Fluid Power Journal

Watts It All About

Watts It All About with Dan Helgerson

Welcome to a fluid power blog focusing on best practices, energy efficiency, and safety. The goal is to stimulate (not simulate) thinking, share knowledge, and promote professionalism. We welcome your comments as we share ideas, yours and mine.

Dan-HelgersonDan Helgerson, CFPAI, CFPS, sits on the International Fluid Power Society Board of Directors as treasurer and is the technical editor for Fluid Power Journal. He can be reached at Dan@DanHelgerson.com

Visit his website at www.DanHelgerson.com

A New Spin On An Old Idea

I am going to go out on a limb to make a suggestion. Now, for me, this is not all that unusual. I have been described as someone who thinks “outside the box” and have been accused of not even remembering where the “box” is anymore. In fairness, this is not a brand-new idea, nor […]

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Quads and the Fluid Power Systems Conference

When I first heard the word “quadrillion,” I thought it was a fictitious number like “gazillion” or “bazillion,” but it turns out to be a real number: 1015 or, if you will, a million times a billion. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time getting my mind around a number […]

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So, You Say You Want to Make a Difference

One of the most rewarding things that ever happened to me in the field of fluid power was when a high school student spoke to me after a two-hour pneumatic training session for FIRST robotics mentors.  She told me that she had learned more about physics in those two hours than she had learned in […]

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You Made the Mess; Now You Clean It Up!

Now, don’t laugh, but I once designed a hydraulic system for automatically cleaning horse stalls using the energy from the movement of the waiting horse. I won’t get into the details, but I was going to market it with the slogan, “You made the mess, now you clean it up!” When I think about the […]

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Use It or Lose It

We are planning on making a system more efficient here at the steel mill. Two overdesigned hydraulic power units are each operating continuously 24/7. Each one would be capable of performing both jobs on its own, and we are thinking of consolidating the two into one system. There are some obvious environmental and energy benefits […]

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I Know, It Hertz

I am pretty sure I am going to get some flack from what I am going to say in this article, but before you conclude that I don’t know what I am talking about, hear me out. It is not my intent to turn people against using one of the most excellent components for accurate control […]

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Something Is Missing: Using Alternative Energy

There is something missing in my repertoire of fluid power components. Can you help me? In the Off-Highway 2010 edition of the Fluid Power Journal, Brian Hageman had an article on a new hydraulic pump. How many of you read it? Keep your hands up. Oh, you intended to read it but never got around […]

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A Failed Experiment

Now, don’t get discouraged. When we push the envelope trying to change the paradigm of thinking in the transfer of energy in fluid power systems, we will sometimes have to go against conventional wisdom and will certainly have to do things for which there is no precedent. Whether we succeed or fail, we will be […]

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Energy Challenge: The Hydraulic Solution

Now you will have to endure listening to me explain how I would achieve the most efficient hydraulic system. I gave my solution to the pneumatic challenge in the previous article. A quick recap for those who may be new to the Journal: A 300,000-pound load has to be moved 8 feet horizontally in 10 […]

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System Integrators Challenge: The Pneumatic Solution

You may not believe this, but I did not have the solution to the challenges when I wrote the article. I simply chose two scenarios where I knew there would be a variety of pressure and flow requirements that are usually the areas where we tend to lose sight of the energy consumption. As of […]

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