The migration from traditional vehicle development to electric mobility and more efficient ICE options did not happen overnight, but the growth in OEM and supplier innovations continues to shift the technological landscape at a rapid pace. That means the automotive industry is now in a race to bring the best vehicles to buyers as soon as possible.
Range is a key challenge in e-mobility, so design teams are under tremendous pressure to save every amp possible. One resulting trend is the replacement of standard solenoid and solenoid valves with enhanced components using latching technology. This technology enables the solenoid to maintain either an open or closed state indefinitely without drawing power, providing greater efficiency. It delivers important benefits, especially in cases where a solenoid or valve operates on longer cycles. However, significant difficulties must be overcome to capitalize on the energy savings this technology offers.
First, the control module in the vehicle must be able to send one signal to actuate the solenoid and a different reverse-polarity signal to de-latch the solenoid. Second, if the solenoid loses power, it will maintain the last commanded state indefinitely rather than returning to a fail-safe position like a traditional solenoid. Mitigating these issues can create unwanted complexity in the control strategy, but there are methods to overcome these obstacles and realize the desired power savings.