A Closer Look At Load Banks

Electronic Load Banks Load banks are essential for applications in a variety of industrial applications, especially for testing power sources. A load bank provides a contained and fully controllable load for predictable and measurable use. They mimic average and peak loads allowing for testing and measurement of how a power source will perform in operation.  

How does a load bank work?

In testing, the load bank creates an electrical load and applies it to the power source. The objective of this is to mimic the operational load of the power source in use. Load banks may also support or protect the power source while in operation.  

Types of load banks

There are a variety of load banks with specific purposes. It is important to match your load bank to your application for the most accurate results. The most common types of load banks include:

  • Resistive
  • Inductive
  • Capacitive
  • Electronic


Resistive Load Bank

The most common type of load bank is resistive. A resistive load bank loads the power source and the engine or motor equally. It removes energy from the complete generating system. It generated the load by converting the systems electrical energy to heat using power resistors. The heat is then dissipated by means of convection. Although building resistive load banks in place is possible, they are generally moveable. This mobility makes it possible to use them on multiple generators in sequence. A stationary resistive load bank gets less use and is more expensive to replace.  

Inductive Load Bank

An inductive load bank provides a reactive load. It creates a lagging power factor load. The inductive load is often used with a resistive load to simulate mixed loads that a power source may deal with in real operation. The most common ratio has the inductive load at ¾ the load of the resistive load. Where resistive loads simulate loads in ideal conditions, reactive loads simulate real-world operating conditions.  

Capacitive Load Banks

A capacitive load bank also provides a reactive load. However, it creates a leading power factor load, unlike the lagging power factor load of inductive load banks.   They are most common in applications with non-linear loads, such as industries using an uninterruptible power supply.   Load Bank Tubular Heaters

Electronic Load Bank

Electronic load banks are becoming more popular. Although reactive load banks are cheaper to purchase, electronic load banks are more precise and sophisticated instruments. They are fully programmable and can leverage automation for efficient and/or continual use. The precision and reliability of electronic load banks make them the primary choice for hospitals and aeronautics, as well as transport, telecom, and mining industries.  


Load bank applications

Load banks play an important role in most major industries. They are especially important in applications using generators, batteries, and other power sources.

  • Testing
  • Reducing wet stacking problems
  • Exercising engine generators
  • Ground power testing
  • Load rejection test
  • Load optimization
  • Removal of carbon build-up
  • Wind turbines


Load banks for wind turbines

Today, there is a growing demand to reduce our dependence on nonrenewable energy sources. Wind power is touted as one of the key solutions. The most common way to harness this power is through wind turbines. The problem with wind turbines is that their operation can be inefficient, or even have a negative environmental impact through energy wastage. Before building a windmill, testing is a necessity to ensure its efficiency. This is where load banks come in. Load banks are used to verify the functionality of wind turbines. They simulate operation to determine malfunctions and other issues.  

Electronic Load BankAdvantages of WATTCO load banks

WATTCO manufactures electronic load banks that offer the highest degree of precision and control. They offer the same commitment to quality and reliability as all our products. Each WATTCO load bank is customized to customer specifications. Materials, sizes, and shapes are made to fit function and application. Electronic load banks are not only sophisticated, accurate tools, they also have all the benefits of electric power:

  • Low cost
  • Reliable
  • Safe
  • Zero-emission


Purchasing a load bank

WATTCO manufactures load banks that are customizable to your specific needs. If you are purchasing a load bank contact a WATTCO representative today to request a quote. They will help you decide on the right build for your application.