Choosing the Right VFD Cable

Control your industrial automation process with a variable frequency drive, or VFD, and the appropriate cable. This crucial component sends varied signal frequencies and voltage to alter the speed of a motor. Without a VFD cable, unfortunately, your system could be at risk. Explore the signs of a wrong cable and the benefits of selecting a product engineered for your automated VFD system.

How a Variable Frequency Cable Works

A VFD system uses three or more components to adjust the speed of a motor. A VFD controller is connected to a motor using VFD cable. This type of system is commonly used in the automation industry, where it powers compressors, pumps, conveyors, fans and other devices that use variable speeds.

Not all VFD systems are built the same. Here are some key features to consider as you determine the best cable for your motor:

  • Insulation quality
  • Stranding
  • Ground size
  • Designs capable of parallel applications

The quality of the insulation helps determine the safety of the cable. Choose cabling with a low capacitance and high dielectric strength.

Stranding means layering individual strands of copper to create a flexible construction with a high surface area. More surface area improves the conductor surface area for an efficient cable design.

VFD cable needs to handle some serious electrical noise. Consider one with built-in grounds that are engineered to keep your system and facility safe.

Not all cables are capable of handling parallel configuration. Install a high-powered motor and power it efficiently with parallel VFD cable installation.

Dangers of Using the Wrong VFD Cable

A standard electrical cable isn’t designed to handle variable voltage and the electrical noise that comes from a VFD system. Voltage spikes, common-mode voltage, charging currents and reflected waves can all break down insulation and lead to cable failure.

Don’t let voltages up to three times the source voltage damage your cabling. Variable frequency cable is specifically designed to handle the normal range of voltage and electrical noise characteristic of a VFD system.

Selecting the wrong cable doesn’t always lead to complete cable failure. In some cases, you’ll see one or more of these signs before the cable becomes compromised:

  • Fluting or pitting of motor bearings
  • Motor damage due to vibrating shaft
  • Sparks and other stray currents

Benefits of Choosing the Right Cable

Quality VFD cable prevents damage to your motor and bearings by properly shielding and grounding currents. Grounding and directing stray currents keeps your entire system safe from sparks and electrical damage.

Once properly installed on a VFD motor, these cables allow speed controls with tolerances as low as 0.1%. Complex automation systems require precise movements that only a VFD system can deliver. Without these incredibly low tolerances, many automated systems wouldn’t have the necessary precision to handle complex, repetitive tasks.

Compared to other motor solutions, a VFD offers a quieter operating noise level. A highly efficient design reduces energy waste and powers an eco-friendly automated process. Find out how to select a cable from a leading distributor to take advantage of these benefits.

How To Choose the Right Cable

Be sure you work with a leading cable distributor to find the optimal cable for your industrial process. VFD cable connects motors with control panels in a number of automated systems, but it’s important to choose the best cable for your situation.

Discuss the benefits of VFD technology and the features of a cable that fits your system. Whether your team is preparing to install an automated line for the first time or they need to repair your existing setup, choose a reliable cable distributor for hassle-free VFD control.

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