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Thread: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

  1. #1
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    Dave

    Default Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    I am about to order an electronic AC variable speed drive for my lathe. I am planning on installing the drive in a metal enclosure similar to a electrical circuit breaker box. Reading through the online manuals for the drive I am looking at, it appears that they are sensitive to both heat and dust. A couple of questions for you guys:
    1) Did you use an enclosure for your VSD?
    2) How much clearance did you provide between the VSD and the interior of the box (sides and top)?
    3) Did you install a cooling fan in the enclosure?
    4) Did you provide ventilation holes in the enclosure, and if so, what did you do to prevent dust from entering enclosure?
    5) Any other issues?
    Your thoughts and comments are truly appreciated.
    regards
    dave

  2. #2
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    Bill

    Default Re: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    My 2HP General has a fairly large steel encolsure around the VFD unit. It is somewhat inaccessible right now so I can't give you measurements but I'd say there is 2-3" clearance all around the VFD unit in the box from what I remember. It has no fan, no cooling holes and the cover fits very tightly.

    I don't know if the VFD has a heat-sinking surface on the back such that mounting it to a metal surface allows it to conduct heat away from the VFD. I don't know if any do - just wondering.

    billh

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    I think you should post this in the Woodturning forum which is where most of the VFD users will see it.

    billh

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    My VFD experience although extensive is limited to industrial applications. The bulk that I have worked with do in fact have a metal base that's used to both disipate heat and mount the drive to whatever surface you have.

    I was just checking the specs on a couple of different VFDs the other day, and they both listed minimum enclosure requirements for their maximum hp rating. You may try to dig a little deeper into the installation manual to see if what your buying provides the info you're looking for.

    Personally I suggest going a tad larger than you think you need, and seeing how that works out. Adding ventilation after the fact isn't that big of a deal, and be as easy as drilling a few holes to full blown heat exchanger if the need be.

  5. #5
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    Mike Delyster

    Default Re: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    The VFD I have requires the enclosure to be four times the size of the VFD.

    So if the VFD was 6"X 6"X 4" it would have a volume of 144" which in turn the enclosure will need to have a capacity of at least 576",
    the VFD you have may have different requirements though.
    Mike @ Buck Lake

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    08Jun2011_0848 cw .jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
    I am about to order an electronic AC variable speed drive for my lathe. I am planning on installing the drive in a metal enclosure similar to a electrical circuit breaker box. Reading through the online manuals for the drive I am looking at, it appears that they are sensitive to both heat and dust. A couple of questions for you guys:
    1) Did you use an enclosure for your VSD?
    2) How much clearance did you provide between the VSD and the interior of the box (sides and top)?
    3) Did you install a cooling fan in the enclosure?
    4) Did you provide ventilation holes in the enclosure, and if so, what did you do to prevent dust from entering enclosure?
    5) Any other issues?
    Your thoughts and comments are truly appreciated.
    regards
    dave
    Dave Here is a pic of one of my VFD's which is about 6in by4in by 3 in inside the moisture and dust sealed can that it came with.I cannot pop out and measure the can as it is many miles away.I installed it myself on the Graduate.My VFD on the 260 is a Telemetrique from France and has ventilation slots and no box round it just a dust/shaving deflector and I have had no problems .However I do hear that General have moved away from that maker.Personally I would build yours into a large( similar to mine) sealed box

  7. #7
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    Dave

    Default Re: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    thanks for the replies. The manual for the VFD I was looking at indicated 6" of clearance above and below the VFD, with 2" of clearance on each side. For a 4" wide by 6" tall by 6" deep VFD, that translates into a box that is at least 6" deep and 18" high and 8" wide. Should be no real problem going that big, but it does tend to take up a lot of valuable wall space. Given how cool the climate is in my part of the world, I suspect that overheating may not be a real issue in any case.

    dave

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Did You Use an Enclosure for Your Variable Speed Drive

    I think it was Mikedd that pointed out this site before:
    http://www.factorymation.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.11/.f

    It gives examples of enclosed and un-enclosed systems.


    Here is another I have used.
    http://kbelectronics.com/


    They should give you the requirements.
    ---
    Will

    “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” —- Mark Twain

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