Most load banks are basically large electric heaters that are specifically designed to provide a load for a generator. With load banks, you can increase the load on a generator in order to tell how much power a generator is able to produce (as well as how long it can produce that level of power without overheating, catching fire, tripping a breaker, running out of fuel, etc.). As such, load banks are most commonly used to provide testing to comply with life-safety Code (NFPA-110).
AAAA Generator Services Inc has the largest collection of portable "suitcase" load banks of any generator company in the San Francisco Bay Area, allowing us to provide NFPA-110 load banks for 2mW and larger rooftop generators with ease. AAAA also has larger roll-around and trailer load banks available for immediate use.
Many will simply state they want a "load test" but not specify the load, the duration, whether it involves supplementing building loads, and/or whether it is pass/fail or exploratory. The most common requests are for a set percentage (either 30%, 75% or 100%) and for a set time (either 30 minutes, 1.5 hours, 2 hours or 4 hours). When specifics are not given, AAAA will quote a load bank based on our understanding of the request for quote, which may (or may not) satisfy your situation. For this reason, AAAA highly recommends specifying the details of your load bank. For example, those wishing to have an exploratory load bank test performed (where we start the test at full load and then reduce the load as necessary to be able to accommodate a generator that isn't able to provide full power) must request this when requesting a load bank quote.
For those seeking Code compliance or otherwise requesting loading to a set level, please note that if your generator fails to produce the required level of power, your generator is considered to have failed the load bank test. As with any test, by default, any failure will result in immediate cessation of the failed test. It is therefore common to have to retest after repairs are performed.