Diving with a Closed circuit rebreather (CCR) system is a great experience that gives you a lot of benefits, such as:
- You will have a much longer diving time because your gas will last a lot longer.
- You will get a much longer diving time because you are diving with an optimal gas mixture..
- You will get much closer to the marine life because it is quiet..
- You are much warmer because you breathe warm gas.
- You do not give away any bubbles..
- You are completely still in the water because your breathing does not affect your bouancy..
How does a rebreather work?
To understand how a rebreather works, one must first understand how our breathing system works. The body absorbs oxygen (O2) from the air we breathe and uses this to transform the nutrition we received through the food we have eaten to energy. A residual product of this chemical reaction is carbon dioxide (CO2), and it is this carbon dioxide that then controls when we need to breathe (and not the oxygen level in our body).
A rebreather is a closed breathing system where the same gas circulates throughout the system, for this to work the carbon dioxide needs to be filtered away from the gas in the system (otherwise the carbon dioxide content in the gas would increase and it would feel like we needed to breathe more and more ), this is done in a sodalime filter (or scrubber) contained in the breathing loop. The sodalime filter must be replaced when consumed, usually after three to five hours of diving time.
To understand how the rebreather system works, you must also understand that we only use a small amount of the oxygen in the air when we breathe. In the rebreather, the gas is analyzed continuously and the used oxygen is replaced with new oxygen from a cylinder of pure oxygen, it is even so that the rebreather adds oxygen to give you an optimal nitrox mixture throughout the dive.
On the rebreathern, another cylinder (diluent tank) is also used to dilute the oxygen at, for example, descent because the volume of the breathing loop decreases as the pressure increases. Normally, air is used as a diluent gas, but you can also use trimix if you are trained to do that on the rebreather.
What to consider when choosing a rebreather
Choosing a rebreather is far more complicated than choosing between different models of regulators. However, there are a couple of things one must always make sure, the first and most important is that the rebreather is well tested by a third party (and not just by the manufacturer) and that it has a CE certification.
At H2O we have chosen to sell three closed cuirciut electronic rebreathers from two manufacturers which we have considered to be the best on the market (read more under Rebreather models).
If you have any questions about buying your first rebreather or if you just are curious, come to the dive center and we willl tell you more.