A spin-off from a critical technology that might aid future pilots of Indian Air Force (IAF) flying the sunshine Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas with non-stop supply of oxygen while undertaking long-endurance missions is now being offered to hospitals combating coronavirus.
This product to fly out from the hangars of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is within the sort of a Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP), is an offshoot technology from the Onboard Oxygen (OBOX) generation system being developed for Tejas.
The MOP technology is developed by Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), a life sciences wing of DRDO situated in Bengaluru’s C V Raman Nagar.
MOP utilizes pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technique and molecular sieve technology to get oxygen directly from atmospheric air.
The OBOX technology for Tejas being developed by DEBEL has been approved by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), workplace mandated to certify the products.
Sources in DRDO inform Onmanorama that the oxygen generator components are developed by DEBEL and therefore the technology has been transferred to a Coimbatore-based firm. “This plant are going to be useful to supply oxygen supply during corona pandemic in hospitals in urban and rural areas.
The installation of MOP helps in avoiding hospital’s dependency of scarce oxygen cylinders,” says a DRDO official monitoring the work. Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, the scientists at DEBEL are working developing various products for the healthcare sector.
Masks and sanitizers developed by the lab have already been distributed in bulk, while work on affordable ventilators has reached advanced stages of completion.
Several Benefits Scientists say that the MOP are often used extensively at hospitals situated at high altitude and inaccessible remote areas. “There are several benefits including reduced logistics of transporting cylinders to those areas, low cost, continuous and reliable oxygen supply available around the clock.
The power also can be used for filling the cylinders additionally to direct installations at the hospitals,” says a scientist. DRDO has already used this technology to put in oxygen plants at a number of the military hospitals and establishments in North-East and Leh-Ladakh regions.
the primary such plant found out in Tawang is operational since 2017 and it complies with international standards like ISO 1008, European, US and Indian pharmacopoeia.
Unique Features The MOP has high reliability, full independency with automation and reduces logistics. This safe technology needs only minimum maintenance and may be operated at low cost. it’s freed from oil and produces oxygen instantaneously from ambient air and works round-the-clock.
the electrical oxygen compressor can charge the cylinders up to 200 bar. it’s stored oxygen supply for transient power failures and boasts of low energy consumption.
It also can be operated via remote . The MOP contains an compressor , air dryer, oxygen generator and a compressor. Each plant can refill to 47 Litres (water capacity) cylinders at a rate of 60 per day and operate round-the-clock.
“The oxygen capacity depends on the pressure of filling, which is about 150-200 bar. The industry holding the transfer of technology can build up its production and may install up to twenty plants in five weeks,” says a scientist. The system can cater to 60 patients at a flow of 5 LPM (litres per minute) and may agitate to 60 cylinders per day. The capacity are often varied as per the hospital requirement.
The plant is meant for a capacity of 18 NM3 per hour. (NM3 or normal meter cubed per hour is that the unit to live the gas flow .) The oxygen capacity depends on the pressure of filling, which is about 150-200 bar. The scientists at DEBEL also designed three sorts of aluminium cylinders which may be used for oxygen filling.
The oxygen-carrying capacity of those cylinders varies and is meant to work under different pressure parameters. For the Tejas OBOX, the scientists have used a zeolite-based technology and therefore the system will undergo trials soon. “We have completed all ground-based trials of OBOX on the test rigs and therefore the pilots are satisfied with the results.
it’ll now be integrated on one among the test variants of Tejas for flight trials. it’s been already cleared by the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness,” says a politician . The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Indian Railways are among the several prospective users who have shown interest in DEBEL’s MOP.