A Pune-based firm has developed a DIY design for oxygen concentrators to help Covid-19 affected people
Given the scarcity of oxygen gas for the Covid-19 infected patients around the country during the second wave of the pandemic, there is a great demand for oxygen concentrators. In such a scenario, an engineering firm Anashwar Technologies based in Pune, has developed a do-it-yourself (DIY) design for an oxygen concentrator.
What makes this concentrator special is that it has been done by tweaking open-source resources to Indian conditions.
Majority of the oxygen concentrators which have been taken on rent or bought for installation at homes by those affected by Coronavirus or their families are made by foreign manufacturers. Their growing importance as life-saving devices, during the second wave of the pandemic, led the Government to waive duty on these machines.
The DIY concept
Talking about the concentrators, Karan Tarade, Anashwar Technologies’ Director, said oxygen concentrators were invented in the 1970s and they aid in a patient's breathing by concentrating ambient oxygen available in the air.
Sharing details about the DIY design of the concentrator, with PTI news agency, Tarade said: "We began by meeting doctors and medical equipment experts. Our company engineers found an open-source design called 'Oxykit' on the internet whose output oxygen levels were good, but trials showed us that the design was not suitable for Indian atmospheric conditions and high humidity.”
Discussing the need for tweaking the design, he disclosed: "We have made some necessary changes in the design like the use of silica gel for moisture separation and parallel compressors design to come up with an indigenous oxygen concentrator.”
He also shared that the company has also made an oxygen analyser, an important device which is very expensive and mostly out of reach of many.
The design was developed using YouTube videos and a Github repository, he added.
With an obvious sense of pride Tarade remarked: "This whole project was developed in India, by Indians for Indians… we are trying hard to make the design simple and as cheap as possible so that anyone with basic knowledge of tools would be able to do it.”
The company has developed a design for a 'do it yourself' 15 litres per minute (LPM) oxygen concentrator, and is also working on a 20 LPM model which will deliver over 90 percent purity, Tarade said. Further he added, that the new machine will be a smart oxygen analyser which senses the oxygen levels in a patient and controls the oxygen flow and purity in real-time.
"Every human being is facing problems due to the pandemic, so we felt that instead of keeping this technology to ourselves, let us make it open for everyone,” Tarade said.
A mechanical engineer, Tarade, won the first prize in the 'Smart India Hackathon' promoted by the Niti Ayyog in 2018, for his ultra-portable water disinfectant system project. He will be working on presenting a paper on the design and implementation of the oxygen concentrator.