A solenoid valve controls the flow of gas or other fluids, while a solenoid coil is energized by an electric current that creates a magnetic field. When the coil in a fuel solenoid is energized, it causes a plunger inside the coil to move, activating the valve.
Solenoid valves can be classified by the normal state of the valve. In a normally-closed valve, the valve is closed by default. When the coil is energized the valve opens, and when power is removed from the coil it closes. Conversely, in a normally-open valve, the valve closes when energized and opens when power is removed.
How it Works
Fuel or another medium enters into the valve through an inlet port and flows through the orifice. The media must flow through the orifice and then exit the valve through the outlet port. The orifice is closed and opened by the plunger, which is controlled by an electrical current that determines whether fuel can flow through.
The solenoid coil is made of copper or aluminum wire wrapped around a hollow form, which wraps around a valve plunger. When an electrical current flows through the coil, it creates lines of magnetic flux, which essentially convert the plunger into an electromagnet. This causes the plunger to slide up into the coil under the force of magnetism, opening the valve orifice and allowing fluid to flow through.
Kyle Fiechter began writing professionally in 2010. Websites in which his writing has appeared include eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. He has a Bachelor of Science in neurobiology and physiology from Purdue University. Fiechter is a photographer and designer, and he has video production experience.