Actuation systems must be efficient, precise, and durable enough to withstand harsh power generation environments. Parker Hannifin has developed a hybrid actuation system (HAS) that is ideal for renewable energy actuation applications, such as those used with solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric dams.
The new hybrid design combines the controllability of traditional electromechanical actuators with the power density, longer life, and resistive-force capabilities of traditional hydraulic systems. The result is an improved actuation system for wind and hydro and other renewable energy systems, with a wider range of capabilities.
This high-efficiency, modular system allows for various traditional cylinder mounting configurations and stroke lengths. The hybrid design is a fully self-contained system with no hydraulic hoses or power units. Hybrid hydraulics achieve exceptional economies of scale, with the ability to move over a megawatt from a single point. This makes HAS a good choice for large or small arrays.
Serviceability is built into the design. The system can be serviced on site, with simple line-of-use replacement, allowing for a quick change-out in the field. The system features simple, two-wire operation and is available with AC and DC supply voltages.
Other highlights include:
Low amp draws 50 percent duty cycle, high-efficiency tracking solutions.
High locked hold force to withstand wind gusts.
No reduction in life (a common problem with screw-type actuators when loaded).
Surface preparation for outdoor installations.
Stainless steel rods for extreme corrosion prevention.
Heavy chrome-plated rods with optional Global Shield™ rod coating.
Available with Intellinder™ continuous feedback or end-of-stroke, stroke-to-go switch options.
Stainless-steel transfer tubes, no extra plumbing required.
For solar panels, HAS is completely self-contained, combining a double-acting actuator, pump, and electric motor that eliminate nearly all leak paths into or out of the package. Parker engineers designed a hybrid actuator into the pitch system so designers can move more photovoltaic panels with fewer actuators and controls, resulting in lower installation costs and longer service over the life of the solar field. The design offers clear advantages over comparable electromechanical actuator (EMA) systems because all the internal-wear items are permanently lubricated for extended life. The power density of HAS is typically three times that of a comparable EMA.
Another benefit to the Hybrid Actuation System is that it can be configured with an integrated Intellinder sensor (also available on Parker’s hydraulic, pneumatic, or electromechanical actuators). This sensor eliminates the time and cost associated with gun drilling, as well as unprotected external sensors with complex linkages.
Cylinder feedback installation is virtually plug-and-play. Intellinder-enabled cylinders include hydraulic, pneumatic, and electro-mechanical designs that are engineered to perform in harsh power-generation actuation environments like solar fields and wind farms, as well as fossil-fuel applications. Intellinder-enabled cylinder and hybrid actuation systems can withstand vibration, dust, gravel, corrosives, chemicals, axial and side loads, and immersion, with an extreme temperature rating (-40° to 221° F).
Article contributed by Bruce Besch, advanced motion products manager, Parker Hannifin Industrial Cylinder Division.
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