Project Code: 17021
Project Title: Archimedes Screw Pump for Algae Reactor Recirculation System
Project Type: Faculty
Project Intellectual Property: University Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: UA Department of Biosystems Engineering
Description: Project goal: To design, build and test an advanced Archimedes screw pump to recirculate algae in a raceway.The Archimedes screw pump, once used to irrigate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, has a potential efficiency of 70 percent and can be used to recirculate algae within an algae raceway, the track through which algae circulates. The sponsor currently uses paddle wheels with 25 percent efficiency to recirculate algae. The pump designed for this project incorporates modularity in the form of multiple screws and individual screw controls for an operator to set desired flow rates. The sustainably designed screw pump converts solar energy from photovoltaic cells into DC power for two motors,which individually turn two 12-inch-diameter screws. The screws are housed in a PVC casing and draw water up as they turn, releasing it to the original elevation so that it can recirculate in the raceway. Each pump is individually controlled using a calibrated Arduino microprocessor with potentiometers that allow the operator to set the flow rate. The system is designed to run autonomously, turning on in the morning and shutting off at night,and is capable of storing enough energy to operate for two days without optimal sunlight.