The Accusump has been around for over 30 years. Since it was created, the Accusump has saved countless engines, spared thousands of bank accounts and allowed racers to continue racing instead of needing costly engine rebuilds in the middle of racing season.
The Accusump is a piston style Accumulator. To really understand what that means we need to break that down into two parts. Part one, what an Accumulator is, and part two, the benefits of the piston design.
What’s an Accumulator?
Accumulators have been around for a long time and used in many different industries. The definition of an Accumulator is, “anapparatus that stores fluid at approximately the working pressure ofthe hydraulic system in which it will be employed, so that a supply offluid is always immediately available to the system.” In the case of the Accusump, it is an automotive accumulator that plumbs into an engine’s oil system to prevent pressure drops and also provide oil pressure to the bearings before starting an engine.
The bellow illustration demonstrates how the Accusump oil accumulator operates. During normal engine operation and oil pressure ranges the accumulator fills with oil and holds it under pressure. During interruptions in the engine’s normal oil pressure the accumulator discharges that oil back into the system.
Benefits of a Piston Design
The piston style design is the other side of the description. There are several other styles of Accumulators with various strengths and weaknesses.There are bladder style, spring style, diaphragm & of course piston style. For the purpose of this blog post we are only concerned with piston style. The piston style design gives the Accusump several distinct performance advantages. The first and most useful advantage is that the Accusump can be mounted in any orientation. Some accumulators rely on an air bubble to push the fluid out. The air bubble style accumulator needs to be mounted vertically with the oil side facing down and air side up for the unit to work. The piston design eliminates this issue by providing a separation between the oil and air within the accumulator.
Piston style accumulators also hold an advantage in their ability to hold a precharge of air pressure even when there is no pressure in the oil system. Again, due to the piston separating the air and oil sides of the accumulator, pressure can be separately added to the air side to “pre-charge” the unit. This pre-charge limits the Accusump to only filling with oil after a minimum of oil pressure is established in the system and also provides a little extra push when discharging. The importance of the pre-charge in a piston style accumulator cannot be understated.
When speaking specifically about the Accusump accumulator design, it is important to note it is completely rebuild-able and serviceable. In the event of an engine failure the Accusump can be disassembled, cleaned and rebuilt to original spec. Other styles don’t always have this capability.
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