Power outages occur quite often, so it is important to make sure your backup systems are working properly. You should routinely have your standby generators checked by professionals. Since the majority of generator maintenance in preventative, contracts are offered to service and inspect them. You can ask at the time of installation when this testing should be scheduled.
A standard part of preventative generator maintenance is load-bank testing. This ensures that it will function properly when a power outage occurs. The engine’s ability to provide the needed power for an emergency situation is specifically tested. Typically, a generator will run at a lower level than its rated output ability, so this load-bank test creates an artificial load that generates a temperature to test efficiency. This ensures that in an outage, your generator will function properly.
Any generator needs to be tested after installation at periodic intervals so you can be assured it will perform as intended during an outage. The test specifically uses a load that resembles the building’s electricity load to test its efficiency performing at the level required. During this time, if any problems are detected, they can be fixed before the generator will be needed.
With regular use and wear, generators develop carbon buildup or wet stacking in the combustion and exhaust chambers. These problems can end up causing poor performance, and in turn, end up using more oil and fuel. It is better to discover any problems before the generator is actually needed.
Just having the generator running will not be a sufficient test; it needs to run at a full load to ensure its performance during an outage will be efficient. If it is not tested at full load, there will be no guarantee that during an outage, it will perform well, and you could end up without power.
The load-bank tests check for certain functions to be running properly. You want to make sure the engine provides the desired power levels, the alternator provides the right voltage stability, and the control systems are all efficient under the different loads. The tests also check for a stable frequency, oil and fuel pressures, and the overall performance of the system components. It identifies potential weak spots and helps to remove buildup from the pistons.
When it comes to the critical time that your standby load bank for rent will be needed, you want the components to work together efficiently. Professionals perform the load-bank tests for this reason, so it is best to schedule this service at the recommended times. The minimum frequency should be at least annually which will help to extend the life of both the engine and alternator. The performance of this test will give you peace of mind because you will know you are covered when an outage happens.