Conversation with Chris Imig

Regional Manager, Hy-Pro Filtration

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Please tell our readers a little bit about the company — its history and genesis.

In the almost 30 years since we began making filters, our product line has expanded significantly. Hy-Pro now manufactures more than 400,000 different filter elements, an assortment of filter assemblies, and fluid conditioning equipment to combat a wide array of contaminants including water, sludge, varnish, acid and dirt.

How did the company become involved in filtration for wind power systems?

We strive to develop solutions to the problems faced by end users of hydraulic oil, lube oil and diesel fuel. There have been many articles written about wind generation and the failure of gearboxes, power units and servo valves in the wind industry. This illustrated the need for our product in the market as Hy-Pro’s filters have proven over and over again to be superior at removing failure-causing contaminants. It was a logical step for Hy-Pro to partner up with wind generation farms to reduce failures in lube and hydraulic systems.

What are some of the products and applications for the wind power industry?

Hy-Pro manufactures high efficiency filters, portable loop filtration systems, filter assemblies and breathers for gearboxes and hydraulic reservoirs.

Could you talk a little about the importance of contaminant filtration in these applications?

To understand the importance of contamination control you have to understand the consequences of inadequate contamination control. For instance, when contaminated fluid causes a gearbox to fail the loss of energy production is not the only expense that must be calculated when determining the loss caused by the failure. You must also factor in the component (gearbox) replacement or repair and the maintenance engineer’s time that must be spent on the problem. Proper contamination control can reduce these instances to a fraction of what they were previously.

What can happen in the absence of adequate contaminant and water filtration?

Failures like the one discussed above lead to decreases in production while maintenance hours and repair costs increase.

How does Hy-Pro’s line of filtration products work to reduce those occurrences?

Our filtration products reduce failures because they retain trapped particles with 99.9 percent efficiency. Filters are not a black hole, and if they are not designed correctly they can actually become a source of contaminant as they unload the dirt back into the system. This lead to the development of the Dynamic Filtration Efficiency (DFE) filter test method. DFE is a standardized laboratory test that simulates real world conditions with varying flow rates and measures the amount of contaminant released from the filter throughout the test. We engineer our elements to excel at this test as well as the ISO 16889 Multi Pass Filter Test.

There are several filtration methods available to the industry. Could you describe the differences, and why Hy-Pro’s methods/materials are ideally suited?

Hy-Pro’s DFE testing ensures that our customers are receiving a world-class product. Our flexible manufacturing process allows us to define our lead times in days, not weeks which ensures that our product is delivered to our customers in a fraction of the industry’s standard lead times.

Could you talk about how these filtration solutions are integrated into a wind farm’s maintenance program/routine?

Hy-Pro has performed many tests of the filters and filtration systems used on wind generators. We have worked to increase the life of the filters and the life of the wind generator. Keeping the oil clean will result in less filter element change out.

What are some factors that make Hy-Pro filters ideal for the wind industry?

Hy-Pro’s DFE testing ensures that our customers are receiving a world-class product. Our flexible manufacturing process allows us to define our lead times in days, not weeks which ensures that our product is delivered to our customers in a fraction of the industry’s standard lead times.
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