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DIY load for generator testing.

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Hi guys ‘n’ gals,
I’ve been reading up on generator load banks. But they seem to be quite complicated and very expensive.
I did read one that said “the load bank is a heating element with fan cooling”. That sounds to me like a simple ‘fan heater’.
All our generators are only 5-8KVA and I was wondering whether a simple fan heater would suffice or if you wonderful people could suggest a DIY alternative.
I’m open to any ideas. Thanks.

Martin
 

Externet

Aug 24, 2009
892
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Aug 24, 2009
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Not a simple fan heater, but several of them, like 5 at 1500W each. A couple of household water heaters,

---> https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/319094160504815/?ref=search&referral_code=null&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp:25995f47-ec07-41ce-bff5-c0f337cc9b62

---> https://search.brave.com/images?q=clothes+dryer+heater+element&source=web

Even cheaper, canibalize the heating elements of an 'air handler' in discarded HVAC equipment. I have 3 saved as spares for my house.
Or the whole air handler (has a fan built-in, 9KW) for free at any HVAC service company.

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Electric stove 'burners' and oven heating elements... Usually at $0 from discarded appliances.

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Last edited:

ivak245

Jun 11, 2021
109
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Jun 11, 2021
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109
If you live near the coast, some basic probes, a wooden frame and a bucket of sea water.
How we used to test the ship generators.
We had one similar to use as a load on a genset, with a crank handle operated centre electrode so it could be raised or lowered to vary the load.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Get yourself some simple heaters (start with 'tube' heaters for the lower wattage) and in a series going 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 watts. Switch them in/out binary fashion to get a variable load from 100 to 6300 watts in 100 watt steps.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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If you want to save money/energy then make all your dummy loads from oil-filled radiators and carry them back into your workshop/office for the stored heat after use!
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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I’ve ordered 4 tube heaters to see how it goes. Great idea BTW.
I was hoping for somewhat of a portable device, so I’ve ordered the 2’ (24”) 120W tubes. I was also hoping to be able to utilise an old PC tower for the case.
I’ll update when they arrive. And if they can be series/parallel, I’ll order more.

Martin
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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Jul 29, 2020
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The load bank should be “paralleled” with the b load, so a reconnection is not necessary. The proper way to connect the load bank is to a dedicated bus downstream from an overcurrent protection device inside a switchboard.
 

Kiwi

Jan 28, 2013
473
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Jan 28, 2013
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We just have a hand cart with four 2kw fan heaters mounted on it. They have two heat settings, so give plenty of different current settings.
Being standard heaters there are no problems with safety inspections.
 
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