A capacitor voltage transformer (CVT), or capacitance coupled voltage transformer (CCVT) is a transformer used in power systems to step down extra high voltage signals and provide a low voltage signal, for measurement or to operate a protective relay. In its most basic form the device consists of three parts: two capacitors across which the transmission line signal is split, an inductive element to tune the device to the line frequency, and a transformer to isolate and further step down the voltage for the instrumentation or protective relay. The tuning of the divider to the line frequency makes the overall division ratio less sensitive to changes in the burden of the connected metering or protection devices. The device has at least four terminals: a terminal for connection to the high voltage signal, a ground terminal, and two secondary terminals which connect to the instrumentation or protective relay. CVTs are typically single-phase devices used for measuring voltages in excess of one hundred kilovolts where the use of wound primary voltage transformers would be uneconomical. In practice, capacitor C1 is often constructed as a stack of smaller capacitors connected in series. This provides a large voltage drop across C1 and a relatively small voltage drop across C2.
The CVT is also useful in communication systems. CVTs in combination with wave traps are used for filtering high frequency communication signals from power frequency. This forms a carrier communication network throughout the transmission network.