A load bank is a necessity for generator maintenance and performance. Regularly running a load bank test is the only way for a customer to be entirely secure in the knowledge that the generator will operate at optimal performance during a power outage. This is a clear-cut reason why a load bank should be introduced into every general maintenance plan, but, unfortunately, many generators are not load banked with necessary frequency. Megawattage technicians are familiar with the load banking process and are aware of its pivotal purpose, and it is important that our clients also understand how a load bank operates.
First of all, in order to avoid any confusion, the term “load bank” can be a noun or a verb.
What is a load bank?
A load bank is a device that generates an electrical load and applies it to a power source. In the case of most of our generators, this electrical load is set to match the amount of power draw that the generator must produce and provide for its designated purpose (like powering a home or office) or else the maximum output the generator should be able to produce.
When a load bank is used, the purpose is to “load bank” the generator. Sometimes, it is called “load banking” the generator.
It is important to define the difference between load banking a generator and simply running the generator on a schedule, two important practices. For many with permanent generators on their premises, the regular maintenance includes running the generator under a light load or, possibly no load at all. This is not a bad practice, since it certainly does allow for the detection of maintenance issues that develop over time, usually as a result of environmental wear and tear; however, it certainly does not test the generator’s efficiency should it be required to support the power draw of the entire building or more. In fact, it can be harmful for the generator to only run under load for long periods of time, and that may include powering an entire building during an emergency situation, if the generator is large enough that it can handle much more than the power draw than is required by whatever it services. Without load banking, it sometimes may even be worse than not running the generator at all, as issues like wet stacking can cause the generator to run at less than optimal efficiency. Not to fear! A single load bank can potentially eliminate the trouble of wet stacking, among other things, in one shot. Regular load banking will guarantee all the higher operations of the generator are performing properly, and hiring a qualified tech to regularly load bank your generator is the best way to keep accurate records of your generators performance under load, ensuring that the generator will provide adequate power when it is needed.
Like generators, load banks come in a variety of sizes and forms, since they must (and can) apply to a variety of different types of generators. Generally speaking, many load banks are expensive units to purchase, and, even though load banking is an important task, the amount of load banking required for general maintenance of a unit may not always justify purchasing a load bank. A large generator that runs a hospital, for example, will be most reliable if it is load banked monthly, while a residential generator could probably be fine with a biannual load bank. To this end, Megawattage offers load bank services and rentals. Our technicians are expedient and professional, with load banks immediately available should you need a test right now. Please contact us about a load bank today.
We are a distributor of load banks for ASCO Power Technologies. Please ask about this product line. Below, please find some helpful links and data to assist in deciding which load bank is best for you and your generator: