UPES student develops device to plug oxygen leakage
Amid the growing requirement of ventilators and oxygen across the country, a student from UPES School of Engineering has designed a device to reduce oxygen wastage and leakage
The wastage or leakage of oxygen in hospitals is a matter of concern, particularly in today’s times when the nation is battling the Covid-19 crisis. Suraj Kumar Singh, a fourth-year student at UPES School of Engineering, proposes an effective solution to minimize the wastage, leakage, and misuse of oxygen at all levels and ensure the best utilization of oxygen for patients.
Suraj Kumar Singh says, “The world is going through a severe health crisis, and in today’s era of innovation, the youth can help overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic by being problem solvers and creating solutions.”
Suraj conceptualized the design of a Low-Cost High-Sensitivity Acoustic Camera under the guidance of Dr. Rishi Dewan from the Department of Physics, School of Engineering. The equipment can detect Oxygen Leakage Hotspot when the patient is asleep with the oxygen mask as improper placement of mask on the face is the primary reason for oxygen leakage. Also, if the mask is not properly fixed, some amount of oxygen is not inhaled by the patient, and it is wasted. To compensate for the need of the patient, the flow rate of oxygen is increased which further increases the wastage of oxygen.
In addition, the device can also be used in transferring Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) from a capsule (mobile tank) to tanks installed in hospitals.
“I was watching the news and saw that there was an oxygen gas leakage while transferring from the Capsule Mobile Tank to a hospital in Maharashtra. I wanted to contribute my bit for mitigating the suffering around me. This is when I started brainstorming, read various books and started thinking of a low-cost and productive method that could be implemented immediately.”
Says Suraj, “I noticed that my household gas cylinder was leaking. The cylinder was making an audible hissing sound, and I inferred that if the leakage is too low, it would at least generate an ultrasonic noise source that is distinguishable from mechanical noise sources.”
“I decided to design an acoustic camera that can be used to detect the sources of these noises by increasing the number of microphones. I also created multiple layers of wide array microphones to capture the leakage. I aimed to make the leakage (sound of leakage) visible through the coordination of camera and microphone,” he adds.
To capture this sound, Suraj used a Dish Antenna to place the large microphones to create a web of microphones, increasing the sensitivity due to its concave shape. The equipment consisted of a camera for capturing the image, a group of digital microphones and a Raspberry Pi Model 3 to measure data from the digital microphones simultaneously and then transfer the data to a desktop post processing.
Suraj explains, “I have proposed a 3D Model of the Design. During my research, I found that such devices are used in the Railway organisations in the US and Europe to detect leakage in the mobile tanks that are carried, and the result comes in the form of this image.”
“I believe that such technology needs to be worked on urgently to make the device available for immediate use, especially when we are currently in shortage of cryogenic tanks and oxygen is being transferred at a massive scale. When we start questioning the things around us, the quest for learning begins and leads to innovation. I had enrolled myself in the geosciences program but worked on projects from different fields such as aviation, automotive, blockchain, and many others,” he adds.
Rishi Dewan, Department of Physics, UPES School of Engineering, says, “Nearly four years back in 2017 when I first interacted with Suraj in the classroom, I could easily differentiate him from others due to his technical and innovative approach in academics. He is brilliant in many fields and is known for his do-or-die attitude. During the pandemic when he had put forward his practical solution to tackle the oxygen crisis, I was excited to help and support him. This project seems to be technically sound, commercially viable, and can save human lives during this crucial time.”