Innovative Concept for the High Voltage Laboratory
The high voltage laboratory (HVL) was the first laboratory built by KEMA. For decades, the HVL focused on serving customers in The Netherlands and in Europe. This changed in 2000 when HVL started a strong commercial approach reaching out to customers all over the globe. The business grew very fast and soon it became clear that HVL was no longer suitable for meeting the market demands. The first plan for a new HVL came to the table in 2004.
We introduced the innovative concept for a HVL by designing it as a testing factory. In the traditional way, the high voltage test sources are standing at fixed positions in the laboratory and the test object is assembled and tested between these sources. Consequently, the utilization grade of the sources cannot reach beyond 25 to 30%. With our innovative concept, we inverted the approach by having a high number of test bays and test sources that are transportable. By moving the sources to the test bay when a test is needed we increase the utilization grade of the sources to at least 70%. In the innovative concept, we designed a building based on standard industrial cladding techniques that was tweaked to act as a shielded room (Cage of Faraday). Smart and simple solutions were designed to interconnect all metal cladding panels ensuring a EMC-tight building. A standard contractor built the new laboratory with only a fractional increase of standard buildings costs. The result was a perfectly shielded laboratory with very low noise levels for sensitive partial discharges measurements.
With the test sources being mobile it is required that the energy supply and control systems for the sources are flexible too. The solution was found in a high-power LV-busbar at the back of the test bays. A plug and play system was designed that automatically detects which sources, controllers, instruments transformers and safety means are connected to the test bay.
The laboratory was inaugurated in 2009 and is running very well to the full satisfaction of our employees and customers.