A solenoid valve is an electrically actuated device that uses an electric coil to open or close an orifice, thus allowing or blocking the flow of liquid or gas. There are valves that are normally open, while others are normally closed.
There are many uses for the valves, but below are some of the most common. Before delving into the uses, it is important to know its benefits and potential problems first.
Solenoid Valve Benefits:
• It is generally safe to use
• Fast acting
• Uses simple wiring
• Low cost
• It may fail after extended use
• Due to the fast closing action, it may cause problems in the piping
• If the seat surfaces are deteriorated or damaged, it may cause leakage
• Lacks controller position feedback
Common Uses for the Solenoid Valve
The solenoid valve is usually used to control the flow in day tanks. Normally closed valves are commonly used for this purpose. However, normally open valves may be used as high level stop valves and are generally used in series for this purpose. The valve may also be used to prevent tank fill pipe overfill and as anti-siphon. The valve is also commonly used in automatic irrigation sprinklers.
It is not recommended to use a solenoid valve for tank selection, more specifically in polishing and filtration systems. As was mentioned earlier, a deteriorated or damaged seat surface can cause leakage. If this happens, it will be a cause for tank overfills. Installing a strainer at the upstream of the valve is critical in the application of the solenoid valve as well. Debris from the piping can cause damage to the seat surface and thus cause leakage or obstruction. It is not a good idea to use a valve that is normally energized.
A two-way solenoid valve is commonly used in central heating. The valve is controlled using electrical signals coming from the thermostat, which then regulates heated water flow to the heated elements. If a single heat source is used to heat multiple zones, the two-way valve can be very useful. In the commercial market, this type of valve is commonly called a zone valve.
The game called paintball also uses the solenoid valve. The device actually serves as a controller for a larger valve, which is used to control the propellant for the paintball. The valve is called a “solenoid”, but it may also be used to refer to solenoids for sear actuation.
The solenoid valve is very useful in the control of air or fluid in various industrial systems. It is not only used in tanks, sprinkler systems, and filtration systems. It may also be used in the gaming industry, e.g. paintball. This device is also commonly used in manufacturing plants, pharmaceutical plants, oil refineries and other industrial systems.