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Constant-Differential-Pressure Two-Fluid AccumulatorA two-fluid accumulator has been designed, built, and demonstrated to provide an acceptably close approximation to constant differential static pressure between two fluids over the full ranges of (1) accumulator stroke, (2) rates of flow of the fluids, and (3) common static pressure applied to the fluids. Prior differential- pressure two-fluid accumulators are generally not capable of maintaining acceptably close approximations to constant differential pressures. The inadequacies of a typical prior differential-pressure two-fluid accumulator can be summarized as follows: The static differential pressure is governed by the intrinsic spring rate (essentially, the stiffness) of an accumulator tank. The spring rate can be tailored through selection of the tank-wall thickness, selection of the number and/or shape of accumulator convolutions, and/or selection of accumulator material(s). Reliance on the intrinsic spring rate of the tank results in three severe limitations: (1) The spring rate and the expulsion efficiency tend to be inversely proportional to each other: that is to say, as the stiffness (and thus the differential pressure) is increased, the range of motion of the accumulator is reduced. (2) As the applied common static pressure increases, the differential pressure tends to decrease. An additional disadvantage, which may or may not be considered limiting, depending on the specific application, is that an increase in stiffness entails an increase in weight. (3) The additional weight required by a low expulsion efficiency accumulator eliminates the advantage given to such gas storage systems. The high expulsion efficiency provided by this two-fluid accumulator allows for a lightweight, tightly packaged system, which can be used in conjunction with a fuel cell-based system.
Document ID
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Piecuch, Benjamin (Proton Energy Systems, Inc. Rocky Hill, CT, United States)
Dalton, Luke T. (Proton Energy Systems, Inc. Rocky Hill, CT, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2010
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, March 2010
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20100009649Analytic PrimaryNASA Tech Briefs, March 2010