The three most common causes of penstock failures are geotechnical issues, deterioration, and vacuum-related failures. Through improved operations and maintenance activities and a careful evaluation of assessment data (i.e. inspection, surveillance, and failure mode analysis) these common failures can be minimized and potentially prevented. Since penstock failures can result in loss of life, property damage, adverse environmental impacts and lost revenue, an improved industry understanding of the potential operational risks and failure modes is imperative. To this end, a comprehensive industry assessment guide for identifying and integrating a risk informed assessment and potential failure mode analyses into a utility inspection and maintenance program has been developed.
The primary objective of this manual is to provide industry guidelines that can be used by hydropower owners to make informed decisions for the inspection and assessment of penstocks. In developing this guide, the basic approach was to integrate two existing ASCE publications, Guidelines for Evaluating Aging Penstocks (1995) and Guidelines for Inspection and Monitoring of In-Service Penstocks (2000), into a single reference manual, enhanced where appropriate with current practices and augmented by contemporary risk-informed decision making and existing best management practices for penstock asset management, monitoring and surveillance.
Hydroelectric, Penstocks, Inspection, Assessment, Asset management, Risk