These tests assure managers that the generators will work well at 100-percent of the nameplate rating. Lack of regular testing dramatically raises the possible risk of your generator breakdown during an emergency. This must be a habitual part of your generator maintenance program so as to avoid any mechanical breakdown resulting from extreme stress on the generator engine as well as other parts when it is utilized in a power outage. Also, it assists maintain essential engine system components like coolant temperature as well as oil pressure while preventing carbon buildup and wet stacking.

When unburned fuel builds up in your generator’s exhaust system, this leads to wet stacking, because the generator is running at less load and hence not producing sufficient heat required to burn off the excess fuel. This build up reduces the engine efficiency as well as lifecycle by fouling the exhaust system, engine valves as well as fuel injectors. If the right mixture of air and fuel isn’t maintained, your generator engine won’t operate at its top level as well as will produce low power.

Carbon buildup occurs when the engine operates at low than complete load, not producing enough heat to eliminate the carbon accumulation. The Load Bank Testing and Power Solution Experts at foxfab.com advised us that if it continues unmaintained, over a long time, the piston rings may seize, allowing the superheated air/fuel mixture to pass past the piston rings as well as scorch the piston sides.

Load-bank basics

An average looking load bank generator

The load-bank applies a steady, controllable electric load on the generator. A load-bank can be portable or permanent, can accommodate dc or ac as well as can vary from just a few kW to multiple MW. They have an internal fan which cools the engine as well as removes the heated air from the load-bank unit. It is very significant to position the unit far away from materials that are combustible and to make sure that the unit is operated in an environment which is well-ventilated, so as to keep the load-bank as well as the generator from overheating.

Schedule load-bank testing

Generators should be able to go within some seconds from a cold start to a complete load. Just Like the human body which requires being warmed up as well as stretched before the 100-meter sprint, your generator should be exercised at 30-percent load for about 30 minutes monthly. Testing at this frequency and level keeps the engine parts well lubricated, enables easy engine starting, uses fuel before it depreciates as well as puts off oxidation of the electrical contacts.

An annual load-bank test must be done at 100-percent of your generator’s kW capacity for at least one hour, or the load-bank should be load at the least engine exhaust temperature suggested by the manufacturer. This test should be done by stepping up the load at assured time intervals.

Testing tips

The major goal of testing is to find out problems in a controlled condition rather than when a major power failure occurs. Here are some recommended tips for finding out problems safely:
While doing load-bank testing, you should be prepared for the worse-case scenario, unexpected outcomes or system failure.
A backup generator must be in place at mission vital sites like healthcare facilities that have patients on life support or in any other facility that actually can’t afford a power failure.
For other facilities that aren’t mission vital, load-bank testing must be done during hours than a power failure is very easy to manage.
Make sure that the generator is disconnected to avoid overloading.
While testing the load-bank look for abnormal performance, leaks as well as loose connections.

A generator engine that emits black exhaust while testing is operating at an adequately high temperature to burn away the buildup carbon as well as fuel in the generator’s exhaust system. But, if the smoke doesn’t clear before the completion of testing, engine repairs might be required. Extensive smoke is caused by rings that haven’t seat properly, by bad fuel or by a fuel pump which should be rebuilt.

Also, other common occurrences when testing is such as low oil pressure and high cooling system temperature. Low oil pressure can result from an oil pump that requires repair or a sign of extreme engine wear. High temperature can be because of a damaged thermostat.

Final verdict

Load-bank testing must be included in a regular generator maintenance schedule to make sure high performance as well as peak reliability. Testing permits the operator to know if the generator can run at its complete kW capacity. Regular testing eliminates unburned fuel in the exhaust system as well as build up carbon in the engine that can damage the engine and lower the ability to deliver power in case of power failure.

Load Bank Testing Ensures Performance