Renting Vs. Buying Load Banks for Generators

Does your organization rely on generators in case of a power failure? Load banks can test standby or emergency generators by applying an artificial load. Companies use these machines to make sure generators will work and perform well when called upon. Just as with all contingency plans, you need to make certain that your backup systems perform as expected when you need them.

Buy or rent signs

Photo credit: InvestmentZen.

You will almost certainly need to conduct tests with load banks when you first install generators. Generally, you will also test again on a routine schedule and when power needs change. Aside from testing standby generators, companies may also use load banks to ensure optimum performance from primary power generators. The decision to buy or rent load banks depends upon the unique needs of your organization.


Frequency of Load Bank Testing

When you first installed your generators, you had them tested with a load bank. In some industries, like healthcare, the government might require periodic load bank testing to protect patients – a power blackout in a hospital with no working backup generator could be catastrophic. Other kinds of organizations may not have to use load banks to stay in compliance but should still test generators periodically to protect their business. For instance, the generator’s age and condition, changing power requirements, and many other factors will impact generator performance over time.

At the same time, most organizations won’t need to use load banks daily, weekly, or even monthly. That’s why you should consider a number of factors before you decide to rent or buy this equipment.


When to Consider Renting Load Banks

Renting load banks offers a number of advantages for many companies:

  • Mostly, the load bank rental company can provide the expertise to transport, install, and remove the machines.
  • The supplier will even provide trained technicians to run proper tests. This saves smaller businesses from having to employ qualified techs. The business won’t have to worry about repairs or maintenance either.
  • The organization also doesn’t have to worry about full-time storage, maintenance, repairs, or protection of the load bank.
  • As requirements change, the load bank company can keep supplying the right equipment for the task.
  • Companies may also find that renting provides them with a better financial choice because of taxes, capital outlay, and other reasons.

A business without a critical need for frequent generator tests or the means to conduct them should consider renting load banks over buying them. Renting this equipment can save money, manpower, space, and time while still ensuring good results.


Why Buy Load Banks Instead of Renting Them?

To understand why some companies can benefit from buying load banks, it’s important to know that this equipment can do more than simply test generators. In some cases, they can actually help prolong the life of generators.


Running Generators Under Capacity Can Damage Them

Almost all companies intend to grow, so they install generators with a much larger capacity than they currently need. For example, businesses with a current need for 500 kW might install a 1,000 kW unit to prepare for future demand and to provide a safety buffer to meet surprise demand.  If the company’s plans already include expansions, it’s often cheaper and less disruptive to buy and install larger generators before they’re needed than to have to add them after the facility is already operating.

Meanwhile, operating a generator with a lighter load than it was designed for can damage engines because of inefficient combustion. In some cases, it can also cause the generator to produce more emissions. This may harm the environment, cause health concerns, damage sensitive equipment, and even create compliance issues.

A load bank can generate an artificial load to make up the difference between capacity demand and generator output. New systems can even sense the difference between demand and optimal performance. In turn, they will automatically apply a load to make up for it. These control systems will keep adjusting their load as power demand changes.

Since you can’t always predict when you will need to run your generator, you will need to have a permanently installed load bank to supply this extra demand. Of course, you will also enjoy the convenience of having the load bank on hand to run tests. Installing and removing the equipment won’t disrupt your operations because it’s already part of your facility. You can still call upon your supplier to run tests, make repairs, and perform maintenance tasks if you lack trained employees for the job.


Will Buying or Renting Load Banks Benefit You the Most?

Here at Worldwide Power Products, we offer both load bank sales and rentals. In either case, we can provide you with the expertise to install, inspect, and maintain your devices. We offer load-bank testing services too. With us, you can enjoy a worry-free experience if you need to scale, install new generators, or perform scheduled testing.

Do you have more questions about buying vs. renting load banks to test and run your generators? If so, contact us here at Worldwide Power Products today by phone or email.