Pfaff-silberblau supplies BETA wire rope winches for height-adjustable solar simulation system for hydrogen vehicles
Kissing (Germany), April 12, 2022 Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products has supplied Pfaff-silberblau BETA-EL4 series wire rope winches and associated wire rope pulley blocks to BF Engineering to enable flexible solar simulation using height-adjustable irradiation of hydrogen-powered car or truck prototypes in a climate chamber. Specially approved, high-quality components are necessary for this application, as the technical lighting systems of the facility require special safety measures due to their high irradiance of up to 1200 W/m², their large irradiation surface and the number of water-cooled lamps. BETA wire rope winches in accordance with DGUV V 17/18 are also suitable for applications in such test beds.

Hydrogen drives on test

Hydrogen-powered systems are considered a clean alternative to combustion engines. In the fuel cell, electric current is generated from hydrogen by reversing electrolysis. Hydrogen reacts with oxygen to form water, thereby generating energy. A battery serves as a buffer or temporary storage and covers peak loads, e.g. when accelerating the vehicle. Since hydrogen is a reactive and highly volatile gas, special precautions must be taken in the test beds.

BF Engineering develops, produces and installs corresponding solar simulation systems worldwide. The objective is to expose the test specimens from the automotive sector in the prototype stage not only to climatic tests but also to the effects of global radiation with and without UV exposure. When it comes to solar simulation systems with UV or infrared light or lighting for high-speed filming, BF Engineering is at the forefront.

Height-adjustable liquid-cooled metal vapour lamps

The new solar simulation system, which can be adjusted in height via the wire rope winches, is a so-called global radiation system according to CIE 85, Table 4, with spectral components according to DIN 75220 (filtered UV-B wavelengths from 280 nm to 320 nm). The entire system comprises 42 liquid-cooled metal vapour lamps with 4000 W each. The lamps are positioned in three racks, each unit being independently height-adjustable.

In addition to taking DGUV V 17/18 into account, such applications require a high product quality for the components used. That is why BF Engineering chose the Pfaff-silberblau brand BETA winches from Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products. These specially adapted winches are suitable for use in a climatic chamber with temperatures between -30 °C to +60 °C. The height adjustment movement of about 1500 mm is implemented between a working height of 4000 mm and the parking position at 5500 mm. The adjustment is used to adapt the required lighting intensity to different vehicle heights.

Wire rope winch for safe and long-term test bed operation

The robust BETA EL4 electric wire rope winch with a load capacity of up to 1600 kg is used in this solar simulation system to raise and lower the racks together with the large and heavy water-cooled lights. The high quality standard of Pfaff-silberblau and the proven technology, such as the 4-wire grooved drum, enable trouble-free, safe and long-term test bed operation. Wire rope pulley blocks have been installed for redirecting the ropes.

The surface of the wire rope winch is sealed with a 2-component paint system with a thickness of at least 240 µm. The drive and the electrical components are protected with a sealed brake according to protection class IP65. The winch has been equipped with anti-condensation heaters to effectively prevent unwanted moisture in the housing after switching off and cooling down, which could lead to leakage currents, spark-overs or short circuits.

Complete package for climatic test bed operation

In addition to the lighting system, the entire package of services provided by BF Engineering also includes the electronic components for power distribution mounted outside the climate cell, the control system including the software, as well as the entire cabling, commissioning and training during handover to the test bed operator. BF Engineering has placed its trust in the quality of Pfaff-silberblau products for many years.

For more information on Pfaff-silberblau brand wire rope winches from Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products, visit:

About Pfaff-silberblau and Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products

The company Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, Kissing/Germany, has ranked with its brand Pfaff-silberblau for many decades amongst the technology leaders in components and system solutions for mechanical motion and lifting technology. The portfolio ranges from sophisticated screw jack elements to innovative linear drives through to powerful lifting tables and wire rope winches. On the basis of these components, Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products also offers customized solutions for a wide range of different fields of application.

Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products is a subsidiary of the listed McKinnon Corporation (CMCO), Getzville/USA, a leading supplier of lifting and materials handling equipment. Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products is a partner of the VDMA sustainability initiative Blue Competence ( Further information on Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products along with its brand Pfaff-silberblau is available online at
» Pfaff-silberblau (Columbus McKinnon)
» Press Releases
» Press Release
Date: 12.04.2022 10:00
Number: PR03_BF-Engineering_EN
» Press Photos

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Robust electric wire rope winch BETA EL4 from Pfaff-silberblau for height adjustment of lighting modules

 Download der hochauflösenden Version...
BETA EL4 electric wire rope winch with a load capacity of up to 1600 kg wire rope pulley blocks have been installed for redirecting the ropes.
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Engineered Products GmbH
Am Silberpark 2-8
86438 Kissing / Germany

Contact: Petra Lugner
Office: +49 8233 2121 2702
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