Variable-speed electric diving pump supplies air according to demand
By Ben Coxworth
July 20, 2010
We’ve got cars, motorcycles and bicycles that are electric, so why not hookah air pumps for diving? They make much less noise than their gas and diesel-powered counterparts, they don’t stink up their surroundings with toxic fumes, and they don’t emit carbon. Of course, as is the case with many other e-things, the electricity that powers them has to come from somewhere, and chances are that somewhere isn’t a wind turbine or a solar panel. A new diving system from Brownie’s Marine Group, however, has another ace up its sleeve - a variable-speed compressor that automatically adjusts in accordance to the diver’s demand for air, thus saving power and allowing for longer and/or deeper dives when running off a battery.
Traditional diving air compressors run at a constant rate, feeding a set amount of air down to the diver. If more air is being sent than the diver requires, the excess is blown off through an escape valve. With Brownie’s VS335 Third Lung system, however, an electronic controller monitors the pressure inside the air hose. If the pressure drops, meaning the air is being used up, the controller speeds up the compressor to provide more. If the pressure builds, meaning that the air is being pumped into a hose that still contains unused air, the compressor slows down. If the diver stops breathing entirely, the compressor also comes to a complete stop.
The VS335 can run off AC power when onboard a boat, or off a battery when set inside its floating rubber platform. Up to three divers can use the device simultaneously for one to three hours, with a hose range of 35 feet (10.5 meters) each.
Brownie's is offering a complete package for the introductory price of US$4,145.