The pen is mightier than the sword, said Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839. He is also renowned for the opening line “it was a dark a stormy night” – but storms are a story for another blog!
As we continue our latest series of flow control blogs, it’s important to explain a bit about penstocks, as one of the key products used in the sector. The word ‘penstock’ comes from the 17th Century, when watermills provided much of the power available to us. Although – as we have seen before – this concept itself was based on the Greek method of using water wheels to grind wheat into flour over 2000 years ago. Here in the UK, a pond was frequently used to feed the mill’s water wheel – called a ‘pen’. The flow of water on to the wheel was controlled by ‘stock’: timber stop logs. Over time, the water’s velocity needed to be more accurately regulated and the (stock) logs were replaced by a single gate. This could be operated mechanically – and remotely – and became known as a penstock.
Today, penstocks have progressed a long way from milling flour, powered by village ponds. They are used for wastewater treatment plants, industrial effluent plants, waterways, and Hydro-electric plants, as well as well as other applications in need of flow control. High quality penstocks are made from the best stainless steel, of various grades, depending on requirements. They can be designed for specific environments, various mounting situations, inland/marine applications and submerged sea water projects, as well as for other, bespoke usage.
IBS Engineered Products can supply penstocks designed specifically for a client’s requirements. We consider the fluid or liquid they need to control, where they will be used and how they will be fixed in place. There are other considerations to take into account as well, including: whether to use a rising or non-rising spindle, on or off-seating head of water, manual or powered actuation, and isolating or modulating duty. Our ability to design bespoke solutions means we can provide penstocks that are suitable for a wide range of applications from high water heads, to curved invert sections suitable for sewer locations.
As well as penstocks, IBS supply a wide range of flow control equipment designed and manufactured in strict accordance with the latest issue of DIN 19704 – Hydraulic Steel Structures.
The IBS Group has been supplying these items extensively throughout the UK and Europe since 1994, meaning that we have 25 years’ experience in their design and manufacture. We work closely with consultants, contractors, and government agencies, to ensure that they receive the best possible advice when designing their projects.
Our next blog in this ‘flow control’ series will look in more detail at another of our flow control products and see how we use a wide variety of Valves to help our customers.
And to give penstocks the last word: now you know what they can control and how – you really can see how mighty they are……