Load bank testing confirms the emergency power supply system’s ability to run up to its rated kW output and stay there without overheating and possibly shutting down during an emergency.
During a load test, critical engine and generator parameters such as oil and fuel pressure, operating temperatures, voltage, frequency, amperage, and kW output are measured and recorded throughout the duration of the test. Typical load bank tests range between two and six hours. Periodic load bank testing is an essential part of any good maintenance program.
Load bank testing is not intrusive and during the test, there is no interruption to the facility’s power supply. Generator load bank testing serves two purposes:
- It ensures that the generator will reliably operate at its maximum capacity for an extended period of time.
- Running a diesel engine at full capacity using a load bank prevents and corrects “wet stacking” – a condition where unburned fuel deposits accumulate in the engine and exhaust system reducing the generator set’s efficiency.
Load bank testing reduces long-term costs by extending the life of engine components such as turbochargers and exhaust valves, as well as, increasing engine performance and efficiency while reducing pollution. It also provides peace of mind and ensures compliance with NFPA 110* and JCAHO** standards for hospitals, nursing homes, computer data centers, and other critical facilities.
*NFPA 110 Section 188.8.131.52 states: “Diesel-powered EPS installations that do not meet the requirements of 8.4.2 shall be exercised monthly with the available EPSS load and exercised annually with supplemental loads at 25 percent of the nameplate rating for 30 minutes, followed by 50 percent of the nameplate rating for 30 minutes, followed by 75 percent of the nameplate rating for 60 minutes, for a total of 2 continuous hours”. *
In addition to NFPA 110, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) added an additional requirement in 2007 that health care organizations test emergency generators at least once every 36 months for a minimum of 4 continuous hours (JCAHO EC.7.40).
Weld Power has portable resistive load banks in multiple sizes ranges from 100kW up to 2MW and totaling over 3MW of load bank capacity. Our qualified technicians set up the equipment, perform the test procedures for the appropriate length of time and provide a written report detailing the performance of the equipment being tested when complete.
Weld Power Generator’s Load Bank Testing Procedure
A Weld Power technician will arrive on-site and attach your units to a load bank. The unit will be run for the 2 hours that you had requested at 25% and then 50% of the generators’ nameplate rating for a half-hour, and finally 75 % for an hour.
These specifications are compliant with NFPA 110. The unit will be monitored using the most up to date load bank recording equipment available. Powerline Magazine TM has recently claimed that this electronic digital recording is ideal for load bank documenting.
During this time, our technician will take additional notes (sounds, visuals, etc.) and readings (temperature, oil pressure, etc.) on the generator’s performance. The unit’s information will be read and graphed by a computer that will evaluate the generator’s output and performance. This information will be relayed back to Weld Power and can be emailed to your company within minutes. This new service allows real-time evaluation of your generator.