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How To Properly Prioritize High-Risk Load Bank Testing

Two ComRent employees discussing high-risk load bank testing

Most modern companies rely on an uninterrupted flow of power to their facilities in order to successfully operate. For high-risk facilities, like hospitals, data centers, and utility plants, a loss of power could result in critical safety and financial concerns for both clients and customers.

Individual costs can range from the thousands to millions every hour depending on the industry and size. According to the Department of Energy, outages cost the US economy roughly $150 billion annually. One 2019 survey of data center owners shows that 10% of all respondents report their most recent significant outage cost more than $1 million. In healthcare facilities the risk is even greater, with individuals with chronic health conditions relying on power-dependent medical equipment such as ventilators and cardiac devices.

Facility owners may be aware of the risks, but they should also know the most effective prevention method for protecting against outages. Load bank testing offers facility owners confidence and peace of mind by fully testing the stability, efficiency, security and reliability of power systems and backup machines.

Leveraging load banks when load testing a high-risk facility can provide a more accurately measure of how the primary power system currently functions and how the backup generators would perform in event of an emergency. Without periodic load bank testing and a proper maintenance plan, the risk of encountering a mechanical failure during operations is raised significantly, which for high-risk facilities could result in costly repercussions.

Each industry must take specific steps to properly prioritize and plan load bank testing to mitigate the risk of costly downtime.

Hospitals
A reliable power supply is crucial to facilities, equipment and patient welfare in the healthcare industry. A healthcare facility’s emergency power generation system must also comply with a variety of standards and codes that must pass federal and state inspection, such as Joint Commission requirements, National Electrical Code specifications, National Fire Protection Association 99 and 110 standards and Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations to name a few.

The best way to confirm the dependable operation of healthcare backup systems is with consistent load bank testing, regularly scheduled maintenance, and proper modernization and retrofitting as necessary. By partnering with an experienced load bank solutions provider, healthcare facilities can gain access to an expert technician to support every step of the load testing process from planning, set-up and troubleshooting to testing and tear-down.

Data Centers
Data centers are complex networks with extensive electrical infrastructures and a need for constant and reliable power. Companies often rely on data centers to house critical information systems that run their entire operations. When an outage does occur, financial and reputational costs can be incurred by the data center owner and the companies using that data center. With so many organizations utilizing cloud computing, business and government organizations are also scrutinizing data centers more than ever in standards such as security, availability and environmental impact. Standard Documents from accredited professional groups, such as the Telecommunications Industry Association and Uptime Institute, specify the requirements for data center design and availability.

As today’s data centers deal with increasing traffic, stricter standards and rising customer expectations, it has become critical to ensure that power systems are fully operational and tested. Using resistive load banks when periodically load testing a data center will effectively test and stress the electrical systems including climate control, uninterruptible power systems (UPS), remote power panels, and bus tracks to help identify any issues that could be affecting operations.

With nearly 25 years of data center load bank testing experience and the largest inventory of resistive load banks in the nation, ComRent understands the importance of accurate and efficient testing.

Utility Substations/Microgrids
Hundreds of millions of Americans harness the power of utility substations and microgrids every day to regulate the temperature in their home or office, ensure food is properly stored and cooked, keep the lights on, and accomplish professional and personal tasks. Periodic load bank testing of the various electrical components of a substation is critical to reducing overall operating/capital expenditures, improve system reliability, and to reduce liability and public exposure.

Rather than using the grid, load banks can be leveraged to provide more flexibility and control over a load test. Load bank testing gives substation and microgrid owners the chance to uncover potential problems with equipment and improve system reliability to ensure customers and facilities have consistent power. Load banks offer repeatable measurement parameters, allowing for faster and more accurate testing than through the grid. Testing with a grid connection requires prior approval and scheduling from the electric utility, while load banks allow you to avoid extended lead times and shorten the testing time. ComRent’s extensive inventory of equipment can be rapidly deployed, letting you conduct your test on your schedule.

As a leader in load bank testing, ComRent is a turnkey service provider for all industries and high-risk facilities. We pair our technical expertise with the largest inventory of load banks to solve your load bank testing and commissioning challenges on time and on budget.

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation of your high-risk facility.

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