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Old 05-08-2016, 02:47 AM   #1
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Oxygen Concentrator Question.

My wife and I are traveling to Yellowstone for about 7 days and six nights. Here is my setup: A 2011 KZ Coyote Lite, 18', with a 55-watt inverter installed, one 12-volt battery on the front. My wife needs to use a an Oxygen Concentrator at night. Health insurance wont pay for a portable unit because she is not prescribed for daytime oxygen use. They also won't pay for bottles, for the same reason. Her home unit is rated at 350 watts which, if my calculations are correct, is 29.1 amps.

My questions are, how many batteries would I need to run this thing for eight hours per night? Do I need a larger inverter? My calculations come out to 35 amps, for eight hours, or 280 A.H.

Also, will my truck handle this draw while driving up the road during the day, if necessary? I am exploring all options. I know my numbers are probably creating some confusion, but I followed the calculation formulas on another web site.
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:25 AM   #2
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To start, if you have a 55 watt inverter, this will not work.

You need an inverter rated at least 350 watts. I would go with a 600 watt sine wave inverter.

Second, you should not drain your batteries down below 50% charge. That means you will need 600 AH of capacity.

That's about 6 batteries, either 6 volt in series/parallel or 12 volt in parallel. The weight and placement will be a problem.

Last is, no, your truck will not recharge that large a bank of batteries, run down to 50% in a days driving.

At best you may get 20 amps thru the charge line. To replace 300 AH would take over 15 hours of driving.

I think your first challenge is to get the concentrator watt draw down to a managable 100 watts or so.

Hope this helps, Good luck
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:52 AM   #3
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Hi DAHigby, I'm afraid I know very little about O2 concentrators so please forgive me. I would start by running the concentrator all night while connected thru a "Kill A Watt" type meter (Robot Check). You will then know exactly what it's power requirements are. For example, it may require 350 watts at start up but far less during normal operation, or, it may cycle - in either case, using less total power over the 8 hour period than the label suggests.

I agree with twinboat that a pure sine wave inverter is probably required (that is the general consensus for medical equipment).
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:04 AM   #4
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I am pretty sure you have a 55 watt converter not inverter. Never seen an inverter that small. It charges the batteries when you are plugged in. No help if you are boondocking.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:11 AM   #5
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If this trip is an unusual event, might you be better getting bottles of pure oxygen instead of spending fairly big money gearing up for it, Different if it is a regular thing.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:17 AM   #6
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I am pretty sure you have a 55 watt converter not inverter. Never seen an inverter that small. It charges the batteries when you are plugged in. No help if you are boondocking.
A 55 watt converter would be around 5 amps. Probably not that.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:26 AM   #7
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Other considerations!

The elevation could be a problem with a person with compromised lung capacity. It is over 7000 in elevation on the south side and 8000 on the north. It can be very dry which can cause the mucus in the lungs to dry out causing more difficulty moving It out of the lungs. I would make sure I had a portable O2 tank with you or she could have a real issue. Not knowing exactly what is wrong with her lungs you may want to ask her doctor about this trip.

You don't want a problem while trying to have a nice trip. Good luck.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:29 AM   #8
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Couple of things:
1. OP lives in WY, so altitude change problems should be minimal
2. No electric at your site? If not is there an option for a site with electric?
3. What are the restrictions on generator use, especially if it is medically necessary?
4. You could temporarily rent a battery enabled unit. You would have to pay it out of pocket but it would give you more options.
5. It would take a lot of batteries to boondock that long without some means of recharging. How long have you been camping and how savvy are you at conserving power?

Good luck with your trip.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:43 AM   #9
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Could you rent o2 bottles just for this trip?
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:51 AM   #10
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I concur about renting something. Your draw will be higher than you think because your numbers look like you did not allow for the efficiency loss in the inverter.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:54 AM   #11
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I think renting a portable O2 concentrator unit for the 2 week trip is the best option.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:55 AM   #12
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Even a portable O2 concentrator will need more battery then you have, to run overnight.

Looking at some specs, your going to need about 200 AH of battery. Then you need a way to charge them.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Even a portable O2 concentrator will need more battery then you have, to run overnight.

Looking at some specs, your going to need about 200 AH of battery. Then you need a way to charge them.

Not for units like this one.

This one can run for 8 hours on just the internal rechargeable battery,
or when connected directly to a 12 vdc power source only consume 5 amps.

8 hours * 5 amps = 40 amp hours. Easily doable.

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Old 05-08-2016, 10:27 AM   #14
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Not for units like this one.

This one can run for 8 hours on just the internal rechargeable battery,
or when connected directly to a 12 vdc power source only consume 5 amps.

8 hours * 5 amps = 40 amp hours. Easily doable.

Attachment 126449
That's not bad, 1 battery will do it.

Now he needs to charge it back up for the next night.
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