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Application of Resistive/Reactive
Load Banks for Diesel
Generator Set Testing
July 29, 2008

This information is general in nature and intended to give the reader an overview of the issues involved. Specific recommendations can only
be made after a review of the equipment involved, installation parameters, applicable codes and national standards by competent personnel.
Please consult Avtron LoadBank, Inc. with comments or questions about the information contained herein.

. exhaust and fuel systems. applicable codes and national standards by competent personnel.8 Power Factor. Specific recommendations can only be made after a review of the equipment involved. reactive load banks will be required. dissipate essentially the same amount of engine exhaust gases and heat.     RESISTIVE/REACTIVE LOAD BANKS Resistive load banks are the most commonly used load banks for testing of generator sets and power systems. When a resistive load bank is used to test an engine generator set the engine will produce its full horsepower rating. That vector is the phase angle difference between the voltage and the current. This information is general in nature and intended to give the reader an overview of the issues involved. In order to load the generator to its full KVA rating. In most cases this is 0. RESISTIVE LOAD BANKS The resistive load bank can be related to the actual horsepower produced by an engine under load. or real power and the KVA or apparent power. The resulting power is described in two terms. with comments or questions about the information contained herein. The only difference is that the generator will not produce the full KVA rating since the power produced is at 100 percent power factor. Inc. The resistive load bank will completely test the engine and its various systems. and produce the same amount of thermal energy into the engine coolant as it would with a reactive load. The reactive component of the load will have a current that “lags” the voltage. Even though the generator set is producing more KVA it is actually not producing more KW. They can provide full KW loading to the power source to completely evaluate the engine cooling.8 power factor. Please consult Avtron LoadBank. The “real” power or horsepower required from the engine is essentially the same. the KW. Since the current lags the voltage in the reactive load the total power is not the direct sum of the two but their vector sum. installation parameters. the KW of the resistive load bank is “real” power in electrical terms. The combination of resistive and reactive current in the load will allow for the full nameplate KVA rating of the generator windings to be tested. They will not load the generator to its full nameplate KVA capacity at 0. Just as the horsepower produced by the engine is “real” mechanical power. REACTIVE LOAD BANKS The resistive/reactive combination load banks are used to test the engine generator set at its rated power factor.

The load bank system can be connected to the common paralleling bus and be used for testing individual engine generators or any combination of engine generators operating in parallel. A 3000 KW load bank could be used to test a single 1500 KW generator set at full KW or two 1500 KW generators in parallel at full nameplate KW load. This information is general in nature and intended to give the reader an overview of the issues involved. While the generator may have been tested at the factory. . with comments or questions about the information contained herein.8 power factor.     ACCEPTANCE TESTING Since most generator sets are the product of established manufacturers with engineering prototype development it can be argued that the generator set is a known quantity and does not need to be tested on-site since its performance has been previously tested by the factory. In other words if we test a 1000 KW. Please consult Avtron LoadBank. the installation variables of altitude. These parameters are not affected by the use of reactive load banks and more commonly available resistive load bank can be used to test these installations properly. fuel. Inc. 1250 KVA generator set we would need a load bank system rated at 1000 KW resistive and 750 KVAR reactive to load the generator set to its nameplate capacity. It is important to understand the need to test the generator set in its installed location. applicable codes and national standards by competent personnel. This will require a reactive load equal to 75% of the resistive rating. Most engine generator sets will be nameplate rated at 0. PARALLEL SYSTEMS When testing installations with multiple generator sets operating in parallel the use of resistive/reactive load banks is justified. Specific recommendations can only be made after a review of the equipment involved. exhaust and cooling systems can be significantly affected by the installation. It is a matter of policy with some engineering specifications to test these systems at full nameplate values which would require the use of resistive/reactive load banks. ambient temperature. The on-site acceptance test is a valuable tool for the engineer. If the 1500 KW generator sets were on line in parallel we could load them to two-thirds of their combined or individual KVA rating. building owner and maintenance personnel to determine the operating capabilities of the generator in its installed location. Having the ability to fully load the generator with the reactive component is usually required to properly calibrate the load sharing and voltage regulating systems of parallel generator systems. installation parameters.

avtronloadbank. Please consult Avtron LoadBank.     The proper installation and use of a load bank can be used to effectively determine the operating capability of the engine generator system and used to maintain the system and extend its useful life. Ohio 44125 216 573-7600  fax: 216 573-5953 email: LBsales@Emerson. For Additional Information Contact: Avtron 6255 Halle Drive  Cleveland. with comments or questions about the information contained herein.com This information is general in nature and intended to give the reader an overview of the issues involved. applicable codes and national standards by competent personnel. Avtron can provide practical solutions to these problems and the support to assure you that your power system will provide many years of safe operation. installation parameters.com  www. Specific recommendations can only be made after a review of the equipment involved. . Inc.