Pulmonary Fibrosis News Forums Forums Welcome Lounge Feeling tied to that 120VAC outlet for your plug-in heavier duty concentrator?

  • Feeling tied to that 120VAC outlet for your plug-in heavier duty concentrator?

    Posted by george-poulsen on April 19, 2024 at 4:07 pm

    I try to plan for the future (so to speak). So, with my Inogen G5pumping along at equivalent to 5LPM and turning it up to 6LPM more often lately, it makes me think about the next step or two. Local outlets say that portable liquid or gaseous oxygen is not readily available as I graduate above 6LPM say 10 Lpm or so. So it looks like a larger plug-in 120 VAC Concentrator of the non-portable type is the target. Man – that would be a long extension cord or cannula line though-right?

    However a thought just hit me……..has anyone looked at or used a combination of one of the pull around suitcase style concentrators like a Caire or even inogen At-Home unit that is 120 VAC plug-in and in combination with solar rechargeable battery silent generator alongside the unit from Amazon?

    They come in different styles and sizes. Eg 1000 watt and up. Well, my Inogen At-home for instance uses 275 watts power and if my math is correct solar units would power the At-Home or most others for maybe up to 3 hours and maybe longer depending on what you spend or the LPM you require. The weight is I believe 18#, size not humongous and it means if the right combination could be worked out it might even allow a small pull cart for the “silent” solar powered generator and your concentrator and allow you to pull a relatively small package in some circumstances hooked up to your cannula, and maybe even behind a bike or (3 wheeler)? Here’s a copy of what I saw on Amazon. Seems worth exploring just the right combination if you’re going into the heavy duty users club? And maybe everyone already knows all this stuff, so why do we tend to learn all the answers at the end of the trail and not at the beginning anyway? Here’s what turned my thinking on and there are many combinations. So let us know if you have tried this combination.? What price mobility, if we really want it?

    Jackery Solar Generator 1000, 1002Wh Capacity with 2xSolarSaga 100W Solar Panels, 3x1000W AC

    Carlene A. Chamberlain replied 6 days, 10 hours ago 7 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Harry Harrington

    April 24, 2024 at 11:07 am

    Just a heads up for those hitting 6lpm. Mu pleumonologist switched me over to liquid oxygen. Be3n a nightmare ever since. Can’t imagine why they do this.

    My experiences with this so far; these things leak, I got two supply tanks and two portable devices.

    Every time I have filled from big tank first my backup would be empty. Just leaked out somehow. My portable tanks are a joke. I tried one out at home to get a feel for it. It lasted three and a half hours. I went out with one next, brought my inogen5 as backup. This tank lasted Two and a half hours. There’s no gage on these instead just a strap you hold and its spring loaded. This tells you how full you are. You can’t trust it. Two days ago I filled one up and went to store. Takes five minutes to get to store and I was in it and of a sudden started getting dizzy and lightheaded. Left store immediately. I got home and was holding onto things to make it to my living room to get air. I’m lucky I made it.

    My experience with this has put me on edge. Called VA and told them and they said call delivery company and tell them to come get them. I don’t understand how they can release these to anyone.

    After conferring with VA again they told me they were aware of leaks.

  • Sandyman

    April 24, 2024 at 4:51 pm

    I have the home 120v concentrator. It’s very loud and stayed in our walk-in closet at night. In the morning we would roll it into our pantry and I had 50 feet of tubing to be mobile to go into my office/computer room, the kitchen and our family room. If I wanted to go into the garage or out on our deck, l just took my Inogen and went back to the big machine when I came back in.

    I also experimented with no oxygen and watched my numbers in a lot of various situations. I have found with proper breathing I don’t need oxygen unless I am exercising or exerting myself. I haven’t used the home concentrator in several months. When I go somewhere in a vehicle I take the Inogen in case of a flat tire or a stress situation. I do have to use proper breathing when I forget I really do need oxygen and over do it. In the meantime I am doing fine with out oxygen, but it is always near if needed. 50 feet of tubing should keep you fairly mobile around the house. And a portable for when needed works fine. I don’t think Insurance will pay for both and Medicare wouldn’t for me so I secured the Inogen portable

  • David Bennett

    April 27, 2024 at 4:50 pm

    A kilowatt of solar power takes a lot of square feet of solar panels. Panel output is rated under ideal conditions, moderate temperature, no shadows, middle of the day, so a 100 watt panel will not begin to keep up with a 1000 watt draw. It would work, but it might be a lot less convenient than you are thinking. A 200 amp hour lead acid battery in the system would only give you about an hour of service to get to the recommended 50% discharge. An equivalent lithium would last longer with an allowable deeper discharge.

    • george-poulsen

      May 22, 2024 at 2:05 pm

      David, you’re right, but I wasn’t thinking that one could “run” a 275 watt 120VAC unit using the solar panels. They just come with the unit and could charge the battery which is simply a storage place until used. It also comes with standard 120vac charger for the battery in the unit that charges much more quickly.

      My thinking is more in the vein of using the battery powered, inverter power to run one of the bigger concentrator units that can keep me breathing when on the move when I exceed the present limits of my Inogen G5, L6. It would at least offer a degree of portability although quite heavy with 42# for compressor and another 32# for battery and inverter. (trying to prove concept first). I’d rather pay Inogen to create an L7-L10 unit but that automatically gets a much heavier compressor too.

      Oxygen would seem logical but at higher oxygen rates those bottle don’t last very long either and batteries can at least be charged elsewhere.

      My hats off to those who are trying to hook cannulas together from two units but I really think that approach would require re-processing the Oxygen from the first unit by running back through a second unit, eg in series, rather than in parallel.


  • george-poulsen

    April 27, 2024 at 5:19 pm

    I have gained a lot of info. Thanks.

    My G5 Inogen on L5 is holding me pretty well so far around 90% while up for about 17 hrs. My 120Vac Inogen “At Home” holds 98% saturation for the other 7hrs sleeping at L4. My Cardiologist put in a stent last Oct (which has given me a small amount of general improvement in breathing) and his comment today is that my particular situation has a high draw-down on my available oxygen saturation which is small DLCO is +/- 27% Pred. 50ft walk to sidewalk with G5 already holding 92+/- and it drops saturation to 75% but with 3 minutes standing stock still and G5 at 5 will get me back to +/-91. For me its either sitting or standing quietly and feeling good, or movement and gulping air. The problem here is we’re all different ages, different conditions, different points on our own decline curve and depending entirely on which type issue we are saddled with. Type of fibrosis, or emphysema or COPD or cystic fibrosis and the source to begin with and whether on meds or not. So far, for my own reasons, I am not taking any specialty meds.

    But I still hope for and anticipate how to handle the added needs for the bigger machine or oxygen tank above 6LPM. Yes my greater fear is that the oxy tanks don’t readily let you take an extra tank or two (that stays full and might be recharged on the go, if elsewhere when empty.

    So I instead am thinking toward the relatively small Solar Generator (it ‘s really just a big 12 volt battery pack of Lithium batteries, (about 18#) called an inverter by any other name, that is charged optionally by solar or household120 plug but gas engine not necessary. That’s how you get 120Volt power in Rvs or campers when in the woods or wherever. It transforms the 12 volt battery power to 120Volts AC and depending on size can power one of the 275 watt 120Vot Ac concentrators for several hours or more. The problem is bulkiness of a small overnight bag with, say a Caire concentrator inside and one of these small solar generators in tow as a backup since I believe the Caire has a battery to hold power a while when off the grid.

  • Meredith

    May 1, 2024 at 8:33 pm

    Hi George,

    I was an active person when I was diagnosed with IPF. I had to use oxygen at 2 lpm.s immediately. A year later, an exacerbation pumped me up to 4 lpm. I have a 35 foot tube and do whatever I want in my apartment. For activities out of the apartment I use Inogen. This works well and I’ve used the two for several years.

    I’m always getting different info on financing through Medicare. The large at home concentrator costs around $500. The portable Inogen is nearly $3000. It’s complicated case by case. In retrospect, I would buy the at home concentrator and finance the portable through Medicare.

    Try not to plan into to future. Every person is different. Take care of the now.

    You can always tell your doctor you don’t want to do something they suggest and ask for a compromise. Oxygen use is not scary. You get used to it and you’ll feel happier and healthier.

    Keep in mind that IPF has no cure. The meds are to help you feel better. Don’t even mess around with whatever makes you uncomfortable.


  • Meredith

    May 1, 2024 at 8:40 pm

    Forgot. You can find out how long the Inogen will last. If it’s not long enough to last through the outing, get an extra battery and don’t push.

    It’s better to return home with a little extra oxygen than to run out. You might not be able to get home otherwise. You are the captain of your own needs and the ability to plan the now. Don’t worry about way down the road.

    Learn to live one day at a time.


  • george-poulsen

    May 9, 2024 at 6:30 pm

    Meredith, I agree wholeheartedly. I have had about 4 different Pulmonologists give me the “do it my way or the highway”on Ofev as being the only thing for me…period. In every case I have refused and continue to do so…. for now. I still may change my mind. But at 84 and Ofev only providing roughly 10% increase on the lifeline, I can only see a lot of probable discomfort and a lot of money outlay, for maybe only10% on remaining years, (+/- 6 years= maybe1/2 a year?) which isn’t a whole lot before an organ fails or the local bus gets me? So I’m taking my time determining one of those quality of life or quantity of life things and so far quality is a biggee for me. Thanks for hour input. Enjoy what you have and only think good thoughts!

  • Adele Friedman

    May 23, 2024 at 2:52 pm

    Be careful of thinking the settings, 1-6. on the Inogen G5 are liters per minute. They’re not. Setting 6 is about 1.26 liters/min. My six minute walk scores improved when I bagged the G5 and went to a tank where liters per minute are actually that. This is true of many POCs.

  • Carlene A. Chamberlain

    May 23, 2024 at 6:05 pm

    Yes, I didn’t find out until a respiratory therapist told me about the portable, 6 on the portable machine is 1 liter. I have 2 concentrators at home for upstairs and down as well. So now I know why I struggled with air. Those of us with IPF must educate ourselves, very rare to have a good pulmonary doc to guide us through this awful death sentence. Thanks to everyone for this site and your experiences shared. I’m not eligible for a transplant and don’t know how long I’ve had this disease, but have been coughing for many years until diagnosed in October of 2022.

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