Trends in Load Bank Testing Equipment for Utilities

Comrent is providing solutions for mission-critical power testing infrastructure.

The frequency and breadth of load bank testing for critical power power commissioning has increased during the last decade. Three distinct trends will drive the growing importance of using load bank testing equipment in the coming years:

  1. Changing Interconnection Standards – In the late 1990s, a collaboration of electric utilities industrial facility owners, regulators, and technical consultants developed the interconnection standards for connecting a local electric power system to the electric grid.

The passage of IEEE 1547, titled “IEEE Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems,” leveled the playing field. It defined a clear path to increase the reliability and availability of the local power system. The standard enabled synchronization with the grid and multiple connections from the utilities’ distribution or transmission system.In 2012, standards-making organizations collaborated once again to modify this standard. The update allows voltage regulation and frequency regulation at the point of common connection (PCC). To support this, UL is developing safety standards for a “special purpose utility interactive inverter” in addition to standards included in UL1741.This update represents a significant change in the typical system topologies used in the past. These topologies will increase the complexity of power systems and critical facilities requiring load bank testing equipment. They will also impact power factor correction, voltage regulation, and frequency regulation.

  1. Microgrids and Complex Systems – Microgrids(or intentional islanding) offer a solution in areas where power quality and reliability remain low, such as remote locations and campus settings. The complexity and interaction of multiple loads and sources will drive the increased importance of load testing in the actual environment with load bank testing equipment.
  2. Interoperability of Software and Communication – A collaborative effort from electric utilities, standards making organizations, and industry professionals produced a guide for interoperability of the electric power system with communication technology and information technology (IEEE 2030 - 2011). This guide mapped the communication protocols and data flows required to perform the functions on the grid and within the customer's facility. Over time, this interoperability will result in more standard modular approaches to monitoring, control, and information exchange related to the electric power system.

Comrent keeps pace with industry trends and ensures load bank testing equipment can meet current requirements for power plant commissioning. To learn more about our solutions, visit the website application selector. You can see our breadth of options and filter products based on several types.Comrent’s team of load bank experts helps ensure your system is successfully interconnected. We offer a complimentary consultation to review your project and propose the right load bank solution for your requirements.

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