Load banks are essentially used as a means of test bank the ability of an electrical system to handle a voltage. Every electronic system has a load, or a level of voltage that passes through it. Load banks are used to ensure that all parts of the system can handle the level of voltage, or load, that it is intended to.
In essence, they are used to test the correct operational performance of a system. This is obviously extremely important as both overloading as well as underloading an engine can cause it to wear and
render it inoperable.
The testing works by applying an electronic load to a power source. The power source itself is used for the “real” load, while the load bank serves the power source, using its energy output to test or support the actual power source.
There are three general types of load banks, resistive, inductive and capacitive and all three are are used in a wide variety of manufacturing and industrial applications. Some of these include ground power testing, battery testing and use in exercising stand-by generator sets. However, their most common use is as tools for testing generators or turbines in factories. Here, they allow the generators or turbines to be tested without interrupting or stopping normal operation. The generator’s operative performance can therefore be examined while it is in operation. This is, of course, a huge benefit to businesses as there is no danger of stopping the power supply to loads and avoiding down-time can also save a huge amount of money as well as resources.
Load banks do, however, contain heating devices and cooling fans, so the noise and heat dissipation factors must be taken into account. Testing should therefore not be carried out close to any sensitive alarms which could be set off or near residential or housing areas.