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An In-Depth Comparison of the Top CPAP Battery packs
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines have come a long way in recent years. Not only are these units able to effectively treat the conditions associated with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), but a wide range of styles and configurations are available.
However, even the most effective machine will prove to be of little use if it is not supplied with a reliable source of power. This is why choosing the most appropriate battery pack is an important step which should never be overlooked.
What are some features which should be taken into account? Why is the capacity of specific units such a critical metric? Not only will we explain these answers in greater detail, but we will also take a look at three of the most recognised names in the industry so that we can appreciate how to make the appropriate choice without being forced to spend a significant amount of money.
What Makes Battery Capacity a Such Critical Feature?
From the simplest point of view, battery capacity involves the ability to charge and operate a CPAP device for a specific amount of time. It therefore stands to reason that batteries associated with a higher capacity will offer a greater sense of efficiency. In other words, they will be able to supply power to a unit for a longer period of time before needing to be recharged.
This is actually a very important benefit, as more potent power supplies are extremely convenient. This is even more of a concern if you happen to be travelling, as access to mains electricity might not always be possible.
For the sake of this article, battery capacity will be measured in ampere-hours (Ahr) and watt-hours (Wh). Now that we have a general understanding of this concept, let us move on by taking a quick look at what many consider to represent the top batteries designed for continuous positive airway pressure machines.
The Philips PAP unit has a capacity of 90 watt-hours and it will provide an uninterrupted charge for between three and four hours (depending upon the machine being powered). The user is then required to recharge the battery before it can be used again.
At 1.02 kilograms, it is also quite lightweight. The unit is supplied with its own carrying case and it is equipped with a six-month warranty. The entire kit costs £395 pounds and no prescription is required. After 1,000 hours of use, the Philips PAP unit is estimated to retain more than 70 per cent of its original capacity.
The Resmed Power Station II offers slightly more battery capacity when compared to the Philips PAP kit (96 watt-hours). The battery is also equipped with its own carrying case as well as a power supply unit adaptor. It offers the same sense of reliability as the Philips model mentioned above and at a cost of £400 (at the time that this article was written), the unit is slightly cheaper per ampere-hour. A warranty is likewise included with the Resmed Power Station II battery supply.
The Tracer Compact is a final choice and like the Resmed Power Station II, it offers the user a supply of 96 watt-hours. There are two variants of this battery configuration: the Tracer 12V Compact Battery Pack and the Tracer 12V Ultra Battery Pack (priced £139 pounds and £285 pounds respectively). Notwithstanding the size and weight differences (the compact model weighs only 600 grams), both offer the same amount of power. Depending upon the CPAP machine in question, these battery packs can provide up to 50 hours of usage before they will need to be recharged.
The Issue of Price
As we have seen, there are slight differences between the different models mentioned above in terms of their overall capacities. However, the main takeaway point here is that the Tracer Compact series is priced at only £139 pounds. This essentially equates to a savings of approximately £285 pounds when compared to the Philips and Resmed variants.
These savings can even be applied towards the average car jump-starting kit. The Tracer Ultra battery is roughly the same price as a jump starter that provides a capacity of 22 ampere-hours. Alternatively, the Tracer Compact unit is priced equivalently to a jump starter that offers 8 ampere-hours. In the simplest of terms, the Tracer series of batteries represents the most cost-effective solution while still providing the end user with a reliable source of power over time.
Reliable Solutions for Those Suffering from Sleep Apnoea
There are many situations which might dictate that a battery pack is needed. Perhaps you are required to remain seated on a plane for a number of hours when flying abroad. You might instead be visiting a location that does not offer a steady supply of mains electricity or an adaptor might not be available. Any of these circumstances dictate that your unit will need a constant supply of energy for hours at a time. This is once again why choosing the correct battery pack is critical if you hope to avoid any issues while sleeping.
Price is an obvious concern, as many individuals are on a limited budget. While all of the brands mentioned above are well-known names throughout the sleep therapy industry, both Philips and Resmed are quite expensive when compared to the Tracer series. What is even more interesting is that the Tracer Compact and Ultra models provide impressive capacities without this power being translated into a hefty price tag.
Whether you have recently purchased a continuous positive airway pressure machine or you are less than satisfied with your current battery, the factors mentioned above should always be taken into account. If you have additional questions or concerns, it is always wise to speak with a physician or a sleep therapist. When comfort and reliability count, a steady source of power can never be taken for granted.
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