Choosing the Right Cable for the Inverter to Spindle Connection

Hey Peter,

I couldn’t find an online manual, but luckily I stumbled upon a Huanyang VFD manual on the buildbotics.com site. While it’s common for cheap Chinese spindles to lack manuals or datasheets, there are essential spindle data that you need to know in order to make the right settings on your VFD. These include:

  1. Voltage rating (Volts)
  2. Current rating (Ampères)
  3. Number of magnetic poles
  4. Maximum Speed (RPM)
  5. Minimum Speed (RPM)

Generally, a spindle datasheet should also provide speed/torque and speed/power diagrams. Additionally, the user’s manual usually covers the run-in procedure, handling instructions, and clamping instructions.

Now, let’s talk about the cables you need. For the 240V wall receptacle (single phase) to the VFD connection, it seems that a 10-gauge cable with 2 conductors plus ground would be suitable. On the other hand, for the VFD to the 220V spindle (three-phase) connection, a 12-gauge cable with 3 conductors plus ground should suffice.

The table shown above provides three segments. The first segment is for single-phase mains electricity VFD models, the second is for three-phase mains (which is not common in North America), and the third is for 400V three-phase mains. If your mains wall outlet doesn’t resemble any of these scenarios, it’s unlikely that you have three-phase mains electricity. In North America, split-phase electric power is more common, which means you have two phases shifted by 180°, resulting in 115V between one phase and neutral, or 230V between the two phases. In any case, this means you have single-phase power.

Regarding the connection from the VFD to the Onefinity controller, the manual states that you can use an Ethernet wire or a similar type since these are signal wires, not power cables.

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The “Power Lines” column mentioned in the manual applies to the inverter’s input power, output wires to the motor, the earth ground connection, and any other components mentioned in the “Basic System Description” on page 28. So, the “Power Lines” also refer to wires connected to components like the braking resistor.

On the other hand, the “Signal Lines” refer to all other lines, and it is recommended to use shielded wire with a gauge of 18 to 28 AWG or 0.14 to 0.75 mm². While twisted pair cables might be sufficient for serial communication, it’s generally advisable to use shielded cable for everything to avoid any potential interference.

I would highly recommend using shielded cables for all segments. At the very least, make sure to use shielded power cable for the spindle.

To avoid electrical interference and prevent unexpected behavior, it’s crucial to use shielded wiring for the motor cable and all analog and digital control lines. Additionally, it’s important to maintain the effective shield area of these lines by not stripping away the shield further from the cable end than necessary.

Also, consider using shielded cables suitable for drag chains, with a core cross-section designed for the rated motor current. It’s essential to ground the cable shield on both sides to ensure proper functionality.

Lastly, I strongly recommend using an EMI filter, like the one shown in the picture above. I personally use it for my 2.2 kW single-phase input VFD.

Usually, a VFD is enclosed in a control cabinet because there are a few more things you’ll need, such as safety relay wiring or relays and a 24V DC power supply if you want the VFD to automatically switch on the coolant pump when the spindle is in RUN mode. If you need more information, check here for additional details.

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That’s it, Peter! I hope this helps you choose the right cables for your inverter to spindle connection. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

The 5 Ws and H are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering or problem solving. 5ws.wiki will best answer all your questions

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