Using Arduino to control 12 solenoid valves

Hi all! I'm an environmental engineer and i'm building a particulate sampler machine for a project. This machine has 12 inputs, and 12 solenoid valves (one per channel) that allow air to flow in only one channel at a time. I'm an arduino (and electronic in general) newbie, but my idea was to control these normally closed 12V solenoid valves with arduino. I've found a lot of tutorials on how to control 1 valve (using a transistor, etc), but what about 12 of them? Do I need a relay?

Please help! And thank you all :confused:

Before posting answers here, please check this poster's similar thread in the Italian section.

12 valves require 12 circuits. Why would a relay be involved for 12 but not for 1?

MarkT: 12 valves require 12 circuits. Why would a relay be involved for 12 but not for 1?

well, I absolutely don't know

You need to specify the wattage or amperage of the solendoids and also it its 12v DC or AC.

That will determine whats needed to drive them; 12 Transitors, Mosfets or Relays etc.

Do you want to buy a ready made driver board, or build your own ?

Also you are also talking about 24 inputs and outputs, not to mention any display etc. so that means you will probably have to use the Mega board.

A smaller board like the Uno could be used but would need extra things like port expanders.

As you can see you need to give more thought / detail to your design needs.

NewMasterG: well, I absolutely don't know

You have a working solenoid driver. You want 11 more. Its that simple. Yes you might need a bigger power supply to power them all, but you don't suddenly need something different. If you bought 12 footballs you wouldn't also need a tennis racket either!!

ricky101: You need to specify the wattage or amperage of the solendoids and also it its 12v DC or AC.

That will determine whats needed to drive them; 12 Transitors, Mosfets or Relays etc.

Do you want to buy a ready made driver board, or build your own ?

Also you are also talking about 24 inputs and outputs, not to mention any display etc. so that means you will probably have to use the Mega board.

A smaller board like the Uno could be used but would need extra things like port expanders.

As you can see you need to give more thought / detail to your design needs.

Sorry for the incomplete infos, the valves are 2-way NC valves, 12V DC with 1.8 watt of power consumption. If there is a ready made driver board... it will be perfect! I already have an Arduino UNO, i need to buy all the other things needed. Thanks for the reply

MarkT: You have a working solenoid driver. You want 11 more. Its that simple. Yes you might need a bigger power supply to power them all, but you don't suddenly need something different. If you bought 12 footballs you wouldn't also need a tennis racket either!!

Great news, then! thanks! Of course if i can find an already made board i'll buy it instead of making one by myself.

Power = Voltage x Current, thus Power/Voltage = Current 1.8W/12V = 0.15A

That can be controlled with a relay board (overkill) |500x304 or two TPIC6A595 shift registers (I don't have a board for those yet), with 150mA rated TPIC6B595 too close to the limit to be recommended for use.

CrossRoads: Power = Voltage x Current, thus Power/Voltage = Current 1.8W/12V = 0.15A

That can be controlled with a relay board (overkill) |500x304 or two TPIC6A595 shift registers (I don't have a board for those yet), with 150mA rated TPIC6B595 too close to the limit to be recommended for use.

Ooooook! I found a lot of them on eBay.. 4 relay channels, 8 and also 16. Can I connect 3 boards of 4 channel each? And, can I connect the valves directly to the relays?

Thaaaaaaaaanks so much. I'm a complete ignorant in electronics.