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Typical Applications of Accumulator

Our hydraulic accumulators have found a wide range of applications in different industries, and the most commonly seen applications are demonstrated below.

1. Auxiliary Power Source
If the flow rate of a hydraulic circuit changes drastically within a short time period, an accumulator could be applied to make it possible to use a smaller pump and a smaller motor, thus saving equipment investment and operating cost.

The following figure indicates that a pump with flow rate of Q2 is required for this operation cycle. If an accumulator is installed, it can store oil in two periods which are t2-t1 and t4-t3, because during these two periods only little, or even no oil is needed. So, when required flow rate is higher than the pump output Q1, namely t1 and t3-t2, the accumulator could provide extra oil. In addition, the sum of V1 and V2 should not over the sum of V3 and V4.

2. Pulsation Dampening
When piston pump and diaphragm pump are running, pulsation will be generated inevitably in the hydraulic line, and this is harmful to normal operation as well as many components.

If a bladder accumulator is installed near the outlet of the pump, the pulsation will be reduced to an acceptable level. Thus, it is commonly used for metering pumps, or plunger pump with a few pistons.

3. Emergency Energy Reserve
Under the condition of sudden failure of driving force, such as when there is a problem with pump, pipeline or connection adapter, an accumulator is able to supply enough energy to complete the working cycle or set transmission mechanisms and valves back to safety positions, thereby well protecting the equipment.

On the other hand, an accumulator will offer energy that is urgently required, such as the hydraulic source needed to close safety door, electrical switch, safety valve, emergency brake, etc.

Another typical application is to provide fuel oil for boilers of electric power plant. As shown in the following figure, the breakdown that leads to energy loss at B could be solved by manually operating electronic valve A, and at this time, the energy stored in the accumulator is used to realize this purpose.

4. Volume Compensation
In a closed hydraulic circuit, the temperature rise caused by thermal expansion will lead to the increase of pressure, and an accumulator could be installed to compensate the volume change of oil, thus protecting valves, gaskets, pressure gauges and other components. This application is commonly seen in refinery and long-distance oil pipeline.
5. Pressure Compensation
When a static pressure needs to be maintained at a constant value for a long time, an accumulator is indispensable because it can compensate the pressure loss that is resulted from oil leakage. Moreover, it can also balance the pressure peaks generated during working. The typical application is clamping system in loading platforms, road compactors, machining tools, lubrication systems, etc.
6. Counter Balancing
The balancing of a force or a weight could be realized with the help of hydraulic pistons that are driven by accumulators. In this way, counterweights are not necessary, thus saving both space and weight. This is usually applied for lathes, hoists and others.
7. Hydraulic Shock Absorbance
The fast close of valves will lead to hydraulic surge, and this is called water hammer or hydraulic shock. This phenomenon is very harmful, because it may damage pipes, valves, joints or other parts.

However, if proper accumulators are applied, water hammer will be reduced effectively, and this application is widely seen in water pipelines, washing equipment, long distance pipelines for oil and fuel oil, etc.

8. Shock Absorbance
The mechanical vibration generated in hydraulic equipment could be absorbed by an accumulator, making accumulators suitable for forklifts, rock crushers, mobile cranes and many other devices.
9. Hydraulic Spring
The bladder accumulator is able to work instead of a mechanical spring, and it could be used as one part of the molding system for deep stamping process as shown in the following figure. The accumulator can adjust molding pressure within a wide range in a easier and more accurate way, totally get rid of conventional spring.
10. Fluid Separator (Transfer Barrier)
For a hydraulic system where the fluid pressure rise on one side must be transferred to the other side without intermixing these two fluids, a bladder accumulator is highly recommended because it can perfectly solve this problem. The bladder, just like a flexible barrier between fluids or between a fluid and a gas, is able to provide instantaneous response without lowering system pressure.