The Different Types Of Solenoid Valves For Electrical Purposes

Solenoid valves are responsible for controlling the flow rates of either liquid or air and can be found in most power tools as well as other mechanical systems. Their diversity makes them able to perform many tasks, both easy and complex. For this reason, they are found in a wide variety of items including but not limited to dishwashers and hydraulic pumps. Solenoids can be customised for your specific needs to control mediums such as air, gas, steam, oil or electricity.

The most common version is the two-way valve. It has two ports whereas more advanced options offer three or more. The various numbers of ports needed will depend on what is needed. Since each version has different operating techniques, the right one needs to be selected for your equipment. All of these come under two major categories; direct acting valve or pilot operated valve.

The information below was sourced from and Wikipedia.

Direct Acting Valves

With this type, the coil mechanism opens the valve up through direct magnetic attraction. This lifts the shaft and seat without needing any external pressure.
Full power is required for these when they are opening, but they can hold this position, even when operating under low power.

Pilot Operated Valves

With a different operating technique, the plunger opening up the pilot and built up pressure pushing it open and closed. Electrical engineers say that “These do not need as much electrical power to work, however for them to remain open, they need to maintain full power.” Their overall performance is slower than their more direct counterpart.

Two-Way Valves

Both ports on these alternate and permit or stop flow. They are usually defined as either normally open or normally closed. When normally open, it remains this way unless some form of current is applied, forcing it to close. Once power ceases, it will automatically re-open to its original state. The normally closed option is the more common of the two, and functions the exact opposite way, remaining closed until a power surge forces it to open.

Three-Way Valves

These solenoids have three ports and are most often used when both alternate and exhaustive pressure is required. “Typical uses for this type of operation is found in regular household items such as dishwashers and coffee machines” notes CGIS.

Four-Way Valves

With four or more ports, these solenoid valves are typically used alongside an actuator. Two of the ports will supply the pressure while the other ports deliver exhaust pressure. Four-Way choices are often specified as normally open, normally closed or universal.

Before you set out to buy a solenoid, it is a good idea to learn about the different types. With so many options you want to make sure you get the right fit for your project. You need to consider the type of fluid that will be used as well as the system specifications and requirements. You also need to know what kind of material would be best for the seals. Regardless of the medium used by your equipment be it air, gas, steam or oil, efficient operation will require the right choice.

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Testing Emergency Generators

Emergency generator testing

Ideally, most emergency and standby generators are usually programmed to start on a weekly basis cycle, and they run for about one hour. The ability of the generator to produce electricity, circuit breakers, automatic transfer switch and voltage regulators are not tested since the starting system is of primary interest during the test.

It is important to know that two problems could compromise the reliability of an emergency generator and should be addressed to avoid future problems. They include:

• When load bank testing is not carried out to test the generator, generator docking station company, Foxfab told us that there could be a variety of issues with your load bank and you wouldn’t even know it.

• Under instances where the generator runs continually without load banking, diesel engines may develop wet stacking. Ideally, Wet stacking is a condition where condensed fuel and oil particles accumulate around the exhaust pipe, injector and valves of the engine. Usually, wet stacking reduces the efficiency of the generator making the engine to reduce its ability to generate the amount it’s supposed to produce.told us the problems which the generator could be having may not be known until it breaks down after some time. It is, therefore, important to carry out load banking to establish the full potential of your generator.

Load banking should be performed annually to your emergency generator to establish whether it’s underperforming or reaching its maximum potential. Whether you are using resistive or reactive testing, your load bank testing is dependent on your location, cable, load test personnel and the external power. If you are looking forward to having a successful load banking, you should take the four aspects into consideration. Failure to consider any of the factors may result in heavy fines, delay your schedule or even cause an injury.


Irrespective of the type of load bank testing procedure (resistive or reactive), load banks produces large amounts of heat and exhaust, and hence the test should be carried out in an open place where there is free flow of air.

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How to choose a Load Bank Generator?

The generator is used as a standby power supply or on the job site to generate electricity. Diesel or petrol, with starter or without starter, the generator has a capacitor control, AVR or Inverter.  Here are some tips that may help you to choose your next generator!

Gasoline Generator

Gasoline generators are the most versatile and therefore ideal for home, DIY and other domestic and point-of-use applications. Starting can be done manually using a launcher, or electrically with a starter. Their power varies from 1.5 to 6 kW for the bigger ones (we talk about the available electric power, not the power of the heat engine). Gas-powered generators are compact and generate little noise. Generally, gasoline generators deliver single-phase power – several single-phase circuits are available on large power units. Their motorization can be 2 times or 4 times.

Diesel generator set

Diesel generating sets are considered to be the generators of construction sites! Given the noise they produce, diesel generators can be excluded from domestic use at once. There is a wide range of power available because this type of generator is more oriented towards professional use – special requirements and intensive use. Ranging from a few kW to several hundred or even thousands, all sizes of diesel generators are represented. From a generator on a trolley to a multi-ton generator set on the trailer of a heavy truck. Starting a diesel generator is usually done with a starter (on the majority of medium to high power generators). All power supplies are available depending on the model: single-phase, three-phase or mixed. Some groups even have an auto start feature. The engine of the diesel generator is 4 times.

Soundproof generators differ from other generators because they are enclosed in an insulated box to minimize noise pollution. The sound level of soundproof generators does not exceed 90 dB (decibels) where other groups easily reach 105 dB or more. The soundproof generators have a small footprint and are light and quick to use. The other side of the coin is that the power is felt since the soundproof generators rarely deliver more than 2 kW of electrical availability. Quieter, it is often a petrol engine that powers them. Soundproof generators are perfect for very punctual uses that do not require much power available. The engine can be 2-stroke or 4-stroke.

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