Tesla ventilators used Model 3 parts, according to engineers who recently released a video explaining their design. Tesla and Medtronic have been openly candid about working together on ventilator production. However, specific details about the Tesla ventilator haven’t been released, until now.
Tesla Ventilator Design and Production
The EV automaker released a video about its latest project. Tesla engineers explained how the company’s ventilators worked in detail. According to the engineers, they found ways to integrate the car parts the company had on hand into the Tesla ventilator.
“We’ve been working on developing our own ventilator designs specifically one that’s heavily based on Tesla car parts. We want to use parts that we know really well; we know the reliability of…And we can go really fast when they’re available in volume,” explained one of the engineers.
Based on the quote above, Tesla hasn’t just come up with a design for a ventilator. The EV tech company has thought of a way to produce Tesla ventilators efficiently while keeping its current resources in mind.
Towards the end of the video, Tesla engineers showed an adequately packaged ventilator they designed and built using some Model 3 parts. Tesla’s Model 3 display and infotainment computer made up two of the major components of the ventilator, namely as its monitor and primary power source, respectively.
Tesla Ventilator Details
The monitor of Tesla’s ventilator displays three crucial pieces of information for the doctor. The monitor is attached to the respiratory simulator, and each breath is displayed on the ventilator’s UI. The monitor displays the pressure, flow, and volume of each breath the patient takes.
The monitor can also inform doctors and nurses of any anomalies or changes that occur in the patient’s breathing. For example, the engineer revealed what the display would show if the respiratory simulator were constricted. “You can see the pressure waveform change overlaid on the history of the previous 12 seconds. That’s important so a doctor can see if they’re improving or something’s going wrong,” the Tesla engineer explained.
The infotainment computer controls the Model 3 vehicle controllers, which communicate with precision variable valves on a single-piece manifold. Based on one of the Tesla engineer’s comments, the precision variable valves allow doctors to control what’s happening in the patient: 1) pressure regulated volume control, 2) pressure control, and 3) volume control.
Tesla engineers also included a backup system at the bottom of its ventilator, which seems to use the company’s own batteries. With the backup system, doctors can relocate the patient while attached to the Tesla ventilator for up to 20-40 minutes without being connected to an outlet. The backup systems showed that Tesla engineers really thought about the necessary medical procedures doctors and patients might go through during treatment.
Engineering update on the Tesla ventilator— Tesla (@Tesla) April 5, 2020
Tesla and Medtronic are in a race against time with the design and production of its ventilators. Tesla will probably need to get its ventilator approved by the FDA before it can deliver them to hospitals and clinics, much like the legacy automakers who also plan to produce ventilators for the United States.
The recent video shows that Tesla engineers aren’t taking the job lightly. While Tesla works on its ventilator, Elon Musk has found other ways to get supplies to those who need it. A week or two ago, Musk tweeted that he would send free ventilators to any hospital or medical facility that Tesla delivery network could reach.
Featured Image Credit: Tesla
About the Author
Ma. Claribelle Deveza
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.