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Precise, Dependable and Affordable Flow Meters for Oxygen Concentrators


An oxygen concentrator is rather simple in design: it works by separating oxygen from nitrogen and other gases that make up air, then delivers mostly oxygen to the oxygen concentrator user. Natural air contains approximately 21% oxygen, while a concentrator can output air consisting of up to 95% oxygen. This concentrated oxygen helps people who experience trouble with breathing get the necessary oxygen to improve their condition and maintain overall health.

Demand for these units has increased significantly over the last few years due to unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems worldwide. As a result, facilities are at or near maximum capacities, leaving more patients to require treatment at home than ever before. A portable oxygen concentrator essentially provides the same benefit as larger and more complex central oxygen delivery systems found at hospitals.

oxygen concentrator with flow meter    

Application Requirements

While using an oxygen concentrator, it is important that the user has full and precise control of the amount of oxygen that is delivered by the device. This requires accurate and consistent flow rate measurement, allowing the oxygen concentrator user to receive the appropriate amount of oxygen. Keep in mind that an individual’s needs may vary, depending on their particular situation, thus requiring increased or decreased oxygen levels. Many oxygen concentrators use variable area rotameters, or the Brooks Instrument 2500 Series acrylic tube variable area flow meter, to measure the oxygen flow rate to the user. These flow meters are easy to read and have optimal operational functionality, and are low in cost to keep the concentrators affordable and widely available.

  • Compact and lightweight design allows for easy integration into the oxygen concentrators.
  • Printed scales are clear and easy to read by the oxygen concentrator user.
  • High accuracy of an integrated control valve allows for the precise amount of oxygen be delivered to the oxygen concentrator user.
  • No electricity required.

Process Solution

Many oxygen concentrator manufacturers rely on the Brooks Instrument 2500 Series acrylic variable area flow meter due to its reliability and affordability. The compact and lightweight design of the flow meter allows for easy integration into the concentrators without adding bulkiness. The printed scales on the face are clear and easily readable by the oxygen concentrator user. The amount of oxygen delivered is precise, thanks to the high accuracy calibration of the flow meter and scale. An integrated control valve maintains a steady flow when changing oxygen output. This variable area rotameter technology does not require electricity, so the oxygen concentrator does not need any wiring to operate the flowmeter. This helps keep manufacturing costs down.

For the flow scheme below, air enters the unit through the intake or oxygen separating system and is then processed. The resulting air, which is mostly oxygen now, moves through to the holding tank. It then hits a pressure regulator, which releases the oxygen-rich air into the 2500 Series acrylic variable area flow meter to the oxygen concentrator user.

Oxygen concentrator with flow meter

The 2500 series flow meters provide the perfect combination of performance, reliability, and simplicity, at an affordable price point; all which allow both healthcare providers and oxygen concentrator users to breath more easily.

About The Author

Nick Kehl
Applications Engineer

Nick is applications engineer at Brooks Instrument.

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