Generator Load Bank Testing – An Important Aspect of Preventative Maintenance

Generator load bank testing is an essential piece of generator maintenance, which you should ideally have conducted on your genset(s) each year. We offer Load bank testing to ensure that your generator will be fully dependable and operational, as well as completely capable of the highest possible load it may be required to handle at any critical point in time. We also offer to assist in on-site training for your maintenance staff.

What is Generator Load Bank Testing?
A generator load bank test is an examination and assessment of a generator set(s) that verifies all primary components of the generator set are in proper working condition. The equipment used to conduct a load bank test produces artificial loads on the generator by bringing the engine to an appropriate operating temperature and pressure level. This is especially important for standby and emergency generator sets that do not run very often and/or may not be exposed to carrying heavy loads on a frequent basis. The key to a proper load bank test is, your generator is tested at its full kilowatt (kW) output rating. Because many generators do not regularly operate at their full kW rating, it’s especially important that you verify your generator can actually produce the highest possible horsepower that may be required, while at the same time maintaining adequate temperature and pressure levels that will allow it to run as long as necessary.

How does a Load Bank Test Work?Generac Industrial Power by Carolina Generators
When a load bank test is implemented, an artificial load is placed on the generator. The test is timed and gradually increases the kW load in specific increments. Each time the kW load is increased, the test measures and records critical engine parameters, the generator’s ability to handle the boost, and its ability to continue functioning at the highest possible level for a sustained period of time. The equipment needed to complete the test includes a load bank (machine with kW rated sizes and battery like cables).

When a diesel engine powered generator is not used frequently or only runs on light loads, it can be prone to experiencing unburned fuel and soot buildup in the exhaust system. This is called ‘wet-stacking.’ When wet-stacking occurs, the genset is likely to perform poorly, to endure damage, can become a fire hazard, and can even lead to complete failure. During a load bank test, the generator is allowed to run at full power and full temperature. This will cause any wet-stacking to burn off. Hence, a load bank test actually serves two purposes: 1) it tests the generator to determine whether it will function properly and efficiently on all levels 2) it eliminates any wet-stacking that may have built up within the generator.

Benefits of Load Bank Testing

  • Verifies your generators capabilities opposed to just routinely starting it up
  • Discovering problems early can be significantly less expensive and prevent any major future issues
  • Helps to avoid wet-stacking and cleans out carbon deposits
  • Verifies the engine cooling systems will perform while under load
  • Provides assurance that the generator should work properly when you need it most
  • Stay compliant with SCDHEC code NFPA 110

What is NFPA 110?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 110: Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, provides specific requirements for acceptance testing of an emergency generator. This standard covers performance requirements for emergency and standby power systems providing an alternate source of electrical power in buildings and facilities in the event that the normal electrical power source fails. Systems include power sources, transfer equipment, controls, supervisory equipment, and accessory equipment needed to supply electrical power to the selected circuits.

What does NFPA 110 address?

NFPA 110 presents installation, maintenance, operation, and testing requirements as they pertain to the performance of the emergency or standby power supply system (EPSS) up to the load terminals of the transfer switch. Specific topics include definitions of the classification of EPSS; energy sources, converters, inverters, and accessories; transfer switches and protection; installation and environmental considerations; and routine maintenance and operational testing.

Whatever your generator brand, Carolina Generators is dedicated to keeping it in top-notch condition. Generators are complicated and expensive pieces of machinery, and since they may go months, if not years, in between periods of extended usage, it can be difficult to keep up with their condition. And while they’re built to last, unanticipated problems can arise in these complex machines, which is why you want to make sure your generator is always operating at its best when an unanticipated power failure happens. We offer on-site training for your maintenance staff as well as weekly, monthly, and annual compliance forms for documentation. We also offer service contracts to make sure your generator is always in working factory fresh condition. Cheaper than a repair job, a maintenance contract saves you time, money, and frustration by ensuring a reliable power supply. For more information about our Load Bank Testing Service or to schedule please call us at (864)232-5684 Carolina GeneratorsIndustrial Power - Horizontal