Solenoid driver

Probably one of best known methods of converting electrical energy into mechanical energy is the solenoid. They are incredibly versatile and extremely useful, with applications in robotics, automated factory equipment, paintball guns, electronic fuel injection systems and even chime doorbells. For example in the doorbell the magnetic field of a solenoid is used to move a metal piston to strike a tone bar when the button is pushed.

Block diagram

Highlighted components are Nexperia focus products

Design considerations

  • Schottky rectifier or PN rectifier for freewheeling and protection of inductive load
  • N-channel MOSFETs for switch pull-in and hold current


AN50003 - Driving solenoids in automotive applications

There are a wide variety of solenoid drive circuit topologies. Most of them use MOSFETs in various configurations and driving modes. In this application note four of them will be discussed: solenoid driver with free-wheeling diode, solenoid driver with MOSFET avalanching, solenoid driver with active clamp and solenoid driver with auxiliary boost circuit.

Download AN50003

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