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Saturday
Apr092011

Battery Options And DC Power For Your CPAP

Yes, your CPAP or BiPAP machine can use a battery - no matter the manufacturer or model.  Determining exactly how to hook up your machine to a battery or DC power source can be confusing for some people.  Let's take a look at the options and connections and see if we can make sense of it all.

AC Wall AdapterCar Accessory PortFirst, a brief explanation of DC and AC power.  AC, or alternating current, is the type of electricity most commonly used in homes and offices, and is extremely versatile because its voltage can be changed through a transformer to suit a variety of transmission needs.  The power from a battery, for our purposes, is DC or direct current.  The power from an accessory port (or cigarette lighter port) in your car, truck, or RV is also DC power. 

Direct Battery AttachmentExample DC Power AdapterCPAP machines that can operate from DC power usually have available a DC power connector cable like the one seen on the right. Those adapter cables are capable of plugging directly into the accessory port of your car, RV, battery solution, etc.  In some cases, manufacturers provide an adapter cable that has alligator clips to attach directly to a battery as seen in the picture to the left.

 

What if your CPAP machine doesn't have DC power abilities?  It needs an inverter to use DC power.  An inverter is a small device that can use DC power to provide AC power to appliances that can not use DC power directly. An inverter plugs directly into a DC power source and provides AC outlets just like those you are familiar with in your home. We recommend a 200-Watt inverter (peak of 300W) to be used with all ResMed S9, ProBasics, and F&P machines.

Deep Cycle Lead-Acid BatteryLead-Acid and Li-Ion Battery Types.  Most manufacturers with direct battery connections (alligator clips) recommend a 12V deep cycle marine (lead-acid) battery.  A "deep cycle" simply means it's constructed to allow a higher percentage of discharge and recharging rate than a regular battery. The amp hours (capacity) of the battery is up to you.  Manufacturers recommend a 100Ah battery, but you can go smaller or larger if you like.  Most CPAP machines will draw between 3 and 5 amps per hour, when not using a humidifier.  The amperage will vary depending on the pressure being delivered.  A 100Ah battery will last up to 33 hours before needing recharging or disposal.   

Universal Super CPAP Battery PackThere are a few lithium-ion battery solutions in the marketplace that can use the adapter cables provided by the manufacturers.  The batteries contain an accessory port built right in.  These battery solutions are MUCH easier to travel with, easier to recharge, and can run a CPAP machine for almost the same amount of time as the larger lead-acid batteries.  One solution that is sold at TheCPAPPeople.com is the Universal Super CPAP Battery Pack.  The Super Battery weighs only 5lbs and can power a standard CPAP for up to 25 hours before recharging.  It can be recharged from AC or DC power, and charges in about 5 hours. To make it even easier, the Super CPAP Battery Pack also includes an adapter cable (with 3 amp fuse) that can be used with multiple machines including the Respironics M-Series and System One Series devices, and all DeVilbiss IntelliPAP devices. ResMed S8 and S9 series machines require the use of a ResMed Converter and Fisher & Paykel machines require the use of an inverter to use this battery.

This battery pack can also used as a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). Having the battery plugged directly into AC power while your CPAP machine or inverter is plugged into the battery, will give you uninterrupted power during cases of failure or brownout in the home. When the power goes out, your machine will continue to operate without any additional assistance. You won't even wake up!

To learn more about this battery, please read the entire product description at TheCPAPPeople.com.

Follow these simple steps for success.

  • Can your BiPAP or CPAP machine use DC power? 
    • Yes?  Great!
    • No?  You will need an inverter with your power source.
  • Does the manufacturer of your machine provide a DC power cable or DC power converter?
    • ResMed S8 and S9 series machines require the use of a power converter.
    • Respironics and DeVilbiss machines all have available power adapters.
  • Pick your power source.  Will you use a battery or an accessory port?
    • If you chose a battery, what type?  Lead-acid or Li-Ion?
    • Check capacity levels to make sure you are ready to recharge.

We hope this little tutorial helps to inform.  If you have further questions, we can explain the exact options for your particular machine type.  Just email us or give us a call at TheCPAPPeople.com.

 

 


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