The KEMA High-Voltage and High-Power Laboratories are located in Arnhem – the Netherlands and in Chalfont – United States.
The roots of the laboratories go back to 1937 when the first KEMA Laboratory was commissioned to perform short-circuit tests for the founders of KEMA: the electrical utility companies in the Netherlands.
Not long after the first controlled short-circuit tests were performed, the circuit breaker manufacturers requested that KEMA be authorized to act on behalf of the utilities and conduct research and development tests without the presence of the utility company representatives. This initiated the process of development that led to the independent status that characterizes KEMA today, and to the expansion of KEMA's 500 MVA station to 1000 MVA after World War II.
To meet increasing demands, a second laboratory was commissioned in 1958. Two short-circuit generators made it possible to perform three-phase tests at power levels up to 3000 MVA.
The ever-increasing power of the Dutch grid necessitated the creation of a new laboratory. Commissioned in 1973, this station is now the world's most powerful laboratory, utilizing short-circuit generators with a power level up to 10000 MVA at 60 Hz.
A highly sophisticated and reliable installation for the synthetic testing of (ultra) high-voltage circuit breakers is available as well. This installation is designed for single phase and three-phase synthetic tests.
The first High-Voltage Laboratory was constructed before the High-Power Laboratory around 1938. The laboratory was used for the Dutch utilities during the integration of the Dutch high-voltage networks. Recently KEMA High-Voltage Laboratory moved to another location very near the High-Power Laboratory.
This new High-Voltage Laboratory distinguishes itself with its many testing facilities and increased flexibility. In December 2008 the building was delivered. In the first quarter of 2009 the test equipment will be moved to the new building. The laboratory is equipped with all the required voltage sources for power frequency tests, lightning and switching voltage impulse tests and temperature-rise tests.
KEMA Powertest, Inc. - USA
In 1990, KEMA acquired Powertest, Inc., whose 3250 MVA of short-circuit power makes it the largest High-Power Laboratory in the United States. By purchasing this laboratory, KEMA became independent of any manufacturer and allowed it to operate as a commercial third-party laboratory.
Located in Chalfont, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia), this laboratory was designed and built in the early 1970s, and underwent major expansions and improvements in the late 1970s and in 2002.
Committed to providing superior testing services, this highly flexible and efficient laboratory maintains state-of-the-art testing equipment and instrumentation and recently expanded the short-circuit and load-switching testing capabilities to voltages up to 72 kV.