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The working principle of an accumulator

An accumulator typically refers to a device used in hydraulic systems, though similar principles apply to pneumatic systems as well. Its primary function is to store hydraulic fluid under pressure, often using a compressible gas to provide the pressure. Here’s how it works:

  1. Charging Phase: During normal operation of the hydraulic system, the hydraulic pump generates pressure and pushes hydraulic fluid into the accumulator. As fluid enters, it compresses the gas, increasing the pressure within the accumulator. This charging process continues until the pressure reaches a predetermined level, often set by a pressure relief valve.
  2. Energy Release: When the hydraulic system requires additional fluid or pressure, such as during peak demand or sudden load changes, the accumulator discharges. This can occur automatically when system pressure drops below a certain threshold. The pressurized hydraulic fluid is then released from the accumulator, providing a rapid source of energy to supplement the pump’s output.
  3. Work Performance: The pressurized hydraulic fluid from the accumulator is directed to the actuators or other components in the hydraulic system, where it performs work. This could involve moving cylinders, operating valves, or performing other tasks depending on the specific application of the hydraulic system.
  4. Recharging: After discharging, the accumulator needs to be recharged to restore its energy storage capacity. This occurs as the hydraulic pump continues to operate and push fluid into the accumulator, recompressing the gas and increasing the pressure once again.

Accumulators are used in hydraulic systems for various purposes, including energy storage, shock absorption, leakage compensation, and maintaining system pressure. They help improve system efficiency, responsiveness, and reliability by providing supplemental energy when needed and reducing the load on the hydraulic pump during peak demand periods.



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