The heart of any scuba diving operation has to be the compressor, as after all, without compressed air there is no diving. However, divers can’t just use any air, the air has to be pure, dry and free from unwanted gases such as carbon monoxide.
Having dived all over the world Chris and Sally have witnessed some extremely poor compressors and air filtration systems and have first hand experience of diving with bad air. This is why we take such pride in our equipment and adhere to strict maintenance schedules set by our very own on site Engineer Chris. After all, the staff at Octopus Diving are the one’s that are breathing the air the most often.
Knowing how important air is, Octopus Diving has invested in the latest Compressor from Bauer and brought it to St. Martin / St. Maarten.
The Bauer K120 compressor is located in a 20 ft steel, hurricane-proof container, and mounted on a concrete base. The walls are lined with sound and vibration resistant insulation and the compressor is mounted on four vibration resistant pads, offering quiet operation and longer life for rotating parts.
To reduce humidity, increase longevity of the compressor and to increase filtration life the room is air conditioned with 24,000 BTU air conditioning units keeping the compressor at it’s optimum operating temperature. (The environment inside is probably as clean and as cool as your Hotel room!)
The filtration is electronically monitored by a sensor and 10 hours before the filter expires a warning is displayed. If the filter does expire there is a fail safe where the compressor will shut down and won’t start until it is replaced. This means that the compressor can not be used if the filter is expired, eliminating over using filters which other diving centers do to save money.
This attention to detail allows for safe diving with clean, dry pure air.
We only use Bauer parts and Bauer Service. Chris is a Compressor Technician too and has been authorized to work on the compressor.
The reason for the big yellow tanks is that is allows us to store vast amounts of compressed air. The idea is that while we are out diving the compressor can be switched on and left to fill 11 storage tanks (known as “banks”) to a maximum pressure of 5000psi. Then when we return from diving we can fill 22 scuba tanks to 3300psi in just a few minutes. The banks were tested and inspected in 2010 and have a 10 year Hydrostatic and inspection certificate.
Oxygen and Oxygen Booster
Octopus Diving also offers Nitrox or Oxygen Enriched Air. Nitrox doesn’t just appear at a touch of a button, it has to be carefully mixed by Chris who is a Nitrox Gas Blender and Instructor, who fills the tanks using the Partial Pressure filling method.
Why use an Oxygen (O2) Booster? The O2 booster is a crucial piece of equipment especially now we have started Octopus Diving TEC. Oxygen cannot be compressed in a conventional compressor and needs to be handled with extreme caution and care. The booster uses a small piston to slowly pump the oxygen to the required pressure.
The booster we use is simple in design and manufactured in the UK by Stansted Fluid Power. For Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) divers it means that we can boost your O2 tanks to 3000psi / 200 Bar.
Helium for Trimix
Due to the expansion of Octopus Diving TEC into the GUE fundamentals and TECH 1 courses we now offer Trimix to Trimix certified divers. Trimix is the mixture of Oxygen, Nitrogen and Helium.
Basically in deep diving we remove some of the Nitrogen (which can cause Nitrogen Narcosis) and replace it with an inert gas – Helium.
Helium is extremely expensive and as it also needs boosting, we have two Gas Boosters, one for Oxygen and the other for Helium.
The full installation was completed by Chris Davies excluding wiring to mains supply which was carried out by a Certified and Insured Electrical contractor on island.
Chris Davies is available to design, install and commission your compressor and air storage system. He can be contacted or called 7days a week at (+590) 0690 73 23 06 regarding compressor repair or fault finding throughout the Caribbean.