Oxygen Concentrator

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Soareyes
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Oxygen Concentrator

Post by Soareyes »

Years ago Colin wrote about using an oxygen concentrator in flight.

On another forum about Covid there was suggestion about using an oxygen concentrator at home instead of going to the hospital. It was a good excuse to buy a gadget that I've wanted to experiment with. Never waste a crisis, right? I bought an Inogen One G5https://www.inogen.com/products/g5-systems/.

I haven't needed it yet for viral reasons but last weekend I took it up to 17,500 ft.

On a hot day in Florida the density altitudes were well above indicated. Would it be able to supply enough oxygen at the higher altitudes?

9,500' indicated (density altitude 11,310'), No supplemental oxygen: 94-95% SpO2.

13,500' indicated (density altitude 15,356'), Concentrator Setting "2": 91% SpO2

15,500' indicated (density altitude 17,338'), Concentrator Setting "3": 92-95% SpO2

17,500' indicated (density altitude 19,332'), Concentrator Setting "5": 94-96% SpO2. My resting heart rate has been on the high side all my life.
On seat.jpg
17-5-5.jpg
17-5 panel.jpg
Unlike the O2D2 device, the puffs are not noticeable at the lower settings. In addition to monitoring the pulse oximeter, at first I kept checking the little green light that comes on with each dose to make sure it was working. Like the O2D2 an alarm sounds if time passes with no inspiration detected.

Positives:

It worked better than expected, supplying plenty of oxygen up to the high teens.

It never runs out of oxygen and never needs to have a tank filled.

Good battery life. I got the "double battery" option. That battery life seems long enough to last at least a tankful of fuel, "Up to 13 hours" according to the company advertising. You can also carry spare batteries. It comes with a car-type cigarette lighter power adapter but I don’t have a DC power receptacle in the new plane. I don't know how much current it would draw but the specs for DC power input say 10A max so you may have to put in a higher amp fuse.

Negatives:

A doctor's prescription is required to buy one from the Inogen company. I didn’t try eBay.

It only works for only one person at a time.
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blsewardjr
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by blsewardjr »

These guys sell one that doesn't require a prescription -- https://www.inogenaviator.com/
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by AndrewM »

Would this really meet the FAA legal requirements of supplementary o2 (ie: for more than 30mins above 12,500, and all the time above 14,000 ft)?

If so, what a great option. Seems not a huge amount more expensive than an O2D2 two-person system, without all the hassle and costs of o2 refills. The inogenaviator kit provides for a two person set-up, and also says on their website that is it considered supplemental o2 for up to 18k ft. I wonder if all this is true (should be, right... it's on the internet... so must be all true).
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by Chris »

If it works as advertised and actually supplies enough O2 at altitude, I would much rather cart around one of those than a MH O2 bottle. If it could run off of the electrical system rather than batteries, then it would be even better.
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Soareyes
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by Soareyes »

AndrewM wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:50 pm Would this really meet the FAA legal requirements of supplementary o2 (ie: for more than 30mins above 12,500, and all the time above 14,000 ft)?
The inogenaviator kit provides for a two person set-up, and also says on their website that is it considered supplemental o2 for up to 18k ft.
Their two person set-up is just a Y-connected nasal cannula. If one person breathes they both get a shot of oxygen at the same time. The guy at Inogen Aviator says it works but recommends no higher than 14,000' while buddy breathing.

Their unit looks fairly priced and includes some airplane optimized accessories along with aviation specific information and advice.
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by dmloftus »

I've used Aerox systems (https://www.aerox.com/Default.asp) for the past several years. They utilize an oxygen saver cannula that cuts the consumption rate by 75%. As far as I can see, it does the same thing as the O2D2 system a lot more simply and cleanly. Just got back from 5500nm trip to National Parks out west, flying many times up to 15K MSL and always kept my PulseOx in low to mid 90's with minimal refills. This gives you a much longer flight or much smaller bottle. I agree these Inogen concentrators would be great if they are reliable and legal.
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by TomO »

I also bought an Imogen G5 O2 concentrator this summer. So far it works as advertised. My wife and I did have an O2 tank with the O2 saving canulas. While it worked fine, many times at altitudes where not legally required, we did not use it due the difficulty of refills at small airports. Time for the refill and cost was another issue. With the concentrator we will use the O2 anytime we feel needed, especially above 8000 feet. My wife feels better after a long leg using the O2.
The Aviator does not need a M.D. prescription. We have recorded similar readings as Dan in his post. The difference between the Aviator and the commercial version probably is the “FAA approval” and a 12-24V charger/power supply. The cigarette lighter receptacle has had no problem in maintaining or charging the concentrator while flying. With the larger capacity battery, flight times without charging are beyond our fuel reserves. We hang the carrying case behind the pilot or copilot seat making it easily accessible.
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by jb642DA »

Any comments on how "noisy" the Inogen device is when running? Noticable with headset on? Thanks!
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by TomO »

The unit cannot be heard with the plane running. No interference with the headphones noted. We find ourselves every now and then checking the unit to be sure it is on since it is so quiet. There is also a Bluetooth connection that one can use to check flow rate and battery level.
Of course, one can hear the unit pulse in with normal ambient noise as at home or hanger.
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Re: Oxygen Concentrator

Post by jb642DA »

Thanks TomO
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