A novel flow field for algae raceways has been proposed, which is fundamentally different from traditional paddlewheel-driven raceways. To reduce freezing and heat loss in the raceway during cold time, the water is drained to a deep storage canal. The ground bed of the new raceway has a low slope so that water, lifted by propeller pump, can flow down in laterally-laid serpentine channels, relying on gravitational force. The flow rate of water is controlled so that it can overflow the lateral channel walls and mix with the main flow in the next lower channel, which thus creates a better mixing. In order to optimize the design parameters of the new flow field, methods including flow visualization, local point velocity measurement, and CFD analysis were employed to investigate the flow mixing features. Different combinations of channel geometries and water velocities were evaluated. An optimized flow field design and details of flow mixing are presented. The study offers an innovative design for large scale algae growth raceways which is of significance to the algae and biofuel industry.
- Bioenergy & biofuel
- Flow mixing
- Flow visualization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment