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The AlgaeFarm Project: open-source automated experimental scale photobioreactor


The AlgaeFarm Project's goal is to create an open source and open hardware small-scale photobioreactor which can be reproduced by others for a fraction of the price of an 'out of the box, way less fun because it couldn't be put together or taken apart and improved' photobioreactor. We (the AlgaeFarm community) aim to create a safe, affordable, and multi-feature reactor that increases the viability of small-scale photobioreactors for school research and science fair projects, biofuel research and development, growing your own fish food, etc. I have chosen an open source platform because I believe that open source is the best way so far for an idea to naturally evolve and flourish. I will provide the foundation on which your dreams can take on a life of their own, help me to make it happen.

Tyler J Hinz,

Project Specifications

To design a small-scale photobioreactor around the open-source microcontroller Arduino for the experimental cultivation of microalgae with the following specifications:

  • Nutrient ppm logging, configuration, and automated adjustment
  • Electromagnetic wavelength (light color) configuration
  • pH logging, configuration, and automated adjustment
  • Photointensity (light brightness) configuration
  • Photoperiod (day/night) configuration
  • Aeration rate (cm³/min) configuration
  • Culture density logging
Project Phases,

Phase I - Phase I of the AlgaeFarm Project consists of continued research and development of cost effective solutions for small scale controlled environment algal culturing.

Phase II - Phase II of the AlgaeFarm Project is the organization and continuation of in-depth Research and Development of various desirable algae strains and the design and manufacture of a prototype photobioreactor meeting or exceeding all requirements set forth within the project specifications.

Phase III - Phase III of the AlgaeFarm Project is to field test the first AlgaeFarm prototype and develop and design necessary modifications to the prototype to achieve higher efficiency results.

Phase IV - Phase IV of the AlgaeFarm Project is field testing improved alpha prototypes.

Phase V – Open source Release.



  1. Photo Bio reactor uses to produce bio diesel from algae. There are many research and development in using Photo bio reactor to produce bio diesel from algae. Phycotech’s mission is to provide its customers with leading edge photo bioreactor technology. photobioreactor design


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