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Generator Load Bank Testing

Generator Load Bank Testing

Leading the way in generator sales, parts, and service; Professionalism is no accident at Power Field Services. Since 1986, Power Field Services has been maintaining a single-phase and three-phase power systems with a keen eye for recognizing potential issues. Preventative maintenance is a key step in maintaining reliable mechanical and electrical equipment in any application. 

Power Field Services offers annual generator load bank testing services to ensure the functionality of your emergency power source. A Load Bank Test is a wide-ranging service that monitors every critical component of your generator, including the engine temperature and oil pressure. Throughout the Load Bank Test, we expertly oversee the entire unit, ensuring that it is run at normal operating pressures and temperatures once optimal levels are achieved. As part of this service, we provide you with a detailed report that includes all your generator's output readings, % load, kW meter, engine speed, power factor, frequency, oil pressure, water temp, ambient room temp, oil temp, battery voltage, fuel pressure, and fuel level as well as any comments and recommendations. As a superior choice in customer care, Power Field Services can offer load bank testing services without disruption to your facility’s normal utility or emergency power source.

Why is Load Bank Testing Important? 

Running your generator efficiently is the key to ensuring its longevity and avoiding unnecessary downtime. Standby generators can remain unused for long periods of time, awaiting a power cut before smoothly intercepting it. Even a regular no-load test leaves the standby generator prone to faults incurred through idle time or neglect. 

These diesel standby generators that run rarely and or lightly loaded can build up fuel deposits in parts of the engine over time, which may leave your standby generator with reduced output capacity when it is needed. Things like light loading a generator or neglecting scheduled maintenance can lead to unexpected operating costs, excessive wear and increased emissions.

A load test in this situation will ensure that your standby generator will support your load when the occasion arises. Annual load testing is imperative to confirm your generator is capable of handling the demanded load when necessary, and some insurance companies demand it as part of their coverage plan.

Most importantly, though, regularly scheduled maintenance will help to make sure that your generator is ready when it’s called upon. For some applications, such as data centers, blood banks and hospitals; emergency power generators simply cannot afford to fail. That’s why preventative maintenance techniques like load bank testing are vitally important. 

In fact, load bank testing is a mandatory requirement for some backup power generation applications. Emergency power generation systems fall under a number of regulatory oversight conditions and code requirements. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the National Electric Code (NEC) have both drafted rules which pertain directly to the load bank testing of emergency generators.

Generator Load Bank Testing is an Important Aspect of Preventative Maintenance. A generator load bank test involves an examination and assessment of a genset.  It verifies that all primary components of the generator set are in proper working condition. The equipment used to conduct a load bank test produces artificial loads on the generator by bringing the engine to an appropriate operating temperature and pressure level. This is especially important for standby and emergency generator sets that do not run very often and/or may not be exposed to carrying heavy loads on a frequent basis.  The general rule is – if your generator is not exposed to higher than 30% of its rated kW load then you should be considering a load test. 

Load bank testing involves firing up a standby or prime power generator and running it under an artificial load at its maximum capacity for a specified period of time. During load bank testing, data can be recorded that offers a more thorough look into the health of the gen set on the whole. The test verifies that the generator is capable of handling incrementally higher kW loads, that it is still capable of accommodating its maximum specified load, and that it can work for an extended period of time. So, at its simplest, load bank testing is a way of verifying that your standby or prime power generator is still capable of kicking on and operating at its maximum kW output. 

A load bank test ensures that your generator will run property when it’s needed so that you can fully depend on it during an emergency situation. The key to a proper load bank test is that it tests your generator at its full kilowatt (kW) output rating. Because many generators do not regularly operate at their full kW rating, it’s especially important that you verify your generator can actually produce the highest possible horsepower that may be required – while at the same time maintaining adequate temperature and pressure levels that will allow it to run as long as necessary. 

Why is Generator Load Bank Testing Done? 

Your generator set is a valuable resource that provides a dependable emergency power to your business when power from the utility grid is suddenly lost, or power is not available in your environment. In the event of a power failure you want to have peace of mind that your backup power supply will spring into action seamlessly on a moment’s notice. But what happens when the power goes out and your generator fails function as expected? The result can often be costly and sometimes catastrophic depending upon your application.  

This is precisely the reason generator load bank testing is an essential piece of a comprehensive preventative generator maintenance plan, which you should ideally have conducted on your genset(s) each year. Power Field Services Load bank testing helps to ensure that your generator will be fully dependable and operational, as well as completely capable of the highest possible load it may be required to handle at any critical point in time. Load testing your emergency standby generator system should be part of a standard planned maintenance program for all systems.

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