Defined, a load bank generates a certain amount of electricity to successfully test how reliable the following are in a data center:

*Electrical switching
*Generator outputs
*Uninterruptable power supply systems
*Cooling

Load banks of the rack-mount server-simulating variety are designed to discharge heat while, at the same time, consuming power to imitate the load of a server that is processing a particular workload as accurately as possible. Using load banks instead of software simulations for testing out cooling and operating power supplies in data centers provide a great deal more real world accuracy. This includes issues such as an air-flow blockage in racks that’s caused by a server-sized load bank and dust in the air due to improper filtration.

Load bank tests are designed to simulate real-life operations by applying the loads themselves in site. Additionally, relative humidity and real temperatures are used, despite the fact that the reproduction itself is nowhere near exact. The load bank itself draws power to test the infrastructure before safely dissipating as heat in a safe manner.

Load banks can also be either fixed or portable. While fixed versions can be used in outdoor environments, portable versions can be used all around a data center, as well as between different sites, to test all sorts of power setups.

Load banks cannot, however, imitate random lulls and peaks of equipment power usage that comes from real data centers. On the other hand, they can approximate the overall requirements of a piece of equipment in a more controlled setting with the highest possible levels of accuracy.

All manners of load testing should always be included on UPS maintenance schedules. Some of the most commonly tested include capacitive load banks, and multiple other power supply vendors choose to offer load bank testing as a standard service as well.

Alternatively, inductive load banks tend to create a more lagging power factor, while resistive load banks, which are frequently used for more industrial purposes, provide more equivalent amounts of loading on generators. These types of load banks are also commonly portable.

What is a Load Bank?