Electrical Testing Solutions | Load Bank Testing for Generators

load bank testing

When a power outage occurs, your operations rely on standby generators to keep things running. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that your standby system is properly maintained by certified professionals. We recognize that most maintenance is preventive in nature and offers planned maintenance agreements to thoroughly inspect and service your generator.

A load-bank test is an essential part of any preventive maintenance practice to ensure your standby generator performs in the event of a power failure. This test checks the generator engine’s ability to perform and provide the required horsepower needed in an emergency. A generator typically runs at a level less than the unit’s rated output capability, so a load bank test provides an artificial load that brings the engine to an acceptable operating temperature, ensuring functionality when your business needs it most.

Triple Switch Diagram

Generators installed in the field must be periodically tested and exercised to ensure that it will operate as intended when a power outage actually occurs. Service groups use load banks to apply a load that mimics the load of the facility the generator is protecting. Any problems with the generator can then be identified and rectified in a non-critical environment.

Over time, lightly loaded generator sets develop wet-stacking and carbon buildup in the combustion chambers and exhaust system, which can lead to increased oil and fuel consumption and poor engine performance. The use of a load bank helps prevent this and determines the generator’s capability to produce maximum output in terms of amperage and horsepower.

With a generator, merely starting it up is insufficient. Operators need to know it will actually run, fully loaded.  That is what load bank testing does – takes a power protection system for a drive in a controlled environment.

In the case of a standby generator, a load bank test will indicate the engine’s ability to provide the required power; the alternator’s capability to provide the required voltage stability; stable frequency; efficiency of control systems under varying conditions of load; performance of the whole system; oil and fuel pressure. It will also help remove deposits from pistons, engine castings and exhausts. It will also identify potential weaknesses and record results and any work that needs to be done.

Load bank testing will ensure that the components within the power protection system will work and perform together as intended when called upon to support a critical load. At minimum, a load bank test should be performed on an annual basis to improve the life of the engine and alternator. The test gives you peace of mind that your generator will remain reliable throughout power interruptions.