Electrical Engineering/Solenoid design


I have been attempting to build a solenoid for one of my projects, but I'm not sure what the max amps and voltage I can use for a given gauge of wire. Is there a simple equation I can use to determine this in my design phase?

Maybe this would help:


Sorry for such a long URL link; you can find lots of gauge information by just googling the term "wire gauge chart" or similar.  These will give you usage for the wire as a circuit connection to the end device that is being powered.  

For the solenoid you should start with the number of turns that you need, the force or pull strength needed, temperature rise from how long it will stay energized - or duty cycle, etc.

Here is a nice tutorial that will give you some ideas on how to establish a design:


The dc resistance of your coil will allow calculation of the current flow with a given voltage source that you are using.  Using ohms law you can calculate power dissipated, etc.  For example if you wound a coil that you intended to power with 12v and the dc resistance of the total length of the coil was 1 ohm then the current would be 12 amps.  The power dissipated by the coil would be Voltage times Current = 12 x 12 = 144w.  That is about the same as a 150w electric lamp, so that can give you an idea of the heat that it would produce after heating up all the way.  If short term ON cycle it would not get much heat build up.  With a tightly wound coil you could pull up pretty good loads.  If you are using small gauge enamel coated wire you might end up with 10 ohms resistance, for example, which would be a much cooler coil.... and so on.

Hope this leads you down the path you want to go.  Let me know as you proceed if you need further coaching.  Good Luck.  

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