Model of temperature, evaporation, and productivity in elevated experimental algae raceways and comparison with commercial raceways

George Khawam, Peter M Waller, Song Gao, Scott Edmundson, Mark S. Wigmosta, Kimberly L Ogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Elevated Experimental Raceways (EERs) have been used at many research sites in the United States to evaluate algal biomass productivity. This paper develops temperature and evaporation models for EERs and then evaluates whether the temperature profile and resultant productivity in an EER is representative of large-scale commercial raceways. Open water surface evaporation and temperature models with shading algorithms were programmed in Python and calibrated with temperature and evaporation data from the EERs in the Regional Algal Feedstock Testbed (RAFT) experiments at the University of Arizona. The final calibrated model for EERs was named the EERTEM (Elevated Experimental Raceway Temperature and Evaporation Model). The energy balance algorithms in the Biomass Assessment Tool (BAT model) were also added to the Python code and used to develop temperature simulations of standard commercial paddlewheel raceways. A comparison of BAT and EERTEM simulations indicated that EER temperature fluctuations are not representative of in ground commercial paddlewheel raceways, primarily due to the buffering effect of soil heat flux in commercial raceways. With the different temperature profiles, biomass productivities of three algae species in the EERs were compared to productivities in commercial raceways. Differences in productivity between EERTEM and BAT model temperature profiles were observed when the maximum daytime temperature of one raceway was in the optimal growth range but the temperature of the other raceway exceeded or was below the optimal growth range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101448
JournalAlgal Research
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Fingerprint

algae
raceways
evaporation
temperature
temperature profiles
Python
biomass

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Bowen ratio
  • Open pond
  • Paddlewheel
  • Photobioreactor
  • Shading
  • Surface boundary layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Model of temperature, evaporation, and productivity in elevated experimental algae raceways and comparison with commercial raceways. / Khawam, George; Waller, Peter M; Gao, Song; Edmundson, Scott; Wigmosta, Mark S.; Ogden, Kimberly L.

In: Algal Research, Vol. 39, 101448, 01.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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