Why purchase a load bank?

~ Securing long-term benefits for your application ~

When it comes to generator maintenance, prevention is better than cure. For facilities dependent on consistent, guaranteed power supply, ensuring the reliability and resilience of their systems is not just a priority — it’s a necessity. While the option of renting a load bank may seem attractive initially, could ownership offer a better solution in the long term? Here, Andrew Keith, division director of load bank manufacturer Power Prove delves into the reasons why purchasing a load bank could offer greater lasting benefits.

Load banks are essential tools used to apply a load to a generating set to mimic real-life operating conditions. They are imperative for generator maintenance, enabling operators to assess the performance, capacity and overall health of their generator. Regular testing with load banks helps identify potential issues before they escalate, ensuring the reliability and longevity of the generator system. This is particularly important for any critical services, such hospitals and telecommunications.

Renting a load bank may initially seem like a cost-effective solution. It offers the flexibility to acquire equipment as needed, without the commitment and financial outlay associated with ownership. However, while renting may provide immediate savings, there are many advantages to making the step and purchasing a load bank.

Better customisation opportunities

Customisation is a big benefit when buying a load bank. Options, such as load capacities and testing parameters, can be optimised to suit the unique needs of the equipment’s intended application.

For instance, it may be that the generator operator has the need to precisely adjust load settings, monitor real-time data and conduct automated testing in real time. Or, if the generator is located somewhere difficult to access, remote monitoring and control options may be favourable.

Some load banks offer remote access through mobile apps or web-based platforms, allowing you to monitor and control testing from a distance. This can be especially valuable for organisations with multiple testing locations or those looking to streamline their testing processes.

DIGILOAD, Power Prove’s digital control system, uses a small computer to record and store accurate test data for easy access as and when required. It can be controlled via a local touch screen on the load bank, a rugged remote control as well as completely remotely through Ethernet or cloud connectivity. This adaptability ensures comprehensive testing and accurate assessment of generator performance from anywhere, even where accessibility is limited.

Other customisation options may be related to the size of the load bank, its portability and load capacity. Purchasing a load bank with a capacity slightly higher than your current needs can be a strategic move, as it provides room for growth as your electrical systems or equipment evolve. Look for load banks with adjustable load steps, which allow you to fine-tune the load applied, ensuring flexibility in various testing scenarios.

Greater reliability

Reliability may be another area of concern. Ownership guarantees flexibility with access to the load bank whenever needed on site, eliminating delays and dependencies on external suppliers. Additionally, well-maintained owned load banks tend to offer greater reliability, minimising the risk of unexpected failures during critical testing procedures.

After all, load bank testing involves high electrical currents and voltages and compliance with industry standards and safety regulations is paramount in any given industry. Therefore, it is important to have a load bank that incorporates safety features like emergency shut-off switches or overcurrent protection.

Additionally, by investing in a load bank, facilities make a strategic commitment to their resilience and operational continuity. Regular and thorough testing facilitated by owned equipment enhances the long-term reliability of generator systems, reducing the likelihood of downtime and associated financial losses due to power failures.

In the pursuit of uninterrupted power and maintaining and testing generators, the choice between renting and owning a load bank carries significant implications for the performance and reliability of critical systems. However, when it comes to load banks, prioritising long-term value over short-term gains is essential for proactive maintenance and operational excellence.

Power Prove has a wealth of experience in providing load banks, which can be used during commissioning, testing and maintenance. To find the right load bank for your application, get in touch with our team.

Manufacturing Update