Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering (to 2013)

First Advisor

Christopher Cho

Second Advisor

Jerry Hamelink

Third Advisor

Jeff Huffman, CFPE of FEMA Corporation


Hydraulic test cell, power recovery


Wasted power during testing and development of fluid power components is a major concern due to the negative environmental impact and overall associated energy costs. This report describes a developmental hydraulic test stand and several configurations that could result in recovering wasted power. In this test stand, a hydraulic pump capable of 300 horsepower and above is in the design stages within the testing facilities at FEMA Corporation. The pump contained on this test stand will be designed to create a flow that would simulate what a customer directional control valve would see in a real-world application. The standard hydraulic test circuit setup would utilize a relief valve to build the necessary pressure for testing, but it does so at a great energy loss. The purpose of this project was to examine several alternative methods to recoup that energy.

The first method involved taking the heat created at the relief valve created from friction and circulating it through to heat the building the circuit occupies. The second concept utilizes highly efficient accumulators in succession of multiple customer valves. The third concept inputs the wasted energy into a hydraulic generator, which can be put directly into FEMA’s electric grid. The final concept settled on takes a hydraulic motor and links the energy created right back into the test stand for a closed loop power recovery.

A simulation was conducted for validation of the hand calculations and theory, which determined the appropriate size for maximum energy recovery. A cost analysis was also conducted to seek out the initial investment and the electrical consumption from the circuit both with and without the power recovery components. The conclusions drawn from the theory and simulations prove that FEMA can save energy and money by implementing the closed loop power recovery circuit.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access