Low cost ventilator concept using commonly available components

Low cost ventilator concept using commonly available components

Idea starter for urgent situations - does not claim to actually work as a life sustaining device

As COVID-19 creates the need for hundreds of thousands of ventilators, finding alternative systems for ventilators could help by using different components and resources that are readily available. Thousands of engineers, scientists and others are collectively working to find new approaches to the shortage.

At Equilibar, we are working in our lab on a variety of related projects to address the shortage. Our goal is to publish multiple parallel approaches and solicit feedback from early adopters worldwide. We have developed a modified model of our fluid control valve for experienced designers of ventilator systems, but we are also actively working on ideas that could inspire and enable other innovators, especially in less developed countries

This page shares ideas about how ordinary people around the world could possibly make a type of assisted breathing device using commonly available parts.

Idea Starter

The following video demonstrations are meant to serve as a source of ideas. The information contained is open source and free for anyone to use anywhere in the world. Neither the author, David Reed, nor Equilibar make any claim to it, nor do we make any claim about its suitability to actually work as a life sustaining device. Proceed at your own risk. Stay safe out there and best of luck to everyone around the world.

DIY Pressure waveform generator*

This video series demonstrates how ordinary people throughout the world might be able to build a ventilator-type device using commonly available components including two Advance Auto Parts PN 911-511 EVAP solenoid valves.

The exhaust flow requires a flow amplifying valve, which is constructed using various pieces of metal and rubber tubing. The maximum pressure is regulated by immersing the end of a tube into a column of water inside PVC pipe.

The pressure sensor is not needed but is used in the video to project a signal on an oscilloscope to show how well the respirator is working.

A series of videos were prepared to demonstrate this system made with common parts and automotive solenoid valves.

Video 1 – Overview

Video 2 – Schematic

Video 3 – Demonstration of manual operation

Video 4 – How to make a pinch valve from tubing and hose

Video 5 – How to make a low pressure regulator with water and bucket

Video 6 – Advanced Pressure Waveform

Part 6 – I decided to alter my approach and make a ventilator with a better pressure waveform. Once that is achieved, I will work backwards to replace the more sophisticated components with parts that are lower technology or more readily obtained. Given the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis and the limited availability of many parts made specifically for ventilators, using alternative components is important.

Video 7 – Advanced Pressure Waveform Schematic

In this video I review the schematic of the system used above to build a more advanced ventilator that provides a better pressure waveform into a larger simulated lung volume.

 

April 4, 2020 update

Part 6 – I decided to alter my approach and make a ventilator with a better pressure waveform and replace the more sophisticated components with parts that are more readily obtained. View Videos Part 6 and 7 below at left for more details.

March 25, 2020

While my colleague are working on more sophisticated designs for ventilators, I am working to demonstrate how ordinary people around the world could possibly make a type of assisted breathing device using commonly available parts. Starts with Video 1 to the left.

schematic of DIY ventilator with commonly available parts

Hand-drawn schematic of DIY pressure waveform generator

*Equilibar control valves have historically not been for use in commercial ventilator systems. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, Equilibar has retrofitted its valves for potential use in connection with medical ventilator systems. While our valves are not approved for any medical use by the FDA or any other governmental agency, Equilibar plans to produce these valves in volume and offer the valves, with affordability in mind to the extent possible, to businesses or governments who are actively seeking or agree to seek qualifying approval for the sale or distribution of integrated systems for use within a medical setting from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) or other similar governing agency in local jurisdiction. Your agreement to any terms of sale with respect to our valves asserts that you are a technically competent entity capable of evaluating system risk and seeking Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA or other similar governing agency in local jurisdiction.

All rights to use our valves shall be effective from the date we provide the valves to you until such time as we notify you that your use must end which reasons may include, without limitation, end of the existing pandemic or recalls for safety reasons.

Use of our valves and/or drawings shall be solely as provided for in a legal agreement with you which will include, in part that any sale is (i) not and does not represent medical or legal advice by Equilibar, (ii) is not approved or available as alternative to an FDA approved ventilator and (ii) AS IS, WHERE IS, AND WITH ALL FAULTS’’. If you do not agree with any of the foregoing do not purchase or use any of our valves for use other than as originally intended (i.e. commercial ventilator systems).

Equilibar News
Oblique view of ultra-sensitive back pressure regulator

COVID-19 Update: Equilibar working with ventilator designers to increase access to component parts

Since Friday March 20, 2020, Equilibar has focused on working to modify the design of our fluid control valves to enable them to serve as building blocks for medical ventilator systems.  Our technical team has made rapid progress.  Based on collaboration with bio-engineering and medical experts, we believe we have developed designs that can contribute Read More

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