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Hydraulic System Efficiency: Why Hydraulic Accumulator Maintenance Is Essential

The purpose of hydraulic accumulators in a hydraulic system is to store fluid energy and make it available when the system requires it.  When there is a loss of system efficiency in the accumulators, it will affect how the system operates.

Typically, you will notice that the system is running, but it is less responsive and delivering less of the desired output it normally does. Everything appears to be working correctly, yet there has been a loss of fluid energy because something is wrong with the accumulators.

Diagnosing and Resolving Hydraulic Accumulator Issues


Old Hydraulic piston system for bulldozers, tractorsA hydraulic accumulator is self-contained within a heavy duty housing that is designed to handle a large amount of pressure so it can transform it quickly into fluid energy. Typically, when there is a loss of system efficiency caused by the accumulators, it is coming from one of the internal parts and components that consist of:
  • Bladder accumulator: A bladder accumulator has a sack / balloon charged with nitrogen or another gas. When there is a loss of efficiency, either fluid has leaked into the bladder or the gas in the bladder has leaked into the fluid.If there has been a loss of charge pressure and there does not appear to be any fluid in the bladder then it may be possible to restore the performance by recharging the bladder with the original type of gas to the requiredcharge pressure..
  • Pistons accumulator: Pistons will not operate efficiently if fluid contamination has caused damage to the piston allowing leakage of charge pressure. . Make sure to change fluid filters and fluid on a regular basis.
  • Diaphragm accumulator: These are similar to bladder accumulators and contain pressurized gas on one side of the diaphragm and the circuit fluid on the other. When efficiency losses occur it is normally because the diaphragm has failed.If this is the case there will be hydraulic fluid where there should be gas and replacement is the only solution.
 
Worker receiving instruction about Straight Boom LiftDepending on the type of accumulator you use, you may only have a bladder and gas valve to diagnose. Other designs may feature multiple internal components.

Please keep in mind, this is just a general overview of potential efficiency issues in the accumulator and may not address every situation or hydraulic system configuration.

The best way to avoid a loss of system efficiency is with regular hydraulic system and hydraulic accumulator maintenance.

For all your hydraulic accumulators, hydraulic pumps and motors, and related hydraulic system components, please feel free to contact White House Products, Ltd. at +44 (0) 1475 742500 today!
 

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