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Old 21-04-2018, 16:11   #1
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Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

Hello All,

I hope this helps someone! Please let me know if you think this is going to cause me problems/issues?

The background, I had to change my gas bottle the other days and noticed that my gas solenoid was very hot. We are liveaboards so we use are oven a lot (bread, cakes, roasts, etc), so it normal for us to have the stove on for over a hour at a time every other day. I also noticed the gas solenoid consumes about 2 amps which is what the solenoid is rated at, I believe. The tag on it says 2w 12v.
So I would like to reduce both the heat generated and drop the power consumption if possible!

After some internet searches I found that these issues are not uncommon with any type of magnetic solenoid. It also highlighted that the solenoids only required the full voltage/amps to activate , once activated the voltage can be reduced and in turn it will reduce the amps and heat generation.
There are off the shelf solenoid which do this but they are expensive! The internet also provided examples of electrical circuits which would do the same thing but I'm not good at building circuits and I'm currently in a place where I can't get components.

So my cheap easy solution is to use a combination of a delay off relay and a DC-DC stepdown module, both cheap items from eBay/Amazon.

Delay off relay example;
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ORLAZ..._t1_B00OPO40US

Voltage stepdown module example;
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Valefod-Eff...onverter&psc=1

Here is my setup,

The 12v positive supply goes to relay, both to provide power and to the NO (normally open) terminals and to the input on the stepdown module. The output from the stepdown module connects to the NC (normally close) terminal on the relay.
The common terminal on the relay then provides power to the solenoid. The trigger terminal on the relay is NOT connected to anything. As the relay activates for the set time when power to initially supplied.
I have my stepdown module output set to 6.5v.
I hope that all makes sense!

So the process goes, when I switch my gas on, the solenoid receives the full voltage for 30sec until the relay pops and the voltage goes to 6.5v. Even thou it's a mechanical relay the solenoid does not deactivate during the switch over. I can see from my amp meter the down from 2amps to very little, I have not had the oven on long enough to tell about the heat generator.
I will update in a day or so.

Has anyone else come up with a different solution?
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Old 22-04-2018, 08:37   #2
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

Being a professional electronics engineer I came up with an ingenious solution to this problem. It has been in service about twelve years without even the slightest problem, it never gets hot, and uses minimal energy. I installed a quarter turn valve on the bulkhead behind the galley. All we have to do is reach over and turn it to the left to open it and turn it to the right to close it. It uses zero amps at zero volts.
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Old 22-04-2018, 08:54   #3
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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Being a professional electronics engineer I came up with an ingenious solution to this problem. It has been in service about twelve years without even the slightest problem, it never gets hot, and uses minimal energy. I installed a quarter turn valve on the bulkhead behind the galley. All we have to do is reach over and turn it to the left to open it and turn it to the right to close it. It uses zero amps at zero volts.
K. I. S. S. Although not likely ABYC approved.
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Old 22-04-2018, 09:23   #4
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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K. I. S. S. Although not likely ABYC approved.
Probably not, as the line from the regulator to the device must be continuous.
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Old 22-04-2018, 09:31   #5
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

Yeah. Yet most boats with gimbaled stoves have a connected flex line from the main line to the stove.... which is not "continuous".
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Old 22-04-2018, 10:24   #6
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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K. I. S. S. Although not likely ABYC approved.
It actually does not meet two or three ABYC standards. But we accept that; the whole system is pressure tested every three months as part of our PM checklist. There is also a propane detector next to the valve in the engine room that is also tested regularly.

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Yeah. Yet most boats with gimbaled stoves have a connected flex line from the main line to the stove.... which is not "continuous".
They do allow the flexible bit; it's actually required on gimbaled stoves.
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Old 22-04-2018, 10:32   #7
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Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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Originally Posted by Nick_dreaming View Post
I also noticed the gas solenoid consumes about 2 amps which is what the solenoid is rated at, I believe. The tag on it says 2w 12v.


Two watts at 12v is 0.167 amps.

Your solenoid is broken.
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Old 22-04-2018, 14:22   #8
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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Two watts at 12v is 0.167 amps.

Your solenoid is broken.
I thought that too, especially as the OP says the solenoid is "very hot"
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Old 22-04-2018, 16:56   #9
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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Two watts at 12v is 0.167 amps.

Your solenoid is broken.
It's probably a typo for 20 watts
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Old 22-04-2018, 17:56   #10
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

The best and simplest system I have seen involved a gas rated ball valve at the gas bottle, with a spring to hold in the closed position; a bowden cable to the back of stove, to operate, pull the handle on the cable and hook on a bit of string holding valve open. If a fire happens string would be burnt and valve on bottle closes!! KISS!!
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Old 22-04-2018, 18:12   #11
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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It's probably a typo for 20 watts
I doubt that. 2W is more typical for a 12V propane solenoid.

I agree that if it's consuming 24W (2A) and getting hot, it's probably broken.
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Old 22-04-2018, 18:19   #12
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

I have never paid a lot of attention to the current draw of my solenoid, but I seem to remember it's supposed to be around one amp.
Also, I read somewhere that it depends on gas passage for cooling, so if that's true it's not a good idea to leave it energized when not in use.
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Old 23-04-2018, 05:13   #13
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

Hello,

Thanks for pointing me in right direction, I.e. Is was a faulty solenoid.
Strange how sometimes our mind focus on the wrong things!

Anyway, I changed the solenoid for the previously one fitted and the amp usage is minimual as expected. I changed the solenoid about 2 years ago, not because I had a problem but as I didn't know it age or history and thought probably a sensible item to change if over 10 years old (which I'm sure it is).
I will buy a new one once I'm in a better location (Tunisia at present, no chance here!!).

I also have a look for the spring loaded valve, that sounds like a good idea.

Thanks
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Old 23-04-2018, 08:00   #14
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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I doubt that. 2W is more typical for a 12V propane solenoid.

I agree that if it's consuming 24W (2A) and getting hot, it's probably broken.
The popular in the US Trident propane solenoid draws about 1 amp at 12 volts.
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Old 23-04-2018, 08:43   #15
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Re: Reduce Gas solenoid heat/consumption - cheap idea

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The popular in the US Trident propane solenoid draws about 1 amp at 12 volts.
Yeah these all draw more power then you think I have tested a few. They all seem to run between 10-18w. They all tend to get a little hot as well.
The one we sell at work I seem to remember being 10W.
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