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Thread: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

  1. #1
    jleblan1 Guest

    Default Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    Hey guys (and gals). First time poster, I depend on a CPAP machine to breathe correctly while I sleep as I have obstructive sleep apnea. I am a avid outdoors person and would like a way to run my machine while on camping trips with no A/C power at the site. I would also like piece of mind in the event of a hurricane where power may be out for days. My unit only draws about 15 watts when i leave the humidity heater plate off. It requires A/C power. I currently have it plugged into a APC Smart700 sinewave UPS. Upon testing the UPS runs my machine for about 6 hours before konking out so its not a viable solution (Its a 5yr old UPS). My insurance company will re-imburse me up to $250 dollars for supplies for an emergency backup power source (Including solar applications) I am willing to put in up to 250 of my own money if i can come up with a portable solar solution. Any suggestions or more info needed to help me find a solution. (BTW Im somewhat versed in the field of electronics/ amps/ watts, ect, but not much on solar power systms)

    Thanks --Josh

  2. #2

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    Need to know how long it needs to run? Just 8 hours while you sleep?

    If you only need it to run 8 hours / day & you have about 5 average sun hours per day (what I have in California).

    I'm a newby too, but this requires similar to what I need so this is what I've found with the best prices / output:

    Kyocera 65 watts $350.00
    Deka 8A22NF $149.21
    Morningstar SS-10 10 Amp $50.16
    #12 AWG, 2 Conductor 25' $16.00 (minimum lenth sold)
    shipping $35
    total $600.00

    plus a few connectors, fuses, etc.

    this is all from Arizona Wind & Sun because with a bunch of research, they have the best prices. They also have really good customer service. Any answers I haven't gotten here, I've been able to ask them and gotten really quick clear responses.

    If you need it to run 16 hours, you need all the same stuff plus another 65 watt panel, two more panels if it needs to run 24 / 7.

    I'm sure someone will let us know if I'm incorrect here

  3. #3
    cryobear Guest

    Exclamation Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    Over kill is lots of fun, but how often do you need the backup is the important thing. In my case I added a deep cell battery to my pickup/car, bought a 700 watt inverter and a long extension cord. Works fine for me.
    My CPAC is in use an average of 7 hours a night, which is what you have to look at. Solar cells don't do well in moon light, but a high amp hour battery will keep you alive. A car electrical system, believe it or not, is not designed to charge batteries, just maintain the charge. But for short needs it will work fine. I ran my house for 5 days off the truck, but paid the price later.

    Good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Willits, CA
    Posts
    5,693

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    Because you will be toteing this around, I'd suggest an AGM battery, sealed, but a few minutes of overcharge, and you fry it. Set your charge controller accordingly.
    15 Watts (seems awfull "light") for 6 hours is 90 Watt hours. @ 12V = 7.5 A hours [for all night] Just a little bit of drain on the battery. Too little, did I screw up ??
    A MorningStar Sure Sine inverter will give you nice clean AC, at about the best efficency in the class.

    Mike
    http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph # 214505 ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV
    Powerfab poletop PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe battery | 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV | Midnight ePanel || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT

  5. #5
    jleblan1 Guest

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    I called the manufacturer of my CPAP and they offer a rechargable 12v NiCD
    8ah battery pack designed to run the unit for 5-6 Hours a charge and be recharged using a cigarette lighter adapter, and covered fully by my insurance. I didnt have power for 9 days after hurricane Rita in '05, and running the vehicle for several hours to charge a battery may not be an option if gas is scarce after a storm. I also want solar since its quiet to run on, say a camping trip. If its not feasable I understand but I thought it might be a good alternative to a gas generator for my modest needs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    pittsburgh, pa
    Posts
    10,278

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    5-6hrs isn't going to do you much good as it will run out of gas before you're done sleeping. if they offer access to a larger battery pack then go with it. if they do offer larger packs then get 2 as this could be charging one pack while the other is ready to use no matter if by solar or whatever power sources you'll have to charge it. if they have a provision for connecting external 12vdc then that makes it real easy to place a larger 12v battery and you can then set that up for proper recharging with either solar or a quality 120vac charger.
    as to using the modsine inverters on something like this i'd advise against it as that would minimumly cause the drawing of more power than necessary and could shorten the life of the unit as it dissipates more power. 15w does seem mighty low and no matter what due to efficiency percentages you will need more than 15w anyway. if you must have a 120vac inverter to it then try to get a small sinewave inverter. they are much more costly, but far cheaper than having to replace your cpap machine.
    a thought here, can the unit run while the battery is being charged? if it can you may have an answer to your small battery dilema through the auto adapter from a 12v battery that has more current available depending on the number of nimh cells in the battery pack.
    NIEL

  7. #7
    agt Guest

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    For car camping I've used an 80ah deep cycle battery ($60 at Costco) which keeps my CPAP powered for over a week (at some risk of sulfation). I'll probably add a 40-60W solar panel next summer to keep it topped off.

    If weight is a concern: BatteryGeek.com markets a 4lb, 220Wh Li-Ion battery pack for CPAP use. A bit pricey at $400, but the light weight means backpacking is an option.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    I think it's batterygeek.net......the one you listed is a redirect to a bicycle racing site (batterygeek.com) FYI.

    They have one Li pack that is 444wh of capacity which might be enough for a couple nights.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Willits, CA
    Posts
    5,693

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by agt View Post
    For car camping I've used an 80ah deep cycle battery ($60 at Costco) which keeps my CPAP powered for over a week (at some risk of sulfation). I'll probably add a 40-60W solar panel next summer to keep it topped off.
    That should work, if your unit really only draws 15w
    http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    http://tinyurl.com/LMR-BigLug
    http://tinyurl.com/LMR-NiFe

    Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph # 214505 ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV
    Powerfab poletop PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe battery | 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV | Midnight ePanel || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT

  10. #10
    jleblan1 Guest

    Default Re: Solar Backup for CPAP Machine.

    5-6 hours of CPAP a night is better than no CPAP. I double checked and with just the air pump running it draws 15-17 watts according to my UPS power monitor software. If i get 2of the the 8ah NiCd batts the manufacturer offers, how big of a PV panel would i need to recharge atleast one of them everyday everyday. Also my understanding has always been NiCd's can be discharged fully without damage (ie: like in the solar garden lights). Thanks again for you alls help. --Josh

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