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CFC Success Story - Mobile Power Station

Preparing for disaster relief


Many environmental disasters render power substations inoperative, leaving homes and businesses without electricity. To combat this, Carolina Fluid Components (CFC) designed mobile power substations for the customer, which can take on the load until the damaged substation is repaired.

The sensitive electronic switching equipment is housed in an extendable trailer, which weighs about 250,000 pounds. For these substations to be safely connected to the large power cables from the damaged substation, the trailer has to be lifted 48” off its bed. But because the trailer extends before it’s lifted, the load is uneven, with one corner weighing approximately 17,000 pounds and another roughly 2,250 pounds. The only power source available for the hydraulic system comes from the two 12-volt batteries on the trailer itself.

Key Business Challenges

  • Lift 250,000 pounds 48” vertically
  • Overcome unequal weight distribution on lifted load
  • Use only two 12-volt truck batteries as power source

Project Goals

The team’s goal for the project was to create a hydraulic and remote control system suitable for the needs of the mobile power substations. Special care had to be taken to lift the trailer without tilting it more than a half inch between cylinders, as anything greater could cause damage to the equipment. So the goal was to lift the trailer straight up with no tilt using only two batteries, not even batteries from the tractor hauling the trailer could be used.

Technology Overview

The team used Temposonics ER CANBus transducers in the four corner cylinders to transmit precise position data to the Eaton HFX-48 controller to ensure that the trailer was lifted evenly. The lift operator will use the Hatox radio control that communicates with the HFX controller via CANBus. Zero drift was achieved with the use of Sun Hydraulics.


The solution devised by the team was a system where the lift was attainable with a tilt variance of less than one eighth of an inch throughout the entire deployment and recovery cycle.

CFC Mobile SubstationCFC Mobile Substation
CFC Mobile SubstationCFC Mobile Substation

Solid Solutions in a Fluid Environment

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