Thermal & Fluids - Hydraulic and Fluid Distribution Systems

Principles - Hydraulic and Fluid Distribution Systems - 9 of 80 Problems

“Hydraulic and Fluid Applications” accounts for approximately 24 questions on the Thermal & Fluids Mechanical PE exam. Hydraulic and Fluid Applications is broken up into two parts: (1) Hydraulic and Fluid Equipment and (2) Hydraulic and Fluid Distribution Systems. Hydraulic and Fluid Distribution Systems is covered on this page.

Both topics, Equipment and Systems, point towards the topics of Hydraulics and Pneumatics. Hydraulics includes the equipment necessary to do work with liquid. This includes pumps, pipes, pressure vessels, control valves, actuators and connections, as shown in the simply hydraulic system.


A simple hydraulic system consists of a reservoir that holds the hydraulic fluid, followed by a pump that pressurizes the fluid. The pressurized fluid in pink is then used to power an actuating cylinder to conduct mechanical work. In order to avoid over pressurization, there is a relief valve in the system. The green line shows the hydraulic fluid returning back to the reservoir when not needed.

Pneumatics includes the equipment necessary to do work with air. This includes compressors, tubing, pressure vessels, control valves, actuators and connections, as shown in the simply pneumatic system.


The blue indicates the topics that are covered under Equipment and the green indicates the topics that are covered under Distribution Systems.


The information shown on this website is a sample of the material provided in the technical study guide and sample exam. See the STORE to purchase these items.

Distribution Systems

The Distribution Systems section is a part of the following sections, Hydraulic/Fluid Equipment Fluid Mechanics, and Energy/Power Equipment.

Piping/Ducting - Liquid/Air Distribution Systems

The questions on liquid piping will be primarily on pressure drops and velocity in the pipes, which is covered in the Fluid Mechanics section. You should be able to find the pressure at any point in an open or closed piping system. The control valves which are also a part of the Piping Distribution Systems are covered in this book in the Equipment section.

Open vs. Closed Distribution Systems

The closed piping systems are related to the distribution of cooling/heating water in Energy/Power Equipment and the distribution of hydraulic fluid in Hydraulic/Pneumatic systems. The open piping systems are related to the cooling tower systems, which is covered in the Energy/Power Equipment section. If you understand the way the fluids are distributed in each of those respective sections, then you should be able to complete the Distribution Systems Problems.

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