**Flow Coefficient Kv**

Definition Kv-value: Amount of flow (m^{3}/hour) of water of 20°C in a valve with a pressure loss of 1 bar.

The amount of flow of a fluid through a (solenoid) valve can easily be calculated with flow coefficient Kv. Please note that for gases (e.g. air) a different formula is used (see correction factor gases below). The Kv-value expresses the flow rate of water in m^{3}/hour in a valve with a pressure loss of 1 bar and a temperature of 20°C. Pay attention that the Kv-value is expressed in m^{3}/hour, while the kv-value (lowercase!) is expressed in l/min. To calculate the flow rate the following formula is used:

where:

- Q = flow rate of liquid (m
^{3}/hour) - Kv = flow coefficient (m
^{3}/hour) - SG = Specific Gravity (=1 for water)
- dp = pressure differential over the valve (bar)

The Kv-value of a valve is determined by a standardised test according to VDI/VDE 2173. For this purpose a test set-up is used, such as shown in the following schematic drawing:

**Cv & Kv Relation :**

Sometimes, the Cv value is given instead of the Kv value. The Cv value can be converted to the Kv-value with a conversion factor:

- Cv = 1.16 Kv
- Kv = 0.853 Cv

The diagram below is a nice tool to simplify the conversion between the different coefficients. The conversion factor between two coefficients is indicated with arrows.

Kv (with a capital K) expresses the flow rate in m^{3}/hour, kv (lowercase) in l/min.

**Valves In Parallel:**

If several valves are connected in parallel, the Kv value can be determined simply by adding up all Kv values.

**Correction Factor For Gases**

When using gases, a different formula for the flow rate should be used. Also, a distinction between subsonic and supersonic flows is made. “Qn” indicates that the formula is valid for standard conditions (20°C). The flow rate is expressed in Nm^{3}/h (Normal cubic metre per hour).

Where:

- dP = pressure loss (bar)
- Kv = flow coefficient (m
^{3}/hour) - p1 and p2 are respectively the absolute inlet and outlet pressure (bar)
- ? = specific gravity at standard conditions (20°C) in kg/m
^{3} - T = absolute temperature in Kelvin (0K = -273.15°C)

**Example**

Consider a circuit with a solenoid valve with an inlet pressure (water) of 5 bars. The required flow rate is at least 5 litres per minute. The maximum allowed pressure loss is 1 bar, therefore the outlet pressure is minimally 4 bars. What is the minimum required Kv-value?

The Kv-value must be at least 0.3.

**Also Read: Control Valve Cv Calculation**