Understanding Load Bank Testing Options
Testing critical systems is essential for guaranteeing their reliable operation. Our load bank service is designed to identify potential problems in a controlled setting before they cause the system to fail. We perform our load bank service during the installation process and as part of our regular maintenance programs.
The Methods of Load Bank Testing
There are three types of load bank testing. The first is Resistive Load Bank Testing. It is recommended for generators that deliver power to light bulbs, heaters, computers, etc. This testing involves the passage of electrical current that is transferred into heat through the use of power resistors.
During a resistive load bank test, the testing unit is connected to the generator’s output. Once connected, the voltage, amperage, and enclosure louvers are tested. The unit also tests the engine’s fuel, cooling, and air intake systems.
If the generator is delivering power to motorized equipment, Reactive Load Bank Testing is required. This method determines the generator’s efficiency at converting the load into usable output. During the test, the testing unit can produce either inductive or capacitive loads produced by machinery and transformers. This test is designed to closely approximate power requirements that the generator is expected to deliver.
Generators that are required to handle both resistive and reactive loads can be tested using a combination test. Such testing may be required for the operation of turbines, rotary UPS, etc.
Portable & Permanent Load Banks
There are two commonly used types of load banks. Portable load banks range in size from that of a small suitcase all the way up to trailer-mounted systems that can be easily maneuvered into position to conduct the test.
Permanent load banks are an economical solution for facilities with large generators or multiple generators. Permanent load banks offer the advantage of delivering regular testing.
If the generator is intended for a data center, then a rack-mounted system is a third option to consider. These temporary systems are similar to portable load banks and can simulate the required electrical and heat load before the first computer is installed.
Testing Frequency and Compliance with Standards
At the bare minimum, load bank testing should be conducted at least once a year. Depending on governing regulations, you may be required to perform testing with greater frequency to remain compliant. It is important to adhere to these requirements and discuss your specific needs when scheduling load bank service.
Gen-Tech’s load bank service helps you remain compliant with standards established by the National Fire Protection Association, American National Standards Institute, International Electrical Testing Association, and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
We invite you to contact Gen-Tech at (800) 625-8324 for more information about our load bank testing services. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and to help you determine the most appropriate testing solutions for your power generation needs.