Understanding the Importance of Load Bank Testing

The flow of continuous power depends on the performance of your standby generator. Load bank testing is a form of preventative maintenance that shows your generator will perform as required. Regular testing provides early warning that battery cells and other components are nearing the end of their serviceable life. This allows you to make repairs and replace parts before they cause critical failures that can disrupt operations or damage sensitive machinery.

The Importance of Regular Testing

Testing identifies any weaknesses within your generator system before the power goes down. This verifies that the system will perform as required. Testing examines all components of your system to ensure maximum functionality.

Many generator operators falsely believe that regularly scheduled exercises are sufficient to determine operational effectiveness. The reality is that scheduled exercises ensure basic operation and are conducted under very little loading. Relying on scheduled tests is risky business and does not provide a true sense of the stability and functionality of a standby generator system.

Data Gathered During Load Bank Testing

During testing, measurements are gathered that show the performance of battery systems and identify problems within the standby generator. The tests determine the ability of the engine to deliver the required power at a stable voltage and stable frequency. Testing also identifies the efficiency of the control systems and monitors oil and fuel pressure within the system. The testing process identifies potential problems and records the results of the test so that they can be included within the generator’s maintenance record. It also helps to remove carbon deposits and prevent wet-stacking.

Load Bank Testing Schedule

The frequency of load bank testing depends on the application of the generator. Regulations and insurance policies may stipulate whether monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual testing is required. In general, the more critical the services you offer, the more frequently you need to test your generator. In all cases, testing procedures must comply with established rules and standards set by the National Fire Protection Agency and National Electric Code.

The Testing Process

Testing typically involves operating the unit until the water temperature stabilizes within the generator. At this point, the generator is step loaded until the desired load is achieved. When the test is over, data gathered during the test is analyzed and adjustments are made to the system as necessary.

The length of testing required depends on the size on the generator and the set-up. This means that while some load bank testing can be conducted in as little as 30 minutes, other tests may require several hours or longer to complete.

We invite you to contact Gen-Tech at (800) 625-8324 for more about load bank testing. We will be happy to test your generator system to ensure that it will deliver the power you need in an emergency.

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