Load banks in utility commissioning

Rather than relying on grid availability – and putting a production environment at risk – utility companies can benefit from developments in medium voltage load banks to provide a sustained target load over an extended period of time to test transformers and relays. The sustained load provided by load banks enables the complete testing and data capture at target loads in as little as 20 minutes compared to as much as two weeks using the grid or plant load. The use of load banks also reduces the risk of damage to production components as well as the financial impact of potential outages caused by fluctuations in voltage, faulty relays and human error, resulting in unplanned outages. Compared to using the electrical grid or plant load, load bank testing is a faster, more predictable and a less risky approach that is worthy of consideration.

 

Take note

  • Transformers must be maintained and can and do fail.
  • Part of transformer maintenance requires testing.
  • Portable load banks provide a real alternative to using the grid and plant in a test.

 

Published as:

Getting off the grid - The case for load banks in utility commissioning

By C Taylor, ComRent

Electricity+Control, February 2012 (pgs 38 – 40)

Email:  ctaylor@comrent.com