High Voltage and Dielectric Materials (HVDM)

June 15, 2020

The high voltage and dielectric materials research laboratory at Khalifa University (KU) has been founded to build expertise and research capability to address the challenges and technical problems in power system network. Vital equipment (Transformer, cable, Bushing, lightning arrester, Circuit breaker) in power network operate under increasingly challenging conditions, with the requirement to provide a reliable power supply at high efficiency to a wide variety of industrial, commercial and domestic loads. Additional environmental constraints on high-voltage outdoor insulations systems call for the development of new dielectric materials that are able to perform more efficiently under diverse climatic conditions. Research at HVDM aims to understand these issues and provide informed solutions for future economical operation of power systems. Main contributions to research aligned with KU strategic areas include research on characterization of new dielectric materials, insulation and breakdown, lightning protection, power system grounding, testing and condition monitoring and diagnosis to support asset management. Additional benefits include improving asset management, increasing lifetime and usability of high-voltage equipment, optimization of power plant operation and better maintenance practice, in addition to manpower formation through graduate projects and targeted specialist courses.

Such a test facility will help establish one of the leading centers of excellence in high voltage research, as well as in the areas of testing, advanced diagnosis of HV plant and advanced system modelling. The lab specializes in the following research areas: high-voltage insulation materials, condition monitoring, partial discharge, outdoor insulation, grounding, overvoltage transients, and transformer diagnosis using frequency response analysis. Research collaboration with prominent international institutions, includes Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan, the University of Tokyo, Utsunomiya University and IIT Madras, India. Other collaborative work with researchers from Cardiff University, UK, the University of Waterloo, Canada and Padova University, Italy have also been established.

  • High Voltage DC, AC and Impulse test Facility

High Voltage Test and Measurement system (AC, DC, Impulse and Partial discharge) facility supports the wide range of international standard testing and measurement, training and research on development of new measurement techniques. The testing and measurement equipment complies with international standards such IEC, IEEE and ASTM.

Equipment capabilities under this facility are:

  • High Voltage Impulse Test and Measurement System (HIGH VOLT/ IPF60/600M): Lightning Impulse Voltage (1.2/50 µs)– 600kV, Switching Impulse Voltage (250/2500µs)- 420kV, Lightning Impulse current (8/20 µs) -25kA
  • High Voltage Modular Test and Measurement System (HIGH VOLT/WGSBS 5.8/100-135-135): Lightning Impulse Voltage (1.2/50 µs)– 135 kV, AC voltage – 100kV, DC – 135 kV both polarities
  • Benchtop High Voltage DC Test Source (Glassman/ LH050R100GW3) – DC voltage 50kV both polarities
  • AC Voltage Dielectric Test System (Phenix Technologies /6CC 150-40/6CP50/10-3) – 150 and 50 kV Test stem

  • Real time partial discharge measurement system (Omicron/MPD 600) – Three channel system provision to test single and three phase equipment or prototype test model with real time measurement using electrical and UHF methods. This system is capable of performing advanced noise suppression and source separation techniques ensure that only PD pulses from the test object are analyzed. Maximum Partial discharge test voltage is 100kV 


  • Insulating Material Testing and Characterization Facility

This facility supports the enhanced research on development and characterization of new insulating materials and condition assessment of the existing insulating material for the high voltage equipment which are prone to reduction in service life due to ageing.

Equipment capabilities under this facility are:

  • Inclined-Plane Tracking and Erosion Test System (Lectromec/ LEC-2303-M3): Evaluation of tracking and erosion resistance of polymeric materials as per ASTM and IEC standards

  • Oil Breakdown Tester (b2High Voltage/BA80): Max test voltage 80kV as per different standards (ASTM, IEC, VDE) and customized tests

  • High Speed Thermal Camera (Flir/ X6903SC): spectral range between 3 – 5 micro meter IR range, 1000 frames per second and temperature detection ranges up to 1200-degree Celsius with 640X512 pixel resolution.


  • Ultra-High-Speed Framing Camera (Specialized Imaging/SIMX 4): 4-channel high speed framing CCD camera with variable exposure time from (2ns to 10ms) at resolution of 1360 x 1024 pixel. Internal and external electrical trigger control and records images at maximum of 320 million frame per second and with overlapping timing control events records up to 1 billion frames per second. Used for discharge propagation studies in gases

  • Electrical Grounding System Test and Research Facility

There are various test and measurement system is used to support the research on electrical grounding design and its characteristics based on various parameters such as frequency and soil resistivity

 Equipment capabilities under this facility are:

  • Soil Resistivity (ABEM/ LS04-064250): LS TERAMETER for surveys (1D, 2D and 3D) surveys of the subsurface resistivity distribution

  • DET2/2 Auto Earth Tester (Megger/DET 2/2): For measuring earth electrode resistance and soil resistivity. It uses the four-terminal method of measurement
  • Wide Band Lock-in Amplifier (AMETEK/7280): The instrument can recover signals in the presence of an overwhelming noise background or alternatively it can provide high resolution measurements of relatively clean signals over several orders of magnitude and frequency
  • Wide band Amplifier (Krohn-Hite/ 7500): High precision amplification of signal for wide range frequencies from DC to 2 MHz


  • Partial Discharge and Condition Monitoring of HV cables and Transformers
  • Sweep Frequency Response Analyzer (ISA/SFRA 5000): to analyze the mechanical integrity of transformer cores, windings, etc.

  • Dielectric Frequency Response Analyze (Megger/IDAX 350): For insulation analysis (moisture, conductivity) of high voltage equipment (Power Transformer, Bushing, Instrument Transformer, Motor, Generator) and generic insulation test model under wide frequency range

  • Tan Delta and Capacitance Measurement (Megger/Delta 2000): Capacitance and dissipation factor measurement under AC 50 Hz supply for high voltage insulation ageing studies and condition monitoring.
  • Corona Camera (UVICRO Technologies/ CoroCam 6N): UV night vision camera used to inspect the corona discharges phenomenon generated in high voltage equipment.
  • Micro Ohm Meter (TenTech/MPK 102e): for low contact resistance measurement, test currents from 1 mA to 100 A, measurement range up to 200 ohms, resolution of up to 0.1 micro ohms
  • Recurrent Surge Generator (Haefely/ RSG 482): Low voltage (500V) equivalent of a high voltage Impulse generator. Used in various LV impulse studies.

  • Insulation Tester (Megger/MIT 510/2): 5kV DC insulation tester for measuring the insulation resistance of the high voltage equipment (Power transformer, Cable)
  • Ultrasonic PD sensor (Doble Lemke/ LDA-5/S): Detection of partial discharges (PD) for in-service inspection of high voltage (HV) equipment, such as HV transmission lines, power transformers and gas insulated switch gears (GIS)
  • Oscillating wave test system (SebaKMT/ M 28-S): Partial Discharge (PD) Fault locator for medium voltage cables, PD phenomenon characterization. Test Voltage 20 kV


  • Advance Analytical Simulation Research Facility


  • Maxwell (Elect. Suite): Design and analysis of electromagnetic and electromechani­cal devices
  • XFdtd: 3D Electromagnetic analysis – Antenna design and wave propagation
  • CDEGS: Integrated Software for Power System Grounding, Electromagnetic Fields and Electromagnetic Interference
  • EMTP RV: Electromagnetic transient analysis program
  • ETAP: Power System network design and operational studies
  • PSCAD: Research Centre Power System network design and operational studies
  • XGS Lab: Electrical Grounding deign
  • COMSOL Multiphysics: 3D finite element electrostatic and Electromagnetic analysis