Working principle of piston accumulator

The piston accumulator is a type of hydraulic accumulator that stores energy in the form of pressurized fluid. It consists of a cylindrical chamber divided into two compartments by a piston. One compartment contains a gas, usually nitrogen, while the other compartment contains hydraulic fluid.

The working principle of a piston accumulator involves the following steps:

  1. Initial State: In the resting state, the piston is positioned in the middle of the accumulator, dividing the gas and hydraulic fluid compartments. The gas compartment is precharged with nitrogen to a specific pressure.
  2. Compression Stroke: When hydraulic fluid under pressure enters the accumulator, it pushes against the piston, compressing the gas in the other compartment. The gas volume decreases, and its pressure increases, storing potential energy.
  3. Energy Storage: As the hydraulic system continues to supply fluid, the piston moves further toward the gas compartment, further compressing the gas and increasing its pressure. The energy is stored in the compressed gas and hydraulic fluid.
  4. Accumulator Discharge: When there is a demand for hydraulic energy, such as when a sudden load requires additional power, the high-pressure hydraulic fluid is released from the accumulator. The stored energy in the compressed gas and fluid is then utilized to supplement the hydraulic system, providing an instantaneous boost in pressure and flow.
  5. Recharge: After discharging, the hydraulic fluid is replenished in the accumulator, while the gas compartment remains pressurized with nitrogen. This process ensures that the accumulator is ready for the next cycle of energy storage and release.

The piston accumulator offers several advantages, including high energy storage capacity, quick response times, and precise control over the stored energy. It is commonly used in applications that require rapid and powerful hydraulic energy delivery, such as heavy machinery, presses, and hydraulic systems where quick actuation or emergency energy supply is essential.

It’s important to note that the working principle described here is a general explanation of the piston accumulator’s operation. Different variations of piston accumulators may exist, and their specific designs and features can vary depending on the manufacturer and intended application.