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Palamara, Matthew James (2004) ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION FROM NON-CONTINUOUS FLOW IN A SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In recent times, the number of electronic devices utilized by firefighters has greatly increased. Currently, all of this equipment relies heavily upon batteries as a source of power. The purpose of this research was to investigate alternate methods for powering the electrical functions of an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). Replacing the batteries with a self-sufficient source of constant power is attractive for its characteristics of both reliability and cost efficiency. Maintenance of charged batteries and the logistics problem of an SCBA arriving at the scene unable to operate create an environment which is certainly unreliable and potentially quite dangerous. By relying on a maintenance-free, constant source of power, the jobs of fire departments could be made easier, and the lives of firefighters safer.The energy source for the power generation was to be the pressurized air stored in tanks on the firefighters' backs. Many methods were considered for the ground-up design, but selected was the concept of an inline unit comprised of a small DC dynamo coupled with a pneumatic motor. The generator would be propelled by the air flow resulting from each inhalation breath. Multiple tests were performed to prove the generator's capability in both adequate continuous power generation and in its implementation without affecting the existing performance of the SCBA. An accumulator was added to the system as a corrective method to keep the internal mask pressure at an acceptable level.The final design of the power generation cell includes a non-reversible air motor, coupled with the appropriate DC motor, contained within a sealed cell which acts as an accumulator, protective enclosure, and a means of leak containment for the unit. The unit is self-contained, easily added to an SCBA, and has no negative effects on the current design of the system. Adequate levels of continuous power were reached, ranging from 4 to 7 Watts depending on the rate of breathing.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Palamara, Matthew
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMarangoni, Roy
Committee MemberMickle, Marlin H.mickle@ee.pitt.eduMICKLE
Committee MemberLovell, Michael R.mlovell@pitt.eduMLOVELL
Date: 9 June 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 April 2004
Approval Date: 9 June 2004
Submission Date: 23 March 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering
Degree: MSME - Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: air; flow; generation; power
Other ID:, etd-03232004-162121
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:32
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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