Thread: breathing air compressor
02-24-2011, 04:03 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
breathing air compressor
I have a very simple question today. I have searched for this answer and cannot find it. Is it possible to get an air compressor that fill scba bottles and oxygen bottles within the same system?
I know that scba bottles are filled with purified air, and oxygen bottles are filled with pure oxygen. It doesn't register with me that you can get both within one system.
02-24-2011, 04:36 PM #2
Well I guess in a way any oxygen concentrator is doing that but goes one step further. They typically have 2 Sieve Bed's that remove the Nitrogen from the pressurized air.
I only have an A.S degree in computer science, so this is not my field... but I think from the theory that I understand... your answer is yes.
As far as modifying it to do that... like I said not my field but I am not seeing the advantage to doing this. I would assume the cost it self to create something reliable would null any gain in doing it.
02-24-2011, 04:38 PM #3
02-24-2011, 04:54 PM #4
Simple question but unfortunately not simple answer.
What is the end result your are trying to get to?
Are you refilling SCBA or O2 Cylinders? or both?
There is a lot of difference, although you could incorporate some of the same components.
The air compressor refills your SCBA cascade (3 or 4 cylinders), with atmosphere air (21% O2, 78% Nitrogen).
An O2 Cascade may look the same but is filled with pure O2. Those usually are supplied from a Specialized Gas Dealer. You could have your own oxygen concentrator and stripper but the cost might not be attractive.
Many agencies refill their small O2 cylinders with an inhouse Cascade, but do not refill their own cascade. A company replaces the Cascade cylinders.
The refill station, reinforced fill enclosure and controls might be the same.
I would make certain that each is rated to do the job it is designed to do, and not try to do all in one box.
While it is quite possible to build a singular system that incorporates both types of cascade systems using a common refill station, why would you want to do this?HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL
02-24-2011, 06:22 PM #5
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- Jan 2010
Thanks guys for your opinion. Some of the people in my department were talking like you could get it all in one unit and it was confusing me. I searched the internet high and low and couldn't find one, so thanks.
02-24-2011, 06:51 PM #6
O2 presents a whole different set of issues, as 02 is a drug. Think FDA.
An entire new list of regulations (Not like NFPA, these are regulations, that MUST be abided by.)
So even if you could technically use parts of the same system, you can't.
Although some mega agency like FDNY may do their own o2 generation, (and in the past they did not) I personally know of no such agency. Some use large tanks to fill stations, some use LOX and process it from there, but no one that uses their own generation system, Even our local hospital, that uses a lot of o2, has LOX trucked in.
The maintenance requirements on these systems are intense.
02-24-2011, 08:40 PM #7
The EMS squad I run with is looking at an oxygen generator. Just under $20K, will pay for itself in about 5 years at current rates from our oxygen vendor. We run around 1000 calls a year.
I know of at least one other EMS squad in NYS that's already got one.
Breathing air is no picnic - periodic tests, maintenance, etc. Doubly so if you're doing diving air.Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.
Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.
02-24-2011, 11:17 PM #8
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
I really appreciate all the information you all have given me. And once again I thank you all.
02-25-2011, 07:55 AM #9
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
I know of a FD in my area that uses their breathing air compressor to supply air to their oxygen generator. The downside is that the compressor goes thru A LOT of filters.
02-25-2011, 10:09 AM #10
My full time job is for an industrial gas company as a chemist. It may be mechanically possible to incorporate the "concentrators" and a N2 stripper into the air compressor system but the supply tubing for the oxygen system must be cleaned for oxygen service and only flow oxygen.
If you look in your air compressor the hoses that connect the cylinders to be filled to the compressor are probably a reinforced plastic of some sort. Plastics cannot be used in pure oxygen systems because the friction of the gas flowing through the hose or even static electricity could cause the plastic to ignite in the pure oxygen atmosphere. Special cleaning of all parts of an oxygen system is required to remove hydrocarbons (ie; oils, residues, plastic from the end caps) and contaminants from the system. This is not done because it is medical grade oxygen and we need to make it clean enough for patient use, but, rather because in a pure oxygen environment at higher flows the contaminants may become flammable, or debris in the piping could initiate a fire because it strikes the inside wall of the pipe. Steel and even stainless steel can be burned in a pure oxygen environment.
So in a nut shell no. It cant happen. Not unless you want a really really expensive air compressor.Shawn M. Cecula
IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS
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