Load Bank Sizing: Choosing the Right Capacity for Your Power System

When it comes to testing and maintaining the reliability of power systems, load banks play a crucial role. These devices simulate electrical loads and apply them to generators, UPS systems, and other power sources to ensure their optimal performance. However, selecting the right load bank capacity is essential to obtain accurate results and avoid any potential issues. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when sizing a load bank for your power system.

Avtron 3110 load banks installed on a factory rooftop

1. Understanding load bank Capacity

Load bank capacity refers to the amount of electrical load that a load bank can simulate. It is typically measured in kilowatts (kW) and is an important parameter to consider during load bank selection. The capacity should match or exceed the maximum expected load of the power system to provide accurate testing conditions.

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2. Determining Maximum Load

Before choosing a load bank, you need to determine the maximum load your power system can handle. This can be done by assessing the total connected load of the equipment that will be powered by the system. Additionally, consider any potential future expansions or increased loads to ensure the load bank can accommodate future requirements.

8850 load banks lifted by a crane

3. Load Bank Oversizing

While it’s important to select a load bank that matches your maximum load, oversizing the load bank capacity can be beneficial. An oversized load bank provides a safety margin and allows testing the power system at higher stress levels. It also may be beneficial to have an oversized load bank for testing at lower voltages where the load bank needs to be de-rated.

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4. Diversity Factor

The diversity factor is an important consideration when sizing a load bank. It represents the ratio of the maximum load that is expected to be used simultaneously to the total connected load. In many power systems, not all loads operate at their maximum capacity simultaneously, resulting in a diversity factor less than 1. Taking this into account helps in determining the appropriate load bank capacity.

Avtron 3110 resistive load banks at a generator manufacturers facility

5. Future Expansion

When choosing a load bank, it’s important to consider any potential future expansion plans for your power system. If there are plans to add more equipment or increase the load, it’s advisable to select a load bank with additional capacity to accommodate these future requirements. This will save costs and ensure the load bank remains suitable for future testing needs.

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6. Budget Constraints

Budget is a critical factor in any equipment selection process. Load banks come in various capacities and features, and their cost increases with capacity. It’s important to strike a balance between the required capacity and your budget. Collaborating with load bank manufacturers or experts can help you find cost-effective solutions that meet your needs.

In conclusion, choosing the right load bank capacity is crucial for accurate testing and maintenance of power systems. By considering factors such as maximum load, load bank oversizing, diversity factor, future expansion plans, budget constraints, you can make an informed decision. Consulting with load bank manufacturers or experts can provide valuable insights and ensure you select the most suitable load bank for your power system needs. Remember, an appropriately sized load bank is an investment in the reliability and performance of your power system.

For more information about load bank sizing or for a quote please contact our global sales team.

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