Machine manufacturers are often perceived to be the cause of high carbon emissions. Schroeder Industries, a supplier of advanced fluid conditioning systems for the hydraulics, fuels and process industries, is helping address climate change by embracing innovative technologies that support eco-friendly fluid power systems. They call this initiative Schroeder 2030.
With Schroeder 2030, the company is committed to designing and producing products to help fluid system designers and operators improve sustainability and achieve carbon neutrality, as well as ensure profitability, according to Engineering Manager Chris Bortnik.
“Schroeder 2030 provides our customers with solutions to reduce energy consumption through products designed for low pressure drop to minimize horsepower requirements, by using lighter materials, and by optimizing the size of components to minimize both weight and footprint. It also provides solutions to reduce fluid consumption by optimizing the fluid volume requirements for any given system, through fluid conditioning to extend time between oil changes, by recycling waste oil, and by managing fluid health to maximize its useful life,” he said.
One key development in the Schroeder 2030 program is the introduction of new Electric Drive Filtration systems designed specifically for electric-hydraulic mobile equipment. The mobile hydraulics industry is experiencing a major transformation toward electrification, said Jeremiah Allshouse, Product Manager, Element Technology. “These electric-hydraulic systems hold the potential to be drastically more energy efficient than the typical hydraulic system counterparts that exist today, and much more environmentally friendly.”
As one example, engineers are looking to incorporate electric-hydraulic motor pumps to power hydraulics throughout a machine. “Electric-hydraulic motor pumps only operate when flow and pressure are required to perform the working task at hand. So, when there’s no flow or pressure required, the electric-hydraulic motor pump units switches to a zero-energy mode, and that will save the consumption on energy and increase the overall system’s efficiency,” said Allshouse.
The motor pump devices are up to 70% more efficient than the standard hydraulic counterparts. Their CO2 reduction is far greater, they are more compact and lighter, and they use less fluid, run quieter, and have a longer life — especially in terms of bearings and seals, he said.
Machine builders also need to reduce power consumption and extend battery life through increased hydraulic efficiency, he continued. One way to accomplish that is to reduce the overall pressure drop in a hydraulic system. Differential pressure is defined as the loss of energy available in a hydraulic system, energy that is converted to heat and no longer available to do useful work.
“All energy has a price and wasting it means wasting money,” said Allshouse. Especially in higher-horsepower systems, even a small pressure drop will cause the pump-motor group to work harder to make up for that loss of energy, costing more money and shortening component life. Reducing pressure drop can save thousands of dollars per year in operating costs.
To minimize pressure drop in these electrohydraulic systems, Schroeder Industries has developed a new filtration media technology, called Electric Drive Media, or E-Drive Media for short. E-Drive elements consist of multilayered synthetic-fiber filter media, which is an excellent choice for use along with electric-hydraulic drive motor pump units, said Allshouse.
E-Drive filters are characterized by an unusually low pressure drop across the element, making them energy efficient and suitable for low energy consumption requirements compared to conventional hydraulic elements under the same ambient conditions. “Our current estimations are about 30% less differential pressure than typical synthetic media, which has equivalent energy savings of about 30% less work required on the electric drive motor pump units,” he said.
They are also great for cold-start conditions where a low-pressure drop is required, he continued. The company will initially offer 10 µm media, with the goal of adding in 8 and 15 µm filtration in the near future. Element collapse rating is 145 psid (10 bar), temperature range is -22° to 212° F (-30° to 100° C) and flow direction is outside-to-inside.
Additional sustainability efforts
In addition to the E-Media product family, Schroeder Industries is developing complementary products and systems that support their energy savings and carbon neutrality initiatives for 2030 and beyond. These include:
• A range of hydraulic and lube filters that combine system efficiency with filtration efficiency for oil cleanliness and longevity; and products that incorporate the latest deaeration technology.
• Tank optimization and CFD simulation capabilities. This lets customers reduce the size of their hydraulic reservoir, cutting oil volume and weight.
• TNK Complete Tank Solution products. These plastic units are 40% lighter than comparable steel tanks, are durable, help cut energy consumption and can be recycled. Schroeder also offers custom-molded tanks to fit tight machine space requirements.
• Filter Systems & Diagnostics (IoT) equipment, offline fluid conditioning devices that are compact and lower energy use. Products such as kidney-loop filtration units and water removal systems are designed to shut down when a target ISO code or saturation level is met. Oil-dehydrator systems are programmed to turn on periodically, check fluid conditions, and run only as required.
• IoT solutions. Networked sensors monitor machines and fluid conditions in real-time and provide information to system controllers, and help reduce energy consumption and extend fluid and equipment life expectancy.
• Fuel filtration. The HDP-240 on-board diesel fuel coalescing filter, suitable for all major off- and on-highway equipment, helps reduce excessive fuel consumption and emissions due to contamination-related accelerated wear.