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Hybrid car developer makes lightweight accumulators

Hybrid car developer makes lightweight accumulator
In its efforts to develop an efficient hydraulic hybrid passenger vehicle, Lightning Hybrids Inc. (LHI), Loveland, Colo., introduced lightweight high-pressure composite bladder accumulators for hydraulic and other energy storage applications.

Lightweight accumulators

LHI’s composite tanks are one-third the weight of standard steel accumulators and offer significant energy savings due to weight reduction, increased safety due to a higher than standard burst pressure factor, and cost savings because they are easier and less expensive to ship and install since weight and mounting hardware are minimized.

The tanks were engineered specifically for use in the company’s HyPER Assist hydraulic hybrid vehicle application, but can also find use in emergency vehicles, and forestry, agricultural, and mining mobile equipment, among others.

“Our lightweight accumulators enhance the performance and efficiency of a variety of hydraulic systems,” stated Dan Johnson, LHI’s CEO. “In addition, they add a higher dimension of safety and reliability over standard steel accumulators.”

Structural Composites Industries, a subsidiary of Worthington Industries, manufactures the accumulators for Lightning Hybrids.The accumulators are 6000 psi bladder type and range in size from 10 to 30 gal.They are a Type 3 tank and consist of an aluminum lining and a spun carbon fiber wrapped shell, encompassing a nitrogen gas compression bladder. LHI’s carbon fiber wrapped vessels are considerably lighter than their steel counterparts. For example, a 15 gal accumulator weighs 115 lb compared to 465 lb for a steel accumulator.

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