Impulse current test systems are used for equipment applied in transmission and distribution systems against the effects of direct or indirect lightning strokes or against electromagnetic interference effects. The test systems generate impulse currents up to peak value of 240 kA (4/10 µs) in accordance with IEC 60060-1 as well as IEC 60099-4 for surge arresters, IEC 61000-4-2 for lightning protection elements, and IEC 61643-11 for surge protection devices.

Depending on the broad range of the different designs and tasks of the various equipment to be tested, impulse current test systems have to be adapted for the special testing purposes. For example special designed impulse current generators are available to perform EMP tests, to generate impulse magnetic fields or to test components of lightning protection systems (IEC 61000-4-2). Primary application of impulse current test systems is the testing of surge arresters, nowadays mainly of the metal-oxide type (MOA).

The standard test system consists of an impulse current generator (mainly consists of capacitors, resistors, inductors and a spark gap), a charging and control unit as well as voltage and current measurement. The impulse current generator is usually carried out in star arrangement to save space and achieve a low stray inductance to generate even steep impulse currents (1/< 20 µs). There is a basic control system (HiCOS Basic) using a SIMATIC touch panel, making it possible to combine manual control with simple automatic test procedures. The computer control system (HiCOS Advanced) is available as an option to perform fully automatic test procedures as well as data capture and data storage.

As a standard feature the test systems has a digital transient recorder, type HiRES. It delivers precise current and voltage measurements and offers a variety of features for controlling the impulse current system as well as capturing and evaluating measurement values.


  • Arresters and varistors (elements or complete systems)
  • Lightning protection elements
  • Vehicles (cars, bus, trucks, trains)
  • Aircrafts
  • Wind generators (whole system or blades)
  • Transmission lines with integrated fiber optic cables
  • Material processing and recycling


  • Individual design and customized adaptation depending on the test requirements to be fulfilled (wave shape, amplitude, energy, etc.)
  • All impulse currents according to IEC 60060-1, IEC 60099-4, IEC 61000-4-2 and IEC 61643-11 can be generated
  • Compact structure to save space and achieve a low stray inductance to generate even steep impulse currents (1/< 20 µs)
  • Peak current of 240 kA for impulse current 4/10 µs achievable
  • Long duration impulse currents up to 3200 µs
  • Charging voltages up to 100 kV