One of the best ways to ensure that your emergency backup plan is up to snuff is to regularly test your generator with a load bank.
Load-bank testing is an essential part of maintaining your generator. This will help avoid any mechanical failures that may occur due to extreme stress on the engine and other components when it’s used during a power outage, which could lead to total loss if not properly cared for.
Consider implementing these best practices for load bank testing.
First of all, what is a load bank?
Load banks are often used to commission, maintain and verify electrical power sources such as diesel generators or uninterruptible supplies (UPS). The load bank applies an electric current through resistive elements which cause the resulting heat from these devices; this helps generate electricity when needed!
There are two types of load banks: portable and permanent. Portable load banks are great for testing generators that are in storage or that are not regularly used. Permanent load banks are installed on-site and connected to the generator so that it can be tested without having to be taken offline.
How often should I load bank test my generator?
It’s generally recommended that you load bank test your generator once a year. However, if your company is mission-critical, there are mandatory code requirements for emergency and standby power systems. Specific requirements for emergency and standby power will vary based on building occupancy type, facility use, and critical function.
For example, engineers must ensure hospitals meet NFPA 110 standards to meet the National Electrical Code.
So what are some of the benefits of load-bank testing?
Load bank testing is the best way to make sure your facility always has power. When you use a load bank, it ensures your facility has optimal access to power and ensures everything runs smoothly without any issues.
- Ensures that your generator is able to handle the load required during an emergency situation.
- Identifies any potential problems with your generator before they cause an issue during a power outage.
- Helps to prolong the life of your generator by ensuring that it’s running at peak efficiency through preventive maintenance
What are some of the challenges associated with load-bank testing?
There are a few obstacles that can make the process more challenging. This is especially true for facilities without Generator Tie-in equipment. Without equipment that allows for easy connectivity, you may face:
- Cables that have to run through public areas, windows, doors
- Issues with public safety and security
- Building modifications to allow wiring access (drilling walls, coring floors, etc.)
- Do not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended load for your generator. Doing so could damage your generator or void its warranty.
Best Practices for Load Bank Testing in our Facility
Load bank testing is a crucial part of keeping your emergency backup plan up and running. By regularly testing your generator, you can be confident that it will be there when you need it most.
- Make sure the load bank is properly rated for your generator. You don’t want to overload it!
- Be sure to disconnect any other power sources before starting the test. The last thing you want is for your generator to kick on while another power source is still connected.
- Don’t forget to warm up your generator before starting the test. This will help avoid any potential damage to the engine.
- During the test, keep an eye on your generator’s performance. If anything seems off, stop the test and investigate the issue.
One of the best ways to make your load bank testing protocol easier is to invest in generator tie-in equipment. Not only does a permanent solution like a Connection Cabinet from Foxfab minimizes or eliminates possible public access to emergency equipment, but it also allows for a safe, easy way for building operations to connect when performing a load bank test.
By following these best practices, you can ensure that your generator is always ready to provide power when you need it most. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can create an optimal design in your facility for load bank testing, get in touch with the team at Donwil today.