Working with Servotest Testing Systems, Branch Hydraulic Systems has developed a 2MW power pack to drive a large earthquake simulator developed and manufactured by Servotest for use by the Indian Nuclear Research facility. This is believed to be one of the biggest hydraulic power packs to be built in the UK in the last 12 months. 

The simulator systems are designed to accurately reproduce actual seismic conditions. They test the survival abilities of high value, mission critical equipment in earthquake conditions – including bridges, transformers, high voltage switching and communication equipment, and in this case nuclear reactor vessels. Used by power and communication

companies, and research institutes, the test items are installed on the table to evaluate their survivability, with the table size, forces and number of actuators being tailored to suit the application and specification.

Branch decided to design the power unit around readily available world-class products as the appointed supplier had to deliver within a strict timeframe and be flexible with the hardware. The company had to also consider two critical requirements – modularity and the limitations of available space, both in transit and at the end user facility.  The simulator, however, required a 2MW power pack, with a flow rate of 3000l/min to undertake the necessary tests on samples up to 100 tonnes, and a maximum short-term requirement of 10,000l/min, using associated banks of accumulators.

“With the modules being shipped in ISO containers we had to allow for size limitations.  An open air container is costly and also risks component corrosion damage whilst at sea, so with the tank assembly module being the largest, measuring 2 x 2 x 3.5m, we had to ensure that it fit through the doors of the container vessel,” commented Alex Tatlow, Branch Hydraulic Systems’ technical director.

The company designed and built 14 modules plus pipework, comprising of nine main modules, one boost pump module, three cooling sets and one 10,000 litre tank assembly module.  These were constructed and tested at the Group HES headquarters in Gloucester before shipping and final assembly in India.

Branch Hydraulic Systems