A new model to analyze the temperature effect on the microalgae performance at large scale raceway reactors
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In this paper a simplified temperature model for raceway reactors is developed, allowing to determine the temperature of the microalgae culture as a function of reactor design and environmental conditions. The model considers the major phenomena taking place in raceway reactors, especially heat absorption by radiation and heat losses by evaporation among others. The characteristic parameters of the model have been calibrated using genetic algorithms, next being validated with a long set of more than 50 days covering different weather conditions. It is worth to highlight the use of the developed model as a tool to analyze the influence of the temperature on the performance of microalgae cultures at large scale. As example, the annual variation of the performance of up to five different microalgae strains has been determined by computing the temperature index, thus the normalized value of performance of whatever microalgae at the real temperature with respect to that achievable...