How ultrasound works to control algae

Interactive ultrasonic programs are essential to control algae

Many different algal types can bloom in a water body. Some of these algae are plant cells, while others are bacteria. Algae may vary in size, shape and cell characteristics.

Typically, the type of algae that blooms depends on water temperature and sun hours. As a result, algal types may change several times during a season.

To effectively control algae with ultrasound it is important to know that all these different algal sizes and shapes respond to differing optimal frequencies. Figure 1 illustrates a random group of algal cells, each with a different shape and size. To be controlled effectively, each of these algal types requires a different ultrasonic frequency. Hence, to effectively control algae and address seasonal changes in algal species, a frequency program should be specific and variable.

Interactive ultrasonic programs

LG Sonic has conducted over 10 years of research to determine the most optimal frequencies, waveforms and amplitudes to control different types of algae. This research has resulted in a database containing different algal species, water quality characteristics and applications related to the most optimal ultrasonic program.

The MPC-Buoy stands for monitor-predict-control. This system measures algal type and water quality in real-time and predicts future algal blooms. Based on this data, the system automatically adjusts to the most effective ultrasonic program.

Algae are among the oldest organisms in the world. They have managed to survive this long, because they are highly adaptive. Some algal types can resist extreme temperatures or pH values and cope with fluctuations in these conditions better than other organisms such as plants. Because of algae’s adaptability, algae can easily develop resistance to algaecides and other treatment methods, including ultrasound.

The MPC technology automatically monitors algal growth and detects changes in the algal growth rate. By continuously changing the ultrasonic waveform, duration and amplitudes, the MPC-technology prevents algae from developing ultrasound resistance.

How others attempt to deal with these issues

LG Sonic is the only company that provides ultrasonic algae control solutions based on a proven database designed in collaboration with several universities. This database is constantly expanding based on data provided by the MPC-Buoy systems around the world.

  • Cannot alter the ultrasonic programs on their devices
  • Do not know what the most effective ultrasonic programs are for different algal types
  • Cannot monitor the growth of the algae present in the water

To attempt to compensate for these shortcomings, most ultrasonic manufacturers use a “broad spectrum frequency program” wherein as many frequencies as possible are emitted in attempt to include the correct ultrasonic frequency in their program. However, at the same time, many emitted ultrasonic frequencies that are being send out by such systems are useless and do not have any effect on the algae. Moreover, because of the large number of frequencies in these programs, effective frequencies are sent for only a limited time, decreasing equipment efficiency.

Because frequency programs cannot be changed, treatment with these systems may also lead to resistant algal strains.

To conclude, expect the following when using these systems:

  • Limited effect on algal growth due to the use of broad frequency programs
  • Resistant algal strain growth after approximately 3 months of treatment
  • Faster ultrasonic transmitter wear and tear due to unnecessarily high power consumption

What LG Sonic offers instead

  • Effective algal control via specific frequencies tailored to the algal type present
  • More broadband programs available due to low algal concentration events for general protection
  • Does not lead to ultrasound resistant algal strains, because ultrasonic programs are adaptive
  • Autonomous alteration of ultrasonic program thanks to algal monitoring and prediction
  • Long product-use lifetime due to efficient design