High Voltage Lab

The High Voltage Lab provides a controlled environment for teaching and research. The lab is a key facility within the engineering precinct that dazzles visitors with tangible lightning bolts. It enables students and industry to utilise the number of Tesla transformers within the lab to test electrical-related experiments.

About the lab

Students studying the Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering use this lab, along with final-year project students. Higher degree by research students undertaking their masters or PhD, as well as academic staff, use the lab for research projects.

Students, researchers and industry can utilise a number of Tesla transformers within the lab to test electrical-related experiments. Examples of tests that are possible include: measuring of breakdown voltage of materials, testing the effect of pollution and contaminants on resistors (dust, dirt, salt), and examining the design of insulators used in high-voltage areas.

The Terco high-voltage equipment is based on a system of high-precision components that offer flexibility in its range of uses. The system gives values with high accuracy and can even be used for calibration purposes.

Deakin invested over $1 million dollars in setting up the High Voltage Lab, making it one of the few large labs of its kind in the Australasian region.

Equipment and technology

The lab includes:

  • Terco High Voltage DC Rig – capable of generating direct current (DC) voltages up to 480kV at a sustained current of 8mA. This is used for voltage withstand tests and observation of corona effects.
  • Terco High Voltage AC Rig – capable of generating alternating current (AC) voltages up to 120kV with a continuous current of 25mA. This can also be configured to perform impulse voltage tests up to 50kV DC with a 1.5/50uS wave shape.
  • Pressure/Vacuum test chamber – used to observe effects of pressure variations on electrical discharges. It can also be used to investigate the electrical characteristics of gasses such as SF6 at high voltages.
  • Two 1mV DRSSTC Tesla Coils – used to generate lightning-like displays shows for guests, tour group and outreach activities. It provides a unique opportunity to safely make observations up close.

The facility has the added benefit of being completely shielded from electromagnetic forces, making it a useful area to test radio frequency devices.

Industry partners

Our partners become valued members of the wider Deakin engineering family, not just our school. Opportunities to partner with us include work-integrated learning and industry-based learning and placements, student projects, and commercial research projects and services.

Find out more about industry partnerships

Study with us

Deakin offers the following study and research options: