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American Electric Power Ultra High Voltage Test Center

In the late 70's some of the Crown Engineers had a chance to tour AEP's UHV Test Center, two miles west of Lakeville Indiana. AEP was leading the way in researching the next major transmission line voltage jump in the world. At that point the maximum transmission voltage in use was 765,000 volts (and still is today). AEP and it's partners wanted to jump to 2,100,000 volts, triple today's voltage. That meant a lot of research for insulators, circuit breakers, and all other kinds of electrical distribution paraphernalia. At one end of the test field were Crown microphones, to listen to the noise coming off the lines. Cattle grazed for years below the towers to see if they received any bad health effects. Storm clouds were simulated with a water booth to see what the effect would be when a storm front went through. It was the coolest thing. Read all about it here in their brochure. After 20 years of research, AEP learned all they could and closed the facility. The site has since been leveled and is back to natural. If you are so inclined to go investigate, be very cautious. Right next door is the Dumont switch station where the 765kv is switch coming from Cook Nuclear. Security is high (terrorism and all) with tall fences and cameras and county police on the local's speed dial. Trust me on that. Special thanks to Don Eger for getting us in through the local IEEE chapter.

If you have any pictures of this event, or other documents, please email Tom Szerencse so we can put it here.

AEP UHV Research Project

Please email Tom Szerencse and let us know if you have any other documentation that we could include here.

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