Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu
Menu Search the University of Manchester siteSearch
Search type

Alternatively, use our A–Z index

60 years of the HV lab

HV lab

Since the original Cockcroft Laboratory was opened in the main UMIST building – now the Sackville Street Building – back in 1958, the University’s high-voltage (HV) lab has been supporting industry to find innovative solutions to our energy challenges.

Today’s lab is host to the National Grid Power Systems Research Centre and is the only location in the country where work at a scale suitable for 400kV power systems can be undertaken.

As society moves to a low-carbon energy grid, the HV lab is set to continue its key role. Industry is under more pressure than ever to develop radical new technologies and solutions, and investment is accelerating.

Following a £1.85 million EPSRC investment last year, new test equipment, including 800kV AC and 600kV DC test set, is being installed in the HV lab’s current location in the Ferranti Building.

Looking ahead to 2021, the lab will be relocated to the University’s Manchester Engineering Campus Development.

Let’s take a look back at the HV lab through the years.

2MV impulse generator

2MV impulse generator (replaced in 2003 by a Haefely 2MV impulse generator)

Artist’s impression of the Ferranti Building HV Lab before construction

Artist’s impression of the Ferranti Building HV Lab before construction

Ferranti 800kV AC test set

Ferranti 800kV AC test set (installed in around 1970 and recently decommissioned)

Moving equipment for test within the HV laboratory in the 1980s

Moving equipment for test within the HV laboratory in the 1980s

Tesla coil

Tesla coil (used for undergraduate open days and other demonstrations)

Recent features