Beginning with the end in mind is not only one of the 7 habits of highly effective people, it’s also a great philosophy to have when working with variable frequency drive (VFD) cable!
If you have variable frequency drives at your facility you probably have heard of variable frequency drive cable. VFD cable has been shown to improve system performance by reducing electromagnetic interference (EMI), minimizing ground currents, controlling common mode current (which if left uncontrolled can damage motor bearings) and more. You may know a lot or a little about this specially designed cable that runs from your drive’s inverter to the motor. A lot of companies make VFD cable and a lot of salespeople from these companies will tell you that you should be running this cable. They may be right, but that is only half the story. The other half of the story is if you don’t properly terminate this cable, you lose most of the benefits it can provide.
While many cable manufacturers will tell you that you need to be running VFD cable, very few of those companies will talk to you about how to terminate this cable. It’s understandable. Most of these companies’ experience is in cable, very few have any expertise in drives. But, the fact remains that this specially designed cable requires special terminations that most electricians are not familiar with. Proper termination of this cable is very important. I am not talking about just being NEC compliant, I am talking about terminating the cable, to maximize the benefits of the VFD cable’s construction. If you don’t terminate this cable properly, you lose many of the benefits the cable can offer you. Let’s look at four rules you can apply to help you get a VFD termination that will allow your VFD cable to perform to its potential!
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