Homemade electric load bank

I would like to see if I can easily build a homemade electric load
bank, to test generators. To that end, I would like to buy electric
water heating elements, connect them in parallel, with each of them
separately switchable, and submerge into a water container. Before
power is supplied, I would connect a garden hose and run water through
this container (which could even be simply a bucket).
Does this setup make sense?
If so, which heating elements would you suggest?
thanks
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29240
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Bathroom heaters are much easier. Already got the switchs and the cords.
Electric stove elements might work well too and are designed for open air use.
Reply to
Charles A. Sherwood
How many kW do you want to dispose of?
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
You are making it to complicated! Just use portable heaters, or old electric baseboard strips! Running water and electricity seems like a very bad idea too! You can buy electric heating elements from Graingers. I do generator repair and service on my job. Mostly 10-25K home standby units. If I need to load a generator I just grab some portable heaters from the shop. We have a bunch of them already so they are handy. I also have a cord made with bare wire on one end so I can connect it into the output terminals of the gennerator, and outlets on the other end where I can plug in up to six heaters. With this setup I can load about 10K. Greg
Reply to
Greg O
No need to bother with the water heaters, radiant, or better still fan blown, heaters work great; I once worked on a site where the 10MW Diesel alternators were load tested into a huge fan cooled 'heater', you risked being cooked by the air blast from them as well as deafened by the DAs and choked by the Diesel smoke; great fun :-) Martin
Reply to
Martin Whybrow
If you are going to run into a water container, just run it into copper electrodes and vary the salt content of the solution until you're running the desired current. This will work up to a few hundred amps, no idea what amperage you're talking about.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
"i"
I prefer old (used because they are free) electric stove top elements. They are common for 220vac. I have a suitcase sized, fan cooled load for 220 that will disipate 50 KW for a few minutes, 25 KW for long term. If you prefer water cooloed, you may have a special need to miniaturize. Fans and heaters can be alot tidier that a water boiler. If you do build a decent water cooled load for 110/220 I'd sure like to see how you do it.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Martes
Cheap and easy to make your own custom sizes: nickel-chromium resistance wire (mscdirect.com) on porcelain strips (cut up floor tiles) drilled for screws and crimp connectors.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
It's an obviousity, but since the OP didn't appear to think about air cooled stuff, he might not realize that they will work as 120 volt loads too.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
The salt water load was widely used. They used wood barrels and used them outside because of the gas generated
Bill K7NOM
Reply to
Bill Janssen
Thanks. I was at Home Depot today, and saw stove elements, and wondered about the same thing. Some creative use of stove elements, and a fan, could yield great results. Those elements, though, did not have an amp rating. If I test, I will test at 220v.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29240
Those heaters though, are such that you do not know how much power they use exactly, right?
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29240
5-10.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29240
I like your idea a lot. Will try to see if anyone throws away an old electric stove. If not, elements for those stoves are not very expensive new.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29240
They will, but they will burn 4 times less energy. Plus, I need 220v to provide a balanced load to a 220v capable generator.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29240
Just one Electric stove. Connect to the pigtail. Then you have 1 small burner, 2 small, 1 large outside, 1 outside and inside, ......... Broiler, roaster...
SO get ye to the Electric Stove repair office - see if there was a trade in - you take off their hands... :-)
Martin
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
Broiler, roaster...
you take off
our stove is very smart and turns its burners on and off all the time. Not good when I want a known and constant load. Maybe other stoves are more controllable in this regard.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29240
Heck, in W'chester county, they would pay *him* to haul it away!!
No kidding.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
Salvage the burner coils and connect them to heat sinks to avoid burning them up. Pieces of steel or copper plate should do it. Stack them vertically in a metal drum to reduce the bulk.
Broiler, roaster...
- you take off
Reply to
Thomas Kendrick
An easily obtainable load is a "bank" of 120v, 200 Watt, ordinary incandescent light bulbs. 200 Watts (120v) is suggested because that is the largest size commonly stocked at home supply stores in the US. European lamps may be available for 240v operation.
Place 2 of the 200W lamps in series for a 0.4 kW load. Stack these strings of 2, in parallel, to obtain any amount of load. Single phase or 3-phase loading is possible; just remember 2 lamps in series = 0.4 kW per phase. A clamp-on type ammeter is recommended to determine the amount of current flowing to the load.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney

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