Penstocks are a basic component in hydropower power plants. They are essentially large pipes or pipelines that transport or deliver water to a turbine, which in turn runs a motor in the plant that produces electricity. The water flows by gravity downhill through the penstock pipe, and the energy from the falling water powers the turbine. Penstocks also are used to convey water over distances, if necessary, to the power plant from the water source.
Hydropower accounts for about 7 percent of electricity production in the United States. Roughly 70 percent comes from burning fossil fuels – mostly coal and natural gas. Both processes are similar in that a turbine is turned so that power is produced by a generator.
AMERICAN spiral-welded steel pipe in diameters up to 144 inches and AMERICAN ductile iron pipe in diameters up to 64 inches are both reliable selections for penstocks in hydropower plants. AMERICAN also furnishes standard ductile iron and steel fittings as well as special fittings to meet specific construction requirements.