The proposed innovation is a monitoring and advisory system for health management of solenoid operated valves (SOV) used in industrial applications. The proposed software application would assist maintenance personnel and equipment owners to optimize system operation and maintenance activities by providing up-to-date information of key health metrics.
The relevance and significance of the proposed innovation lies in the possibility to improve the capabilities to predict and model the behavior of SOV's. More generally, this proposal seeks to develop technology for health determination and fault management, prediction, prognosis, and anomaly detection.
The proposed innovation addresses a gap between academic research and actual available commercial applications for monitoring the health status of real, field-deployed, industrial systems. The few options commercially available require the incorporation of additional hardware (sensors, signal conditioning modules, etc.) with obvious impacts to system cost and complexity.
In relation to this, the proposed approach will make use of non-intrusive, low-cost techniques for measuring a coil’s resistance or impedance, which in combination with calibrated models that correlate resistance and temperature, will allow to 1) determine if the coil’s insulation has been subjected to operating temperatures higher than its rated class, 2) estimate cumulative damage based on total operating hours, and remaining useful life, 3) detect shorted coils, 4) assess internal leakage of the valve by detecting deviations in measured impedance (ac valves) from nominal values, and 5) provide confirmation of a valve operation in case of limit switch failures (ac valves). Furthermore, the proposed system would allow processing of historical usage data to estimate and maintain reliability curves, thus providing operators with additional insight to better understand and expose risk.
It is expected that the proposed application would be of interest to most of NASA’s research centers, testing centers, and launch sites, given the fact that solenoid valves (SOV) are basic components of most fluid systems. At SSC, there are currently more than 600 SOV's in operation, with a mean time between failures (MTBF) of 75 days. The Gateway Refueling System is another candidate for the deployment of technologies like the ones introduced in this proposal, since SOV’s are one of the basic components of its present design.
Given their nature and function, solenoid-operated valves are ubiquitous in industrial applications. In this sense, it is expected that a monitoring and advisory application like the one proposed here could find widespread application throughout a diverse range of industries, as for example oil & gas, nuclear, manufacturing, power generation, chemical, food, and pharmaceutical among others.