A load bank is a device which develops an electrical load, applies the load to an electrical power source and converts or dissipates the resultant power output of the source. A load bank includes load elements with protection, control, metering, and accessory devices required for operation. Load banks are used for testing power sources such as standby generators and batteries.
Load banks are an important asset for any industry to have because they ensure the proper running of equipment in the event of power outages. Load banks are a contained system unit that integrates both controls and accessories into one installed location. The power source will supply the power, but the load bank uses this energy to protect and support the power source as well as test it.
Where do you use a load bank?
Load banks are used in a variety of applications, including:
Factory testing of turbines and engine diesel generator sets
Reduction of wet stacking problems in diesel engines run at light load
Periodic exercising of stand-by engine generator sets
Battery and UPS system testing
Ground power testing
Load optimization in prime power applications
Removal of carbon build-up on generator piston rings
Load rejection tests
Data center tests (electricity and air-conditioning)
What is Generator Load Bank Testing?
A generator load bank test involves an examination and assessment of a genset. It verifies that all primary components of the generator set are in proper working condition. The equipment used to conduct a load bank test produces artificial loads on the generator by bringing the engine to an appropriate operating temperature and pressure level. This is especially important for standby and emergency generator sets that do not run very often and/or may not be exposed to carrying heavy loads on a frequent basis. The general rule is - if your generator is not exposed to higher than 30% of its rated kW load then you should be considering a load test.
A load bank test ensures that your generator will run property when it’s needed so that you can fully depend on it during an emergency situation. The key to a proper load bank test is that it tests your generator at its full kilowatt (kW) output rating. Because many generators do not regularly operate at their full kW rating, it's especially important that you verify your generator can actually produce the highest possible horsepower that may be required - while at the same time maintaining adequate temperature and pressure levels that will allow it to run as long as necessary.