This modified stationary bike has become a hydraulics tutor and personal trainer all in one.
When school or continuing education courses kick into high gear, students often have to sacrifice things like socializing and working out to keep their grades up. The 1-HumanPower trainer, created by the Fluid Power Training Institute (FRTI), balances the work/life equation by integrating some rigorous aerobic exercise into its hydraulics curriculum.
The one-speed stationary bike is hooked up to a belt drive that powers a fixed displacement pump, which can then be channeled to four solenoid directional-control valves. Four tasks can be completed just by getting physical: a double-acting, single-rod boom cylinder lifts and lowers a weight; a double-acting, single-rod boom cylinder extends and retracts the weight; a bidirectional fixed-displacement hydraulic motor drives a winch to lift the weight, and a bidirectional fixed displacement motor enables full crane rotation.
The system includes an instrument panel comprising an analog flow meter, pressure gauge, and digital tachometer for pump speed. As the pedaling or arm swinging hastens or slows, the student can see the effect of his or her speed output on the different weights at various stages of the operation.
“Since the student is the prime mover, he or she can literally see how changes in pump speed affect actuator speed and feel how changes in flow and/or pressure affect horsepower; or in this case, human power,” says Rory McLaren of FRTI.
Read the full article, "A New 'Spin' on Hydraulics Education" on Power & Motion, an Endeavor Business Media partner site.