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How to choose the right HVO model

HVO gives you a choice between a basic, reliable product, dubbed the Classic™️, and one that is “cloud-connected”, with sophisticated data tracking, monitoring, and configuration options, which we call the Pro Series™️. In this post, you’ll learn the differences between them, and how to decide which is best for your application.

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How much oxygen does my torch use?

flowrates of torches

When considering a High Volume Oxygen system to replace your dependence on compressed or liquid oxygen tanks, there are various considerations. Knowing how much oxygen you go through in a set period of time is a great way to figure out which High Volume Oxygen system will work best for you. It helps to know how long a tank of oxygen lasts you, but short term usage is also helpful to make sure you get a system that can keep up with you. How do you figure out your short term usage? Start with your torch(es).

What are the manufacturer recommendations for my torch?

When looking at how much oxygen your torch uses, a good place to start is with the manufacturer’s specifications for your torch. Here’s a list of links to the manufacturer’s torch specs pages to help you get started:

Note that just because a torch has a listed maximum flow rate, you likely won’t be using that amount of oxygen constantly. It’s very rare that a torch is turned wide open and run like that consistently. But, you may also be using your torch differently than the situation in which it was tested.

In real world usage, pressure settings change and actual usage can vary greatly from manufacturer’s specifications. For example, we’ve seen folks using a GTT Mirage going through 70 lpm of oxygen, which is well above the manufacturer’s specifications. The way you use your torch will determine your usage.

We’ve come up with a variety of flowrates for various torches and have documented the torches in use in our Lincoln Hot Glass studio which runs on natural gas and High Volume Oxygen. In the playlist below, you can see varying flames and the amount of oxygen they consume for the Carlisle CC, GTT Mirage, GTT Delta Elite, Bethlehem Bravo, Herbert Arnold 40 mm, and National and Smith Little torches.

If you’re not sure how much oxygen you’re using, it’s okay! Get in touch with the HVO Team, and we can work with you to figure out the ideal High Volume Oxygen system for your situation.

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Using Compressed Oxygen to Supplement for Glass Blowers

Why would you want to supplement your High Volume Oxygen System with compressed oxygen tanks?

When considering a High Volume Oxygen system to replace your dependence on compressed or liquid oxygen tanks, there are various considerations. One of the most important things to consider is your typical overall oxygen usage vs your peak oxygen usage (the highest volume of oxygen you might need during certain time periods). When making your initial investment, sometimes it makes more sense to plan for your typical oxygen usage and supplement with compressed oxygen for the rare occasions that your usage is much higher than normal (like for events or classes).

Backup Oxygen Supply Valve
Backup Oxygen Supply Valve

High Volume Oxygen sells a Backup Oxygen Supply Valve for just this purpose. The backup supply of oxygen will automatically deliver oxygen, if the HVO tank pressure drops below its normal regulator pressure.

In a glass studio, you may find you want to use a Backup Oxygen Supply Valve instead of investing in a larger HVO System that may be more than is needed for your average or typical usage. The HVO System is modular and expandable, so you could certainly invest in a large system to cover your peak usage. But if you only need the additional oxygen once or twice a year, it may make more fiscal sense to supplement during the periods of higher oxygen consumption.

Alternatively, if you can only invest in a smaller system initially, you can supplement with compressed oxygen until you are able to grow your system to cover all of your oxygen needs.

You may want to consider financing the full system that will keep up with you. North Star Leasing offers competitive solutions that help you spread the investment out over a longer period of time. You may be able to match your current oxygen budget while investing in your business.

In the above scenarios, you won’t completely eliminate your use of compressed oxygen tanks, but you will greatly reduce the amount of oxygen you are purchasing. If you end up going through more ktanks than expected, then you are likely ready to expand your High Volume Oxygen system.

How to install the backup oxygen supply valve
Supplementing with a compressed oxygen tank

Technical Details and Safety Features

The Backup Oxygen Supply Valve is a “T” that sits between a backup oxygen source, such as a compressed oxygen tank, and the HVO system. Each side requires a regulator, i.e. one for the HVO system and one for the backup supply, as shown in the diagram above.

On the backup supply side there’s a ball valve that enables the backup source to be turned off. On the HVO side there’s a check valve, a safety mechanism which ensures that the HVO tank won’t receive oxygen from the compressed tank. In the middle, there’s a “T” that connects to your oxygen-out line.

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Emergency Oxygen Generating Trailer

High Volume Oxygen of Lincoln, Nebraska was selected by the Ford Motor Company to help in the development of a portable emergency oxygen generating trailer that can be deployed strategically to field hospitals and other locations where oxygen supply may be disrupted. High Volume Oxygen is an industrial oxygen equipment manufacturing company based in Lincoln, Nebraska that serves the veterinary, aquaculture and glass blowing markets with state-of-the-art oxygen systems that closely monitor metrics in the cloud, such as volume, flow, and oxygen purity, that are essential for life supporting oxygen systems

With the invocation of the Defense Production Act, Ford has pooled its resources to connect the Roush corporation in Detroit, Michigan with the High Volume Oxygen team to address the nationwide effort in supplying medical personnel on the frontline with the tools to save lives.

“We were very honored to get the call and have been working around the clock to make this happen. It gave our company a powerful sense of purpose to be able to do something significant and potentially life-saving during this time.” says Marc Kornbluh, president of High Volume Oxygen.

The Defense Production Act of 1950 is a United States federal law enacted on September 8, 1950 in response to the start of the Korean War. It was part of a broad civil defense and war mobilization effort in the context of the Cold War.

This current mandate is to get non-medical equipment manufacturers engaged in the process of quickly developing equipment to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Many companies have risen to the call by developing ventilators, masks, oxygen systems and anything that might help to address the pressing medical needs caused by the pandemic.

Additional References:

10/11 Now article : Lincoln oxygen company helps Ford with COVID-19 aid project

NPR Interview with Adrian Price, Ford’s director of manufacturing: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/16/835710036/ford-motor-companys-car-production-shifted-to-make-ventilators

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Generate Oxygen with Solar Power

Is it feasible and beneficial to run an HVO oxygen generating system with photovoltaic (PV) solar panels? That is the topic I’ll be exploring in this post. I consulted with professional solar installers on the technical questions regarding modern PV solar systems.

The cost of PV solar power has come down 99% over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, “conversion efficiency“, which represents the amount of sunlight that is converted to electricity, is now as high as 22.8%. To bring the cost down even further, state and federal governments offer Renewable Energy Tax Credits.

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How much will I pay in electricity? (Part Two)

In the continuing discussion of the electrical usage and costs of a High Volume Oxygen system, I wanted to share a modified configuration of the Lincoln Hot Glass system with different torches working on it. The configuration of the system and the torches working on it will affect the electrical costs. A larger system that needs to turn on fewer times to refill will have lower electrical costs than a smaller system that runs more often.

The HVO configuration for this graph is a MAX 60 gallon system with a 60 gallon storage tank and five 10 lpm oxygen concentrators (or 50 lpm).

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Estimating electrical costs of generating your own oxygen (Part One)

bulb close up electricity energy

Have you ever thought that you’d like to set up an oxygen generation and compression system so you could make oxygen on site, but you’ve wondered how much you would end up paying in electricity? Many people are curious to know if their electrical bill will skyrocket after making the switch to High Volume Oxygen. When the HVO System is properly specified, it will cycle on and off. For most glass studios, the system may run for half of the workday, or it may run for a couple of hours. The size of the system, the components being run and the amount of oxygen being used are all considerations when figuring out how much you’ll be paying in electrical costs.

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How to Care for your HVO System

You, When Everything is Working

You just made an investment in an HVO system because you want to save money on oxygen, have a safe work environment, and you like the idea of flipping a switch to make all the oxygen you need. Now you can focus on your business rather than having to check your tank levels, place orders, schedule delivery, replace empties, and pay oxygen bills.

To capitalize on your investment, put your system in a proper space and care for it so it can live a long and happy life. The things you need to do are pretty straightforward, especially if you begin with a little planning.

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How much oxygen do you need? (Part 2)

In part 1, we talked about the density of oxygen, gas measurement standards, and how to calculate gas volume for a container of a given size at a given pressure. In this post, we’re going to use that knowledge to configure an HVO system that is capable of producing the amount of oxygen that you require.

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How much oxygen do you need? (Part 1)

When you buy a container of ice cream, you may think that a quart is a quart until you learn that one brand contains a lot more air than another. You can weigh the two containers and you’ll know that the heavier one contains more product. The same is true for gases: two tanks may be “full” from the top to the bottom, but the volume of stored gas is based on density, which is mostly determined by pressure.

Like most common gases, oxygen expands to fill its container. But how much oxygen is actually inside? You may know that an oxygen cylinder contains some number of cubic feet of oxygen, but the cylinder doesn’t look like it could possibly hold that much. It’s the compressibility of oxygen that makes it possible to squeeze a mass of gas into a small space.

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How much does oxygen cost?

A Mass of Gas

This simple question has a not-so-simple answer, as there are many factors that influence the cost of oxygen. Gas company prices vary significantly depending on where you’re located, whether you’re getting scheduled deliveries, and whether you have an annual contract. The amount of oxygen you use will impact the cost of compressed, liquid, and generated oxygen. To make the most economical choice, let’s examine your requirements.

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