Im currently making a project. In my project I have to drive 36 pull type 12vdc solenoids using pic18f4550.. In order to control the solenoids I used a darlington transistor TIP122.. I tested one solenoid and it works fine. My problem is if I control all the solenoids, what battery will I use? And it should last long enough to drive all the solenoids? Should I consider a pwm scheme to conserve current ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ A real answer for the battery size would require knowing how long the solenoids will be energized. A small battery might work if you only need to operate a few of your 36 solenoids for a few seconds. How many solenoids will be operated for how long, and how much current does each draw? \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Dec 16 '15 at 9:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not all solenoids will be energized since it will depend on the output of the microcontroller.. Each solenoid draws 250mA each.. Im controlling them using shift registers and transistors \$\endgroup\$ – Fretz D Tomines Dec 16 '15 at 11:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you think the average current requirement is? And how long do you need (not want) the system to operate? Be careful what you ask for - you may not like the answers. But the universe is cruel that way. \$\endgroup\$ – WhatRoughBeast Dec 16 '15 at 18:21

Quick answer with some assumptions.

Assuming a 100Ω solenoid, one would draw 120 mA current on 12 V DC. (12 / 100 = 0.12)

36 solenoids would use 4.32 A. ( 0.12 * 36 = 4.32)

A 12V 7 Ah sealed lead acid battery (This size is moderately portable and easily available) would last a over an hour at this load.

7 Ah = 1 A for 7 hours = 7 A for 1 hour = 3.5 A for 2 hours. (This is a simplified calculation for ampere-hours. Practically, the capacity goes down with increased load current. A battery that gives 1 A for 7 hours will be able to source 7 A for less than an hour)

For 4.32 A, 7 Ah would run for 7/4.32 = 1.62 hours.

This doesn't take into account the switching losses or the duty cycle of the solenoids. If you turn on only a few solenoids at a time and have them turned on only for short duration, you can expect a lot more run time.

If you want more run time, try a car battery which at around 35 Ah would give you more than 8 hours run time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The battery seems large for our project.. Im looking for double A sized batteries that will be enough to power the solenoids if there is available. Thanks anyways for the tip sir \$\endgroup\$ – Fretz D Tomines Dec 16 '15 at 7:24

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