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Accumulator (Koomey)

An accumulator or Koomey unit is a unit used to hydraulically operate Rams BOP, Annular BOP,
HCR and some hydraulic equipment. There are several of high pressure cylinders that store gas (in
bladders) and hydraulic fluid or water under pressure for hydraulic activated systems. The primary
purpose of this unit is to supply hydraulic power to the BOP stack in order to close/open BOP stack
for both normal operational and emergency situation. Stored hydraulic in the system can provide
hydraulic power to close BOPs in well control operation, therefore, kick volume will be minimized.
The accumulator should have sufficient volume to close/open all preventers and accumulator
pressure must be maintained all time. According to API RP53, your reservoir tank should have a total
volume at least 2 times of usable volume to close all BOP equipment.

Pressure based on 3,000 psi surface stack system that you should check on BOP remote
panel and koomey unit is listed below:

Manifold pressure at +/- 1,500 psi


Accumulator pressure at +/- 3,000 psi
Annular preventer at +/- 500 1,500 psi
Rig Air at +/- 100 130 psi

There are 4 main components of the Koomey unit as follows:


Accumulators
Pumping system (electric and pneumatic pumps)

Manifold system
Reservoir tank
According to API RP 53, there must be 2 or 3 independent sources of power that will be available for
each closing unit. Typically, you will these following sources:
Hydraulic with pressure charged in the bottles.
Pneumatic
Electric

The diagram below demonstrates how the accumulator is lined up for the surface stack.

Please remember that the diagram is for learning purpose. It may or may not match with your rig
configuration. However, the concept of it is the same.

A: Pressure regulator is used to maintain pressure at annular side at 500-1500 psi


B: Pressure regulator is used to maintain the manifold pressure at 1,500 psi
Blue line for opening equipment as VBRs, Blind/Shear Rams, Annular, HCR.
Red line for closing equipment as VBRs, Blind/Shear Rams, Annular, HCR.

Mechanism of Accumulator (Koomey Unit)


This topic describes how an accumulator (Koomey Unit) works. First of all, I will start with
accumulator bottles. The accumulator bottles are used to store hydraulic pressure for
closing/opening all blow out preventers. Each bottle, which has a rubber bladder inside, has a
storage volume of 10 gallons. The rubber bladder inside is pre-charged to 1,000 psi with Nitrogen
(N2). Each bottle will be pressured up 200 psi over the pressure charge pressure. At this stage, 1.7
gal of hydraulic fluid is used in order to compress N2 to minimum system pressure of 1,200 psi (200
psi over pre charge pressure), called minimum operating pressure. Hydraulic oil will be pumped
into the bottle until pressure in the bladder reach 3,000 psi, called Operating Pressure. Volume of
hydraulic fluid used to pressure up from 1200 psi to 3000 ps,which is called Useable Fluid, is equal
to 5 gallons,

Note: I will show you how to use Bolyes Law to figure out usable fluid later.

Accumulator Pressure Charging System


In an accumulator unit as shown in the figure below as an example, there are one electric pump and
two pneumatic pumps, which will be automatically pumped hydraulic fluid, which is stored in a
reservoir tank when pressure in bottles is below set pressure in order to maintain bottle pressure at
3,000 psi. The electric pump is mainly used to maintain pressure. Pneumatic pumps will be use in
case of 1) the electric pump failure and 2) helping the electric pump to increase bottle pressure
quicker.

Note: you may see different set up depending on the rig but the concept is the same.

Hydraulic fluid under pressured is divided into two following ways:


1. The first way is used for controlling an annular preventer. Hydraulic under pressure of 3,000 psi in
bottles passes a pressure regulator (in the figure is a regulator A) in order to regulate pressure
from 3,000 to 500-1500 psi for operating annular preventer. Pressure used to operate the annular
preventer must be less than pressure used to operate rams preventer because high pressure will
damage a rubber seal inside of the annular preventer.

2. Another way is used to control rams preventers (VBRs rams, blind/shear rams, pipe rams) and
HCR valves. Hydraulic under pressure of 3,000 psi in bottles passes a pressure regulator (in the
figure is a regulator B) in order to reduce pressure from 3,000 to 1,500 psi for operating rams
preventers and HCR valves. The regulated hydraulic fluid under pressure of 1,500 goes to a
manifold which is used to divide hydraulic pressure in many ways to operate equipment. This is
normally called Manifold Pressure.
All pressure activated equipment as annular preventer, VBRs and HCR valves have two hydraulic
fluid ports. One is for opening equipment and another one is for closing equipment. You can operate
the BOP equipment by pushing remote switches or handles at the accumulator unit. In case of
opening equipment, pressured hydraulic fluid will be transmitted to the open port and hydraulic
power will drive an internal mechanism inside equipment in order to open equipment. Fluid in closing
side will be pushed out and go back to a reservoir tank. On the contrary, in case of closing
equipment, the process is quite as same as opening process but only fluid flow direction is opposite.

Accumulator

Manifold Bypass

Manifold Pressure Gauge

Unit/Remote Switch

4 Annular Regulator

5. Accumulator Bottle

6. Hydraulic fluid reservoir

7. Hydro-pneumatic pressure switch

8. Air operated pumps

9. Electric pressure sensor

10. Electric Pressur Censor

11. 3 position, 4 way selector valve