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#268453 20-Mar-2020 12:52
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Hey guys,

 

So with the news out of Italy around ventilator shortages leading to deaths and Boris Johnson's appeal for industry to manufacture these en-masse, I thought it would be a good project to see if I could build a ventilation apparatus. I'm figuring that in these days of closed borders and national interests likely to trump all else, New Zealand we will have no choice but to help ourselves if we need additional ventilators. This apparatus is super simple - the main parts are an air compressor with tank and solenoid valves I scavenged from an old dishwasher. It seems to work OK but I think I will need to add (at a minimum):

 

  • Add in negative pressure on the deflate cycle (have an inline fan ready for this)
  • Add in an air/water trap (if the air is going into a lung)
  • Controls for the airflow and pressure
  • Add in microcontroller with timings and relays to control the solenoid valves/negative pressure

If anyone is interested in joining to work on this please PM me, I'm in Mt. Wellington, Auckland. I'm going to work on it more this weekend.

 

Especially interested if anyone:

 

     

  1. Has access to/knowledge of arduino/pi or some other microcontroller
  2. Has 5v relays (mine are all 12v)
  3. Has electronic valves spare

 

Thanks!

 

 

 





Speedtest 2019-10-14


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  #2442132 20-Mar-2020 12:56
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Can't help but I admire your enterprise and spirit.

 

All the best.


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  #2442134 20-Mar-2020 12:58
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Congratulations on your ingenuity.

Are you going into competition with F&P Healthcare?

I bet they are already ramping up production.

I thought the ventilators would be using bottled oxygen rather than compressed air?





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  #2442139 20-Mar-2020 13:06
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Pretty good POC, Did you see the 3d printed valves the Italians had to resort to?





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  #2442141 20-Mar-2020 13:07
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Sounds dangerous putting compressed air into the lungs





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  #2442152 20-Mar-2020 13:17
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Looks promising.  Just checking you are aware that you will require an oil free compressed air source if you are ever to trial this on a person.  Standard compressors are not safe for this because of lubricating oil entrained in the airflow.  Suggest that you check with someone in the field for any other potential risks/fish hooks.

 

 




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  #2442154 20-Mar-2020 13:25
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mentalinc:

 

Sounds dangerous putting compressed air into the lungs

 

 

True, but when you go diving you do that. Without greater pressure than the balloon/lung you wouldn't be able to inflate it. Need to ensure no overpressure situation through relief valves and pressure gauges

 

Weatherbeaten:

 

Looks promising.  Just checking you are aware that you will require an oil free compressed air source if you are ever to trial this on a person.  Standard compressors are not safe for this because of lubricating oil entrained in the airflow.  Suggest that you check with someone in the field for any other potential risks/fish hooks.

 

 

Yes I am aware hence the suggestion of an oil trap/filter or something. The reality is that if this needs to be produced en-masse them main source of compression will be from air compressors like this or maybe modified combustion engines. I have seen diaphragm based air compressors that avoid the oil but I don't think there are many of these around.





Speedtest 2019-10-14




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  #2442155 20-Mar-2020 13:26
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Technofreak:

 

Congratulations on your ingenuity.

Are you going into competition with F&P Healthcare?

I bet they are already ramping up production.

I thought the ventilators would be using bottled oxygen rather than compressed air?

 

 

I'm sure they could do a much better job than me, this is a DIY project lol. But perhaps they can't ramp up enough in time.

 

RE oxygen, I think if you had prue oxygen going into people's lungs they would kill them. Perhaps have a higher concentration in the mix feeding through the compressor inlet





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  #2442193 20-Mar-2020 13:47
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Ventilators also warm and humidify the incoming air. And in most cases, mix it with a little extra oxygen to increase the oxygen concentration.


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  #2442198 20-Mar-2020 14:02
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There are a few other similar projects being thought about. Adrian Bowyer (Mr Reprap, pretty much the inventor of 3d printing) is on twitter about an open source oxygen concentrator: https://reprapltd.com/open-source-oxygen-concentrator/

 

See also https://opensourceventilator.ie/

 

and https://opensource.com/article/20/3/open-hardware-covid19

 

Great ideas all.


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  #2442203 20-Mar-2020 14:13
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Weatherbeaten:

 

Looks promising.  Just checking you are aware that you will require an oil free compressed air source if you are ever to trial this on a person.  Standard compressors are not safe for this because of lubricating oil entrained in the airflow.  Suggest that you check with someone in the field for any other potential risks/fish hooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other thing is that these low cost air compressors can get rusty inside due to all the moisture that get into them, so the air they produce I wouldn't think would be safe at all. 


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  #2442206 20-Mar-2020 14:18
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Great idea, but you probably don't need to start this with DIY just yet - things like Chinese factories and postal services are still going. And there is such a long way from experimental development boards to equipment someone would trust their life with.

 

Having said that, I've justed started yet another Arduino project of my own today :)

 

 


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  #2442294 20-Mar-2020 16:32
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Technofreak:

Congratulations on your ingenuity.

Are you going into competition with F&P Healthcare?

I bet they are already ramping up production.

I thought the ventilators would be using bottled oxygen rather than compressed air?



I think I've seen a comment from F&P that they make humidifiers for use in conjunction with ventilators rather than ventilators.

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  #2443301 21-Mar-2020 18:50
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Nice idea, and maybe if you had a dying patient stuck on Antarctica for winter it would be worth doing.

 

The boring reality is there is substantial trials and certification required before you could let this loose on a human.

 

Maybe your efforts would be better used if you volunteered at your local ventilator manufacturer, if there was one. You would get more ventilators in the hospitals if you ramp up production of an existing design.

 

OTOH, keep going and you'll have something cool to show people when the conversation turns to 'so, what did you do with your 6 months at home?' :-)


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  #2443396 21-Mar-2020 21:41
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There are no spare ventilators in the world right now. Manufacturers can’t keep up for today’s demand, let alone the exponential growth in demand for them.

Italy tried to order 4000 extra ventilators. They got 400.

We will certainly need more ventilators. Then we need a machine to make health care workers to run them.

If we get in a situation like Italy, the extra lives saved from making new ventilators will be a rounding error on the number of deaths.

So please, keep working on it. But the impact from social distancing and any lockdown will have an impact orders of magnitude greater for the survival of our people.



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  #2443464 22-Mar-2020 02:49
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I'm not sure if Fisher and Paykel healthcare are geared up for full on ventilators though...? Aren't they mainly CPAP and humidifiers? Do they manufacture these even in NZ?

 

At this stage my main limitation seems to be around finding 5v relays. I'll hit jaycar tomorrow. Anyone got any other suggestions of shops or things I could scavenge them out of? Ideally looking for solid state but anything will go at the moment. I think 12v relays are easy to find from auto suppliers (and I have some spare) but a Pi/Arduino only has 5v and would prefer not to waste time doing a DC-DC boost converter (unless there is somewhere selling these)?





Speedtest 2019-10-14


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