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Self-Regulated Oxygen Concentrator

Report Number: AFFDL TR 67-6
Author: Mrava, G. L.
Author: Wynveen, R. A.
Corporate Author: TRW Inc.
Laboratory: Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1967-03
Pages: 185
Contract: AF 33(615)-3392
Project: 6146
Task: 614614
AD Number: AD0808789

A program to design, fabricate and test a model of an oxygen concentrator employing a method of control termed self regulation was successfully conducted. The stack assembly consists of three cells, where the oxygen is electrochemically separated from the air, sandwiched between two humidifier chambers. The self-regulation of the unit results from the thermal equilibrium that exists between the heat generated in the electrochemical cells during the O2 concentrating process and the evaporative cooling in the humidifiers due to the air humidification process. This mode of operation eliminates external humidifiers and associated thermal controls previously used on apparatus of this type. As a laboratory model, the three-cell unit demonstrated oxygen delivery rates up to 0.045 lb/hr while displaying oxygen purities at a level of 100%. Wide-range parametric testing conducted on the unit covered cell operating temperatures of 100-175F, air inlet pressures from 5-90 psia, air flow rates from 2-5 times theoretical, and current densities up to 166 amps/sq ft. The testing program was culminated with 200 hours of testing which successfully demonstrated the self-regulating characteristics of the unit. As a final conclusion, the data and analyses are used to specify an advanced 0.2-lb/hr oxygen concentrator utilizing self-regulation in addition to size optimization. With additional development the design will be capable of being incorporated into an aviator's oxygen supply system.

Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control
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