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Hydraulic Accumulators and Their Uses

5/9/2012 8:09:59 AM | by Anonymous


Hydraulic accumulators are pressure storage devices that house a non-compressible hydraulic liquid under pressure to generate force by an external factor such as a spring, gas or a raised weight. Its main purpose is to store energy. It ensures that the pump can handle extra demand and therefore the supply circuit is able to respond quickly to smooth pulsations and to the temporary demand.

In the early stages of accumulators’ discovery, towers were used to create the required pressure needed to run machinery. The towers had tanks fitted at the top and water was directed to them through steam pumps. Gravity created the pressure when water was at the top of the tanks. However, this form of accumulator did not survive as they were expensive and took a very long time to be built. The most common type of hydraulic accumulators that exist in the industry today is the gas accumulator which is also known as hydro-pneumatic accumulator. They contain a cylinder which has two chambers which are separated by an elastic diaphragm, a floating piston or a bladder which is totally enclosed. The hydraulic fluid is contained in one chamber that is also connected to the hydraulic line. The other chamber contains the compressed gas.

The weight accumulator makes use of a vertical cylinder that stores the hydraulic fluid and it also has a connection to the hydraulic line. This chamber is closed with a piston and several weights are placed onto it and due to the downward force exerted by the weights, the liquid below is pressurized. The difference between the spring type hydraulic accumulator and the gas accumulator is not much but only in this case, heavy duty springs are used to pressurize the fluid.

The application of hydraulic accumulators is all around us. Large hydraulic accumulators are used in cranes that load and unload heavy goods. Having large accumulators allows the cranes to have continuous pressure to function. Hydraulic accumulators are used in almost every type of machinery, be it to load or unload, or even in closing the doors on buses.

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