Penstocks and manifolds
ANDRITZ HYDRO designs, manufactures, and installs pressure conduits (penstocks, pipe bridges, or steel tunnel linings), bi- and trifurcations as well as complete manifold systems.
Beside the hydraulic optimization of water conduits, the choice of suitable materials (along with the most economic process technology) is a major concern in penstock construction.
The main criterion for bifurcators is to achieve optimum flow behavior. Model tests are performed in ANDRITZ HYDRO research labs as well as in cooperation with university institutes to determine the optimum hydraulic shape, i.e. the one showing the least head losses.
With the size of today’s projects, it is necessary to reduce costs in combination with the maximum use of local resources, which requires more and more on-site manufacturing. ANDRITZ HYDRO started to fabricate penstocks directly on-site some 30 years ago. A temporary field workshop is set up to house all the necessary machinery for production and testing so that deliveries to the site are limited to unmachined and flat plates only.
The verification of computational methods is very important for state-of-the-art designs. The calculated stresses in complex geometrical structures such as bifurcators are checked routinely by strain gauge measurements on the prototype of a model. The data measured is used to improve the stress analysis programs. In a series of theoretical studies and model tests to verify the theory of critical buckling pressure of ring-stiffened pipes, ANDRITZ HYDRO has been able to achieve a major contribution to this aspect of science, which resulted in economical and safety improvements to components.
- penstock world records in heads (2,070, particularly 1,500 m water head)
- penstock world record in internal diameter (13.26 m)
- largest project in terms of volume (26,000 tons of steel conduits and penstocks), Mingtan Pumped Storage / Taiwan