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Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

An electrical charge being generated in the High Voltage Lab

High Voltage Lab

Ensuring the reliable and sustainable supply of energy in increasing quantities, while also meeting the desire for reduced environmental impact, is a global challenge.

Innovation plays a vital role in ensuring we meet the challenges associated with increased energy demand and changing generation mixes, and significant investment is being made into our electrical networks at a pace unparalleled in recent years.

The University's High Voltage Laboratory (officially named the National Grid Power Systems Research Centre) is the home to research funded by industry, the UK government and the EU. The mixture of highly skilled researchers and academics provide the edge in innovative and experimentation consultancy that are not found in other services.

The Lab, along with its test facilities, is capable of working with existing utilities and development companies in testing and assessing equipment at high voltages. The staff are capable of providing consultancy for the needs of today's transmission and distribution expansion and innovation.


Desk-based analysis

  • Assessment of new tower, conductor and cable designs
  • Electromagnetic field and interference studies
  • Earthing analysis
  • Failure analysis using FEA methods (electrical, thermal and multi stress)


The High Voltage Lab contains the following equipment:

  • 2MV impulse generator
  • 800kV AC test set
  • 600kV DC test set
  • 20kVA high current source (configurable to maximum current of 10kA)
  • Salt fog and environmental test chambers
  • Modern digital measurement equipment
  • Material processing and characterisation equipment
  • RIV measurement systems
  • UV inspection facilities for corona monitoring
  • High voltage environment chambers for testing of equipment in harsh environments
  • Anechoic chamber, with 200kV input for noise and corona measurements
  • Software simulation capabilities (FEA modelling, PSCAD, CDEGS)

Laboratory testing

  • Noise and corona analysis
  • Insulation system development and testing
  • Condition monitoring of high voltage plant (switch gear and transformers)
  • Assessment of new materials
  • Forensic analysis

Site testing

  • Asset management techniques
  • Long-term tests and data acquisition

Take a tour of the High Voltage Lab

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 8735