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Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

High Voltage Lab and its equipment

High Voltage Lab

Our High Voltage Lab is the biggest electrical infrastructure test and research facility in UK academia. Here, we are helping to transform the future of high voltage.

From our £9m labs, we collaborate with small businesses, large industry organisations and governments worldwide, sharing our skills, knowledge and equipment to apply research to real life problems.

  • We specialise in helping expedite innovation in electricity infrastructure, test the field for new products, resolve existing challenges in transmission and distribution, and accelerate the electrification of future transport. We provide our partners with bespoke, cutting edge research - on anything from a one day to a decade long basis.
  • Examples of our work include working on high voltage systems of future electric aircraft to novel cable transmission systems.
  • Equipped with cutting-edge capabilities, including equipment designed for use on the 400kV power systems, we find ways to innovate at pace.
  • We are committed to playing a pivotal role in ensuring the UK’s low carbon energy is sustainable, just and secure. As a result, our Labs are also used to train the next generation of engineers, who will continue to drive the changes necessary to transform our energy system.

Watch our video of the high voltage lab



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)

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)

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

Having real-world impact 

Our work in the High Voltage Lab is focused one goal: to deliver real impact. At Manchester we’re committed to delivering an equitable and prosperous net zero energy future.