Working with PVC tubes as photobioreactor for algae, we were still interested in creating specific movement of the system to enhance cultivation of the plant. We identified several opportunities with respect to the three essential factors of growing algae of : LIGHT, WATER AND AIR.
1. LIGHT: Movement of algae bioreactor to create optimum sun orientation, usually incorporated as facade of architecture
Tom Wiscombe Design: Algae photo-bioreactor cell
Arup: BIQ apartment complex, Hamburg
2. WATER: Movement of fluid in a close loop by a pump to monitor, harvest and replenish algae continuously, instead of the conventional batch method.
3. AIR: Movement of air (CO2 and O2) through fluid to gently agitate algae for better growing environment, preventing algae from settling or adhering to the wall of the containers, without breaking the cells.
AlgaeGeek: Indoor Batch Algae reactor
The last opportunity is appealing to us, as it both minimizes energy consumption and could be imagined at an architectural scale with the materials we have. We are exploring a retractable roof system that combines an helical algae photobioreactor that feeds on exhaust air from the interior of the pavilion and a rain collector, with its expansion and contraction on the Z-axis to tranform between a thin column and a flat roof.