Load Bank Testing of Generators Simplified

Following the global practices, any quality-conscious and standards-compliant generator suppliers in the UAE will load test the gensets to ensure that the generator will give optimum performance even if there’s an increased power load. Load testing is a standard planned maintenance program for all systems which assesses the generators’ capacity under load during the times of emergency.

How is it done?

This test is done by checking that all the primary components of the Genset work efficiently under loaded conditions and is primarily done if a generator is not exposed to higher than 30% of its rated kW load. Specialized equipment is used to bring the engine to an appropriate operating temperature and pressures, which in turn produces artificial loads on the generator. Generally, utilizing a portable load bank is the preferred method of load testing a generator system. Note that as compared to generator sets that do not run very often and/or may not be exposed regularly to carrying heavy loads, load tests are non-negotiable for generators earmarked to be used in emergency situations or standby.

Why is it done?

In a nutshell, a load bank test helps assess how reliable is your generator by examining it at its full kilowatt (kW) output rating. Many generators are not used regularly at their full potential. But that does not eliminate the possibility that there might come a time when your generator may be required to function at its highest. That is why, it makes sense to check if your generator can actually produce the highest possible horsepower that may be required, without heating up and maintaining the adequate temperature and pressure levels that will allow it to function for long hours.

Among other reasons, how old a generator is what necessitates a load bank test. When a new generator is installed, it is set into the automatic mode. As the generator ages, the likelihood of glitches in the system increases. On top of that, the weather may also affect the efficiency of a generator system adversely. In all these scenarios, a well-planned load testing procedure is a reliable way to identify and work on potential weaknesses in a generator system.

Load Testing for Diesel-Run Generators

Load-testing is especially important in generators that utilize a diesel engine. Wet-stacking (when a generator fails to reach the designed operating temperature, it results in carbon and un-burned fuel building up in the exhaust system) is a common issue in diesel-run generators. If left unaddressed, it damages the Genset and degrades its overall performance. As a thumb rule, a two-hour-long load testing using a portable load bank should be done annually for all diesel-run generators. In case a diesel generator hasn’t been load tested since a year or more, then testing for a long duration may be required.

All reputed generator companies in the UAE follow a maintenance program that includes timely load testing to make sure that only the best in quality generators stay operational and the rest can be repaired to deliver the highest performance possible.

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