The Solenoid Valve Health Monitor System (SVHMS) was developed to remotely monitor the health of solenoid valves, lowering operational costs and increasing reliability by predicting valve failures before they occur. The system measures and analyzes steady state and transient components of the magnetic field and indirectly, the electric current in a solenoid valve during normal operation. It enables continuous monitoring of the integrity and operational status of solenoid valves without the need for interrupting their operation to conduct frequent inspections.

The system monitors solenoid performance by comparing the electrical current profile of each solenoid actuation to a typical current profile. The sensor exploits the fact that unique characteristics (signatures) of the solenoid current — especially current transitions when the solenoid is turned on or off — are affected by electrical and mechanical deterioration of the solenoid and its valve parts. Current signatures include characteristic peaks and valleys that repeat at well-defined times during every operating cycle and have well-defined magnitudes and shapes. As electrical or mechanical deterioration occurs, the peaks and valleys change both in time and magnitude; these changes can indicate potential trouble.

The SVHMS learns what a good signature looks like from good solenoid valves in specific applications. When future signatures are collected, they are compared against the archived good signatures and the current valve’s condition can be determined and reported, based upon its learned behavior and proprietary algorithms.

The complete system contains the health-monitoring software, smart current signature sensors, and modules for signal acquisition, signal conditioning, power supply, and calibration. The technology may be utilized in any application that employs solenoid valves. In addition, the transducer is non-intrusively attached to the solenoid valve for handheld recording.

For more information, contact NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 321-867-8480 or visit here .