Load banks serve to manage and shed power overloads from energy generating processes. They are especially useful in the renewable energy sector.
Load banks are used to relieve an overload of power. One of the most common uses of load banks is with electricity-generating windmills. Advancements in technology have dropped the cost of wind power production to below that of coals, natural gas, and nuclear. As a result, wind power has become much more popular for industrial use in recent years.
Wind power requires the use of load banks. The turbines are connected to power lines which also connect to load banks. Wind is especially prone to spikes in electricity that lead to the power lines overloading. Overloaded power lines need to shed their load somewhere. This is where the load banks come in.
When the lines overload, the power is diverted to the load banks. There the power is either dissipated safely into the air or extracted for use as heat energy. This prevents danger, damage or shut down.
The advances in renewable have increased the demand for load banks. In traditional coal or nuclear power generation, they are in lower demand. In hydro and solar, load banks are more of a necessity. But right now, they’re most common use is windmills.
In Canada and the USA, windmills are primarily used on farms. But in Europe, they are seeing a lot of use for power generation. The governments are making a big push on companies and industries to reduce their carbon footprint. Companies are able to put windmills at sea to avoid having to pay for land use. This keeps the costs even lower, making wind power even more enticing.
This makes windmills popular in maritime countries like Sweden, France, Belgium, and Denmark. Because of the close proximity and population density of Western European countries they are able to share electricity with one another. This is becoming more common as they move to reduce their reliance on coal power.
With their ability to share power, load banks are a great option. They allow excess power to be diverted and used where needed, reducing power wastage.
Load banks are designed based on their specific usage. For example, if the cooling requirement is low, the load bank can be small because the energy can be moved quickly. As the environment determines whether they use open coils or tubular load banks.
In a moist environment, such as rain or snow, it’s best to use a tubular design. This is because they are insulated and will not leak. The designer will consider:
This information helps determine whether to use open coils or a tubular design as well as what materials to use.
Load banks can take advantage of control panels or use manual controls. The main control is an on/off switch. A control panel can monitor when the switch should be triggered, but large manual switches are available.
Wattco custom engineers and manufactures load banks. Our team works with your specific process to meet the needs of your application efficiently. Contact us today for more information or to request a quote.