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Old 09-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #1
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Battery issues involved with a breathing assist Oxygen concentrator

Although we've been RVing for a while, we're considering for the first time attending a complete dry camp rally-ie. no power. Due to a medical condition my wife requires breathing assistance while sleeping via an a/c powered "concentrator". Generators at the rally can't be run from approximately dust to dawn. My unit has a four 6 volt coach battery setup and the batteries are only two years old, have been properly maintained and I believe are in good condition. The concentrator is "rated" at 4 amps per its manual. My computation indicates I shouldn't have problems with running the concentrator 8 to 9 hours each night with my invertor and rercharging via my generator each morning without damaging the batteries for future use. Has anyone used a concentrator or similar equipment in like circumstances and with what results? Any advice?

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Old 09-24-2013, 09:59 PM   #2
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If that is 4 amps AC then you will be drawing around 40 amps DC. You have 4 - 6 volt batteries that total around 440 AH capacity in a series and parallel configuration 12 volts. You should never draw the batteries below 12.0 volts or around 50% SOC, so you have 220 AH of usable power. 40 amps times 5.5 hours gives you your max discharge of 220 AH.

What about doing a 5-9 hour test run during the day when the concentrator is not needed before you go to the rally. It will set your mind at ease.

Stop the test when your batteries get down to 12.0 volts and recharge them.

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Old 09-24-2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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I am not familier with such a concentrator, but us that 4a draw continuous or only part time? This would make a big difference.

One of these will tell you exactly how much power some device draws/
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:03 PM   #4
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I went to AM Solar and had 4 Solar Panels installed on my roof with Charge Controller and Monoitor. I replaced the OEM pair of 6v house batteries with 4 ea six volt Lifeline GPL-6CT 300 Amp Hour AGM (Absorbed Glass Mats).
I seldom use my generator to recharge my batteries. Another plus is that while traveling down the road the combination of solar and alternator, there is enough energy to run my refer on 110v and save LPG.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
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Is the concentrator the only thing you will be running. I. E. will it be cold out and will you be running the furnace the furnace blowers run on 12 volts. Any lights or basically anything in the coach will be drawing power from the same 12 volt batteries feeding the inverter. I do not know that much about oxygen concentrators. Could you use an oxygen bottle during the night time instead of the concentrator. I think the previous poster had the right idea. Before you go dry camping run the rv like you would with no generator or shore power. Make sure you run everything like you are planning on doing and see how long the batteries run.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:25 PM   #6
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So I let my battery power run down to around 10.5(before turning on gen) this is a no no? Does this damage the batteries?.if I only let it get to 12 before turning gen on... then not much battery time to enjoy? Is this the recommendation of most batteries/manufacturers?
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:34 PM   #7
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Yes that is a serious no no for your batteries. I did a very tiny bit of research on cpap machines as a curiosity and an article in my blog. None of those pulled much juice at all. Less than 4 amps as I recall on their 12v models.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for a lot of great advice. The 10 to 1 rule is a very handy tool.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kellylipp View Post
Yes that is a serious no no for your batteries. I did a very tiny bit of research on cpap machines as a curiosity and an article in my blog. None of those pulled much juice at all. Less than 4 amps as I recall on their 12v models.
A CPAP machine is very different than an O2 concentrator. CPAP just pushes normal air and uses very little electricity. Oxygen concentrator actually has a process that takes O2 out of the air and sends it out. Much higher energy requirement. Most CPAP machines I have seen can run on 12v with the appropriate power cord or power supply. I know mine does although I run it on AC.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:32 AM   #10
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I know this don't answer your question, but to offer another alternative, We carry an O2 concentrator, and use it during the day, at night we have a liquid O2 tank we use, it is quite and the one we have at 2.5L will last 5-6 days @ 24 hour run it is the middle sized one of the 3 the large one will last 11 days @ 24 hour run, I also carry 4-6 D tanks for back up.

The longest I have ran the O2 concentrator was 7 hrs one night when the A.C. power went out and I didn't know. The Concentrator was still running the next morning but my voltage level was really low I had heater running to. that was on 4- 6volt batteries.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:41 PM   #11
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Yes, I'm wondering as well how long my concentrator can run on batteries. I have a portable concentrator that has 2lithium batteries, and a AC concentrator that is rated at 280 watts. I will do some boondocking for 5-6 days at a time and I like to run the regular concentrator since it is continuous and not demand. I think I'll do a test run to see how long I can use it before batteries get below 50%(450ah, about 225ah). I'm thinking about 7 hours, then I can turn on Genny in the am.
I hope I'm right.

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