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What Are Medium Voltage Load Banks for?

Medium voltage load banks are generator testing devices used to verify functionality, performance and safety. Whether you work in engineering, utilities, manufacturing, healthcare or anything in between, you can use load banks to facilitate safe and accurate medium voltage testing for all your most valuable systems. These devices are widely used to reinforce power sources across many industrial applications, delivering numerous benefits to companies in these fields.

Through this guide, you’ll learn what medium voltage load banks are, what they do, and the different types, features and benefits of these innovative products.

What Are Medium Voltage Load Banks?

Medium voltage load banks are three-phase units that connect directly to medium voltage generators to operate, meaning they do not require large step-down transformer installations. Their voltage ratings typically range between 5 kilovolts (kV) and 15 kV, which allows for smaller conductors and longer cable runs. Like any other load bank, medium voltage devices comprise reactor, resistor or capacitor networks.

There are three types of medium voltage load banks, each with different purposes and features. These configurations include:

  • Low-voltage: These medium voltage load bank configurations mount one or more load banks and a three-phase step-down transformer on a structural skid. Because the secondary voltages are higher, they generate lower currents and require less cabling than other models. 
  • Container: Containerized load banks feature step-down power transformers and low-voltage load sections stored inside International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-style containers. These medium voltage load banks are optimized to deliver reactive and resistive loads with varying power factors and are well-suited for heavy-duty load testing applications.
  • Direct connection: Direct connection load banks intake medium-voltage power to their input busses without the use of step-down transformers. Because they don’t require transformers, these load banks convert additional space into greater kilowatt (kW) capacities.

What Are Medium Voltage Load Banks Used for?

These load banks are used to conduct medium voltage testing across numerous industrial applications. Like all load banks, these solutions are designed to ensure that a facility’s emergency power sources are reliable and high-functioning. To accomplish this task, load banks verify generator output capacities by generating loads that simulate real-world use. 

Organizations like utility companies, turbine manufacturers and commissioning service providers typically use medium voltage load banks for medium-voltage applications. These load bank configurations are primarily used to test and maintain power sources with voltages greater than 3.3 kV, such as gas turbines and large generators. They are also suitable for commissioning maritime electrical systems, substations, power plants and standby generator systems.

Because these types of load banks must dissipate electricity of up to hundreds of thousands of megawatts, they are best suited for mobile solutions in ISO containers or fixed installations in cabinets.

Why Use a Medium Voltage Load Bank?

Any company that owns, manufactures or operates medium voltage generators must test them regularly, especially when these machines are used to produce backup power. 

When you use medium voltage load banks to test your medium voltage generators, you’ll experience many benefits for your business. That’s because medium voltage testing promotes greater generator performance, safety and longevity, enabling you to maximize functional efficiency.

Some of the many advantages of using load banks in your industry facility include:

  • Gaining complete load control: Real loads are unpredictable and can have random values. Load banks enable operators to achieve organized, contained and fully controlled loads and still produce accurate measurements and test results under numerous load conditions.
  • Verifying performance: Medium voltage testing verifies whether a backup power system can produce and maintain complete loads during a power outage without shutting down or overheating. 
  • Identifying potential faults: Through generator tests, load banks assess whether system components can function interdependently in various controlled conditions as intended.
  • Maintaining generators proactively: When you identify potential sources of weakness through load bank testing, you can use those insights to proactively maintain your generators. 
  • Increasing generator life: Regular load testing can help you increase your medium voltage generator’s service life.
  • Ensuring safe testing: Because medium voltage load banks mimic real loads, they enable engineers to test and measure electromechanical system functionality with increased safety.
  • Remaining compliant: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems requires acceptance testing upon initial installation of emergency power supplies as well as ongoing checks throughout their lifecycles. You can maintain compliance with these standards through medium voltage testing. 
  • Gaining peace of mind: When you perform generator testing using a dependable load bank, you can feel confident that your generators will function properly when you need them.

Medium Voltage Load Bank Features

You can find state-of-the-art medium voltage load banks you can rely on for all your application needs at Load Banks Direct. Our high-quality MV Series load banks come equipped with a comprehensive assortment of innovative features, such as:

  • Durable construction: Our robust load banks comprise a galvanized steel construction with external stainless steel fasteners and a durable powder-coat paint finish. All motor, power and control connections are thermostatically sealed in a controlled heated compartment to minimize the effects of moisture.
  • Operator protection: The MV Series Load Bank features an emergency-stop push button that allows operators to take the unit offline in the event of critical conditions by disabling all load steps.
  • Automatic load dump: The automatic load dump circuit disconnects and disables all load steps from a normally closed (NC) auxiliary contact set. It accomplishes this task by providing user interface provisions to the automatic transfer switch, generator controls or building management system.
  • Dry-type transformers: Our medium-voltage dry-type transformers are ideal for load bank applications due to their ability to prevent fluid leakage and contamination. They also boast a lighter weight, lower installation costs and minimal maintenance. 
  • Rugged load resistors: MV Series load banks feature PowerDyne™ Load Resistors that withstand harsh outdoor installation conditions. They also comprise stainless steel support rod insulation with high-temperature ceramic insulators.
  • Advanced cooling system: The load bank cooling system includes mounted blower motors with direct-driven fan blades and motor circuits with short-circuit and thermal protection capabilities. 

Invest in High-Quality Medium Voltage Load Banks From LBD

If you’re looking to perform reliable medium voltage testing in your industrial facility, consider investing in medium voltage load banks from Load Banks Direct. We’re dedicated to providing our customers with customized solutions and services to help them solve their most challenging testing problems. 

All of our products are built to last, comprising high-grade components designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions. When you work with us, you can expect fast and accurate technical, product and application support individualized to your needs.

Get a quote on the MV Series Load Bank or contact us to learn more about our solutions today!

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