Groundless MEMS DC Voltage Sensors for Electric Power Utilities

This research project will develop dc electric field sensors for the monitoring of electric power utility infrastructure and for non-contact voltage probing and monitoring. MEMS sensors are the focus, as they offer small size, low cost, and low power operation. These properties make them ideal for hand held operation, and for deployment in remote locations far from urban centres, a requirement needed by utilities to monitor their 1000’s of km of transmission infrastructure. Developed sensors would also be valuable to other industries requiring electric field or static charge monitoring. Two main categories of sensors will be developed. First, sensors for measuring high dc electric fields (100 V/m – 1 MV/m) and ionic flux will be explored. These would be suitable for monitoring HVDC infrastructure. Second, sensors for low fields (1 – 10,000+ V/m) and close proximity measurements will be investigated. Included in these efforts, will be the development of optimized sensor enclosures to maximize sensor sensitivity.

Faculty Supervisor:

Cyrus Shafai


Yu Zhou;Brandon Hill;Daniel Ryckman;Sadna Isik;Ehsan Tahmasebian


Manitoba Hydro International Ltd


Engineering - computer / electrical



University of Manitoba



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