Frequently Asked Questions about Load Bank Rental & Hire

1. Why regularly test a diesel generator with a load bank?

Thankfully national power failures are not common. A backup diesel generator is therefore rarely used. However, the day it is needed, it will have to function without fail. In order to make sure at all times that it works, it is important to regularly start and set it to produce a charge equivalent to the real network load. In addition, for a generator’s lifespan, it is preferable that it is regularly started.

2. Why are there resistive and reactive load banks?

A network rarely uses pure active power. Devices such as engines, discharge lamps and computers have a power factor of less than 1. The network uses, in addition to active power, more or less of reactive power. A resistive load bank only allows the testing of the network’s active power. The combined use of a reactive and a resistive bank load allows the testing of the actual load on a network.

3. Why test on a load bank instead of a user network?

Testing the user network may disrupt it with small power cuts at the start and end of the test. To avoid this, and more importantly, to avoid the scenario where, if there is a problem during the test (the generator does not recover the power properly), the user network will no longer be available, leading to well-documented consequences for hospitals, nuclear sites, data centres, etc., tests with a load bank are safer and its setting up is more flexible.

4. What is the difference between active and reactive power?

Active power is used to generate work (for instance, of an engine) or heat. The consumed reactive power is, for instance, likely to be compared to setting up a magnetic field in a transformer. Reactive power has a real impact on the network as it leads to heat loss, overload in distribution transformers, overheating of power cables and voltage drops. In a network, we always try to limit reactive power, by compounding it, for instance.

5. What are the problems highlighted during a load bank test?

Load banks help highlight a large range of faults on the equipment it tests. The first objective when testing with an electric bank is to ensure your equipment’s power supply is reliable. The underlying question that needs answering is whether your equipment will have sufficient power supply to ensure uninterrupted operational performance. The bank also tests that the equipment is not faulty, that there are no faults in construction, that the aging of the equipment is in line with expectations, that the components are reliable and that there are no pending breakdowns or early signs of wear and tear. The bank also ensures that the product delivers power conform to its specification.

6. Why rent a Rentaload bank and not buy it?

Renting a load bank means avoiding:

  • Maintenance costs
  • Storage costs

In addition, the investment required in buying a load bank is greater than that involved when renting one, which also comes with the benefit of Rentaload’s services. Our technical advisers, available during your tests, can assist you as and when necessary. Rentaload’s intranet platform also provides guidance in the usage of the load banks. Ultimately, choosing to rent means adopting a simpler and more efficient solution. Logistics are managed by Rentaload from onsite delivery to collection once complete, as well as all other details, leaving you with more time and one less task to consider.

7. Who should we contact before, during and after the rental?

Client satisfaction is our priority. Rentaload technical advisers are available to clients before, during and after the test to help and guide them in their choices. Rentaload has also created an innovative intranet site, specifically designed for its clients. Available as soon as a quotation is accepted, the intranet offers a dedicated page of online tutorials, information on your rental and general advice. Also, at any given time, you can contact Rentaload directly.

8. How can I get a load bank?

A load bank can either be bought or rented. Purchasing one is usually the professionals preferred option as they use load banks on a daily basis, on their clients sites or in their own workshops. Renting is the ideal option for end users as they do not need to worry about maintaining or storing the load bank. A load bank that is customized, serviced and in perfect condition, is delivered as requested. In addition, should the diesel generator change (for instance with more or less power), there is no need to buy a new bank, the load bank provider will adapt it to its client’s needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

9. Why perform load tests?

Testing your equipment with a load bank will save you time and money on the long term! It is of vital importance to know how reliable your equipment is and to know if the replacement of equipment will cost you more than maintaining existing equipment with a load bank. The load bank is also the only way to ensure that your equipment (diesel generator, UPS, etc.) will work properly the day you will need it to maintain operational conditions. Above all, testing with a load bank allows you to undertake preventive maintenance and helps you avoid a corrective maintenance program that is costly and that paralyses your system. Over and above this, using load banks is recommended through regulation regarding the testing of strategic equipment in public buildings (hospitals, prisons, shopping centres, etc.)

10. What legal text provides for diesel generator’s testing?

In France, in order to avoid incidents and guarantee the safety of people living in social or medical buildings, a set of rules (see Directive DHOS/E4 n – 2008-114 – of April 7, 2008 on the prevention of power breakdowns in hospital/health complex) requires that every building, in the event of a national power network failure, must guarantee the service is maintained for at least 48 hours.

The law provides that these installations are supplied by Secure Power Supplies in compliance with the standard NF S 61-940. These Secure Power Supplies can consist of battery packs, as per Annex A of standard NF S 61-940, or diesel generators in accordance with standard NF E 37 312. A diesel generator load bank is a tool that ensures that Secure Power Supplies work.

11. Does Rentaload rent load bank outside of Europe?

Rentaload offers its services of load bank renting worldwide. Our warehouses are based in Europe but we cater for all sorts of projects and have referrals from Asia, Africa and Russia. Our experience enables the fast delivery of reliable load banks to your site. Please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will work with you to find a solution that meets your needs.

Do you have a question that is not in this FAQ ?

Please do not hesitate to send us an email or to contact us. We will endeavour to reply as soon as possible. Alternatively, refer to our product & technical documentation.