load bank testing


The importance of load bank testing

A load bank gives you all the information you need about the performance of a power unit or system under full or partial load. They can be used to test for example the performance of generators and engines (gensets), transformers, genset controllers, switchgear distribution systems and private power networks.

Whether your unit or system is in regular operation or serves as a backup power facility, it is important to systematically test its performance. These four objectives will ensure load bank testing is as successful as possible:

  • Record-keeping;
  • (Trend) analysis;
  • Preventive maintenance;
  • Continuous commissioning.

Different types of load bank testing

Resistive load bank testing

A simulated resistive load bank test loads the generator section of the genset to 100% of its rated capacity at unity power factor. This tests the most common causes of failure and ensures the cooling system is working properly. It not only achieves the rise in temperature needed to thoroughly exercise the cooling system, it also burns off harmful excess fuel and carbon deposits. Resistive load bank testing is used to test engines at full load and generators at a maximum of 80% load.

Combined resistive/reactive load bank testing

Resistive loads are usually only a small part of any facility’s total power consumption. Combined resistive/inductive load bank testing is used when both engine and generator are being tested at full load. We have separate resistive and inductive load banks available for hire. That option however will likely use up more essential space – plus it will considerably affect your investment. Our combined load banks occupy limited space and offer the most cost efficient way to test both engine and generator at full load.

Benefits of load bank testing:

Testing is performed at different stages of the genset life cycle, starting with a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT). The optimal follow up would be to perform a Site Acceptance Test (SAT) of the component systems during the commissioning phase.

Routine maintenance verification for standby power systems such as annual load bank testing of critical load generator sets or installations is highly recommended. Non-critical systems should undergo a frequent load bank test just the same. Routine maintenance verification, for standby systems as well as prime power systems, has many benefits, for instance:

  • Increase reliability of your power systems;
  • Reduce maintenance costs;
  • Prevent carbon build-up;
  • Increase engine efficiency & lifespan of critical parts by refraining fuel system malfunctions;
  • Avoid lubricating oil deterioration;
  • Counteract smoky exhausts.

Why choose Energyst for load bank hire solutions

Our larger units can perform resistive and reactive testing of generators and power supplies and handle up to 480V and 6 MVA each. There is 690V and HV testing with a transformer, and the units can have unity or a variable power factor. Multiple units can easily be linked. Housed in robust ISO containers, the units are mobile and come with all the ancillaries you might need. Our 20-foot containerised combined resistive/inductive 4000 kW units have a built-in 4000A breaker.

We also have a range of smaller load banks for hire with a robust modular chassis/canopy construction for single or three phase testing up to 1000 kW per unit. All units can test AC supplies at unity or variable power factor, along with battery discharge and UPS units.

All load banks in our fleet – resistive, reactive and combined – are equipped with a Sigma IHT Load Control operating system. The Sigma Intelligent Hand Held Terminal (IHT) provides full load control and three-phase instrumentation. Sigma software additionally allows you to download real-time test reports. Technical specifications of the OS can be found here.

Range of applications:

  • UPS testing – Uninterruptible Power Supplies
  • Testing and commissioning new power equipment and installations (FAT & SAT)
  • ISO 8528 verification, block load steps and transient response performance
  • Black-start validation
  • Optimising gen set performance and long term heat run testing
  • Routine maintenance verification for standby power systems
  • Switchgear validation
  • AVR and governor setup
  • Battery discharge

We have attached our feature in DCM Magazine. This further explains why a customised, proactive approach minimises disruption and why load bank testing plays a big part in maximising your productivity.

To find out more about our wide range of load banks for resistive and reactive testing, please call- or e-mail us +1890369469 / info.ie@energyst.com.