Using Resistive Load Banks for Testing Generators

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

Your generators serve as a reliable power source during an emergency. When you lose power from the grid, your operation can come to a standstill without a dependable backup system. You can ensure reliability by using resistive load banks for generator load bank testing.

To confirm your generator will perform during a power failure, resistive load bank testing must become an essential component of your preventive maintenance program. Industry experts recommend you conduct generator load testing on an annual basis. Load bank testing confirms your generator can handle a maximum load whenever required.

What Happens During Generator Load Bank Testing?

The load bank conducts a test on the generator at the established horsepower, operating temperature, and pressure level. Using resistive load banks for generator testing allows you to simulate an actual electrical load on the generator.

The load bank equipment gradually increases the kW load throughout the testing period. As the load increases, the test measures the generator’s ability to function at various levels for sustained time periods.

Why Perform Generator Load Bank Testing?

Backup generators typically don't run frequently or carry heavy loads on a regular basis. In many cases, generators rarely come close to reaching their full capacities during routine operation.

If this is the case with your backup system, you should conduct regular load tests at your generator’s full kW rating. Generator load bank testing as part of a routine preventive maintenance program uncovers problems before they require costly repairs. Using resistive load banks for testing generators helps validate performance at full capacity.

Load Banks vs Grid for Load TestingTo test backup power systems, you can choose to use the existing power grid or load banks. However, more and more facilities are recognizing the many advantages load bank testing offers over using the grid:

  • Load banks will provide a stable, controlled demand on your power systems tailored to your unique requirements. You can more accurately simulate a broad range of scenarios and verify your power systems are up to the task.
  • You can simulate the grid, not just a distribution network. Load banks offer a controllable and sustainable load.
  • Using load banks for load testing enhances speed, safety, and accuracy. These capabilities lead to time and cost savings.
  • Regular load bank testing allows for accurate load simulation. You’ll be able to evaluate how well your generator system will operate at peak capacity.
  • Eliminating dependence on the power grid operator to schedule your test gives you more control over your schedule.

Should You Always Choose Resistive Load Banks for Testing Generators?

During generator load bank testing, you want to simulate your environment realistically. A resistive-only load bank can provide adequate testing of the individual prime mover and load sharing controls of a multiple unit facility. However, a reactive load bank lets you test additional operations, including the alternator, load sharing, and transient responses

A load bank that provides both reactive and resistive loads can offer the greatest benefit in most applications. Using reactive/resistive load banks lets you test your entire system to identify any weaknesses. Without this level of testing, you will lack the data you need to verify power system functionality and reliability.

Comrent’s team of experts is ready to help ensure your system is successfully interconnected. We are offering a complimentary consultation to review your project and propose the right load bank solution for your requirements. Contact us today.

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