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Unit of study_

ELEC5205: High Voltage Engineering

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The unit provides advanced knowledge associated with high voltage engineering methods, techniques and equipment. It is divided into two sections. The first section presents fundamentals of the failure mechanisms of solid, liquid and gaseous insulation at high voltages. It also discusses consequent design principles for high-voltage equipment; of the generation of high direct, alternating and impulse voltages for testing high-voltage equipment; and of methods for monitoring and assessing the condition of high-voltage equipment such as dissolved gas analysis for oil-filled transformers and partial discharge in cables. The second section presents in detail all the high-voltage equipment and in particular underground cables, overhead transmission lines, transformers, bushings and switchgear. It finally offers asset management solutions for modern transmission and distribution electricity networks.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ELEC5205
Academic unit Electrical and Information Engineering
Credit points 6
(ELEC3203 OR ELEC9203 OR ELEC5732) AND (ELEC3206 OR ELEC9206 OR ELEC5734)
Assumed knowledge

The following previous knowledge is assumed for this unit. Circuit analysis techniques, electricity networks, power system fundamentals.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Swamidoss Sathiakumar,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment group assignment Lab report
20% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Project
20% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
In-semester test (Open book) Type C in-semester exam Mid-semester test
Midterm Exam
20% Week 07
Due date: 14 Oct 2020 at 17:00

Closing date: 14 Oct 2020
50 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?
Type C in-semester exam = Type C in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Electrical breakdown of gases in uniform fields. Coefficients of ionisation and attachment. Avalanche and streamer formation streamer breakdown. Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO6
Week 02 Electrical breakdown of gases is quasi-uniform fields. Electrical breakdown in compressed gases and vacuums. Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6
Week 03 Electrical Corona: positive, negative and space charge effects. Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 04 Electrical breakdown of solids and liquids – treeing initiated at defects. Weak link effect. Electrical breakdown across insulating surfaces – mechanisms of tracking and flash-over. Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 05 Introduction to the design of bushings, underground cables, overhead line insulators, and circuit breakers. Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 06 HV testing: Generation of HV AC (cascade and resonant methods) and DC (double and multi-stage rectifiers, Van der Graaf generators). Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8
Week 07 HV testing: Generation of HV impulse voltages (single-stage and Marx generators). Types of partial discharges and their detection and location in generators, motors and transformers. Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6 LO8
Week 08 Partial discharge detection in gas insulated switchgear (UHF methods). Condition monitoring in oil-filled transformers. Dissolved gas analysis and furfural analysis. Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8
Week 09 High voltage switchgear, circuit configurations for high and medium voltage switchgear installations, SF6 insulated switchgear, Station layouts, surge arrestors, busbar connections. Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 10 Overhead power lines: electrical parameters, lighting protection, earthing, loading and strength, sag and tension calculations. Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 11 Basics of underground cables testing and maintenance methods, calculations and ampacity, types and selection Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 12 Cable fault locating methods, condition monitoring and diagnostics, electrical safety and professional practices in the field. Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Attendance and class requirements

  • Tutorials: Tutorials will be based on practical examples and industrial case studies.
  • Laboratories: Laboratories will include experiments with electrical breakdown of gas, liquids, and solids, and simulation of fuse element operation.
  • Independent Study: Review industrial standards and applications, and industrial case studies. 3 hours of independent study per week is expected.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. identify the most suitable equipment for performing specific testing on high-voltage applications
  • LO2. write a report to communicate project work
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of the professional environment of engineering work in terms of testing, commissioning, and assessment techniques for oil-immersed equipment, such as transformers and switchgear
  • LO4. demonstrate proficiency in assessing equipment in the laboratory by testing and then developing diagnostics
  • LO5. demonstrate an understanding of design methods for overhead lines and underground cables at the level of planning, selection, and construction
  • LO6. demonstrate an understanding of high voltage engineering techniques
  • LO7. demonstrate proficiency in performing calculations for the selection of cables, overhead lines, and high-voltage equipment
  • LO8. conduct analysis of industrial equipment.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Missing information from CUSP has been added.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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