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Load Testing a Generator

Load testing a generator set is simply attaching load to the system at different levels of load.  Special equipment, a load bank, should be used on a yearly basis to test and monitor the generator outputs.  By working the generator with the external load source, if calibrations are incorrect, or if fuel pressures are low, calibrations or repair can be made to insure success during power outages.  This is a true exercise and or service for the generator.


Load testing develops operational history that if monitored consistently, failures can be eliminated or corrective actions for failures can occur more effectively.  The outputs of the generator or measurements of the engine and associated components which should be monitored are listed below.

  • AC voltage levels at different load level attachments
  • Response to load attachment for the different levels
  • Observations for high transients or spikes due to load dumps
  • Operating temperatures of the engine and other components
  • Hertz levels at different load level attachments
  • Excitation current
  • DC voltage to the rotor
  • Rotor amp draw
  • Fuel pressure for gaseous units

Load testing also provides for movement of internal parts of the fuel regulators for dependable response.


Load testing introduces heat to the system to assist in making sure the rotor and stator windings are kept dry.


Load tesing works every part of the generator set while providing proof of correct operation without exposing structure loads to faulty outputs. 


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