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Scaling up a PBR

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  • Ron Brown
    Hello All,        When I designed my PBR, I wanted all functions to be carried out in one box. There are two main functions that need to be provided by a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2013
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      Hello All,
       
           When I designed my PBR, I wanted all
      functions to be carried out in one box. There
      are two main functions that need to be
      provided by a PBR:
           1) illumination, and
           2)  containment.

           The top part held a flat plate
      at a 45 degree angle, over the bottom
      part, which was a cone-shaped reser-
      voir.  Algae culture was pumped from
      the bottom of the cone to the top of
      the flat plate.  As it ran down the
      flat pllate, it was exposed to sunlight,
      which entered through the window.  This
      procedure was repeated until the
      culture was done.
       
           A flat plate PBR will maximize
      the surface area of the algae to
      get the most light energy for
      photosynthesis.  The reason for
      this is that it exposes a thin
      layer of algae culture to the
      light.  With this approach, shading
      does not occur even with dense
      cultures.  This makes the flat plate
      design ideal for illuminating the
      algae culture.  
        
           It has occured to me that these
      functions might benefit from being
      provided by two separate modules
      (a thin-layer illumination
      module, and a reservoir module.)
      The illuminator module can
      be set up to drain into the
      reservoir module, and a pump can be
      used to transfer the algae culture
      from the reservoir module to the top
      of the illuminator module.  The benefit
      of this would be to increase the
      capacity of the PBR.  The current
      capacity is limited to 60 liters.  Using
      the new approach, it could easily handle
      200 liters, or more.  This is in agreement
      with the principle of scaling up a device by
      separating its functions.
       
           A flat plate does not need to be
      used to get the benefit of thin-layer design. 
      If the PBR looks like a cylinder sitting
      on top of a cone, all we need to do
      is to install a lawn sprinkler at the
      top of the cylinder, above the internal
      light source.  By pumping the algae
      culture through the sprinkler,
      it will be sprayed onto the wall of
      the cylinder. From there, it will
      run down to the tip of the cone, picking
      up photons on the way down.  From here,
      a hose can direct it into the reservoir
      module.  The illuminator module
      specializes in exposing algae culture
      to light, while the reservoir module
      provides dark time. The lignt/dark
      cycle can be controlled by varying
      the rate of pumping.

         Temperature control should not be a
      problem, since an internally illuminated
      PBR would be indoors, and not exposed to
      the sun.  (I would expect the temperature
      to adjust itself to the ambient air
      temperature.)
       
       
      ---rsb
      Ron Brown
      16JAN2012
       
       
       
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