AlgaeOnlineAnalyser – Online detection of algae classes

Algae Monitoring 24/7

A spectrofluorometer for the measurement of chlorophyll-a in water (total content) in a flow-through cell with tubing.


  • algae differentiation
  • yellow substance measurement
  • extended sensitivity
  • transmission measurement
  • automatic cleaning device
  • peristaltic pump
  • bbe software for Windows

Online detection of chlorophyll concentration, algae classes and photosynthetic activity.

The bbe AlgaeOnlineAnalyser is deployed in measuring stations and laboratories in which online measurement of water quality is required for rivers, reservoirs, dams and lakes as well as in drinking water production. The instrument impresses due to its rapid analysis of chlorophyll concentrations. The chlorophyll concentration, the transmission and optionally the photosynthetic activity are determined simultaneously.

The detection of different algal classes by excitation with coloured LEDs distinguishes this measuring instrument from its competitors. Part of the analysis is a yellow substances (CDOM) measurement to adjust the calculation of the total chlorophyll content. The integrated cleaning unit protects against growth problems during long-term measurement.

Measurement principle

The fluorescence of algae via excitation by visible light mainly depends on the chlorophyll-a, a common pigment in the plant world. The presence of other pigments indicates different algae classes. The interaction of these different pigments with chlorophyll-a results in a special excitation spectrum for taxonomic algae classes.

The special patterns of this algal fluorescence – so-called fingerprints – are used in bbe fluorometers for the qualification of different algae classes. The light sources for the excitation are LEDs with selected wavelengths. The fingerprints of four algae classes and for yellow substances are pre-defined in the instrument. However, user-specific fingerprints can also be defined.

The physiological performance of the algae (algae activity) on photosynthesis is determined by exitation using additional background light. The resulting variable fluorescence allows the calculation of algae activity given as the Genty parameter. This Genty parameter represents the quantum yield and is also an expression of the vitality of the algae.


  • quick, simple chlorophyll determination using algal class analysis
  • determination of the photosynthetic activity of algae
  • maintenance-free
  • simple operation
  • different communication possibilities also for industrial applications:
    • up to 8 alarm outputs (potential-free contacts)
    • up to 16 analog outputs (4-20mA)
    • serial interface for data transfer
    • Ethernet – access to data from an external PC
    • USB connector for data transfer
    • optional ModBus connector
  • direct measurement without sample preparation via filtration, dilution
  • integrated cleaning unit reduces maintenance to a minimum
  • touch screen display
  • PC operation using bbe AOA software
  • water temperature measurement
  • Extension for the AlgaeOnlineAnalyser
  • A regulated inflow of sample water enhances the versatility of the AlgaeOnlineAnalyser: a valve switches alternatively between two tubes of the AlgaeOnlineAnalyser. The cycle time is controlled by the AOA software. This new feature enables the user to take water samples from different depths or locations, and measures algae chlorophyll online at high frequency. The records allow the user to draw conclusions about the success of the measurements in order to reduce or enhance microalgae in process water, cooling water or a culture.


  • waterway analysis and assessment
  • environmental assessment
  • intake monitoring
  • chemical assessment
  • desalination plants
  • dam monitoring
  • cooling water and production water monitoring
  • limnological work
  • research and education


The database software is used to record and analyse the data. The most important features are…

  • saving of data and parameters at any time
  • graphic display of all measurement values
  • online display in LAN
  • calibration of the instrument
  • parameterisation of the measurement
  • data export to EXCEL and to text files
  • print function
  • subsequent recalibration of algae classes
  • concentration of green algae [µg chl-a/l]
  • concentration of cyanobacteria [µg chl-a/l]
  • concentration of diatoms [µg chl-a/l]
  • concentration of cryptophytes [µg chl-a/l]
  • fingerprints of classes/species, also user-defined (e.g. Planktothrix rubescens) [µg chl-a/l]
  • yellow substances
  • transmission (at 5 wavelengths)
  • water temperature
  • photosynthetic activity (Genty) (optional)
Measurement procedure spectral fluorometry
Chlorophyll 0-500 µg Chl-a/l
Resolution 0.01 µg Chl-a/l
Transmission 0-100%
Housing material V4A steel/aluminium/coated steel plate
Weight 19 Kg
Dimensions (H x W x D) 420 x 600 x 200 mm
Sample volume 30 mL
Temperature Sample: 0 – 35 °C / Environment: 0 – 40° C
Protection class IP54
PC internal PC with touchscreen and bbe++ software
OS Windows
Outputs (options)
  • modem
  • analogue output 4-20 mA (up to 16)
  • relay output (up to 8)
  • Modbus TCP/IP
  • SDI-12 with bbe converter

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