Comprehensive UPS testing and commissioning can help validate operational performance. Using load banks for testing confirms all components are integrated properly, work together, and will function as intended when needed.
When you fully load your UPS system during testing, you can identify potential weaknesses. Uncovering problems under controlled testing conditions ensures your UPS will support a critical load during a power outage. UPS testing and commissioning with load banks offer an appealing return on investment.
What Happens During UPS Testing and Commissioning?
Load bank equipment delivers an electrical load to the UPS system. It simulates the actual load your system experiences and evaluates the performance of the UPS, batteries, cabling, switchgear, generator, and other components.
In general, functional load testing consists of six distinct operations including steady-state load test, harmonic analysis, filter integrity, transient response test, module fault test, and battery discharge.
- Steady-State Load Test – This process checks all input and output conditions at no load, half load, and full load capacities. You can test input and output voltage, input and output current, output frequency, input current balance, and output voltage regulation. This test determines if all modules share the load equally. Any imbalance can lead to operational issues down the road.
- Harmonic Analysis – During the steady-state load test, you can monitor the UPS for harmonic content at various loads. Total harmonic distortion measures the deviation from a perfect sinusoidal wave. A load with high distortion requires more energy than one with low distortion. Because this wasted energy dissipates as heat, you must correct inefficiencies before they damage equipment. Also, harmonic distortion may occur at the lowest loads. However, this distortion typically does not cause concern since manufacturers design UPS systems to operate most efficiently at full loads. An experienced load bank provider can accurately interpret UPS testing and commissioning results.
- Filter Integrity – Filters use resistors, inductors, and capacitors to remove unwanted waveform components. Thermal scans can identify inductor failure. Capacitors usually fail during stress and are harder to detect. During a load test, you can check phase current and evaluate filter integrity. Testing allows you to uncover degraded or failed capacitors more easily.
- Transient Response Load Test – This test evaluates the UPS system’s response to rapid load swings. Using a load bank, you can simulate large load fluctuations. A properly functioning UPS will accommodate these swings without distorting output, voltage, or frequency.
- Module Fault Test – When a load bank provides a full system-rated load, it can simulate module failure in multi-module systems. You can then verify the system will continue to operate as required even when a module fails. A properly performing system will continue to maintain the load without voltage or frequency deviations.
- Battery Discharge Test – This test allows you to evaluate temperature, voltage, and current under load conditions. You can then detect any potential failures in the battery system. Voltage changes within cells or strings could indicate battery degradation. When batteries fail to operate at capacity, you can consider replacement.
Partnering with an Experienced Load Bank Provider
UPS testing and commissioning is complex and potentially hazardous. Working with an experienced load bank supplier can ensure a successful test that protects your equipment and maintains business continuity. A proven load bank provider will offer portable AC/DC load banks in your required configurations. By matching the testing equipment and procedures to your requirements, you can evaluate the integrity of your UPS system and fix any issues before they incapacitate your operation.
ComRent’s team of load bank experts helps ensure successful UPS testing and commissioning for data centers. We provide a complimentary consultation to review your project and propose the right load bank solution to meet your requirements. Contact us today.