What is generator load bank testing and why do we need to do it?
Generator load bank testing uses a piece of electrical test equipment to simulate full and stable load conditions on to a generator to prove its performance ability. Once you have assessed your power requirements and selected a generator solution to meet those needs, you will need to know with certainty that when the mains power goes down your generator will be able to meet the maximum required load placed upon it.
Load bank testing allows for standby generators to be tested outside of emergency situations. The test can ensure that all components are in optimal working condition under different loads without placing the risk of complete power failure on critical settings such as hospitals.
Who offers load bank testing?
Any good quality service support company will have the equipment to load bank test a piece of equipment. Many will carry small load banks of 100kW or less and have access to bring in larger sets when required. In large projects load banks can be permanently installed on site.
How often should I have my generator tested?
In critical applications such as hospitals, data centres or financial institutions generators can be tested multiple times per month. With non-critical stand by generators, it is advisable to test your standby generators at least once a year, especially if they are not used at full rated load regularly.
Because standby generators often sit dormant or used only for light loads for most of the year, they can be prone to ‘wet-stacking’. When a generator is run below its operating temperature, has been unused for a long period of time or is operated at less than 60% of its rated load the unburnt fuel, carbon and moisture can gather around the exhaust system causing a thick, oily substance to accumulate. Regular load bank testing can run the generator at its full rated load, thus enabling it to reach operation temperature, burn up the fuel and eliminate wet stacking.