Power devices critical to open source ventilator design

April 16, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Power and battery management is at the heart of an open source ventilator design from Renesas Electronics.
Power and battery management is at the heart of an open source ventilator design from Renesas Electronics.

Power devices are at the heart of an open source ventilator design developed by Renesas Electronics.

Engineers looked at several open-source ventilator designs, including the Medtronic PB560, to come up with a three board design that is both easy to assemble but also safe. It controls the tidal volume and mixture of gas delivered to the patient while monitoring the patient’s status. The ventilator is portable and can be used with or without gas tanks. In addition, a humidifier can be connected to the ventilator’s intake path for long term use.

The design uses 20 chips from Renesas, including low drop out regulator, buck boost DC-DC converter controller, and a battery balancing and monitoring chip to boost the battery life of the ventilator.

The ventilator system reference design to provide a portable unit that can be used in hallway or non-ICU use cases. The machine can provide high pressure oxygen to patients in assist control and pressure control modes. The assist control mode provides a certain tidal volume of gas to a patient with each inhale. The flow sensor (FS1023) would monitor the gas flow rate at the inhale tube and the tidal volume would be calculated by the MCU using the rate integrated with time. The oxygen valve would be controlled by the MCU and manage the oxygen ratio. The pressure control mode provides a certain pressure to the patient with each inhale.


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