Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 4492: Coil Inductance Model Based Solenoid on–off Valve Spool Displacement Sensing via Laser Calibration

Research paper by Hao Tian, Yuren Zhao

Indexed on: 21 Dec '18Published on: 18 Dec '18Published in: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)


Direct acting solenoid on–off valves are key fluid power components whose efficiency is dependent upon the state of the spool’s axial motion. By sensing the trajectory of the valve spool, more efficient control schemes can be implemented. Therefore, the goal of this study is to derive an analytical model for spool displacement sensing based on coil inductance. First, a mathematical model of the coil inductance as a function of air gap width and lumped magnetic reluctance is derived. Second, to solve the inductance from coil current, an optimization to obtain an initial value based on physical constraints is proposed. Furthermore, an experiment using a laser triangulation sensor is designed to correlate the magnetic reluctance to the air gap. Lastly, using the obtained empirical reluctance model to eliminate unknowns from the proposed air gap-inductance model, the model in atmosphere or hydraulic oil environments was tested. Initial results showed that the proposed model is capable of calculating the spool displacement based on the coil current, and the estimation errors compared to the laser measurement are within ±7% in air environment.