Pritindra Chowdhuri

Pritindra Chowdhuri

chowdhuriRetired Professor
Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering
A fond farewell to Dr. Prit Chowdhuri

We will all miss Prit, fondly known as Dr. Lightning, very much and hope to still see him around often.

Dr. Chowdhuri holds a Doctorate in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His areas of interest include electromagnetic transients, high voltage engineering, power transmission and distribution, pulsed power, applications of power electronics and electromagnetic compatibility. Prior to joining the Center, he worked for the Los Alamos National Laboratory on programs related to superconducting power transmission lines, magnetic energy storage and magnetic fusion. At the General Electric Company he worked on projects such as high voltage electrical transients, electromagnetic compatibility and applications of power electronics systems. At the Research Commission on High Voltage Problems and the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon, both in Switzerland, he solved high voltage power delivery problems.

Areas of expertise:

Research Interests

PritLightning Performance of Electric Power Systems 
Estimation of outages and protection of:
Overhead power transmission lines,
Overhead power distribution lines,
Underground cables, and
Outdoor substations and switchyards.
Breakdown of air gaps by lightning overvoltages,
Transient voltage withstand level of power semiconductor devices, and
Impulse ground impedances.
Estimation and Reduction of Electromagnetic Fields of Overhead Electric Power Lines under Imperfect Earth
Electric fields,
Magnetic fields, and
Radio interference fields.
Electrical Design of Compact High-Voltage Overhead Power Lines
Conductor-surface voltage gradients,
Electromagnetic fields,
Switching-surge withstand capability,
Electrostatic and magnetic line unbalances, and
Optimization of line configuration.
Effects of Soil Electrical Parameters on Power System Operation
Frequency domain (power frequency and its harmonics, and radio frequencies), and
Time domain (lightning and switching transients).ECE 661: Electromagnetic Transients in Power Systems
Lecture 3. Credit 3. Prerequisites: ECE 461 or equivalent.
Lightning and switching surge phenomena; response of power system components to electromagnetic transients; protection of power systems against electromagnetic transients.
Textbook: P. Chowdhuri: Electromagnetic Transients in Power Systems. Research Studies Press Limited/ Taylor & Francis, Inc., 1996.

Courses Taught

Prit2ECE 663 - Power System Protection Against Fault Currents
ECE 663: Prerequisites: ECE 462(562). Power System Protection Against Fault Currents. Lecture 3. Credit 3.
Theories and practices of circuit breakers; fault currents; basic principles and applications of protective relays; standards.
Textbook: J.L. Blackburn, Protective Relaying, Principles and Applications. Second edition. Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1998.
Reference: T.E. Browne, Editor, Circuit Interruption Theory and Techniques, Marcel Dekker, 1984.

ECE 666 - Electric Power Transmission
ECE 666: Electric Power Transmission. Lecture 3. Credit 3. Prerequisite: ECE 461.
Introduction to power transmission; effects of imperfect earth on electrical transmission parameters; conductor-surface voltage gradients; corona, radio and TV interferences; field effects of overhead lines; line compensation; insulation design criteria; high-voltage dc power transmission.

  1. Transmission Line Reference Book 345 kV and Above, Second Edition, EL-2500, 1987. Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA.
  2. R.D. Begamudre: Extra High Voltage AC Transmission Engineering, Wiley Eastern Limited, 1986.


Prit3ECE 761: Design of High-Voltage Power Transmission Systems
ECE 761: Design of High-Voltage Power Transmission Systems. Lecture 3. Credits 3.
Design of transmission lines; selection of voltage level, insulation design criteria; design of high-voltage dc transmission lines; bulk power transmission by underground cables; socio-economic issues of high-voltage power transmission. Prerequisites: ECE 666 or equivalent.

Prit4ECE 763: High-Voltage Techniques Lecture 3, Lab 2, Credit 4. Prerequisite: ECE661 or equivalent.
Analysis and measurements of electric fields; mechanisms of dielectric breakdown; mixed stresses on dielectrics; generation and measurement of high voltages; fast transients; partial discharges; grounding in high-voltage techniques.
Textbook: E. Kuffel and W.S. Zaengl: High Voltage Engineering Fundamentals. Permagon Press, 1984.

ECE 797: Selected Topics in Electromagnetic Transients
Lecture 3. Credit 3. Prerequisites: ECE 661 or equivalent.
Multivelocity wave propagation; impulse grounding; lightning-induced voltages; transient behavior of transformers and rotating machines; insulation coordination.

  1. P. Chowdhuri: Electromagnetic transients in Power Systems. Research Studies press Limited/ John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996.
  2. Selected technical papers.