Solenoid valve ideal for compact, low power applications

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Dean Palmer reports on a recently launched low power, miniature solenoid valve that is lightweight, compact and ideal for power sensitive flow switching applications

A solenoid valve has been developed that is reputed to be the smallest in the world and which breaks new ground in reducing space, weight and power consumption, especially in pneumatic flow switching applications.

The new Lee Series 120 solenoid valve, described by its manufacturer Lee Products as "ultra-miniature", weighs just 300mg and has dimensions of 9.6mm in length by 3.0mm outside diameter.

The valve is magnetically latched and features high performance flow switching characteristics. The valve requires only a momentary 1ms pulse to switch the state (+5V DC to open, -5V DC to close) and so is ideal for compact, battery-powered pneumatic applications, including air piloting, lab automation (lab-on-a-chip) and other power sensitive OEM flow switching devices.

Jim Klapper, global marketing director at Lee Products, told Eureka: "What makes the valve unique is its compact design and the fact it is a bi-stable and magnetically-latched. It offers real advantages for battery powered devices because it requires only a small amount of power to energise the valve. Once the valve is open, you need no power."

Klapper added that there was no reason why the same solenoid valve could not be used in hydraulic applications. He said that although the design was originally intended for pneumatic use, several customers were already considering the valve for hydraulic applications.

The valves were launched globally around three months ago.

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