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Benefits of Load Bank Testing Your Data Center

When you work in an essential industry, you can’t risk a power outage. If you have generators or uninterruptible power sources (UPS) for emergency situations at a data center, it’s critical to make sure these devices will provide the amount of power needed. 

Load banks test these power sources and ensure they’re providing reliable power when it’s needed most. Without testing, you can’t be sure your operation will continue to function when the lights go out. Load bank testing can confirm your critical operations will keep going for as long as you need, even without regular power sources. 

How Much Power Do Data Centers Use?

In the past few years, the amount of power necessary for data centers to operate has risen greatly. According to predictions, this increase will continue. The exponentially increasing use of technology over the past decade has subsequently spiked the demand for different types of digital services. 

There is now an expectation that data sources and systems are available constantly — which means data centers can’t afford downtime. This has sparked concerns about the ability of power sources to keep up with the energy use of data centers and the growing carbon footprint of technology usage.

Activities like media streaming and using social media apps are top contributors to IT energy usage. According to studies, streaming a 2 1/2-hour high definition (HD) movie will consume about 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy, and 4K (Ultra HD) streaming increases the consumption to 3 kWh. In addition, global internet penetration has reached 59.5% and continues to grow each year. As more technology, such as blockchain and 5G, continues to be added to the energy consumption, data centers may not be able to keep up. 

Do Data Centers Need Load Bank Testing?

How can this increased demand for IT energy be met by data centers? The answer is more simple than it may seem — load bank testing. Load bank testing is often required for critical facilities like data centers, especially when under construction. The purpose of load bank testing for data centers is to ensure generators can handle the event of lost power. This will become more necessary as energy usage continues to increase. 

Servers have to keep up with increased electricity usage just from data consumption, not to mention the electricity used to cool the equipment. The stakes are high for data centers, which is why they are backed up with UPS and generators. Like all technology, these backup systems aren’t perfect either. What happens when they fail? That’s why load bank testing data center generators is necessary. Load bank testing ensures data center power sources are ready to step in and prompts an alert if they’re not.

The Benefits of Data Center Load Bank Testing

Load bank testing for data centers is beneficial for centers already in operation and also for facilities currently being built. 

In addition to preventing emergencies and downtime, there are many other benefits of preventive maintenance and testing:

  • Establishing power needs: Load bank testing can identify what exactly your system needs. Testing the system can decipher how much energy is required at peak times and adjust so the power sources can supply that amount. 
  • Identifying issues: Testing is often most useful when failures are discovered. By performing load bank testing, broken generators or other equipment can be replaced quickly without hindering operations rather than having the system fail when a power outage occurs. 
  • Optimizing data center design: When building a new facility, load bank testing is one of the best resources for optimizing the design of the data center. Inspecting HVAC systems and facility entrance and exit points can help pinpoint how servers should be set up. This ensures the facility is designed to run as efficiently and safely as possible.
  • Verifying reliability: By performing load bank testing regularly, you can assure the facility is using the best possible power sources for the operation in the case of emergency and also for day-to-day operations.
  • Avoids wet stacking: If your backup system operates with a diesel generator, testing if wet stacking is occurring can prevent your power systems from using more energy than is necessary. This can reduce the chance of equipment wearing down prematurely and failing in the case of an emergency.
  • Preventive maintenance: Regular maintenance is beneficial for its ability to detect issues before they become emergencies. However, preventive maintenance has other benefits, including exercising generators and backup power sources. This ensures generators work and better prepares them for emergency situations.

Load Bank Testing Procedure for Data Centers

Data center load bank testing relies on small, critical details to ensure the reliability of power sources. Even in existing data centers, backup power systems should be load bank tested regularly. Tests should review every aspect of power sources, from facility access points to cable lengths to hot air discharge frequency and direction. When considering the costs of downtime, preventive maintenance and testing is a much more efficient system.

When a new data center is built, load bank testing is also necessary to verify that the electrical systems, including backup power sources, have the capacity to keep the facility in operation. Load banks are often used before servers are even in the building to check the reliability of HVAC cooling systems in the facility.

How Do You Make a Data Center More Energy Efficient?

With the growing use of technology and the need for more power supplied by data centers, it’s more important than ever for data centers to ensure operations are as efficient as possible while decreasing their carbon footprint. There are several ways to reduce power consumption in a data center.

One of the best ways to increase the efficiency of data centers and their power sources is to perform regular maintenance and testing. By doing so, you can ensure your power sources are operating at peak performance and not using more energy than they should because of behind-the-scenes issues. In addition to performing regular load bank testing, data centers can also optimize space to decrease heat, deactivate idle servers and other equipment, and use more energy-efficient chipsets to reduce data center power consumption.

Ask About Load Bank Testing Equipment for Your Facility

When you work in a mission-critical industry, you can’t risk losing power. Protect your operations by ensuring your power sources stay reliable in emergencies. Learn more about Load Banks Direct and what we can do for you. Request a quote and start load bank testing today!

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