PowerLab Ltd - High Voltage, High Current Testing



The Laboratory started as part of the University of Canterbury during WWII and was involved in RADAR research. It was named as the University of Canterbury Industrial Development Division, UCIDD. In the early 1960's it was transferred to the DSIR as the Christchurch Industrial Development Division, CIDD. 

 In 1984 the name was changed to Southern Industrial Development Division, SIDD. It moved to its current site in May 1989. In 1990 the name was changed to Industrial Development Christchurch and IDC was incorporated in to a larger (250 staff) division. In 1992 IDC became part of Industrial Research Ltd (a government owned Crown Research Institute).

Records show evidence of a switch being tested in 1949. Electrical testing progressed considerably from 1956 onwards. Electric blankets, plugs and sockets were at the fore at this early stage. An analysis in 1971 showed that over 2000 jobs had been done using 110 different standards. In 1972 electrical testing was extended into the heavy current and high voltage area.

Until 1989 the laboratory took an active part in producing NZS, SAA and IEC test specifications. This work ceased in 1989 due to DSIR funding polices.

TELARC Laboratory 42 was first accredited in 1976 for class 3.80. The laboratory number 42 still exists under the current management by PowerLab.

From 1992 the Laboratory was operated by Industrial Research Ltd (IRL) which was involved in research and associated services in the fields of electronics, electrical, mechanical and materials technology. IRL was a Crown Research Institute that was derived from parts of the DSIR in July 1992. 

In 2013 IRL underwent further changes and is now Callaghan Innovation 

In 2006 the management and control of the laboratory was transferred to PowerLab Ltd after an Industrial Research Limited restructuring. PowerLab continues to maintain a working relationship with Callaghan Innovation.

Future Direction
PowerLab intends to expand on the categories of work that has been undertaken in the past by the Laboratory and to continue to provide timely and cost effective Testing and R&D services. 


Senior Laboratory staff and associated consultants each have at least 20 years experience in his specialised area and were formerly employed by DSIR and IRL. 
Laboratory staff also have experience in management and implementation of research projects such as Energy End Use Analysis, Energy Management, and Power Electronics for power conversion. These projects all involved elements of instrumentation and product development.

Laboratory staff continue to contribute to development of NZ and international standards.

Electrical Consultancy Services (ECS) is an electrical engineering consulting practice based in Christchurch, New Zealand. 
Specialising in electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility aspects of design standards and international product certification. ECS has a wide local, regional and international client base. Whether you are a private or pubic institution ECS can help ensure your products meet all required electrical standards and regulations. 
ECS also available to make presentations on electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility issues as they relate to electrical appliances.

Indepenent Test Laboratories is asociated with PowerLab and provides services that are complementary to to those offered by PowerLab