Load testing your emergency standby generator system should be part of a standard planned maintenance program for all systems. The main reason to test your system under load is to make sure the generator will perform as designed, when it is needed most. This is the only true way to check the performance of the generator. A load test will allow verification that the generator system will produce and maintain full load without overheating and shutting down. It also allows testing of all components of the system, to ensure all work together as designed and intended and can help identify any potential weaknesses in controlled conditions. This allows proactive maintenance, as weaknesses are identified during controlled conditions, not during a utility outage when a weakness can cause the system to fail.
Most generator systems are installed and then put into automatic mode. As the generator ages, the possibility of weaknesses in the system will rise. Among other potential enemies, weather, pests and age can negatively affect the efficiency of a generator system. A good planned maintenance program that includes load testing is the best way to spot and minimize potential weaknesses in a generator system.
Because many of the installed generator systems that utilize a diesel engine present another challenge. That challenge is referred to as wet-stacking. Wet-stacking occurs when the generator does not reach designed operating temperature, allowing carbon and un-burned fuel to build up in the exhaust system. If not addressed, wet-stacking will degrade the performance of the system and not allow the system to operate as designed. It is recommend all diesel system be load tested with a portable load bank for a minimum of two hours, annually.
A good planned maintenance program that includes regular load testing should be a standard component of a generator system. The regular testing of the system will provide the highest comfort level that when the system is required, it will operate as designed.
Flag Service can help plan a maintenance program for your standby generator system. Ensuring you are prepared for the next interruption in utility power.