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Public-images-osm logo.svg usage = penstock
Pipeline penstocks.jpg
Pipeline specific usage dedicated to water channelling for power generation at bottom of mountains, the pipe is located between headrace and turbines Edit or translate this description.
Group: Man made
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal

Outdoor pipeline penstock

Penstocks are intended to direct water down a mountain for power generation with the highest elevation difference between its start and its end.

They are physically tilted pipes taking water from a high elevation to power turbines. Such pipes should be mapped with existing man_made=pipeline + substance=water + usage=penstock.

Those structures are particular and usually shielded to handle large amount of water flowing at a high pressure. The most the elevation difference is high, the most will be the pressure.

waterway=pressurised applies here.

Penstocks can be whether overground or underground (location=*). Underground penstocks can be directly dug in bedrock or located inside a human accessible tunnel. tunnel=yes should only be used for human accessible tunnels hosting pipes. If not, don't use tunnel=* key.


Key Value Comment Recommendation
waterway pressurised This is always a pipe flow waterway mandatory
man_made pipeline A penstock is here considered as a pipeline mandatory
substance water A penstock always carries water mandatory
usage penstock No comment mandatory
location <penstock location> Depending of environment and ground shape, penstocks can be overground or underground recommended
diameter <penstock nominal diameter> The nominal diameter (ISO 6708) of the pipe optional
pressure <nominal penstock pressure> The nominal pressure the penstock is designed for optional
material <penstock material> The material used to build the pipes. optional
operator <penstock operator> Name of the company operating the penstock recommended
direction both or nothing Only use both for pumped storage power plants where water can go up & down optional


Photo Aerial view Tagging Note
Pipeline penstocks
pressure=70 bar
Metallic penstocks feeding a power plant down the mountain. No air can get inside and water goes pipe flow
Construction of a pressure shaft
Vertical shafts are shielded as pipeline without tubes. Pipes are connected upstream and downstream.

See the two vertical shafts on the power plant digital model and some pics of how it was built with a raise drill machine.

Since Nant de Drance power plant can pump water back, penstocks, tunnels and shafts get direction=both.