Bi-stable latching valves are an energy efficient alternative to mono-stable switching valves especially in applications of process technology requiring low switching frequencies. The bi-stability of such valves may be disadvantageous. Valve’s states may not only change by controlling the coil current, but also by undesired external forces. A sensorless position determination by detecting the armature position allows condition monitoring. Additionally, an appropriate power supply for switching the valve’s state increases the energy efficiency even further and can be realized by detecting the end stop with the basics of the position estimation method.
The paper deals with simulation-based investigations of a promising sensorless position determination of a novel bi-stable valve, which is partly manufactured from injection moldable magnetic material. The constraints and potentials of the estimation method are described, especially according to condition monitoring the valve’s state. Selected simulation results are validated by measurements. Furthermore, simulations of the magnetic behavior and the mechanical motion are performed demonstrating the potential for detection of the motion’s end stop to apply only the required switching energy to the actuator.