What You Need to Know About Load Bank Testing
Maintenance comes hand in hand with owning or hiring a generator. To maintain a healthy generator and prepare for power outages, Power Electrics recommends load bank testing. Load bank testing is key for ensuring crucial services are operating in times of an outage.
What is Load Bank Testing?
Load bank testing is the process of using a load bank to accurately mimic the operational load of a generator. It involves starting up a prime power or standby generator under an artificial load at its maximum capacity for a specified period of time. The process is carried out to test the generator to its full capacity without disrupting the power supply to your facility. It is highly recommended to detect any problems that could prevent power from being supplied in the event of an emergency.
The process includes bringing the engine to a certain operating temperature and pressure to best mimic the power drawn from the equipment used during the event of an emergency. The process of load bank testing exposes any flaws or problems of a generator in a safe environment, instead of when it is being relied upon to provide power.
Why Do We Recommend Load Bank Testing?
There are situations where having power can mean the difference between life and death, such as in the healthcare industry, or it could mean the loss of millions for companies through unexpected downtime. There are two main reasons why the test is recommended – to determine efficient performance levels and to remove any harmful wet stacking. Load bank testing gives you peace of mind that your generator has the capacity to work in the event of an emergency. When it comes to a generator, the earlier a problem is recognised, the less costly the repair will be than if it was discovered during a critical situation.
There are several benefits to load bank testing such as cleaning out carbon deposits to allow for more efficient running. It also ensures that the cooling systems work correctly when under load.
Preventing Wet Stacking
Many complications can arise if a generator is left unused for a period of time or is only used with light loads. Soot and unburnt fuel build-up can occur in the exhaust. Known as wet stacking, the issue causes poor performance and increases the likelihood of the generator becoming a fire hazard as well as being more prone to damage and failure. The cost and inconvenience of fixing the issue becomes far more considerable than performing a yearly load bank test.
During a heavy load the generator runs at a high power and temperature, the build-up burns off and so prolongs the life of your equipment. If you'd like to know more about wet stacking, why not have a read of our blog on the topic, here.