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# There are three common types of load banks - resistive, inductive, and capacitive. A resistive load converts electrical energy to heat. Inductive and capacitive loads create reactance in an AC circuit.

A resistive load bank, by far the most common type, provides loading for both generators and prime movers.

The load elements resist current flow linearly and simulate unity power factor loads such as certain types of lighting and heating.

They generate heat which must be dissipated out of the load bank by means of forced air, convection or water cooling.

Resistance is measured in ohms and power is measured in watts. An inductive load resists changes in current and as such, when you examine the current, it lags behind the voltage.

Electromagnetic fields are the key to inductive loads, and as such all motors (fans, pumps, etc), solenoids, and relays are inductive in nature.

To accurately simulate these types of loads, inductive load banks are often specified.

Inductance is measured in Henrys.

Inductive loads have two types of power, real power and reactive power.

The real power is based on the work done by the device (such as what a motor is spinning). The reactive power is that which is drawn from the source to produce magnetic fields.

The total power consumed is real and reactive power combined, which is measured in VAR (volts-amps-reactive).

Typically, the inductive load will be rated at 75% that of the corresponding resistive load such that when applied together a resultant 0.8 power factor load is provided. They resist changes in voltage and the voltage lags the current (or more commonly said "current leads voltage").

Capacitance is measured in Farads. Like inductive loads, capacitive loads also have reactive power, but it's opposite the polarity of an inductive load. Therefore, a capacitive load has a negative VAR.

Capacitive load banks are not as common as resistive or resistive-inductive.

However, they can better simulate certain electronic or non-linear loads typical of telecommunications and computer systems and are used for precise testing of these associated power sources. 