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Camping and Power Supply
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GuestForFest Offline

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Post: #1
Question Camping and Power Supply
Please help. I am trying to buy an affordable power solution in a short amount of time. I have a Respironics 550P, with humidifier. power setting is 5.5.

I bought a Stanley Professional Power Supply, with 550 watts of continuous power inverter.

I charged it fully and when I tried it out, it lasted less than 5 minutes. I took it back.

I'm not sure if it was the device, or my choice. I am really confused by all the numbers. Can you help me interpret what I need?
07-29-2013 10:42 PM
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DreamDiver Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Camping and Power Supply
(07-29-2013 10:42 PM)GuestForFest Wrote:  Please help. I am trying to buy an affordable power solution in a short amount of time. I have a Respironics 550P, with humidifier. power setting is 5.5.

I bought a Stanley Professional Power Supply, with 550 watts of continuous power inverter.

I charged it fully and when I tried it out, it lasted less than 5 minutes. I took it back.

I'm not sure if it was the device, or my choice. I am really confused by all the numbers. Can you help me interpret what I need?
Commercial car jump starters (like the one you bought) are not intended to power devices for a long number of hours. Unfortunately there is no inexpensive solution.

You'll have to buy either a specially-made light-weight CPAP battery (~$300) that will last a night or two (from one of the on-line suppliers, no doubt), or you will have to buy a deep cycle marine battery ($300+), and a deep cycle marine battery charger ($50+). On top of that, you'll need the respironics battery adapter kit ($45+). That way you won't have to waste your battery powering an invertor just to turn it back into 12 volts again.

Bang for buck, I'd go with the obnoxiously-heavy 115 amp hour deep cycle marine battery from Batteries Plus or another vendor that will last about a week at most pressures below 15cm H20, so long as you turn off the heat for your humidifier.

Car batteries and jump starters (like the Stanley Professional Power Supply) might have enough cold cranking ability to start a car a couple times, but don't expect it to power your CPAP for very long. They're not made to be drained fully. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be drained fairly deeply, so they can take long hours of being attached to a CPAP machine.

Again -- Don't use the power brick that came with your machine. Use the respironics DC adapter kit. Also, make sure you turn off the heat on your humidifier. Heating water is also a serious drain, even on a deep cycle marine battery.

Good night.

dreamdiver.org
07-29-2013 11:27 PM
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trish6hundred Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Camping and Power Supply
Hi GuestForFest,
WELCOME to the forum.!
There are a few threads here on the board about batteries and power supplies. I know all the numbers can be confusing.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.

trish6hundred
07-30-2013 08:31 AM
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davo Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Camping and Power Supply
I just took my Kids camping. I noticed that my Respironics REMstar Pro with C-Flex was listed at 3.0 Max amps @12VDC.

This is equal to 36 amp hours. I purchased a sealed lead acid battery for $75.00 on line that did 375 amp hours. It weighed 17 pounds. I bought a cheap dc adapter to fit in my CPAP.

I did not use my heated humidifier, but the battery lasted three nights to surprise.

If you choose to use an inverter and power it with 115v, you will have to figure the power used by the inverter, which is probably more then the CPAP
(This post was last modified: 07-30-2013 09:28 AM by davo.)
07-30-2013 09:23 AM
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jgjones1972 Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Camping and Power Supply
I was home recently and had a power outage. Luckily I had already bought a DC power brick kit for my PAP from an online supplier. I got the version with sufficient Wattage to run the humidifier and heated hose (came with the brick, power cord and alligator clips). I had been shopping around on-line for a 100+ Amp Hour AGM Deep Cycle battery, but hadn't gotten around to buying one, so I went down to the local WalMart and bought a deep cycle marine battery (114 Ah I think) for about $116 after core charge and taxes. They have a sticker with a manufactured date on them so I dug back and got the newest one. They come pre-charged but I would recommend hooking up to an automatic trickle charger to top off before using if you can. I took it home, hooked it up and ran my PAP (pressure 18 - 20), humidifier (at highest setting) and heated hose all night (about 7 hours) and it was still going strong when I woke up. I leave it hooked up to my automatic trickle charger now - ready for another outage. I bought the auto trickle charger (with auto desulfation) years ago for about $30, so a set-up like this will run about $200 total starting from scratch.

I wouldn't run it for more than 1 night with humidifier and heated hose on without charging the whole next day though- they are a big drain. I just can't go without the humidifier though. You should easily get multiple nights out of it if you can go without them.

You can get more expensive deep cycle AGM batteries with 100+ Amp Hour rating on-line for about $200 and they should last longer, but I'm satisfied with the one I got at half the price - even if it only lasts 3 or 4 years. Most importantly I was able to just go buy it and take it home that day and it worked.

Make sure you look at Ah rating (100 Ah or better if possible) and completely ignore the CCA rating. CCA is cold cranking amps and has nothing to do with the ability to provide power over a long time - just short bursts of power.

Also, go online and shop around for a good deal on the DC power brick, cord and clip kit for your particular machine. If you don't and try to use an inverter to run it from your AC brick, you will be wasting a lot of power converting from DC to AC and back to DC (PAP runs on DC already) and won't get anywhere near the time out of a battery.

Sleep-well
07-30-2013 09:42 AM
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CapnLoki Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Camping and Power Supply
(07-30-2013 09:23 AM)davo Wrote:  I just took my Kids camping. I noticed that my Respironics REMstar Pro with C-Flex was listed at 3.0 Max amps @12VDC.

This is equal to 36 amp hours. I purchased a sealed lead acid battery for $75.00 on line that did 375 amp hours. It weighed 17 pounds. I bought a cheap dc adapter to fit in my CPAP.

I did not use my heated humidifier, but the battery lasted three nights to surprise.

If you choose to use an inverter and power it with 115v, you will have to figure the power used by the inverter, which is probably more then the CPAP
No! Not Possible! 375 AmpHours is a large battery bank. I have a 450 AH bank on my boat and it weighs 250 pounds and costs over $600. (Its four golf cart batteries.) Your's is probably 37.5 AH, which makes much more sense given that your CPAP probably uses between .6 and 1.5 Amps, or up to 12 AH per night. Even so, the $79 price seems a bit low for a proper, sealed deep cycle battery especially if its an AGM.

Running it down to "dead" will severely limit the number of cycles. This may be acceptable if you only expect a few weekends a year for a few years, but if you only go two nights instead of three, you might get hundreds of cycles out of it.

Also, I don't recommend an inverter, but a suitable one could be had for around $100 or less. Without the humidifier the draw is usually under 20 Watts and its hard to find even a low power inverter that will efficiently run at that power. I.e., the 12AH nightly load may be 16AH through the inverter.
07-30-2013 10:01 AM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Camping and Power Supply
You can buy a 12-volt lead-acid Marine deep cycle hybrid battery from WalMart rated at about 110 amp-hours for around $80-90 or so. That will work fine for limited camping use for 2-4 nights without a recharge (depending upon your average pressure) - you don't need to purchase an expensive high amp hour true deep cycle battery. I wouldn't recommend running a heated humidifier off of a battery - heating uses a ton of stored electricity - unless you have a means of charging your battery every single day after you wake up.

Buy the DC converter designed for your CPAP machine and the battery cable/clamps (maybe $30-100 total). Pretty sure they sell the PR System One DC power cord setup for around $30. Others like the ResMed S9 converters are more expensive at near $100. Run your CPAP off DC power directly this way. Skip any DC-to-AC inverters - they waste power in the inversion process and cost you money and it's one more thing that go bad.

Buy a cheap 12-volt trickle charger for around $25.

Total cost: $150 to $200 roughly. And you're set.

Just keep the water level topped off in the battery - check it every 2 months or so.

Simple really. No need to spend a lot on fancy systems unless you're backpacking and don't want to haul around a 25 pound battery.

See this thread:

http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-Operating-CPAP-with-battery

Or take a look at the "Possibly Related Threads" section at the bottom of this thread.

Coffee

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07-30-2013 12:56 PM
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davo Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Camping and Power Supply
I omitted the decimal point by mistake. 37.5 AH. The Cpap draws very little power when not using heater.

I had a solar charger ready, but the battery lasted all three nights and was still at 11.5v.
07-30-2013 01:27 PM
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SuperSleeper Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Camping and Power Supply
(07-30-2013 01:27 PM)davo Wrote:  I had a solar charger ready, but the battery lasted all three nights and was still at 11.5v.

If that is a lead-acid battery, if you discharged it down to 11.5 volts, you've drained 85% of the battery (down to a 15% charge left).

If you do that more than two or three times, you'll end up with no capacity in the battery at all - it will become a doorstop and will no longer accept a full charge. It might work for 2-3 charging cycles, but then it's toast.

As a guideline, you really shouldn't discharge a lead-acid battery much below 50% (which is roughly 12.06 volts on a 12 volt deep cycle battery). Personally, I never let my 12-volt deep cycle batteries get below a 12.4 volt charge (about 80% of capacity left). So, to use a 12-volt lead-acid battery for CPAP use, you really need to get a battery that has enough amp-hours (a minimum of 100 amp-hours) if you intend to use the battery for more than one night - unless you can afford to buy a brand new battery after every 3rd charging cycle.

For a few bucks more, you could have gotten a 110 amp-hour 12 volt hybrid deep cycle Marine battery, with a lot more capacity. Granted, it might weigh 10 pounds more, but you won't ruin it like you will if you continue to use a 35-amp/hr battery, discharging it down to 11.5v each cycle.

[Image: voltchart1.gif]

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.

07-30-2013 01:37 PM
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CapnLoki Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Camping and Power Supply
I agree with much of what been said but have to toss in a few thoughts:

The $100 Walmart Marine Deep Cycle works, but it is a traditional wet cell battery that really isn't well suited to lugging around or using indoors as a backup. Although it looks "sealed" it really isn't. You won't be very happy if you turn it upside down (it will leak acid), and it will vent hydrogen over time, especially if overcharged. Much better is a AGM battery, which is virtually sealed (it can still vent a bit) and can run upside down. They are more costly and even less tolerant of deep discharge, but worth it for piece of mind. They have the bonus of a very low "self discharge" rate, so they don't have to stay on a trickle charge. In fact, they can go several months with minimal loss. An AGM with a small charger (search for Battery Tender) is suitable a UPS for home use.

Trying to infer the State of Charge from the "open circuit" voltage is tricky - its only really meaningful when the battery has a modest load (like a CPAP). Plus each technology is different, so 12.0 might be low for one battery and good for another.

While every uses the spring clips when jumping batteries, this is a terrible solution for CPAPs. Get a battery (or post adaptors) that allow you to screw on a proper wire for a "cigarette lighter" socket. And spend the extra $5 for the rubber boots so no one puts a pie tin across the posts. Even a small battery can put out more juice than wall outlet and there are no circuit breakers.

The phrase "Marine Battery" gets used a lot, but it should be used carefully. Marine batteries can be starter batteries (not at all suitable for our purpose), deep cycle (that's what you want), or Hybrid (in theory a cross between the two, but it really just means its big enough to start an engine). Also, it can be Wet, Gel, or AGM. In other words, "marine" says absolutely nothing about the battery, it just that at Walmart you won't find a deep cycle battery sold as an auto battery. Also, if you go to a marine store (West Marine, etc.) you'll have the privilege of paying about 50% extra. Boaters that take batteries seriously get golf cart batteries.
07-30-2013 03:37 PM
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