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Questions about mounting a VFD

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  • Questions about mounting a VFD

    I just got my GS2-11P0 from Automation Direct. I made a temporary hookup to make sure it works OK with no problems. Now I need to figure out the best way to mount it.

    It needs good airflow for cooling, so it seems that would rule out putting it in a regular enclosure. The instructions say to avoid mounting it where it's subject to vibration, and that rules out putting it directly on the machine. Of course, it's got to be on something that's not flammable, too.

    I'd like to see some pictures of how others have mounted similar VFDs.
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    What is it going on?
    Precision takes time.


    • #3
      It's for the Ab Arboga Maskiner milling machine I recently acquired.
      Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


      • #4
        I have all of my VFD's mounted in metal electrical enclosures. I just use enclosures that are large enough to allow some space for the thing. I don't recall the measurements, but the box is maybe 5X the volume of the VFD. That also gives some room for a contactor, fuses, a line filter and other miscellaneous stuff.

        That is not a huge VFD and should not generate huge amounts of heat. I have similar Automation Direct units on my mill and one of my lathes. I put a T/C probe in my enclosure and found only minor temp rise in use. If it seems to be getting warm you can always put some vent holes in the enclosure on the bottom and sides with louver type things on them to keep junk from falling in there.


        • #5
          Any "real" manufacturer of VFDs will have a spec on how big the enclosure needs to be for acceptable cooling.

          So you should be able to look in the manual and it will say how close to the walls of the enclosure it can be, etc.

          As for location, put it and its enclosure wherever it is convenient that does not violate any installation requirements etc. Usually the vibration issue means not to mount it actually ON the motor, but for most machines, somewhere on teh frame of the machine should be acceptable.

          of course a new trend is to integrate the VFD onto the motor.... but that's another issue.
          CNC machines only go through the motions.

          Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
          Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
          Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
          I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
          Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


          • #6
            The VFD for my belt sander is just wired to the shelf next to where it is used. Growing up in a time when hay was bailed with wire there was always an abundance of second hand wire.

            Actually I sometimes need to move the sander and this makes it easier.
            Byron Boucher
            Burnet, TX


            • #7
              Geez Boucher. Airborne metal dust kills NEMA 1 VFD's. It settles on the circult boards and provides conductive paths that either leak, or worse, flash over. You NEED a NEMA 12 enclosure for your VFD.

              I looked in my VFD manuals and for say, for 10 HP and less an enclosure 8" larger than the VFd H and V dims and 2" front to back seems to be the minimum for passive cooling through the walls. What's the environment and duty cycle? Gonna run it in 100+ degrees F? Gonna run full load for hours? There should be reccomendations for eclosure volume and envirnment somewhere in your user manual. If not browse the unternet for manuals for similar VFD's - they're all on line somewhenre.
              Last edited by Forrest Addy; 03-09-2012, 09:31 AM.


              • #8
                I just bolted mine to the wall behind my lathe. Its been fine for the past 3 years.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Forrest Addy
                  Geez Boucher. Airborne metal dust kills NEMA 1 VFD's. It settles on the circult boards and provides conductive paths that either leak, or worse, flash over. You NEED a NEMA 12 enclosure for your VFD.
                  +1. It took me about two years, but I successfully killed one awhile back.

                  I have a plan for a rather fancy enclosure to put the VFD on the head of my Bport, but until I finish it I wont share the details. I have had it mounted for quite some time in the cabinet on the back of the base, with a remote on the table and a remote dispay, but decided to change it up a bit.
                  Last edited by justanengineer; 03-09-2012, 10:58 AM.
                  "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


                  • #10
                    Mount the VFD somewhere out of the way and make up a control box where you put all the switches/pots...
                    Precision takes time.


                    • #11
                      And... your machine isn't a big source of vibration. Mount it in a ventilated box on the the back high up (out of chip path).


                      • #12

                        .50 cal ammo box.....$8 at the surplus store


                        • #13
                          This is how I did it, been two years and works great.
                          Last edited by T_henry; 03-09-2012, 10:57 PM.


                          • #14
                            My DRO is on an arm that attaches to the side of the mill.

                            My VFD is simply mounted on an 18 inch stalk that attaches to the arm and puts the VFD above the DRO readout. The stalk is 3/4 inch emt conduit welded to a piece of 1x2 rectangular tube with the bottom cut off. This makes a bracket that slips over the arm. At the top is a bracket that matches the mounting holes on the VFD.

                            Being 2+feet from the cutting action, I don't worry too much about swarf getting in there.

                            Pictures available on request.

                            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

                            Location: SF East Bay.


                            • #15
                              I like the drum switch on the left! Nice bracket.

                              I thumbtacked an old shower curtain to the wall behind my lathe to keep oil from getting all over the sheet rock. 19 years and going...