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Miscellaneous Hydraulic Devices

Miscellaneous Hydraulic Devices Hydraulic Accumulators: Hydraulic equipment can be used for storing, transmitting and utilizing power. A hydraulic accumulator is a device that is used to store hydraulic energy.

Working principle: Basically an accumulator has a solid cylinder with an inlet and an outlet. As shown in the figure 21.4, there is a tight fitted piston1 inside the cylinder. The piston has a load on it. The type of load determines the type of hydraulic accumulator. Pressurized fluid enters the cylinder through the inlet. The outlet is kept closed. Therefore the piston with its load gets lifted up. Now the accumulator is said to be charged. When required, the outlet is opened. The load on the piston drives the pressurized fluid through the outlet till the piston reaches its normal position. Now the accumulator is said to be discharged. Types of Hydraulic Accumulators: The type of load on the piston-head determines the type of accumulator, as shown in the figure below. Thus, we have: 1. No Separator Accumulators. 2. Gas Bladder Accumulators.

The piston is called Sliding Ram in this case because the size of the piston is very large and it does not have the other associated parts of a piston such as a piston-head. However, it is nothing but a piston for all practical purposes.
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Miscellaneous Hydraulic Devices

3. Gas-charged piston Accumulators. 4. Spring-loaded piston Accumulators. 5. Weight-loaded piston Accumulators.

Uses of hydraulic accumulators: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Used to supplement pump flow. [for instance, in Recip pumps] It absorbs shock. Used as emergency power supply. Used to maintain pressure. Used to avoid gas leakage.

Water Hammer: When a fluid under pressure flows in a hydraulic system, the fluid develops inertia. When such a fluid is obstructed abruptly, shock waves are generated from the point of obstruction. This pressure will travel along the fluid searching for a point of release. This phenomenon is called Water Hammer. Water hammers are responsible for a wide variety of mechanical failures. Adequate consideration has to be taken in any hydraulic system. Water hammers can be avoided by switching to pneumatic devices in the hydraulic system. Cavitation: When a liquid enters a region of pressure equal to or below its vapor pressure, the liquid changes its phase. When this happens in a hydraulic system, it is called Separation. Generally, gas bubbles are formed which later on collapse on the inside wall of the hydraulic system. When the bubbles collapse, localized high pressure center is created. This high pressure removes material from the surface of the wall. This process of loss of material is called Pitting. The entire process of lower pressure, separation, gas bubble formation, collapsing of bubbles on the inner wall and pitting is called Cavitation.

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Miscellaneous Hydraulic Devices

Surge Tank: When water hammers occur on a large scale, for instance, in a hydroelectric station, the pressure spike is called Surge. As shown in the figure below, the reservoir is connected to a turbine through a pen stock pipe. Water from a height flows down and impacts the turbine, transferring energy and goes back to the river through the tail race. Sometimes, due to maintenance or failure in the turbine housing, when the sluice gates have to be shut down, there is a surge in the piping above the turbine housing.

This surge can cause heavy damage to the pen stock piping or the piping above. Therefore we generally include a Surge Tank in between the reservoir and turbine housing, preferably as near to the turbine housing as possible. Working principle: When the sluice gate is closed, a surge is created before the sluice gate. When this happens, the extra energy pushes water into the surge tank. When water level rises in the surge tank, the energy in the surge reduces and the system achieves equilibrium. Later on, when the sluice gates are opened, this water energy stored in the surge tank is released first and later on water from the reservoir starts flowing down into the turbine housing. Fluid coupling: A fluid coupling is used to transmit power with the help of a fluid. Construction: As shown in figure 21.11 below, there are two shafts a driving shaft and a driven shaft, in a fluid coupling. The driving shaft is connected to motive power and the fluid coupling transfers the motion and power to the driven shaft. There is no continuity between the two shafts. The coupling consists of a rotary pump impeller connected to the driving shaft. Rotary turbine vanes are connected to the driven shaft. This arrangement is enclosed in a hydraulically sealed casing. The impeller and the turbine vane are separated by a gap. This gap is filled with suitable oil.

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Miscellaneous Hydraulic Devices

Working of a fluid coupling: When power is applied to the driving shaft, the impeller transmits motion to the oil. So pressure of the oil increases and the oil hits the turbine vanes. When the energy transmitted by the high pressure oil to the turbine vane exceeds the inertia of the driven shaft, the turbine vane and the driven shaft begins to rotate. The high pressure liquid loses its energy and moves towards the impeller. Thus there is no loss of oil. Since power transfer in a fluid coupling is gradual, no fluid coupling has 100% efficiency. However, depending on appropriate choice of the oil in the casing, we can achieve up to 98% efficiency in such couplings. Uses of a fluid coupling: 1. It helps for smooth transmission of power. 2. It is easy to install. 3. It has high efficiency, if right transmission oil is used. Hydraulic Intensifiers: In some cases, we need very high pressure for a short time, which cannot be supplied by conventional devices such as a pump. We need such high pressures when we run a hydraulic press, for instance. In order to obtain very high pressures for a few seconds, from a low pressure supply, we use a device called Hydraulic Intensifier.

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Miscellaneous Hydraulic Devices

Construction & Working Principle: As shown in figure 21.6 above, a hydraulic intensifier consists of a fixed ram through which water under very high pressure flows into the main machine. A hollow inverted sliding cylinder containing water under very high pressure is mounted over the fixed ram. This inverted sliding cylinder is surrounded by another fixed cylinder which contains water from the main supply which is at a lower pressure. A large quantity of water at low pressure enters the inverted fixed cylinder. The weight of this water presses the inverted sliding cylinder in the downward direction. The water in the sliding cylinder gets compressed due to the downward movement of the sliding cylinder and its pressure is thus increased. The high pressure water is forced out of the sliding cylinder through the fixed ram to the main machine.


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