Is the air in your scuba cylinder pure, clean, cool and moisture-free?

By 29/07/2017Miscellaneous
Diving Adelaide Bauer PE-VE Breathing Air Compressor Front

By Ron van der Marel

Meet our brand spanking new Bauer PE-VE compressor!

We couldn’t be happier about the the latest improvement at Diving Adelaide: selling our 40 year old Ingersoll Rand compressor and replacing it with a brand new Bauer PE-VE Super Silent compressor fitted with the P41 filtration, B-Kool refrigeration and B-Securus security systems!

Diving Adelaide Bauer PE-VE Breathing Air Compressor Full

Why our new compressor is great news for you
For many reasons, but the 3 most important ones:
– Our air is clean (and will meet all Australian and International Standards for diving air at all times)
– Our air is cold (your cylinders will be filled with very cool air so the fill pressure will not reduce as it cools, thereby ensuring your cylinder is FULL)
– Our air contains almost no moisture (to safeguard the inside of your cylinders from corrosion)

Why our new compressor is great news for us
Plain and simple, because your safety is of the upmost importance and we know that you will be receiving the best quality air possible. And of course:
– Because it’s quick
– Because it’s silent
– Because it’s safe

We’ve taken the guess work out of it with the Bauer B-Securus System
The Bauer B-Securus system continuously monitors the saturation of the filter cartridges by measuring the residual humidity of the compressor air in the molecular sieve of the P41 filter system. That sounds complicated, but basically what it does is send a current through the filter to check whether it still in a good enough condition to purify your breathing air and put out an advance warning when the filter needs to be changed. When the filter reaches a state that it may not purify the air anymore, the compressor automatically shuts down, eliminating any risk of producing poor quality air, and the filter must be changed out for a new one before the compressor can be reset and rebooted again.

This means that the service life of a cartridge can never be exceeded, as the compressor simply won’t run. The breathing air will be as clean as possible, 100% of the time, and in accordance with DIN EN 12021, AS/NZS 1715-2009 and AS/NZS 2299.1: 2015.

So how does this take the guess work out of it? Compressors that don’t have a Securus system installed usually run off a timer, set to X amount of hours. When the timer reaches X amount of hours, the filter needs to be changed, but there is no system in place to shut the compressor off, so it may run well over those hours. Some timers don’t take any variables like outside temperature and humidity into account either, which both have a huge impact on filter cartridge life. And even if it does take these variables into account, if it doesn’t actually measure what’s happening inside the filter (like the B-Securus system does), it’s still guess work and it’s only a timer, it doesn’t physically make you change the filter by shutting off the compressor when it’s due.

So why doesn’t everyone use the Bauer B-Securus security system? First of all because of the cost. If you pack the filter cartridge yourself a filter change will cost anywhere from $40 to $80. In comparison, a pre-packed B-Securus filter costs $300. And because with the B-Securus system the compressor switches itself off when the filters are due to be changed, which means all staff members need to be trained to be able to change the filter cartridge, as the compressor may turn itself off at any time to ensure your air stays clean and pure!

We have very COOL air
Well, cold actually! We’ve installed the optional Bauer B-Kool refrigeration system on our new compressor! This system cools down your air before it hits your tank and takes out excess moisture before it hits our filters. As you have read before, a filter cartridge for the B-Securus filtration system is not cheap, so we want our cartridges to last as long as possible. The B-Kool system not only cools the air down, it takes out lots of moisture before it actually hits the filter, so it’s a win-win, as it provides you with cool air and it will extend the life of our filter cartridges!

Think about Summer, when it’s 45 degrees outside! After the air gets compressed inside the compressor the air will be even hotter! When it reaches the Bauer B-Kool system, the unit will cool it down and will filter out any excess moisture, so you get super clean, super dry and super COOL air!

The benefit for you is that you will get colder fills, less drop in pressure after the fill and no condensation inside your tank (so no rust!).

Diving Adelaide Bauer PE-VE Breathing Air Compressor Front

So what else is new?
Besides the Bauer B-Cool and B-Securus systems, we’ve bought the optional Bauer Super Silent version of the compressor. The compressor benefits from fully noise-damped cladding and optimised cooling air supply, meaning it will last longer, but it also means we can whisper to each other right next to the compressor and we’ll still be able to hear each other, so running the compressor doesn’t have any impact on our operation.

It’s fully enclosed, so it’s a very safe unit as well and it’s quick. It technically has the same output as our old compressor (which is plenty, as we’ve got a relatively large air bank system), but so far this machine seems to be far more efficient. We can’t wait for Summer though because then we’ll find out just how much better the new compressor is compared to our old unit.

Oh and did you notice the floor in the video and photos? Thanks heaps to our Divemasters Paul and Shelley (of Snyders Painting Services) for repainting the garage floor!!

What you should be looking for!
According to Australian Standard 3848.2, Section 2.2.1, “Testing of the purity of compressed SCUBA air shall take place at least every three months or more often as appropriate to verify the performance of filters and driers”.

This means that everyone with a compressor, should have the quality of its air tested every 3 months. We use an impartial third party provider to have our air sampled and tested every three months, to quantitatively determine the content of the following in respirable air from compressors, filling systems and gas cylinders: oil, water (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2). This removes any doubt about any results.

When the tests are completed a Gas Purity Test Report is issued indicating the levels of contaminants, if they have passed or failed the standard and the date of test.

As per the Australian Standards, a copy of this report will be displayed in the filling area for your satisfaction and verification.

At Diving Adelaide, our air is tested in accordance with AS/NZS 1715-2009 and AS/NZS 2299.1:2015, every 3 months by MBKS Group Pty Ltd. The test report is always visible in the filling area.

We thank the MBKS Group Pty Ltd, who have supplied and installed our new compressor and will be looking after it with regular visits for air tests and maintenance into the future!