Technology: Mimicking Nature


In order for plant cells to grow and multiply, photosynthesis is required. Photosynthesis requires optimal light conditions, the presence of CO2 and nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, trace elements). Algae only grow well when there is neither too much light (e.g. water surface), nor too little (e.g. deep underwater, self shading).
The photoactive zone in natural waters begins several centimetres below the water surface, yet is itself only about 3 cm deep.

The ratio of a tree's total surface area to the diameter of its crown (footprint) is about 20-30 to 1. This maximises the efficiency of photosynthesis and allows them to grow to sizes beyond what would be possible through the roots alone.
Sunflowers are able to manage light nearly perfectly. They slowly turn throughout the day, tracking the sun and optimising their angle towards it.
ecoduna's “hanging gardens” combine

  • the surface area maximisation of trees,
  • sunflowers' ability to track the sun and
  • multiplication of the photoactive layer of a pond with vertically-oriented modules.

ecoduna's photobioreactors are constructed to track the sun, following it across the sky as the earth rotates. In this way, the entire algal culture receives the ideal amount of sunlight. The photoactive volume is 440 litres per square meter.

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