Generator sets represent a sizable capital investment, and are seldom installed as amenities of convenience. Their failure to perform properly when called into action is almost always accompanied by potentially dangerous conditions and/or risk of significant financial loss. Periodic load bank testing is an important element of any comprehensive preventive/predictive maintenance program to ensure the genset is capable of accepting certain building loads when required. But, load bank testing is seldom specifically required by local codes, unless of course, the genset operates as an emergency standby unit required by building safety code. These gensets are regulated by applicable NFPA 70, 99, 110 (Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems), and The Joint Commission standards.
Facility managers or plant engineers with responsibilities for genset maintenance are well aware of the need for preventive/predictive maintenance and periodic operational test-running of their power generation system, but, is the same consideration given to load bank tests?
Is it common for facility managers or plant engineers to include load bank tests in their preventive/predictive maintenance programs if the facility is brand new, or is this something that is considered after the fact, maybe 3-5 years after the facility is commissioned and operational?
How often do you conduct load bank tests at your facility?
Do you run load bank tests concurrent with other maintenance testing? If yes, what types?
Do your personnel perform the testing or is it something that is contracted out?