edited 11-7-06 to improve clarity
We have completed the boil-off testing for the last of our new dewars (Bigfoot #12). Though this dewar is operating at a slightly higher efficiency that the previous two, it is boiling off about 16.7 liters per day. This is nearly twice the rate of our best performer, Bigfoot #9, which consumes just over 9 liters per day. We’re discussing the return of the new dewars for repair with the manufacturer, but will likely engage in some troubleshooting before they are sequentially returned.
We have arranged to purchase a plasma cutter for the patient care area. This tool will give the necessary equipment to rescue our patients, in case of a catastrophic dewar failure. It has been a slight concern that if one of the dewars imploded as the result of a vacuum failure, we’d have no way to rapidly extract the patients. Once this device arrives, we will have that capacity.
No resolution has yet been seen with the former liquid nitrogen supplier, Matheson Tri-Gas. It became apparent during a regular review some weeks ago that they had been charging us rental fees for storage dewars we did not have. They agreed to audit their records, but we have been unable to get any real numbers from them. Because of their lack of response, Tanya Jones personally audited our delivery records back through January 2004. What she learned is that the billing discrepancies were not a new problem. There was a net difference of 26 nitrogen dewars of various sizes (160 liter, 180 liter, 230 liter and 255 liter) for which we were consistently over-billed.
The next step is to compare her totals to the actual invoices, keeping in mind the discrepancies that were already in place at the beginning of 2004, and attempt to reach a settlement with Tri-Gas.