PDA

View Full Version : ANOTHER oxygen concentrator/torch question...


xXxMiEkAxXx
03-22-2006, 01:33 AM
:clap: Hi all out there, First of all, I want to say this is my first post on this site. Second of all, I'd like to explain my situation:
I've been working with moretti for almost a year now, I make jewelry with my beads and sell them through my Uncle's gallery and catalog (www.wgw.com (http://www.wgw.com)- look at the catalog link, my stuff is the page that has "Mieka Designs" on it) and up till now, I've been driving about 2.5 hours each way almost daily to the nearest lampworking studio. As much as I adore my teacher, I've decided I must build my own studio.
So for the specs:I have a mini cc and a backup nortel minor burner. I've purchased the Glasscraft hood. I'm still in the air about which kiln/annealer to buy, I did get a second hand parragon to use as a backup and for batch annealing, but i'm looking to get a bigger primary one, but that's not the question, lol.
Here's the question(s): I'm running oxy/propane, and because I don't want to deal with oxy tanks, I'm looking ot buy an oxygen generator or concentrator. I've read that I'll need 5+psi for my mini cc, so could someone suggest for me which concentrator/generator to get? I only use moretti, and work for anywhere between 20 minutes and 3 hours at a time, andI don't want something that's gonna poop out on me, and I don't want something that won't produce a steady flame- I've been told that some concentrators sort of puff out the oxygen, as in it sort of pulsates, i really want a steady flow. Also, will I need storgae tanks, or are they built-in? I just need some guidance, and also, where on earth to buy one and get it ASAP- new catalog's coming out in about a month and I've gotta be ready! This IS my main (read: Only) source of income, so I don't mind spending more to get a quality product that's going to be a workhorse for me. Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks! And sorry for asking what i"m sure has been asked a zillion times. I'm sure I'll come back at ya with more questions once people respond! So thanks in advancce, and happy beading!
-Sarah

paulette
03-22-2006, 07:35 AM
Hello Sarah,
You can run a minor burner with one 5 liter concentrator, but the mini cc really gets overheated when using just one. You can, however, connect two 5 liter units together and run your mini or the minor. If you use a new, 10 liter machine you can run both torches at the same time from that machine.

Paulette

xXxMiEkAxXx
03-22-2006, 11:43 AM
:wave: Hey Paulette- Ah, I feel like I'm speaking with a legend- I've heard so much about you, and pretty much have decided you're the oxygen concentrator guru:-) So would you recomend getting two 5-liter machines or one 10-liter? What brand(s) and model(s) would you recomend, and where can I get them? And once I do, how do I hook up my mini cc? I've heard I won't need a regulator or flashback arrestor, but if not, how would I go about adjusting my pressure or whatnot? Thanks for so kindly responding to my stupid newbie questions:angel:

Emily
03-22-2006, 01:39 PM
Paulette really is the fount of information on oxy machines, but I can answer a couple of the questions with a firm "it depends."

Brands don't matter for used concentrators. What matters is the amount of use it has had and whether it has been reconditioned or not. (Prices also vary according to whether or not there's a warranty.) For most models of concentrators, you can just screw the standard "B" fitting on the end of your hose onto the concentrator. There may be some models where you cut the fitting off the end of your hose, slip it over the attachment point on the concentrator, and fasten with a hose clamp. Before you do any cutting, though, make sure that the nipple-thing on the concentrator doesn't come off -- there might be a screw fitting underneath.

Paulette used to sell (do you still?) a Y-connector for linking up two concentrators. Just screw it on to the two concentrators and your torch hose. Easy!

When you first set up your concentrators, you set the concentrators for the level of output you want. There's a gauge on the front of the concentrator with a ball in a tube. Turn your torch on full (just oxy -- no need to add propane or light the flame for this), then adjust the knob on the concentrator until the ball is at the level you want. For a 5 liter concentrator, you'll get the most volume of oxy if you set it at about 4.5 (you don't want to run them at 5 all the time because it shortens the life) but your oxygen purity might be better if you set the flow a little lower, like 3.5. Your choice, although if you're using only one concentrator you'll probably want the flow at 4 or 4.5. You only set the concentrator once. After you've gotten it set initially, whenever you want to work you just turn the concentrator on, let it warm up, then control the amount of oxy in your flame with the knob on your torch.

Justin L.
03-22-2006, 03:13 PM
There are a wide range of concentrators out there. Heres is a quick shakedown of what you may be able to buy:

Assuming all concentrators are rebuilt properly:

-Airsep Newlife: Last about 12k hours. Recent updates to the machine have made it a pretty good contender, and they run pretty good. 6-7 PSI is normal.

-Invacare Mobilaire 5: Last between 20-25k hours. Many many HEPA filters to keep the system very clean. Sieve beds are very very resilient and hardly ever go bad. Put out mid 90% o2 at all flow rates for a very long time. Factory PSI is 5 or 6. Quiet machine.

-Healthdyne Alliance: Lasts about 20k hours also. Good filtration. Sieve beds are very resilient. WHISPER quiet! 96% purity at 5LPM is very common. Factory is 5 or 6 psi.

-Devilbiss MC-Series; Solairis 505/515- Last about 20k hours also. Great filtration, pretty quiet. Good purity. These machines chug along at 8-9PSI from the factory with no problems whatsoever.

Respironics Millenium: When you get one that works, they are good...for about only 8k hours. "Fewer moving parts" doesnt always mean reliability. There is a reason they are on ebay for $100 AS IS. They are pretty quiet. 6PSI output pressure.

Unless you buy a new concentrator, these are the " main contenders" for used oxygen concentrators now. Anything else you may find, ask the seller all the same questions you just asked and you *should* be able to get an intelligent response if they service the equipment.

Also, and if you want to take ANY guesswork out of the purity your concentrator is putting out, get one with an oxygen monitor (OCI/OPI). If the "Normal Oxygen" light is on, you know it is maintaining at least 87% oxygen! Unless it has the "OCI" feature, no series of beeps, clicks, wooshes or anything else from a standard concentrator will let you know the purity is good, unless there is a decent warranty and they stand behind their work.

Ive read a lot on here that a concentrator doesnt have as much "oomph" as tanked oxygen because they dont put out the same purity. This statement is true. Tanked oxygen is 97.8% pure. An oxygen concentrator that has been PROPERLY rebuilt, will put out around 95% oxygen at 5 Liters Per Minute. Not a huge loss at all!! If you have a concentrator that is running "ok" at 3 or 3.5 LPM, bump it up to 5LPM. If there is a noticeable loss in torch power, its probably because the concentrator isnt operating properly at high flow rates like it should. Once you get it running properly at 5LPM, you will never look back.

I hope this helps you with your search!


-When Quality Matters!

paulette
03-22-2006, 03:37 PM
Emily is right on with her information! The only thing I would add to the instructions would be to open the O2 valve on your torch before running the concentrator so the O2 has a place to flow through while it gets up to purity.
You will have the purest O2 at around 3.5. Adding more volume to the mix drops purity at 5 lpm to about 92-93%...negligible difference for your torch, but fact.
Why would you want a 10 liter instead of a 5 liter? First of all, if you can afford it, it would be nice because it is a new unit and because you only need one electrical source (1 unit to plug in rather than 2 5 liters connected to get the same lpm). The 10 liter unit puts out more pressure, and the 8 liter unit puts out way more pressure (20 psi).
What it all boils down to is this...$$$
2 five liter units work great, 1 five liter unit works well, but you will really get much better performance out of your torches with 2...especially if you're running a mini cc or Lynx.
The larger units power bigger torches...barracuda runs easily with a minor from the Integra 10. 2 Onyx+ running together can power a Cheetah or Phantom...
It is confusing, and if you're just starting out, I'd suggest getting one 5 liter reconditioned unit. If you get 'famous' and start selling tons of beads, then you can consider moving up to a larger system and larger torch...and then you'll be in a better financial position to do it!!

Paulette

Justin L.
03-22-2006, 04:28 PM
Paulette, if she did some research and bought the right type of 5 LPM concentrator that puts out 9PSI...if she needed another one down the road wouldnt that be the same specs as an Integra? 10LPM and 9PSI right? Would probably be cheaper for her too since she is just starting out..

paulette
03-22-2006, 06:05 PM
You would get 10 lpm at UP TO 9 psi on 2 five liter concentrators connected together, yes. You'd use twice the electricity and have two rebuilt machines. The Integra 10 is a n ew machine and has different seive bed system all together, we're not talking apples and apples in comparison. I'm not getting into any discussion over concentrators with you Justin, so please don't question my posts...this is not about 'contests', but helping fellow lampworkers.

Paulette

Justin L.
03-22-2006, 06:42 PM
not at all...I was simply thinking that she would be able to upgrade in the future as money allowed, if she even needed that kind of performance.

xXxMiEkAxXx
03-22-2006, 07:12 PM
Awesome. Thanks so much for the info everyone, and for all looking out for me and my finances:-) I'm actually in a unique situation for an artist- i actually have some cash to spend, and usually will pay a little more for better quality, like if compressor a was pretty good and cost 100 dollars, but compressor b was awesome and had better psi, purity, etc, and cost 400 dollars, i'd definately go with compressor b rather than 2 a's- good call about twice the power draw. On the flipside, if I had 2 compressor A's, if one broke down, then i'd atleast have a halfass backup until I got it fixed, whereas with one machine, i'd be SOL till i got it fixed or found a tank. hmm. chhoices choices!
So now i've got some more questions. Paulette, did I see that the 8 liter gets better pressure than the 10? Comparing the two, saying I bought one of either, which would give me better psi, which would have better purity, which is more expensive, etc. Could you elaborate a little more on those two? I'm a very visual person, so what i'm doing is basically making a pros/cons list with my options: so far the ones I like are as follows: 1.buy 2 5lpm's, 2.buy one 10lpm, 3. buy 1 8lpm, or possibly 4. buy 2 8lpm's- that's depending on wether or not one 8 would power my minicc perfectly or not. THe deciding factors are mainly which of these four options will give me:1. the best (or optimal) psi, 2. the ability to work for extended periods of time, 3. price, of course, 4. wether or not any of these options would allow me to run both my minor and my minicc at the same time, and whatever else seems to be important as I learn more. That all makes sense to me, hopefully I didn't confuse the rest of you kind people taking time out to help me decide, lol!
Another question, could someone elaborate on the term "lpm"? I get it's liters per minute (i think!) but what does this mean to me?
And paulette- you'd mentioned i might get the best quality o2 by running 2 5lpm's together at about 3.5lpm's each, would that mean i'd have a total of 7psi, or does the math work differently in this case? And if it is 7psi, then what would the difference in o2 quality be between this 2 5lpm configuration and, say, either one 8 or one 10lpm machine?
Emily- thanks for the tips! And i'll be sure not to let the "nipple thing" fall off, that sounds like something that they should make a cream for, lol;-)
oh, and paulette, do you still sell, or know where I could get, one of those Y- adaptors if I decide to go the 2 compressor route?
And justin- thanks for the comprehensive run down on compressor brands- helps for the consumer reports addict like me:-)
-Sarah

jokersdesign
03-22-2006, 07:18 PM
I'd go for a Devilbiss MC-Series; Solairis 505/515 to start with.

They output 5 LPM at a constant 9 PSI.

Then if you need more oxygen later you can always buy a second unit.

I'd also call the manufacture of your torch and ask then how much volume of oxygen and PSI needed to run your torch. That information will narrow down your options.

The Integra 10 is a good option because it is one unit, but you have to have the upfront budget for it.

jokersdesign
03-22-2006, 07:20 PM
Paulette, what other options do you have except the Integra 10 or onyx + to run big torches like a GTT Mirage?

jokersdesign
03-22-2006, 08:55 PM
Yo Justin,

What do you know about air amplifiers?

Justin L.
03-22-2006, 10:14 PM
air amplifiers in what context?

Justin L.
03-22-2006, 10:20 PM
and the best purity at 3.5lpm statement is whack. Its true that the lower the flow rate (LPM) that you run, the purity will be better. But for instance, if you get a properly running Devilbiss Concentrator, at 1LPM it will put out 96% pure oxygen. at 5LPM, it will put out 95% pure oxygen. 5 times the flow, only a 1% purity loss. Incidentally, 96% pure O2 is the highest that a concentrator or generator can make. So, even running full tilt at 5LPM, a proper running Devilbiss will outshine all other concentrators in PSI/Purity/longevity. Thats why we offer these exclusively to the beadmakers. Another thing you should look at too, is the warranty of the unit you buy.

paulette
03-23-2006, 08:30 AM
Sarah and Robert,
I've sent you both pms. Go to the AirSep site and look at the charts...read about the concentrators on www.airsep.com or www.sequal.com What you're looking for on AirSep is the commercial tab for the Onyx+, on Sequal it is the Medical section for the Integra 10.

paulette
03-23-2006, 09:08 AM
Sorry, wrong button!

jokersdesign
03-23-2006, 11:34 AM
air amplifiers in what context?

I'm not sure Justin. I was doing some google searching and came across this. It gave me the idea that one could connect a oxygen concentrator to it and double the output PSI? Thought it might be useful for glass workers, but I'm only guessing.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Haskel-Air-Amplifier-Never-Used_W0QQitemZ7591526633QQcategoryZ48718QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

jokersdesign
03-23-2006, 11:35 AM
air amplifiers in what context?

I'm not sure Justin. I was doing some google searching and came across this. It gave me the idea that one could connect a oxygen concentrator to it and double the output PSI? Thought it might be useful for glass workers, but I'm only guessing.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Haskel-Air-Amplifier-Never-Used_W0QQitemZ7591526633QQcategoryZ48718QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Emily
03-23-2006, 01:00 PM
And i'll be sure not to let the "nipple thing" fall off, that sounds like something that they should make a cream for, lol;-)

The concept is a little painful, isn't it? Actually, if you go the used concentrator route and get one that comes with a nipple over the attachment point, you do want to see if it comes off. If if's covering up a screw fitting, you can just screw the end of your hose on to the concentrator the same way you'd hook it up to a regulator, rather than having to cut off the fitting on the hose and connect it with a hose clamp. Just cross that bridge when you come to it.

LPM (yes, liters per minute) and PSI measure different things. LPM is a measure of volume -- how much oxy you can get -- and psi is a measure of pressure -- the force at which the oxy is delivered. With a tank, you pretty much have all the volume you could want (for our purposes at least, and until the tank runs out, of course), so what you adjust is the pressure. The pressure on a concentrator is fixed, so what you adjust is the volume (lpm), up to the limits of the machine.

Any discussion of the relative merits of a machine with higher volume but lower pressure vs. one with lower volume but higher pressure is way, way over my head. I'm strictly a happy user of a couple of reconditioned medical units. (2 5 lpm units -- AirSeps, I think -- with a Bethlehem Bead Burner. Works nicely for soft glass and boro in a small way.)

Justin L.
03-23-2006, 02:36 PM
I'm not sure Justin. I was doing some google searching and came across this. It gave me the idea that one could connect a oxygen concentrator to it and double the output PSI? Thought it might be useful for glass workers, but I'm only guessing.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Haskel-Air-Amplifier-Never-Used_W0QQitemZ7591526633QQcategoryZ48718QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


interesting, but if the amplifier is run off of the input air, I dont know how well it would work with a concentrator hooked up to it. They dont really put out as much as I assume that amplifier would need.

jokersdesign
03-23-2006, 05:26 PM
interesting, but if the amplifier is run off of the input air, I dont know how well it would work with a concentrator hooked up to it. They dont really put out as much as I assume that amplifier would need.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I tried to call the manufacture to ask about the unit, but only got an answering machine.

I going to ask them what the minimum input air PSI and flow needed?

I am not sure but I think with these units if you input 5 LPM at 9 PSI you would output half the LPM at 2.5 but double the PSI at 18 PSI.

Justin L.
03-23-2006, 06:19 PM
in that theory, you would have to hook up 4 concentrators to get 10lpm, but you would get 72psi.....but 95% purity...would that be acceptable?? Seems overkill lol

xXxMiEkAxXx
05-01-2006, 02:53 PM
Hey all, thought i'd come back for some more expert advice- Got my Integra 10 and my torch, now I had another question- Do I need a regulator or flashback arrestor, or do I just get a set of hoses and hook the concentrator directly to the torch? thanks!
-sarah

Justin L.
05-01-2006, 03:35 PM
most cases you wont need a flashback arrestor, and the regulator is built in to the integras sievebed module so you wont need one of them either. Your oxy hose should screw right on the Integra.

paulette
05-01-2006, 11:22 PM
Hi Mike,
I have instructions on my website and you have my phone number if you need help! Thanks Justin, for helping him out.

Paulette

paulette
05-01-2006, 11:22 PM
Hi Mike,
I have instructions on my website and you have my phone number if you need help! Thanks Justin, for helping him out.

Paulette

Justin L.
05-02-2006, 08:07 AM
I try to help where I can :D

Icre8art
07-14-2006, 04:36 PM
When you say the DeVilbliss Solaris is good for 20k hours, what happens to it after that theoretically speaking?

Option #1? It coughs, sputters, the wheels fall off, it falls over and its dead?
Option #2? It will probably need to be reconditioned, seives etc.?
Option #3? You save up all the $$ you've made with beads and buy another?
Option #4? ......?

Ilene
:wave: