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  • Why use Load Banks in Data Centers?

Multiple ASCO 2705 load banks in a data center
Data centers are now one of the most common markets for load bank testing. The extensive electrical infrastructure and need for constant and reliable power means load banks are of vital importance. Load banks are used throughout commissioning, maintenance, expansion and component replacement of most modern data centers.

Commissioning

Load testing in the commissioning phase will ensure any faulty electrical components or systems fail and are replaced accordingly before going ‘live’. Real life load is not always available in the initial phases of construction as many data centers plan to expand as they go. Load banks are the only practical way of simulating real life load and will provide reassurance of the quality of components.

During the commissioning phase of a data center numerous critical components should be tested by load banks including back-up diesel generators, UPS systems, HVAC systems, bus tracks and tap offs, power distribution units, remote power panels, and server racks. A variety of types of load banks can and should be utilized to ensure testing is performed correctly.

Maintenance

Most data centers have a back-up UPS systems and diesel generators to supply power if the grid fails. Regular maintenance is vital in ensuring reduced down time in data centers, in the US an average cost of one minute of downtime is estimated at $7900 USD. Load banks are the most effective way to test and stress electrical systems for maintenance and periodic testing purposes. A variety of load test types can be configured for specific maintenance purposes and reports will identify issues in systems that can be replaced or fixed to ensure efficient operation. 

Expansion

Routinely, data centers are built larger than initially required with the aim to expand. As expansion occurs, correct simulation of power usage and cooling adaptation will be required. New components and hardware must prove operation and efficiency, especially in locations where sensitive or important information may be stored.

Load banks are the leading technology for simulating the real-life power conditions of server racks. Most load banks will have the sophistication to provide detailed test reports. These reports can be used as proof of electrical compliance for clients who wish to purchase server space.

Component Replacement

Load testing is an effective process for testing and verifying all components in a circuit. Failure starts to rise as components age and reach the end of their life cycle. Load banks are an effective method of verifying components in real life conditions. Components are replaced according to the condition presented by load testing.

Read the white paper: Load Bank Utilization in Data Centers
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