Battery backups in CPAP therapy are used to travel or to run your machine in case of power outages. There are two main options for batteries: integrated battery backs and stand alone batteries. Integrated battery packs attached to your machine, power it for more than 8 hours and travel very well. Stand alone battery packs vary in size depending on the life of the battery. Many are travel friendly. Some machines require unique or custom power configurations. Check with us first!
Most CPAP and BiLevel machines today are designed to operate on both AC and DC battery currents. In the United States, the AC current from wall outlets is 110 volt and most batteries produce 12 volt DC current. Overseas, the AC current is usually 220 or 240 volt.
We include information about the power needs and capacities in the description of our products. Please see the "Power" tab on any machine product page for this information. You can also see a summary of the voltage range and whether it is DC capable on our Compare Charts.
Here is a video explaining differences in power cords and power supplies of various CPAP machines:
All CPAPs will operate on DC power with the use of an inverter to change the current from DC to AC before it reaches the machine. However, many will operate on DC power without the need for an inverter, just a power cord that plugs into the CPAP and ends in a cigarette lighter plug.
Inverters do require a lot of power. If you need to use an inverter to run your machine on battery power, the inverter will probably take about half the life off the battery.
To determine if your CPAP will operate without an inverter, look for a DC outlet on the machine, either at the back or on the side, with a single opening directly in the center. It should be labeled "DC Power" or similar term. You can also review our Compare Charts to see if your machine has a optional DC cable option.
Here is a video describing different DC cable and battery options for various machines:
For longer battery use, we suggest a deep-cycle marine battery. A CPAP set at 10cm will usually run for about three nights before having to recharge a deep cycle marine battery. A car battery will usually run a machine for 8 hours and still start the car.
There are small, portable battery packs that will operate a CPAP set at 10cm for at least one night, or about eight hours. CPAP.com sells full battery kits that come with everything needed to run your machine off battery power including the right cables needed for your machine and a battery. You can find the battery kit for your machine here. On each battery kit page, you can input your machine and pressure setting to see an estimate battery life for your machine.
First you need to determine if your machine is configured to operate on DC power and has a DC power outlet. If your machine does have a DC power outlet and you want to run your marine battery, then you will need the correct DC cable for your machine and an adapter cable that fits over the cigarette lighter plug and ends in alligator clips.
CPAP.com sells complete battery kits with everything you need for your machine including the right cables for your machine and the battery. You can find the right battery kit for your machine here.
If your machine does not have a DC power outlet, then you will also need an inverter to be able to run your machine on battery power.
If you have questions about the specific power needs of your machine, review the "Power" tab on your machine's product page, or give us a call at 1-800-356-5221.
Many CPAPs operate on 12 volt DC power. If your CPAP has a DC outlet, a round, single hole in the back or side of the unit, then you should be able to operate it from a 12 volt DC power source. The appropriate DC power cord is needed but inverter is not necessary. Typically, the DC power cords plugs into the CPAP and end in a cigarette lighter plug. To connect a CPAP directly to a battery, you would need a DC adapter cable that fits over the cigarette lighter plug on the DC power cord and ends in alligator clips.
For the longest usage time, we suggest you use a deep-cycle marine type battery. It will operate most CPAPs at most pressures for about three nights before needing to be recharged. We sell a smaller, portable, rechargeable Battery Pack on our site that will operate most CPAPs and most pressures for one night. We also have battery kits that come with everything needed to run your machine off battery power including the right cables needed for your machine and a battery.
The Transcend Travel CPAP Machine by Somnetics can be set up to have a fail-over, back up battery by using their Transcend Multi-Night Battery. If the power goes out, the machine will automatically switch over to battery power without an interruption to your CPAP therapy.Read about that on the "Power" tab of the Transcend Machine page.
There are a lot of back up battery choices out there that can give you peace of mind in case of a power outage. The Transcend Travel CPAP Machine has Battery Options available for that can set up as a fail-over, back up battery. Review the "Power" Tab on the machine page.
CPAP.com sells battery packs to accompany your machine if an integrated battery is not available. Visit CPAPtalk for more advice specific to your needs, or view this past thread on the topic here.
An adapter may be required to plug a US power cord into a wall outlet in a foreign country. CPAP.com sells an assortment pack of World Traveler Power Adapter Plugs, which allow CPAP machines to plug into different types of wall sockets found in different countries.
All the models CPAP.com sell contain power converters that enable the machine to operate on any AC current from 100 to 240 volts without any adjustment. Check with your dealer or manufacturer to see if your machine needs an external converter that lowers the voltage from 240 to 120 VAC.
To prepare for your international travel, be sure to:
CPAP therapy should be used every night. Your CPAP should go with you on trips. There are some tips to help with your travel:
Using a heated humidifier on a 12volt battery power source will significantly reduce the amount of power provided. In most cases, usage is reduced to less than half the estimated operational time. CPAPs or BiPAPs requiring inverters reduce the power time even more.
Please note that some heated humidifiers are not capable of being operated on 12volt battery power sources. The later M Series heated humidifiers with the 6'' 'pigtail' connectors are capable of running on 12volt DC power sources. Earlier model M Series heated humidifiers without the pigtail are not 12Volt capable, nor are the Legacy model REMstar and stand-alone H2 humidifiers.
For optimum performance of your battery, plan to use your CPAP without the heated humidifier. You may also have the humidifier connected and filled with water, but without the power turned on. This changes a typical heated humidifier into a passive humidifier.
We suggest testing the battery setup you are planning to use with your machine in advance. To determine the actual amount of power time you will receive and whether or not heated humidification is required for your comfort, test the battery at home before traveling.