Hydraulic oil coolers (also called heat exchangers) use a flow of air or water to cool the hydraulic fluid in a vehicle’s hydraulic system. Without a proper cooling system, the high temperature of hydraulic fluid can cause excess wear on seals, surfaces, and components that can damage the hydraulic system and shorten its life span.
Because hydraulic fluid is used to transmit and transfer power through heavy machinery, it’s often subjected to intense heat. If this hydraulic fluid becomes too hot it can lose its non-compressible properties, change viscosity, and even separate into sludge and contaminants that damage the pump, hoses, and other vital components of your equipment. A Hydraulic Oil Cooler is a simple, economical way to prevent these problems by regulating the hydraulic oil’s temperature.
A hydraulic oil cooler dissipates the energy losses in a hydraulic circuit resulting from pressure losses through pipe friction, control elements (such as valves and orifices), mechanical friction, and leakage. It’s important to correctly select and position the cooler within a hydraulic circuit to take advantage of the available heat-abating surface area.
The heat-abating surface of a hydraulic oil cooler is comprised of fins that allow the heated hydraulic fluid to absorb thermal energy from the surrounding atmosphere through the process of convection. The cooler is also equipped with an electric or hydraulic fan that forces ambient air over the fins, allowing the heat in the oil to be transferred to the cooling medium. This is a continuous process ensuring that thermal saturation and equilibrium are never attained.
Cooler types vary widely in design, with the most common being the air or water type. When an adequate supply of water is available the water cooler is more commonly used, as it is less susceptible to variations in ambient air temperatures. The air oil cooler, on the other hand, is designed to resemble an automobile radiator and employs a powerful fan to force ambient air over the pipe coils which carry the hydraulic oil.
A mobile hydraulic oil cooler is a great solution for construction and agricultural vehicles that utilize hydraulically driven attachments such as mulchers, wood splitters, and other accessories for skid steers, excavators, and tractors. These coolers are easy to install, require no external power source and can help protect the equipment in harsh conditions and extend its lifespan.