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Syllabus for

Academic year
MTT040 - High voltage technology
Syllabus adopted 2015-02-11 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPEPO
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Electrical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: D

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   03 Jun 2016 am H,  06 Apr 2016 pm M,  15 Aug 2016 am M

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Professor  Stanislaw Gubanski


EEK195   High voltage technology


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

High voltage engineering


Preparing students to carry out engineering tasks involving design, laboratory testing as well as maintenance of high voltage components in power systems and in other technological applications through understanding of physical phenomena important for proper functioning of insulation systems in high voltage applications. Focus is set on selection of adequate processes and materials that yield desired electric properties (breakdown and flashover strength, ionisation, conduction and polarisation). Based on this understanding the knowledge on design criteria for insulation dimensioning and on principles for insulation diagnostics is built, including elucidation of basic differences in insulation systems for ac and dc applications.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Recognize various types of apparatuses and insulators in high voltage substations and networks and explain phenomena leading to their failure; understand criteria for insulator selection.
  • Identify insulating materials and systems most frequently used in high voltage technology and characterise their advantageous and disadvantageous properties.
  • Calculate or estimate electric field strength and its distribution in real insulation systems exposed to ac and dc high voltages; analyse the importance of geometrical design for optimizing electric field distributions.
  • Apply computer based tools for solving complex field distribution problems in various high voltage components; demonstrate the outcomes of your simulations and communicate them to other students.
  • Possess knowledge on allowable working electric stresses in different insulation systems.
  • Be acquainted with different methods for controlling electric field distribution in high voltage devices.
  • Explain physical mechanisms responsible for various types of electric discharges in gases with special emphasis to streamer, barrier (partial), surface and arc discharges.
  • Describe the influence of different parameters, like electrode geometry, temperature, humidity and pressure, on the electric strength in different insulating materials.
  • Evaluate risk for appearance of partial discharges in insulation systems containing defects.
  • Define and describe the mechanisms of electric conduction, polarisation and breakdown in gaseous, liquid and solid insulating materials (dielectrics).
  • Identify the dielectric response in insulating materials an systems; explain how measurements of dielectric response can be used for diagnostics of high voltage devices.
  • Recognize environmental risks imposed by different materials used in high voltage technology.


The course is composed of lectures, tutorials, laboratory experiments, demonstrations and project work. In addition, a study trip is organized to demonstrate manufacturing of high voltage devices and their testing.

Lectures and tutorials cover the following topics:
  • Electric fields: field distribution in practical dielectric systems, capacitance calculations, geometric-, capacitive- and resistive field grading, the finite element method (FEM) for field calculations.
  • Breakdown mechanisms: in vacuum, gaseous-, liquid- and solid dielectrics, i.e. streamer mechanism, corona, electronegative gases, arc discharge, arc (current) interruption techniques in gases; bubble and particle initiated breakdown in liquids; intrinsic, thermal- and partial discharge initiated breakdown, treeing in solids.
  • Conduction and polarisation: mechanisms of conduction and polarisation in insulating media, dielectric response, concepts of resistivity (conductivity), permittivity and dielectric losses.
  • Insulation materials and systems: insulation systems in practice - organic and inorganic materials for insulation, impregnated insulation, composite insulation, ageing and life expectancy.
  • DC insulation: materials for DC applications, capacitive- and resistive field distribution including transient states, influence of surface- and space charges, principles for measuring charge distribution; influence of a thermal gradients.
  • Advanced measuring techniques/diagnostics: measurements of resistivity, dielectric response and partial discharges (pd), characterisation of dielectric systems by means of dielectric response, Schering bridge, non-electric detection, localisation of pd, pd-pattern and fault recognition.
  • Phenomena at interfaces: electric strength of insulating systems containing interfaces, outdoor insulation, pollution flashover, composite insulators.

Two laboratory experiments (compulsory) are included:
  • Electric breakdown in air
  • Diagnostics of insulation systems (tg δ, pd)

Demonstration (compulsory) presents the frequency response of dielectrics and analyses of its electrical representations

Project work (compulsory) is included to consolidate the knowledge on electric field calculations. A special software (Comsol Multiphysics), based on the finite element method (FEM), is introduced as a tool. Five projects are prepared - one of them is to be selected:
  • Chain of cap&pin insulators,
  • Bushing,
  • Cable terminations,
  • Overhead lines and cables,
  • SF6 circuit breaker


The course comprises of ca 16 lectures (2 x 45 min), 6 tutorials (2 x 45 min), 3 project consultations (2 x 45 min), 1 demonstration (4 h), 2 laboratory exercises (4 h each) and a 12 h study visit to a production site for high voltage equipment. A project reporting session (3 h) and exam consultation (3 h) are also included.


  • Kuffel E., Zaengl W. S., Kuffel J., High Voltage Engineering Fundamentals, Newnes 2000, 2nd ed, ISBN 0 7506 3634 3
  • Kreuger F. H., "Industrial high voltage", Vol. I and II, Delft University Press, 1991, 1992, ISBN 90-6275-561-5 and ISBN 90-6275-561-3, respectively, and Kreuger F. H., "Industrial high dc voltage", Delft University Press, 1995, ISBN 90-407-1110-0


Written examination. Grades: Fail, 3, 4 or 5. Approved laboratory exercises including laboratory reports. Project work, including oral and written result presentation. Participation in the study trip.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.