Load banks are often talked about in industrial environments, but many people dont know exactly what they are or what they do. Essentially, a load bank simulates the electrical load that powers a piece of electrical equipment. By mimicking the real load that will be transmitted to a source that powers this equipment, it helps to test its reliability.
As a result, load banks are very important in industrial contexts. Keep reading for further information on load banks and load bank testing.
Uses for load banks
Load banks are often rented and used in a variety of situations. In factories, they are useful for testing generators and turbines. In situations where generators are kept on site but only used in the event of a power outage, they may also be useful for regular testing of these generators to ensure that they will still work when needed.
Load banks may also be used to test other back-up power supplies, like batteries and UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) systems. UPS load bank testing is often carried out during preventative maintenance. As well as testing whether or not a UPS system works, load bank testing can also test the condition of batteries within the system in order to ascertain how much life each cell has left.
Other applications of load bank testing include ground power testing, tackling problems caused by wet stacking (often found in diesel engines or generators), getting rid of carbon build-up on piston rings and building gas turbine platforms.
Why is load bank testing important?
Load bank testing is important because it helps to prevent disruption to electrical power services. This is very important in factories, when even a small amount of downtime can represent the loss of a significant amount of money. However, its also crucial for hospitals, which depend on electricity to power life-saving equipment as well as basic lighting. Other public institutions, like the military, depend on load bank testing too and its also crucial for airports, gas and electricity suppliers.
The frequency of load bank testing varies between industries and commercial sectors. In some factories, it may occur weekly while in other buildings it may only be an annual occurrence. In the latter case, load bank rental companies are often brought in to carry out the testing. The type of load bank needed may vary, but most rental companies are able to supple different types, such as AC resistive load banks and DC load banks.