Can You Fix Ventilators? A Fuel Cell Engineer Figures It Out
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Can You Fix Ventilators? A Fuel Cell Engineer Figures It Out
It was late when engineer Joe Tavi’s boss called with an odd question: Could their company, which makes fuel cells, learn how to fix a ventilator?

California had a bunch of broken ones, and the governor had asked if San Jose-based Bloom Energy could repair them so coronavirus patients could breathe.

Tavi, an engineer who grew up taking apart the family vacuum cleaner to see if he could put it back together, said he would sleep on it.

But he didn’t sleep. Instead, he made a pot of coffee and downloaded the more than 300-page manual for the LTD 1200, the type of ventilator state officials said they needed repaired.

At 4:45 a.m. the next day, coffee still in hand, his boss called again.

“We can do this,” Tavi told her. “We won’t be able to do it if we don’t try.”

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April 04, 2020