Energy Recovery Inc VorTeq Hydraulic Pump System


Energy Recovery, Inc VorTeq Hydraulic Pump System

Power Zone was originally contacted by Energy Recovery for a pump in fall of 2013. After a call on Tuesday, Power Zone’s operations manager was in Energy Recovery’s California office on Friday. After some discussion, Power Zone was not only to provide a pump, but an entire testing system for further development of Energy Recovery’s Pressure Exchanger technology. Energy Recovery’s goals were to bring their revolutionary Pressure Exchanger into the world of hydraulic fracturing.

To meet those goals, Power Zone began work on the design and fabrication of a test loop that would mimic the abrasive conditions and pressures usually encountered in fracking operations. In addition, it had to be installed and ready to go in only nine weeks. All of which had to fit within Energy Recovery’s existing space. That meant finding, purchasing, assembling, shipping, and installing an entire system which included heat rejection, slurry mixing, separation systems, a 2250 horse power, 15,000 PSI pump, piping, and a control system.

ERI Test Loop Pump Concept

ERI Test Loop Pump Final Product

The pump package shown above was designed and built by Power Zone for Energy Recovery’s test loop system. The pump is a typical positive displacement pump often used in hydraulic fracturing operations.


That is not an easy task. With so many different systems and applications, Power Zone’s team had to pull together to reach its goal. With such a short timeframe, Power Zone’s different departments had to work simultaneously at design, purchasing, rebuilding, and fabrication. The pump itself was not available, so a custom built pump had to be fabricated from in stock parts, and then packaged by Power Zone. The parts of the test loop were shipped to Energy Recovery’s facilities in California and were installed. The full system was operational by the nine week mark.

As Energy Recovery utilized the test loop, discussion began about the design of the first VorTeq hydraulic pump system. Power Zone worked with Energy Recovery in formalizing the requirements, function, and layout of the VorTeq system before beginning to sketch preliminary design options. The first VorTeq was becoming a reality.

Power Zone began fabrication on the missile trailer mid-year of 2014 with the goal of being finished by Energy Recovery’s investor meeting in December. The VorTeq was a large project. One of Power Zone’s largest. It also was not the only project moving through Power Zone’s facilities. Reaching the goal required quick adaption from Power Zone’s typical projects. The first of its kind, the VorTeq really was something new.

It was impressive. The length of VorTeq ran across one side of the shop, spanning a length of 50 feet across the floor. At over thirteen feet tall, it towered over the other two projects the Power Zone team was working on. The project is a record for Power Zone. It is to this day, the only project that has, at some point in its lifecycle, had all 38 employees working on some portion of the project. Sales, engineering, parts procurement, fabrication, blast, paint, assembly, testing, and even HR, IT, and facility maintenance.

The VorTeq awaiting testing at Power Zone's facilities

The VorTeq, shown above, is waiting for testing inside Power Zone Equipment’s testing facility. The test included a function test and hydrostatic testing before leaving Power Zone’s facilities.


As the building of the VorTeq came to a close, the focus shifted to the extensive testing that was quickly approaching. Almost a full project in itself, the testing of the VorTeq required direct communication with Energy Recovery, coordination of the testing department, purchasing of the necessary components, and design by Power Zone’s engineering department.

Working side by side with Energy Recovery’s team, the VorTeq went through a series of tests from initial function to 15,000 PSI hydrostatic testing to ensure safety in the field. At the close of testing, the VorTeq system was ready to head out for more extensive field testing with Liberty Oilfield Services. After a six month testing period, Energy Recovery signed a 15 year, $125 million deal with Schlumberger.

Power Zone Equipment is excited to see the success of its customers. It look forward to continuing work with Energy Recovery to help reach their goals. The Energy Recovery VorTeq pumping system goes to show the flexibility of Power Zone, no matter what project comes through the doors.


“I wanted to take a minute to thank the PZE team for a great performance. This project, a one-of-a-kind project, has been a wonderful experience, and it was mostly because of your work ethics and dedication. Along with an incredibly talented team, PZE has provided us with an incomparable service and for that, Energy Recovery in general and myself in particular are eternally grateful. I have yet to work with such a great team and look forward to future business.

Please communicate to all your team my sentiments regarding its contribution. I did not say good bye to each one of you personally, because I will be back!!”


Nocair Bensalah
Energy Recovery Inc.