dig the trench to the appropriate depth and width for pipe installation. With PowerTilt, the installation crew could tilt the bucket to level and make the bed for the open top drain or the drop inlet level.
“With PowerTilt you can save so much time and effort by simply positioning your bucket instead of repositioning the entire machine."
Wyatt Reed, backhoe operator for West Virginia Department of Highways
Since backfill wasn’t allowed into either the open top drains or the drop inlets, the installation crew previously dumped backfill on the side of the ditch and shoveled it in by hand. Now with PowerTilt, the installation crew simply positions the bucket 45 degrees and drops the fill rock out of the corner of the bucket. Also before PowerTilt, backfilling was a backbreaking manual task accomplished with shovels and a lot of hard work. Now installing the pipe and backfilling the trench is a breeze. They can tilt the bucket to 90 degrees and use the edge of the bucket just like a rake. Then the installation crew can pull the entire excess dirt off the grass or concrete.Time saved for installation and clean up
PowerTilt not only saved West Virginia Department of Highways tons of time in the pipe installation, it also saved them tremendous time on the project clean up as well, which reduces labor costs and increases productivity. “The PowerTilt cut our project time for installing pipes by 75 percent. Previously, the cleanup in landscaped areas required around six or seven men, and with the PowerTilt we can now do a much better-looking job, in a lot less time, with around three men (including the operator),” stated Reed.An average of 35 percent of time saved when repairing pipe
West Virginia Department of Highways spends a fair amount of time using PowerTilt for pipe repair projects. The repair process starts by digging around both sides of the pipe. Then machine operator tilts the bucket and uses a tooth to loosen the soil around the sides of pipe. If the pipe just needs to be straightened out, then the operator can tilt the bucket and use a tooth to hook the lip at the end of the pipe and then lift to straighten the pipe. When the pipe needs the end cut off, the operator uses the PowerTilt to tilt the bucket 90 degrees and actually dig under the pipe so they can get all the way around it with a cut off saw. Before the PowerTilt, the construction crew had to dig under the pipe by hand, which significantly increases the timeline along with the expense.
“When we need to repair a pipe there's no better tool than PowerTilt. A job that may have taken hours before now takes less than 35 percent of the time with the PowerTilt,”
Wyatt Reed, backhoe operator for West Virginia Department of Highways.Cutting asphalt with PowerTilt saved 30 percent in time
Another unexpected benefit of PowerTilt was the ability to use it to break up old asphalt for road prep work and repaving projects. PowerTilt allowed them to remove the asphalt without bringing in a dedicated machine or breaking the asphalt with jackhammers or other intensive manual labor methods. The Department of Highways in West Virginia used the PowerTilt to angle the bucket and then used a tooth to score, or gouge, the asphalt. This process weakens the asphalt allowing the PowerTilt to then break the asphalt and pick it up. The West Virginia Department of Highways reduced labor time by 30 percent by utilizing one machine instead of many for the removal of old asphalt.Increased productivity by 50 percent when cleaning ditches
With PowerTilt, West Virginia Department of Highways was able to easily dig the V shaped ditches by utilizing the 130 degrees of side-to-side swing rotation offered by PowerTilt. Without the PowerTilt, ditches ended up with a ‘'U" profile. PowerTilt also allows the ditching work to be accomplished from the road, diminishing the impact on roadside vegetation. The Department of Highways in West Virginia found the smooth rotation of the PowerTilt to be really helpful for small angle adjustments, which comes in handy when carving a gentle slope from the roadside to the ditch for optimum runoff and erosion control. As a result, PowerTilt increased the West Virginia Department of Highway's ditching productivity by 50 percent.Durability to a new level
West Virginia’s soil is full of rocks and boulders so digging and hard pounding in this type of environment takes a toll on the backhoe and the backhoe operator. “PowerTilt was used and abused yet it stood up to the abuse better than the backhoe or the operators. We’ve used our PowerTilt over six years and with the exception of daily greasing by the operators, we haven't had to send it in to our service department for any repairs,” said Reed. "If PowerTilt ever wears out, I will do everything in my power to make sure the department buys me another one.”Inside Parker’s Helac rotary actuator technology
PowerTilt uses Parker’s innovative Helac sliding-spline operating technology to convert linear piston motion into powerful shaft rotation. Each Helac actuator is composed of a housing and two moving parts - the central shaft and piston. As hydraulic pressure is applied, the piston is displaced axially, while the helical gearing on the piston outer diameter and housing's ring gear cause the simultaneous rotation of the piston. PowerTilt's end caps, seals and bearings all work in tandem to keep debris and other contaminants out of the inner workings of the actuator, prolonging product life and reducing required maintenance. PowerTilt is available for equipment up to 75,000 pounds in eight sizes with standard rotation of up to 180 degrees. Each model is designed for a specific class of machinery and individually customized to fit the carrier.
Learn more about the benefits of Parker’s Helac PowerTilt by visiting solutions.parker.com/powertilt
This article was contributed by Jessica Howisey, marketing communications manager and Daniel Morgado, applications engineer, Helac Business Unit, Cylinder Division.