Load Bank Testing: What It Is and Why Your Business Needs It

By North Central Electric,

  Filed under: Testing
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Having a fully functioning and reliable standby generator in the event of an unplanned power outage is imperative to keep your business up and running. The purpose of an emergency generator is to supply your facility with power when an emergency arises and power from the grid is lost. When faced with this situation, you should have peace of mind knowing that your emergency backup generator will be ready to kick into gear and seamlessly continue to supply your facility with power on a moment’s notice. But what happens when your generator fails or doesn’t function as planned? This is why load bank testing is a necessity for any business or industry to ensure your power equipment is performing at optimal capacity when faced with an unexpected power outage. The engineering experts at North Central Electric are sharing the benefits of load bank testing as well as why your business should schedule a testing today!

What Is a Load Bank Test?

A load bank is an electrical device that is temporarily wired into a generator’s AC voltage output. This device develops an electrical load, then applies this load to a power source to test the reliability of the electrical equipment. Part of the maintenance regimen of a generator to ensure it is running efficiently and seamlessly is load bank testing. Load bank testing your businesses standby generator is oftentimes a mandatory requirement for some generation applications and if it isn’t, it should be part of a preventative maintenance plan.

Why Is Testing Done?

For many institutions, like hospitals or data centers, it is crucial to keep power at all times. Ensuring the backup generator is in proper working order will prevent failures that can potentially result in costly downtime or unnecessary health risks. Oftentimes, generators can sit unused for long periods of time. This neglect can cause fuel deposits to build up over time in the engine, resulting in reduced output capacity when needed most. Testing can ensure the longevity of your device as well as guaranteeing it can handle the highest possible load at a critical time when it is needed most. Load bank testing can also bring to light any problems or weaknesses within your generator, allowing you to fix the problem before a utility outage occurs.

Reasons Your Business Should Test Its Generator

In the event of a power emergency, having your standby generator working seamlessly and properly will ensure that when it’s called upon, your generator will be operational and fully dependable. Neglecting scheduled maintenance of a generator can be costly for your business. Light loading can lead to excessive wear on your device as well as pricey, unplanned expenses. Adhering to an annual maintenance plan will confirm your generator will produce and maintain at full load without malfunctioning. Other benefits of load bank testing include:

  • It helps to avoid “wet-stacking” which is a condition a diesel engine can experience when unburned fuel builds up and passes into the exhaust system.
  • Verifies the engine cooling systems are working properly.
  • It helps to discover weaknesses or problems within your generator early to help avoid costly damages as well as any major issues when you’re in need of your generator.
  • It lowers emissions and allows your generator to work more efficiently.

At North Central Electric Inc., we pride ourselves on our exceptional ability to keep you and your business up and running by avoiding unexpected power outages from ever occurring. Our trained technicians can help you design a preventative maintenance plan for your emergency generator, so you’ll always be prepared during a loss of power. Schedule your test with NCE today by contacting us here.