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Load Bank Uses

Q: Why do I need a load bank?

A: Load Banks are used with Engine Generators, Battery Systems, UPS Systems, Inverters, Ground Power Units, Auxiliary Power Units, Aircraft Power Generators, Wind Generators, and Hydro Generators. Load Banks can be used for several purposes, including:

Manufacturing Testing

  • Generator Test Cells: Manufacturers of standby power generators commonly use load banks to test and tune newly assembled units. When the generator has been set up in a test cell within the factory, a test engineer uses the load bank to apply a discrete, selectable electrical load to the generator and measure the response stability and endurance. During this process, the test engineer calibrates and adjusts the generator performance to ensure it meets the intended product specifications and tolerances.
  • Engine Test Cells: Manufacturers of small gas engines also use load banks to test newly manufactured engines under various mechanical loads. This is accomplished by connecting the engine to the load bank via a device called a dynamometer. Again, engine performance is monitored and, if necessary, adjustments are made to ensure the product performs within intended specifications.

Field Testing & Exercise

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.

Elimination of ‘Wet Stacking’

Load banks may be installed in a diesel powered generator set to apply the additional load required to ensure the engine fully consumes the fuel in the combustion process. If a diesel engine is not operated under adequate load, unconsumed fuel will collect in the engine’s exhaust stack, causing “wet stacking” problems.

Demonstration

Load banks are often used as tool for demonstrating to buyers and users of a new generator set that the unit meets the performance specifications outlined in the purchase contract.

And More - Load banks are also used for:

  • UPS system testing
  • Battery system testing
  • Ground power testing
  • Load optimization in prime power applications
  • Factory testing of turbines

 

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