Hydraulic accumulators function very similar to electrical capacitators in that they store up fluid like capacitators store up electricity. The accumulator energy stays suspended under pressure in the hydraulic oil. Now that you understand the basic principles, let’s talk about why you should be adding accumulators to your hydraulic systems.
Reduces Primary Pump Strain
The reservoir for the hydraulic pump and the pump itself are placed in a central position, but that may not be adequate when there are lots of rubber hoses and metal tubes being stretched to reach part of a mobile hydraulic machine. If the accumulators are storing the fluid within the various parts of the pumps, then the energy is ready for when it is needed. This allows pumps to be smaller and more efficient.
Compensating for Leaks
As helpful as accumulators are for supplementing pump flow, they are just as beneficial in compensating for leaks. If there is a fluid leak from a hydraulic pump, then the pump has to go into overdrive to make up for the loss. The gear begins to create a series of shocks and sounds like it might break into pieces at any moment. With an accumulator, the jagged cycling problem is smoothed out until it can be corrected. It takes the rough edges off of the pump’s processes and helps to reduce pump fatigue.
Transient Loading Benefits
Accumulators can also improve supplementary flow by providing some extra power to the pump when the mobile lifter is being compromised by the load. If the volume and flow conditions are too high, then the accumulator can pitch in and provide assistance.
Accumulators for the Bladder and Piston
There are hydraulic engineering principles that are still relevant today that were being used decades ago. The bladder and piston types are the most common forms of accumulators, and we still see those in use today. The bladder is created from durable elastomer, and that is packed with nitrogen. This is connected to a valve that has been spring loaded and is made from a very tough alloy. The piston is equally as strong, able to handle some very high gas compression ratios.
These two different builds are of great benefit to the main pumping system, and that’s particularly true if they system is made up of many distinct parts. The ability to provide energy where it is needed across disparate parts is probably the biggest benefit, and the stored power can help handle larger loads with ease decreasing the problems created by leaking until the issue can be fixed.