The MCLV-2 is a motor driver development board, of 24 volt and up to 15Amp (in total). Aside driving a motor, I'm also interested in testing to see if these circuitries are suitable to run a 12 volt valve

Where would you connect a valve? Is it one of the motor pins? (pin 3-5 on connector J7) for more information see MCLV-2 Dev Kit User Guide, pg22

And the more important question, although this is dedicated for 24 volts output. Can I use a 12 volt valve instead? (it's cheaper for the intended application)

The dc output rating, on pg. 43 claims its voltage output is min: 0, typical: 24, max: 48 Is there an additional circuit I ought to have prior to sending the signal to the valve?

The motor signals are processed by this high and low driver chip

Now if the motor driver really is assuming a position feedback, then can I get away with using a proportional flow-rate controller for feedback?


2 Answers 2


Yes, you probably can.

If you happen to have this board around and want to test, fine, although its not geared toward driving solenoids. The IR2181 is not a processor, its a mosfet driver. The high side drive cannot drive 100% duty cycle, perhaps 75%, depending on bootstrap cap and configuration. This means you can't just turn on the high side and leave it on. So you would probably connect to motor pins depending on duty cycle wanted. If 12v and 100%, you couldn't use the high side driver, but rather high side of supply and low side of driver connected to solenoid.

I don't see why you couldn't drive a 12v solenoid at 50% duty cycle with 24v supply. Don't forget that you can supply the board with 12v if you want. The MC datasheet dc output rating totally depends on the users supply, perhaps you misunderstood that one. It all works fine at 12v. However, if you use 12v, you have to factor the high side max duty cycle.


Most likely something intended to drive a basic brushed DC motor can drive a solenoid, assuming the driver can output the required voltage at the current the solenoid will draw. However, if this "motor driver" is assuming there will be position feedback signals, like from a brushless DC motor, then it won't work.

Anything called a "motor driver" should be able to scale back the drive level to the motor from the maximum voltage it can put out smoothly to 0. If the motor driver can put out up to 24 V, then running it scaled back to drive a 12 V solenoid should be fine. This is usually done with pulses, where the duty cycle sets the overall drive level. A solenoid will be fine with that kind of drive.

However, using a motor driver for a solenoid is gross overkill. If you have a sufficient power supply, which you need for the motor driver anyway, you can drive the solenoid with a simple low side switch and reverse diode. There is no need for the more complicated H-bridge drive configuration the motor driver probably has.

The IRLML0030 is a nice little FET for the low side switch in this application as long as your power supply doesn't exceed 30 V. Its gate can be driven directly from a 5 V digital output.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What if you use a proportional flow-rate controller for feedback like TCP9400 \$\endgroup\$
    – Iancovici
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 12:50

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