How Does a Hydraulic Accumulator Work?

Ref: Fluid Power World: August 1, 2017, Ken Korane

Hydraulic accumulators are energy storage devices. Analogous to rechargeable batteries in electrical systems, they store and discharge energy in the form of the pressurized fluid and are often used to improve hydraulic-system efficiency.


An accumulator itself is a pressure vessel that holds hydraulic fluid and a compressible gas, typically nitrogen. The housing or shell is made of materials like steel, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium and fiber-reinforced composites. Inside, a moveable or flexible barrier—usually a piston or rubber bladder—separates the oil from the gas.

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