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What solenoid to use?

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Falco12/10/2019 23:13:26
65 forum posts
7 photos

I live in a windy area and have wondering how to close the house ventilation flaps firmly using a solenoid. eg cooker fans, toilet vents etc. Most would be 6" or 8" pipes out through the outside wall with a flap closing off the flow somewhere along the length of the pipe between appliance and outside.

I want the flap to open when a fan is switched on and vice versa. My problem is how to find / choose a solenoid that will hold a flap open for periods of use and not get so hot as to be dangerous. These would be placed in hidden areas of the building so they must be fairly foolproof. The necessary throw would be 1" - 2".

I have some ex-equipment solenoids but I'm not up to speed enough to know whats safe to use in this sort of situation and what is not.

Any advice on how to proceed will be welcome.

Brian Sweeting13/10/2019 00:11:46
413 forum posts
1 photos

Instead of a solenoid have a look at 'duct damper actuators'.

These come in a range of prices, you can even get small ones for car vent ducts. They are designed to motor open or closed so only require power to change state.

You can also get complete duct dampers with actuators attached.

Jeff Dayman13/10/2019 00:39:24
1789 forum posts
45 photos

A very good damper drive actuator is the Honeywell Versadrive. I worked on developing these about 30 yr ago.

**LINK**

If you can find one you will not be disappointed. Honeywell may still sell variants, but not sure if modern ones are the same design.

Clive Hartland13/10/2019 09:37:36
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2556 forum posts
40 photos

There are some gravity type flaps set at a slight angle that only open when there is internal pressure. Often fitted to cooker hoods, no leccie iused at all.

John Haine13/10/2019 09:46:38
3011 forum posts
160 photos

DC motor drive is likely to be better and cheaper, small geared motor driving a screw. You can buy complete units on eBay, search for linear actuator.

Clive Foster13/10/2019 10:21:18
2153 forum posts
73 photos

Generic car door lock actuators are pretty powerful and can be found quite cheaply in various designs and sizes. You need the 5 wire "central" one for stand alone jobs. About a fiver off E-Bay.

I've used them as a powerful solenoid substitute. Around a "long inch" travel I think.

Clive

Georgineer13/10/2019 12:30:39
340 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by Clive Hartland on 13/10/2019 09:37:36:

There are some gravity type flaps set at a slight angle that only open when there is internal pressure. Often fitted to cooker hoods, no leccie used at all.

There's one fitted to my cooker hood. On a gusty day like today it goes:

flap flap flap flapflap flap flap flap flap flapflapflap flap flap flap flap flap flapflap flap flap flap flap flapflapflap flap flap flap flap flap flapflap flap flap flap flap flap flapflapflapflap flap flap flap flap flapflap flap

(repeat ad nauseam)

George

Edit:  the system software took out all my extra  spaces - you'll have to imagine the random pauses between flaps.

G.

 

Edited By Georgineer on 13/10/2019 12:32:54

Circlip13/10/2019 12:33:16
1088 forum posts

Gravity flap with adjustable weight?

Regards Ian.

Falco13/10/2019 20:55:37
65 forum posts
7 photos

Thank you to all who replied. A few good leads there and I'm leaning towards linear activator or the car door lock actuator for simplicity. I'll do a read-up and search for sources.

John

Howard Lewis13/10/2019 21:00:40
3146 forum posts
2 photos

Our cooker ventilator, also rattles if the wind is in the right direction.

When we lived near the sea, many years ago, to prevent excess draught burning all the sold fuel overnight, I made up a flap with a weight on an arm, and used this to bleed air into the flue, and limit the draught. Worked a treat, pure guesswork, of course!

Howard

Neil Wyatt13/10/2019 21:43:38
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Moderator
17714 forum posts
697 photos
77 articles
Posted by Falco on 12/10/2019 23:13:26:

I live in a windy area and have wondering how to close the house ventilation flaps firmly using a solenoid. eg cooker fans, toilet vents etc. Most would be 6" or 8" pipes out through the outside wall with a flap closing off the flow somewhere along the length of the pipe between appliance and outside.

I want the flap to open when a fan is switched on and vice versa. My problem is how to find / choose a solenoid that will hold a flap open for periods of use and not get so hot as to be dangerous. These would be placed in hidden areas of the building so they must be fairly foolproof. The necessary throw would be 1" - 2".

I have some ex-equipment solenoids but I'm not up to speed enough to know whats safe to use in this sort of situation and what is not.

Any advice on how to proceed will be welcome.

Our bathroom fan came with one built in. The solenoid is very small.

not done it yet13/10/2019 21:59:44
4497 forum posts
16 photos

While some (most) ventilation can be positively avoided, do not cover any ventilation designed to provide a draught for fuel burning appliances. As you say you only want to close those with flaps, you may well be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

duncan webster13/10/2019 23:59:05
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2539 forum posts
49 photos

You could try 2 solenoids with an over-centre mechanism, one solenoid opens it, but the spring or weight keeps it open so the solenoid can be switched off, other solenoid vice versa, but I agree the actuator sounds best

Edited By duncan webster on 13/10/2019 23:59:19

Falco15/10/2019 19:19:05
65 forum posts
7 photos

Neil; anything over a force 5 will overwhelm the normal bathroom Louvre fans and make them rattle. I need to provide for the occasional force 9!

Duncan: Wiring one solenoid , maybe. Two of them, no chance! No electrical genius here. A simple actuator seems my best solution. Most seem to be DC.

I have never had one in the hand so to speak. Am I right in thinking that when the power is cut off them that they stay put in that position until re-activated?

John

John Haine15/10/2019 19:46:35
3011 forum posts
160 photos

At least as far as the ones I pointed out, that's correct. Motor drives leadscrew through gears, leadscrew moves pushrod. Applying force to pushrod will not turn motor, too much friction. Think of leaving electric car window open and turning off ignition.

Simon Williams 315/10/2019 19:55:57
497 forum posts
78 photos

Try googling "belimo actuator" for a wide range of damper actuators - essentially a motor driven crank that turns trough 90 degrees. Other variants are available but looking at ebay at the moment there seem to be quite a few on offer around the £25 to 30 sort of mark.

HTH Simon

Falco16/10/2019 19:48:34
65 forum posts
7 photos

John, Simon, thank you, lots of useful info.

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