The Importance of Using Proven Load Bank Testing Procedures

Has your organization adopted an effective load bank testing procedure? Does your testing ensure you will be able to maintain continuous operation?

Load bank testing is performed under two scenarios – when you commission a new facility and when you need to conduct ongoing testing to ensure the highest levels of performance for your equipment.

A load bank is a device that develops an electrical load and applies the load to an electrical power source, such as an emergency back-up generator. The right load bank solution will provide consistent, accurate and measurable electrical loads on a power source that simulate the actual operating environment.

For many facilities, any interruption of power can lead to devastating consequences. Think of all the critical sites that serve the general public and must maintain continuous power. Some examples include hospitals, data centers, financial operations, government complexes, public utilities and military facilities.  These facilities must continue to operate even during a power outage.

The National Electric Code® defines critical operations power as “power systems for facilities or parts of facilities that require continuous operation for the reasons of public safety, emergency management, national security or business continuity.” Some examples of these critical power systems include power systems, HVAC systems, fire protection systems, security systems and communications systems. These systems must rely on emergency back-up power systems to keep them functioning during a power outage.

But how can you ensure your emergency back-up systems will operate as expected? Isn’t it enough that the factory conducted testing and provided specifications for the equipment?

Unfortunately, you will never know if you can depend on your back-up generators, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), power distribution units (PDUs) cooling units and other critical electrical and mechanical systems during a power outage unless you develop a load bank testing procedure. Your plan should call for testing under a full load during facility commissioning and ongoing maintenance.

Typically, a load bank test is the only way to deliver a full load to your equipment. Testing at less than a full load doesn’t ensure your critical components will function properly in an emergency situation.

A strong load bank testing procedure and conducting testing at full loads assure the highest level of reliability for your emergency backup systems. Load bank testing is absolutely critical for continuous operations. If the grid power goes away, load bank testing gives you confidence the emergency generator will function properly.

Download ComRent’s Latest eBook…

For a detailed discussion on load bank solutions and building commissioning, download ComRent’s latest eBook – “Using Load Bank Solutions to Optimize Building Commissioning.” This resource discusses the commissioning process and how it is used to validate that the installation and operation of new equipment is performing as required before it supports a critical load.

ComRent’s team of experts is ready to help ensure your system is successfully commissioned. 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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