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Load bank testing is an essential step in the process of generator maintenance and is a requirement for Fire, life and safety equipment as per CSA 282-19. Therefore, it is important to test the generator's output capacity before it is put into use. 

Load banks are often used to measure the output of standby generators or other power systems that provide backup power. By doing this type of load bank testing, you can make sure there are no harmful fluctuations in voltage coming from your generator during use. Load banks also help diagnose potential problems with generators before they could cause any damage to the system powering them.

What is a Load Bank?

Load banks are devices that simulate the electrical load of a power system. They can be used for testing, calibration and commissioning of units.

Load Bank Testing is a process by which a load bank is connected to an electrical power system, and its output voltage and current are monitored to see if it meets the requirements. 

What Is the Purpose of Load Bank Testing?

Load bank testing is a process that ensures the quality of power supply from generators, batteries or other sources for an electrical system. Load Bank Testing is performed to ensure the Generator is capable when called upon to support the rated load of the building.  In addition, load bank testing can help measure how much energy your system uses and find any potential issues before you have a major outage. Therefore, keeping your system up-to-date with regular load bank tests is essential to maintain a reliable power source.

Custom Power Generation provides а wide variety of power generation services, including preventative maintenance and emergency repair for your power generation system. Our team knows that some situations can not wait, so we are at your disposal 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Give a call to one of our offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver or Toronto. 

Considerations When Choosing a Load Bank

Generator systems rely on load banks for testing equipment performance. A load bank is a device that simulates the electrical loads of an operating system, such as a power grid. This means it should typically be sized to handle the entire electrical load of the system, but not any more than that.

The size of the load bank will affect how accurately you can measure equipment performance and how much money you'll spend on purchasing one. 

What Types of Load Banks Are There?

There are four main types of load banks, based on their use and the need of the industry they serve:

  • Resistive Load Banks – used for testing a generator at 100% of its power capacity. In addition, by using this solution, you could also check the generator's cooling, fuel, and exhaust systems.

  • Inductive Load Banks can test a generator set at 100% of its power capacity in kVa. For comparison, resistive load banks could test a generator only up to 80% of its power capacity in kVa. Inductive load banks are usually used with resistive units.

  • Capacitive Load Banks are usually used with a resistive unit to test a generator thoroughly. As with the inductive variations, capacitive load banks are rated in kVAr (kilovolt-amperes reactive).

  • Resistive Reactive Load Banks are also called combined ones. They have both resistive elements and inductors and can test a generator at non-unity PF. They also could test the generator at 100% of its kVA power capacity.

What Are the Benefits of Load Bank Testing?

Load bank testing should be conducted by a qualified professional whose expertise you can trust. This is extremely important, especially given the power capacity of a generator and its importance to your business. To help you better understand the advantages of regular load bank testing, we have made a list of the benefits of this process:

  • By conducting a load bank test, you can fully picture your generator capabilities and performance. This process is more reliable than a regular turning on and off a system.

  • Load bank testing would also give you an idea about the condition of the engine cooling system. Since some load bank tests also include monitoring the generator's colling, fuel and exhaust operations.

  • This procedure would give you insights into how the whole system would perform under a lot of pressure.

  • Load bank testing could also help you find issues and resolve them on time, so they don't cost a fortune to your business.

  • Testing ensures your unit is CSA 282 Compliant.

  • Load Bank testing will burn off carbon deposits in the combustion chamber, injector nozzles, piston rings, turbo charger and exhaust system.

There are many more advantages of load bank testing, but working with a trusted professional should be a priority to receive high-quality inspection and help. At Custom power Generation, we believe that in order to build a strong business relationship with a client, we need to be a company they can count on. An essential part of our efforts to achieve that are the preventative and emergency power generation services we provide. Contact us today or find more information about how we can help. 

How Often Should a Generator Be Tested?

Frequent testing of a generator is an important part of its overall maintenance. How often you should get the generator tested depends on its purpose. For all Fire, life and safety systems, the generator as per CSA 282-19 must have an annual Load Test performed. For example, if a generator is used as a backup power source for a school, a financial building or a medical facility, it would need to be tested annually at a minimum. 

The Importance of Safety During a Load Bank Testing

Safety is the most important thing to consider when being around electrical equipment. Load bank testing can be difficult for both the technicians and the public. To ensure safety, some best practices need to be followed by the professional. Wearing appropriate clothing and having eye protection goggles, gloves, and a high visibility vest is only part of the things you need to consider. Testing all the equipment before the load banking test is also important in order to make sure that the process goes as planned.

At Custom Power Generation, we provide our team with the tools, equipment and training they need to be safe while working at all times. Our team is also certified in accordance with the Canadian Electrical Code and has access to resources and additional training if needed.

We provide preventative maintenance and emergency repair service for our clients, and we know how important it is for them to be confident about our working procedures. So give us a call today, and let's discuss how we can help with our power generation services! 

Custom Power Generation is Now Serving Toronto, Ontario!

Custom Power Generation prides itself in the design and supply of power generation systems and solutions across Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and now serving Toronto, Ontario!

Offering best-in-class cogeneration systems for natural & biogas in the 50-2,500 kW range and the most innovative solutions to Toronto's industrial, commercial, healthcare and energy sectors. You can also count on our 24/7 parts and service experts to be there when you need them the most. Get in touch with our Toronto Ontario team today!