Ensure Uptime - Perform Load Bank Testing on Data Center Generators

Posted by Paul Golden on Nov 2, 2009

Data Centers and other critical facilities rely heavily on power to give it the ability to perform. Testing the power in your facility is something that should be done because you need to know your backup power in your data center is strong enough to handle even the heaviest of loads.

Operating an emergency backup data center generator should come with the responsibility of doing preventative maintenance (PM) to ensure it is in peak condition to be able to respond to your EEC tech doing load bank test on data center generatorcritical facility's need for on-demand emergency backup power. Besides the standard PMs done on the standby generator, which includes fluid and filter changes, load bank testing is an invaluable tool to determine that a generator set is able to fully handle the load demands placed on it when you most need it.

Load bank testing allows your emergency backup data center generator to be tested to verify its ability to run at its full rated KW output. Typically, a standby generator is running at a level far less than the units rated output capability.

Most data center customers exercise their standby generators weekly un-loaded (or no load) but very rarely test them with building loads, allowing the occasional utility loss to do the testing. For diesel engine driven standby generator sets this can cause ‘wet stacking'. Wet stacking is when unburned fuel accumulates in the engine exhaust -- this is caused by under loading an emergency generator. When exercising a generator, or running it for short duration outages, while under-loaded the engine may not reach its optimum operating temperature. When this is allowed to continue for long periods of time the unburned fuel accumulates becoming harmful to the engine's efficiency and life span.

Electronic Environments Load Bank Test UnitLoad bank testing of the data center generator allows the engine to reach this full operating temperature and ‘burns out' the accumulation of un-burnt fuel, allowing the unit to run cleaner and more efficiently. It also offers peace of mind that your standby generator is operating as it was designed to. Any generator set, whether the prime mover is diesel or gaseous fuel driven, can benefit from undergoing a load bank test.

Load banking allows testing of the emergency backup generator with no interruption to your facility's loads. This service is in no way intrusive, and can be done at your convenience or during a scheduled PM. Most original equipment (OEM) manufacturers agree a generator set that is frequently run lightly loaded, or never loaded at all, can benefit from being load bank tested on a yearly basis.

While load banking a standby generator up to its rated output a technician is able to monitor critical engine parameters such as; oil pressure, engine temperature, fuel pressure, etc. These readings should be recorded to show that once the unit reaches full rated load it runs at normal operating temperatures and pressures.

Electronic Environments offers load bank testing and we provide a full report of the readings including generator output readings such as; voltages, amperages, KW amounts, etc.

Do you currently run a load bank test on your critical backup power or have ideas/questions pertaining to backup power, feel free to comment here or contact us today at 800-342-5332.

Tags: Data Center, preventive maintenance, emergency backup generator, data center generators