Chart Industries has ramped up production of specific critical care products in the US by more than 60% and in the Czech Republic by 50% to meet an increased demand for its oxygen storage and distribution equipment as the number of Covid-19 cases grows around the world.

The cryogenic equipment manufacturer fabricates critical care products in six global strategic locations: Georgia and Minnesota in the US, Italy, France, India and China. All governments in these locations have deemed Chart as an “essential” business to produce medical and power generation products.

Bob Knight, Application Development Manager, told gasworld, “The Covid-19 virus creates respiratory issues and high oxygen demands for many patients. Of significant note, is the oxygen flow and pressure requirements of the respiratory equipment needed for critical patients. Most of these respirators cannot be supplied by small oxygen concentrators and require a source of liquid oxygen.

“Chart’s liquid oxygen storage products include a wide range of products that can be manufactured in a relatively short period of time. Portable Dura-Cyl® and Mega-Cyl® Liquid Cylinders range from 180 to 1000 litres and are readily available for shipment to gas suppliers. Transportable cylinders can be filled at an oxygen transfill plant, then delivered to sites via commercial delivery trucks.

“Liquid oxygen cylinders can supply 20 to 150 times more gaseous oxygen than conventional high-pressure cylinders. These transportable vessels are used to provide full for empty liquid service for small medical facilities and can also be used at Alternate Care Facilities (ACFs) for set up in times of mass casualty events and disasters.

Source: Chart

Figure 1: Chart MicroBulk Medical Skid shown with a 3000 litre Perma-Cyl storage tank. Plumbing manifolds and final assembly by Carolina Piping Services, a Division of SafTCart

“Chart also offers a full line of Perma-Cyl® MicroBulk Storage Systems ranging from 230 to 5500 litres. These skid-mounted systems can be quickly deployed and installed outside medical facilities for increased storage of oxygen. To react quickly to the growing demand for microbulk tanks, Chart has ‘Redi-Ship’ 3000 and 5500 litre tanks set up specifically for medical oxygen to include a liquid level gauge with alarm and hang-on external vaporisers to support higher continuous flow rates. Many of these same microbulk storage tanks can also be integrated onto a ‘plug and play’ medical skid that includes all the requirements of a cryogenic fluid central supply system as outlined in NFPA 99 and ANSI/CGA M1. Once this skid with both primary and reserve plumbing manifolds (See Figure 1) is delivered, it only requires the connection of high-pressure cylinders to serve as the oxygen reserve and one plumbing connection to the medical facility. In addition to the portable oxygen systems, Chart also has a rich experience providing bulk storage tanks that have been used to provide primary and reserve liquid storage at medical facilities. Chart’s Orca™ MicroBulk Delivery Systems can also be used to fill liquid oxygen cylinders, Perma-Cyl and bulk tanks of all sizes at the site.”

Another way Chart has been able to better serve the increasing needs of critical care applications is the dual PED and ASME certification of its standard ASME storage vessels in order to supply hard-hit European countries like Italy.

Other initiatives include finding ways to repurpose storage tanks to reduce lead times in order to react to critical needs and offering small mobile hospital trailers that can be used for onsite oxygen supply to existing and temporary medical facilities.

Chart recently worked with independent distributor General Welding Supply, which has headquarters in Westbury, New York, to help Stony Brook University Hospital in New York with emergency medical oxygen back-up systems.

Ralph Cohan, General Welding Supply Vice-President of Sales/Operations said, “The hospital was preparing a school for expansion of the potential overflow of Covid-19 patients. As we leaned on our gas industry partner, Chart Industries, to turn our impossible request into a reality, the facility turned a construction project into instant gas back-up as the unknown enemy [coronavirus] approached. From conception to fill in under 10 days, twin 5500 litre Perma-Cyl MicroBulk storage vessels with 12,000 SCFH vaporisation (See Figure 2) now assist the front line medical tacticians with the weapon [oxygen] to beat the Covid-19 virus.”

Source: Chart

Figure 2: Stony Brook University install of two back-up Perma-Cyl® 5500 MicroBulk Storage Liquid Oxygen Systems for ventilator support

Chart has also contributed other products and services in the fight against Covid-19. Cryogenic freezers and aluminium storage dewars are being used for safe and reliable tissue, vaccine and other biological storage and transportation.

Many N95 industrial masks and disposable suits have been donated from Chart stock to local hospitals in both the US and Europe that are in critical need of Personal Protective Equipment.

Chart states it will continue to do everything possible to support the customers, vendors, and communities that they work and live in while also continuing to keep its employees safe. For assistance, you can visit the Chart website at www.chartindustries.com or visit their new dedicated web page during this time of crisis at www.chartcriticalcare.com. You can reach them by email at chart.criticalcare@chartindustries.com or by phone at 1-800-400-4683.