Growing Algae for Food and Profits
Are You Experienced? Get Inducted into the Algae Boom
Induction Lighting in Algae Production
As a hydroponics grower you have either been taught or have learned to avoid algae growth in your growing system. Algae can be a common sight in hydroponics, where light, water and nutrients come together…the species of algae that results may depend on things like the level of oxygen in your water and how effective your water filtration system is.
”Build it, and they will come”, as they said in the movie Field of Dreams-how fitting!
If you have grown in hydroponic systems for any length of time and lost out due to problems in the root system, you may or may not know, that brown algae may have been the starting point to your crop crash. They say to keep light out of your system for a reason, and brown algae is one of them.
And now…..Something Completely Different:
As a grower of hydroponics crops, you may be fascinated to know or learn that you can grow algae for health and profit,. To your benefit, you can use some really cool technological cross overs from hydroponics and what you learned about water management to get started in an area of industry that may be of considerable importance with a rapidly expanding population and diminishing food resources.
The World Food Organization has called spirulina, a variety of blue-green algae naturally found in Hawaii, as having tremendous potential in meeting the nutritional and other needs people have on earth in a sustainable manner.
Spirulina has more iron than steak and a wide array of trace minerals that are commonly deficient in many areas of the world diet.
Spirulina was declared by the United Nations World Food Conference of 1974 as the best food for the future.
The UN-Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO) Report on Spirulina 2008 states, “There is a need for both national governments and inter-governmental organizations to re-evaluate the potential of Spirulina to fulfill both their own food security needs as well as a tool for their overseas development emergency response efforts”.
Because algae is photosynthetic, it helps to trap carbon dioxide from thee earth’s atmosphere when it combines water, co2 and light sources-in doing so, different types of algae create different types of potential benefits, in part based on their biological composition when harvested and how they are processed.
As a grower, you may be keen on the fact that algae, like plants, help to trap co2 and produce fresh oxygen in the process while offering nutritional, medicinal and industrial benefits in the harvest. You may even be more interested in learning about the many different avenues you can take in this growing global industry with algae production for commercial and research applications. .
Applying Your Hydro I.Q.
An impressive example of a breakthrough crossover from the hydroponics trade is Inda-Gro Induction Plant Lighting’s Grow Light’s work in underwater lighting applications using lights similar to their well recognized Pro Induction Grow Lighting Series, with that one major difference: they are submersed directly into a tank of water intended for professional algae culture!
The high PAR values, low electrical use operating characteristics and the low heat values that Inda-Gro’s induction lighting systems combine from a diffused and even lighting discharge pattern is proving to be ideal in creating optimal lighting possibilities in cultivating algae for a variety of applications.
This makes it possible to improve algae production as energy efficient induction horticultural lighting has done for hydroponics plant producers who use crop lighting for faster growth rates, bigger yields and healthier plants.
There are several potential benefits to this type of lighting application for increases in cultivated algae production because the induction lighting lighting system is safely placed right into the algae production tank, including:
- In thinking modular, for example racking units, this creates a more efficient use of vertical space because there is no lamp to tank distance to account for.
- Energy efficient Induction lighting emits less heat versus HID lighting and would not easily contribute to excessive production tank heat values if used a sole source of light nutrition or applied to supplement lower natural lighting levels or increase day lengths. In some geographical areas or installations this may lower power consumption costs in algae production by creating a gentle heat source in the tank in combination with better lighting for growth.
- A healthy spectrum that better fits the needs of algae better means gives better potential growth rates for every watt of lighting used.
If you aren’t as familiar with Induction lighting as you would like to be, stop by Inda-Gro’s website for a variety or informational sources and white papers on professional grow lighting-and be sure to have a look at some of the eye popping grow photos they regularly update in their growing community of FaceBook.
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