Variable-speed electric diving pump supplies air according to demand


July 20, 2010

Brownie's VS335 Third Lung diving system automatically adjusts its compression speed according to the diver's need for air

Brownie's VS335 Third Lung diving system automatically adjusts its compression speed according to the diver's need for air

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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.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

This is not SCUBA, which is Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It\'s not self-contained. It\'s a version of surface-supplied diving.


You're right, I slipped up! A correction has been made.

Ben C.

We did this 3 decades ago!! The reason wasn\'t noise but if you got engine exhaust into it, it could kill you underwater. We used a far more simple pressure regulator though but just about as eff as Brownies.


A more compact motor/compressor would be better and also, such a sunny day and no solar panels to charge batteries...

Facebook User

@jerryd, The electrical version of the Brownie does NOT emit carbon or other fumes!! So you do not need to worry about engine exhaust - this is one of the reasons this new technology is so cool.

@Facebook User, the actual motor/compressor used in the Brownie is just about the smallest there is. Go and see a model in real life and you will see what I mean. When the solar power technology is there, I am certain that Brownie\'s will come up with a solar powered Brownie, but if you were to utilize it now, you would need some seriously big panels...

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