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# Reservoir, Hydraulic - Sizing This module outlines an approach to compute reservoir capacity and to determine the required pressurization

level for fluid in the reservoir. Reservoir Capacity The main aspect in sizing a reservoir is ensuring there is sufficient fluid to handle systems during all normal operation (both flight and ground conditions) and any relevant system failure conditions. In a reservoir, there are five volume definitions and calculations that need to be computed (four for bootstrap or spring/piston reservoirs). These five components are 1. Unused Fluid Volume 2. Minimum Required Fluid Volume (Refill Volume) 3. Full Fluid Volume 4. Maximum Required Fluid Volume 5. Gas Volume (for gas reservoirs) These volumes are shown graphically in Figure 1 for a pressurized gas reservoir and Figure 2 for a bootstrap reservoir. A piston/spring reservoir or a metal bellows accumulator will be similar to a bootstrap reservoir. Also shown in Figures 1 and 2 are the indication messages associated with certain volume levels.

Figure 1

Pressurized Gas Reservoir Fluid Volumes and Indications

The chosen configuration should represent a common ground configuration that would be used for routine maintenance. if a flight vehicle is at a 30 degree roll angle. landing gear deployed. when extended. require more flow from the pump then they return to the reservoir. In addition. The next category is the minimum fluid increment. and flight surfaces in the neutral position).Figure 2 Pressurized Gas Reservoir Fluid Volumes and Indications Unused volume would include the volume of fluid that is in the reservoir which is not available to the outlet line to the pump. This volume that makes up minimum required fluid consists of many facets as listed below. The majority of the fluid will be contained in the minimum required fluid category. Computation of the normal operation fluid volume is dependent on the design of a particular reservoir. The minimum fluid volume is the summation of these facets. spoilers retracted. the hydraulic system configuration should be a fixed configuration for the computations (for example. The range of vehicle attitudes and maneuvering should be evaluated when determining unused volume. the unused volume may be very small or even zero. Examples of unbalanced actuators are spoiler panel. Normal Operation – This is the amount of fluid required in the reservoir to ensure the reservoir can meet pump needs under all foreseeable operating conditions. A nominal fluid temperature (say. if a stand pipe is used in the reservoir and the stand pipe protrudes above the lowest level of the reservoir then fluid would be caught below the inlet to the stand pipe and would be unavailable to the system. 70°F) should be used when computing the individual minimum volume facets. 1. park brake on. When looking at unbalanced actuators. all inflight scenarios . For example. There are two aspects to normal operation computation. then the fluid level should be sufficient to maintain fluid pressure and fluid at the pump outlet port. Unbalanced Actuators – Unbalanced actuators. 2. The second aspect is differences in fluid level due to vehicle attitude and accelerations. landing gear and thrust reverser actuators. and the corresponding impact on pump inlet flow and pressure For example. In some accumulator designs. The first aspect is the amount of fluid that needs to be in the reservoir so that the reservoir meets the pump inlet pressure requirements.

6. 70°F) to the worst case cold temperature or -40°F. the reservoir indication system should indicate the reservoir is full. Emergency reserve determination should assume no flow back to reservoir. When the fuse shuts flow off. it may be unrealistic to include all fuses in this calculation. with a gas bag accumulator the gas bag will be fully expanded when the system is depressurized. each flight condition should be examined as well as critical failure conditions. An estimate of this expansion should be made and included in the minimum volume requirement.and ground servicing scenarios should be examined. However. 3. Emergency Reserve – If any emergency reserve feature is used in a reservoir. This maximum volume is greater than the full volume by the amount of fluid thermal expansion and the amount of fluid that must be absorbed by the . then the amount of volume required for emergency system operation should be included in the minimum required volume calculation. The amount of the largest discrete increment should be included in the minimum volume. If a bootstrap reservoir is used. When the fluid level drops below the minimum volume. Fluid Expansion Due to Pressure – When fluid goes from low pressure (return pressure) to full system pressure. it may be unreasonable to assume all unbalanced actuators are extended. Leakage for this calculation is the expected system leakage (normal leakage) over the desired maintenance interval of the system. When the fluid level is between the minimum and full fluid volumes. external seals and components will undergo some expansion. military specifications recommend the calculations assume the largest accumulator gas precharge is zero and the remaining accumulators are at their minimal volume (minimal precharge pressure). Leak Detect System – Some leak detect systems only provide detection at discrete increments of reservoir volume through either the use of switches. flaps are deployed. Military specifications suggest using 130% of fuse volumes for all fuses considered under the worst case operational scenario. For example. the volume calculation should assume the accumulator precharge is zero (i. Military specifications suggest 125% of the computed emergency reserve be included in the minimum required accumulator volume. hoses. A potential critical condition for many aircraft would be landing where landing gear is extended. When in flight. 8. The minimum volume can also be considered a refill volume. 4. The full volume is the minimum fluid volume plus an amount for leakage. At the full volume level.. the accumulators will need to be filled with hydraulic fluid. The volume of fluid that flows into a fuse when it closes should be included in the minimum required volume calculation.e. Thermal Contraction – As the hydraulic fluid gets cold. whichever is worse. the indication system should indicate a need to fill the reservoir. hydraulic fluid will fill the entire volume of the accumulator). Hydraulic Fuses – Most hydraulic fuses are volume based so that they will shut flow off when a volumetric flow is exceeded. When computing the accumulator component of minimum volume. The next volume increment is maximum fluid volume. a certain volume of fluid must flow into the fuse. Therefore. The total fluid volume due to contraction thermal should be computed using a delta temperature from the nominal temperature (say. 7. thrust reversers are deployed and brakes are operating (brake pistons extended). Ground servicing conditions should be identified using worst case expected maintenance conditions based on maintenance manual procedures. As a guideline. the fluid will contract and reduce the fluid level in the reservoir. then the emergency reserve needs to be contained in a separate reservoir and this volume does not need to be included in the main reservoir calculation. the worst case combination of hydraulic fuse volume that does not represent an extremely improbable failure condition should be used. military specifications recommend the leakage volume be a minimum of 5% of the total reservoir volume. the indication system should indicate the reservoir level is ok. switch variation (including installation variation) or sensor thresholds/detection time delays when using continuous sensors. In systems with a single accumulator. 5. Accumulator Filling – When pressurizing a system that has been depressurized. As a general rule. pipes.

Pressure drop due to flow between the reservoir and pump(s) – if reservoir feeds more than 1 pump then the worst case loss should be used. Maximum flow rate required by all pumps fed by the reservoir – this is used in computing pressure losses between reservoir and pump(s) 3. Other pressure losses – any additional pressure losses for a particular system which are not included above should be included (in most applications. large inflow rates will reduce the air volume causing the air pressure to rise. 4. maintain pump inlet pressure and flow) throughout the range of fluid volume (maximum volume level to minimum volume level). This will occur faster than the pressure regulator will respond. Therefore. For proper operation of the pump(s). Maximum fluid volume calculations should assume the same hydraulic system configuration as used in the minimum fluid volume calculations. First and foremost. Checks valves installed in the air pressurization line can help prevent fluid flow back up the air line. Lastly. there should be no leakage of hydraulic fluid back into the gas pressurization line over the range of operation (attitudes. Military specifications require gas volumes to be a minimum 10% of total reservoir volume. keep in mind that the air cannot readily escape from the reservoir (won’t overpower the air pressure regulator plus any check valve will also trap air in the reservoir). 70°F) to maximum system temperature. When computing the gas volume. Flight vehicle attitudes and acceleration limits (including negative g acceleration conditions) should be evaluated when assessing gas pressurization characteristics. Thermal expansion is computed using a delta temperature from a nominal temperature (say. the gas volume should be sufficiently large so that high inflow rates will not overpressure the reservoir and/or cause the relief valve to open. For example. the necessary gas volume must be computed. Ideally the gas pressure range should be reasonably constant over the operational range.). 1. When evaluating for high inflow rates. accelerations. etc. Reservoir Pressure The second critical aspect in reservoir design is the determining the required pressurization. Minimum and maximum pump inlet pressure – this is provided by the pump manufacturer and are the values required to ensure the pump meets its operating performance characteristics 2. The flow rate for each tubing segment should be used when computing pressure losses. when unbalanced landing gear actuators are retracted the additional fluid in the non-rod end of the actuator must be absorbed by the reservoir. there is no set formula but there are specific items to consider. Pressure loss due to elevation – use whenever pump inlet is more than a few inches above the reservoir outlet line 7. Pressure drop through any fittings or components installed in the tubing between the reservoir and pump – if components are only fittings and pressure loss through fittings is small (such as through swaged fittings) this portion may be small or negligible 5. negative g. Secondly. the reservoir pressure is computed using P =P + ∆P + ∆P + ∆P + ∆P + ∆P reservoir PumpInlet LineLosses Components FluidAcceleration Elevation other .reservoir when unbalanced actuators are retracted (in the minimum fluid volume position). the hydraulic fluid pressure in the reservoir must be maintained between the upper and lower limits specified by the pump manufacturer. For a gas volume reservoir. The following factors should be taken into account when determining reservoir pressure levels. items 1-6 above are sufficient) Mathematically. Pressure required to accelerate the fluid in the line – as a pump goes from a no flow to a full flow the fluid in the line will need to be accelerated (total mass used in the computation should be the total mass of fluid in the line between reservoir and pump(s) 6.e. the gas volume should be sufficient to maintain sufficient pressure on the fluid (i..

which would include loss in connectors. Hydraulic – Equations) or using the equation σ∆p = KQn ( see Pipe Flow. – these losses could be computed using the orifice flow equation (see Orifice Flow. Hydraulic – Equations for more information on this equation) ∆P FluidAcceleration pressure loss required to accelerate fluid in pump inlet tube to required flow rate – this is computed using the following equation  ρ A L  dv  ρ A L    ρL Force ma  p P  dt  p P  1 dQ P dQ  = ∆P = = = = FluidAcceleration Area A A A dt A  A dt   p  p p p p where ρ Ap Lp Q t m a v fluid density pipe cross-sectional area pipe length volumetric flow rate time fluid mass fluid acceleration fluid velocity ∆P pressure loss required to elevate fluid from reservoir outlet to pump inlet – this is Elevation computed using the following equation = ρgh ∆P Elevation where ρ g h fluid density acceleration due to gravity elevation difference between reservoir outlet and pump inlet . valves. Hydraulic – Equations) ∆P pressure loss due to any components in the piping between the reservoir and pump Components inlet.where P reservoir P PumpInlet required pressurization level for the reservoir minimum required pump inlet pressure from pump manufacturer ∆P pressure loss due to flow friction – this is computed using laminar or turbulent flow LineLosses equations for pipe flow (see Pipe Flow. etc.

this would set the pressure regulator setting. then the reservoir pressurization system design requirements is known.∆P other any other pressure losses not included in above When the above elements are summed and the required fluid pressurization level known. For a gas pressurized reservoir. For a bootstrap reservoir this would help determine the delta piston areas. .