2020 High Voltage Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Takeuchi Nozomi  Akatsuka Hiroshi 
Course component(s)
Mode of instruction
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(S622)  Fri3-4(S622)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

This course focuses on the high-voltage technology used in electric power apparatuses and electric machinery. The gas breakdown, discharge initiation, electric conduction and breakdown of liquid/solid/composite materials are shown. The generation of DC, AC, pulsed high-voltage and large current, measurement techniques, and surge voltage propagation and protection will be explained. The topics include electric power equipment (bushings, cables, switchgears, and arresters), high-voltage and large-current test equipment, accelerators, electric precipitators, ozone generators, and other applications.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 1) understand the basic theory of high-voltage engineering, 2) explain the operating principles of high-voltage and large-power apparatuses or other electric machinery, 3) understand measurement and evaluation methods for high voltage or large current, and 4) compute the basic breakdown phenomena with MATLAB® and analyze the transient circuit phenomena in high-voltage and large-power apparatuses using LTspice®.

Course taught by instructors with work experience

Applicable How instructors' work experience benefits the course
In this lecture, an instructor, who has practical experience in the development and adjustment of high-voltage equipment for high-power laser equipment in a private company, will make use of his practical experience to conduct safe handling, design development, maintenance and inspection of high-voltage equipment for on-site work.


high voltage, large current, insulator, dielectric breakdown, sparking voltage, impulse voltage, voltage divider, bushing, gas-insulated switchgear, arrester, electric precipitator, ozone generator.

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
・Applied specialist skills on EEE

Class flow

The class proceeds with the course text book. A high-voltage lab tour, numerical simulations of transient circuits, and exercise problems related to the lecture will be provided. A summary of the topics and learning outcomes of each class will also be given. Handbook® is used for preparation, review purposes, and active learning.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Overview, elementary processes of discharge phenomena (atomic collision, excitation, ionization, attachment, recombination, drift, and diffusion). Peruse chapters 1 – 2 of the course textbook. Students shall answer end-of-chapter questions in Chapter 2 and their similar ones.
Class 2 Gas discharge / breakdown (impact ionization coefficient, Townsend theory, streamer theory, Paschen's law, electrode shape and discharge characteristics, voltage waveform and discharge characteristics). Peruse sections 3.1 – 3.5. Students shall answer end-of-chapter questions 1 – 5 in Chapter 3 and their similar ones.
Class 3 Gas discharge / breakdown 2 (Lightning discharge, lightning shield, high-gas pressure, vacuum, negative gas, mixed gas, high- frequency electric field) Peruse sections 3.6 – 3.12. Students shall answer end-of-chapter questions 6 – 9 in Chapter 3 and their similar ones.
Class 4 Steady gas discharge (glow discharge, voltage-current characteristics, arc discharge, their applications). Explanation and exercise of Boltzmann equation solver, free-software BOLSIG+. Peruse chapter 4. Students shall answer end-of-chapter questions in Chapter 4 and their similar ones and use the software BOLSIG+.
Class 5 Discharge of liquids and solids (electrical conduction of liquids and solids, generation of charged particles, space charge effect, dielectric breakdown of liquids and that of solids). Peruse chapter 5. Students shall answer end-of-chapter questions in Chapter 5.
Class 6 Discharge of composite dielectric 1 (electric field in composite dielectric, creeping discharge, fouling creepage flashover), and Lab-tour of ion beam sources and accelerators as high-voltage equipment (Van de graf type accelerator, linear accelerator including injector). Peruse sections 6.1 – 6.3. Students shall answer end-of-chapter questions in Chapter 6. Understand real high-voltage apparatus.
Class 7 Composite dielectric discharge 2 (void discharge, tree, oil immersion insulation, discharge barrier effect), confirmation of understanding and summary of the first half. Peruse sections 6.4 – 6.7. Self-evaluate achievement.
Class 8 High-voltage or large-current generation (large AC current, large DC current, large pulsed current by capacitor discharge). Peruse sections 3.6–3.9. Analysis of high-voltage or large-current circuit using LTspice.
Class 9 Measurements of high voltage or large current (high DC voltage, high AC voltage, high impulse voltage, large current, partial discharge, discharge phenomena). Peruse sections 4.1–4.7 of textbook II. Transient circuit analysis with LTspice.
Class 10 Measurements of high-voltage or large current (bushing, insulator, high-voltage power cable, rotating equipment, gas insulated switchgear). Peruse sections 5.1–5.6 of textbook II.
Class 11 Overview of high-voltage apparatuses (vacuum interrupter, arrestor, transformer, capacitor). Peruse sections 5.7–5.10 of textbook II.
Class 12 High-voltage surge generation, propagation, and protection in power system (over voltage, lightning overvoltage, protection). Peruse sections 6.1–6.3 of textbook II.
Class 13 High-voltage breakdown test. Peruse sections 7.1–7.10 of textbook II.
Class 14 Applications of high-voltage engineering (accelerator, electron microscope, electric discharge machineozone generator, hybrid DC circuit breaker, electric precipitator). Final exam. Peruse sections 8.1–8.8 of textbook II.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


I: Kunihiko Hidaka, “High voltage engineering”, Suurikougakusha, ISBN: 978-4-901683-59-3. (Japanese)
II: Tatsuo Kawamura, Teruya Kawano, Satoshi Yanabu, “High voltage engineering”, IEE Japan, ISBN: 978-4886862372. (Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

R. Hanaoka, “High voltage engineering”, Morikita Publishing Co., Ltd., ISBN: 978-4627742512 (Japanese), O. Yamamoto, S. Hamada, “High voltage engineering”, Ohmsha, ISBN: 978-4274214448 (Japanese).

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' course scores are based on midterm exams (50%) and group work using Handbook and final exam (50%).

Related courses

  • EEE.P321 : Electric Power Engineering I
  • EEE.P322 : Electric Power Engineering II
  • EEE.P341 : Energy and Electric Power Conversion Technology
  • EEE.C301 : Electronic Measurement

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students must have successfully completed the following classes or have equivalent knowledge.
Electricity and Magnetism I(EEE.E201), Electricity and Magnetism II(EEE.E202), Electric Circuits I(EEE.C201), Electric Circuits II(EEE.C202)

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