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Marine Sciences Division

Climate-Simulated Aquaculture Raceway Ponds

Algal culturing under computer-controlled full spectrum LED lighting

Algal culturing under computer-controlled full spectrum LED lighting

We have indoor climate-simulation raceway ponds for microalgae culture under carefully controlled conditions. These ponds simulate outdoor ponds at any season and any location in the world, as long as historical weather data are available. These double-hulled fiberglass ponds have a working volume of 800 L and a variable culture depth up to 26 cm. The water temperature is controlled by a computer via heating and cooling coils between the pond hulls. In this way, ponds can be kept either at constant temperature or varied from 0-40°C to simulate diurnal water temperature fluctuations in outdoor ponds. We use computer-controlled LED lighting systems that deliver from 0 to 2,700 µmoles/m2-sec to simulate diurnal sunlight intensity fluctuations at any geographic location and date range. These LED lights can replicate full spectrum sunlight or spectral variation from sunrise to sunset, winter to summer. We also control the water temperature, incident light intensity, pH, and dissolved oxygen concentrations by computer. Because we have access to clean seawater and groundwater, we can cultivate both marine and fresh water organisms in these ponds.

Raceway ponds

Raceway ponds

Full-spectrum LED lighting

Full-spectrum LED lighting

Marine Sciences Laboratory

Research Areas

PNNL Websites



Class-100 Clean Laboratories

Trace Elemental and Chemical Speciation Analytical Capability

Mercury Analytical Laboratory

Organic Chemistry

Biotechnology Laboratories

Microalgal Research

Aquatics Research Laboratories

Hyperbaric Lab

Ice Lab

Oil Lab

Littoral Wave Tank

Biofouling/Biocorrosion Mesocosms

Climate-Simulated Aquaculture Raceway Ponds

Mineral Extraction from Seawater

Chem/Bio Isolation Laboratories

Electromagnetic Field Generators

Electronics/Optics Laboratories

Outdoor Research Platforms

Flow Tank


Experimental Littoral Mesocosms

Wetland Research Sites

Research Vessels

Lidar Buoys

Scientific Dive Team

Littoral RDT&E Center