The Benefits of Regenerative Loads & Sources

Utility Grid Testing - NH Research (NHR)

Intro to Regenerative Loads & Sources

Traditional loads, either air-cooled or water-cooled, convert the unit-under-test’s (UUT) output power into heat waste whereas regenerative loads recycle the UUT output power back onto the facility or UUT in the form of re-usable electricity. This allows the test system to lower the total electrical usage while significantly reducing waste heat. For example a regenerative load with > 90% efficiency would return more than 90% of the UUT’s output power back to the facility and convert less than 10% of the UUT power into heat.

Traditional Electronic Loads vs. Regenerative Loads

An electronic load converts 100% of the discharge power (P = V*I) directly into heat. Unlike resistors, electronic loads are able to provide more sophisticated loading profiles such as constant current, constant voltage, and constant power, in addition to constant resistance. The load profile can be changed dynamically without disconnecting the UUT. Air-cooled electronic loads dissipate the waste heat into the air and can be used anywhere in a laboratory or manufacturing space as long as there is sufficient space or air-chiller capacity. Water-cooled electronic loads dissipate the waste heat through a water connection, which limits where these loads can be used. Testing may also get halted when the water-chiller system is under maintenance.

Regenerative electronic loads convert discharge power (P = V*I) back into usable electricity for the facility, thereby increasing flexibility in two ways. First, the total power demand and associated electrical costs are reduced. Second, regeneration creates significantly less waste heat, which in turn reduces  the energy and equipment required for facility cooling. This allows maximum flexibility when planning, upgrading, or rearranging laboratory or manufacturing workspaces.

Regeneration Significantly Reduces the Cost of Heat

Using regenerative AC and DC loads and sources dramatically reduces the total amount of power required from the utility.  This is because the UUT can use the power from both the utility connection and the power returned by the regenerative load. This directly reduces the total amount of power used by the facility to conduct the required testing, the amount of waste heat, and the power to remove the heat. Additionally, the total cost of ownership of traditional loads often includes far more than just the initial purchase of the load. Traditional loads imply more electrical usage and higher electrical usage may require electrical system upgrades to support additional test stations. Each new station will generate significant amount of waste heat, which may require facility modifications such as new air-handlers or water-chiller connection points. All these costs can be associated with simply trying to remove waste heat.

NHR Regenerative Test Solutions

NH Research (NHR) provides regenerative AC and DC loads with expandable power to meet future higher test-power needs. This modular design allows for maximum flexibility in test by providing unmatched configuration options as well as future scalability. Both AC and DC products are bi-directional allowing them to reverse power flow using the same internal electronics.

Regenerative AC/DC Loads and Sources:

To learn more about potential cost savings , download our Regenerative Loads and Sources Application Note.

Download “Regenerative Loads & Sources” App Note