Even with an efficient nutrient producer, one must have resources available to produce in aftertime conditions. Spirlina
requires a culture medium to grow. It appears to me an adequate culture medium can be concocted using water, Wood Ash
and/or soil and urine. This is another item I have yet to prove so I don't have a formula yet. But basic ingredients should all
be available in aftertime conditions. The medium can be replenished using nothing but urine in a survival mode. Spirilina
requires a temperature above 68 F to grow and closer to 85 F or higher for ideal growth. This means if the ambient
temperature is below this range then external heating must be supplied. (This is true for all hydroponic systems and many
seem to be overlooking this. We aren't all going to end up near the equator post shift). There is an abundance of hard wood
in my area so I will be relying on that as a basic source of fuel to supply heat and it should remain useable for a long time
even after the trees die. The good news about spirilina is the ideal light requirement for growing is 30% of full sun light. It
is possible that spirilina may not require an additional lighting source in aftertime conditions. Still, I will be experimenting
with LED lighting to determine the minimum requirement in absolute darkness.
I plan here to build my own standard LED Modules (straight line sticks that can be spaced variously for testing purposes). The modules will be built with the ability to plug into a central 12v power supply. I am using white Nichia NSPW500BS 3.6v@20mA, 20 degree, 5.6 candle power LEDs and these are being sourced for $1.50 each if anyone is interested. I have no idea yet how many LEDs might be required per square foot to grow spirilina in total darkness but am looking at this as "supplemental" lighting basically. The lighting will require a DC power source. The LEDs require very little in the way of power but I am planning other power needs for 2000Whr per day (mostly to pump water from my well though I have a manual backup for that also). My White LED source charges $1.50 each in minimum quantities of 50.
I have opted for a battery system using a steam powered generator (wood is the available fuel) to recharge the batteries. In any battery powered system, the most important component is the battery. I would recommend using the "industrial" grade of battery (used for electric fork lifts). These have a life near 4,000 recharges. I will size my system to require recharge every 8 days thus 90 recharges per year or potential battery life of well over 15-20 years. I will use 2 batteries in case 1 should fail and would fall back to recharge every 4 days. These batteries are not cheap but for a dependable power supply, that is where to put your money. I live near a manufacturer of these batteries and I think I can get the 12v, 843Ahr (10,000 Whr) battery for about $1000. (I would suggest you deal with the manufacturer directly or find someone who works in a purchasing department for a business who buys these type of commodities as the wholesale price may be 60% of retail especially if you can transport the battery yourself. This battery weighs about 800 lb. though). I would suggest going for the very long life industrial grade such as the Bulldog and negotiate a price below retail somehow. There is a Bulldog factory in Wabash, IN.
A wind generator is also possible but I question the reliability of adequate wind speed post shift. What does one do if the
wind doesn't blow for a couple of weeks? I would consider wind power a potential minimum backup source and it would
probably supply all the needs to use LED lighting under almost any wind speed condition. I will probably go with a 500W
generator as a backup to supply LED light power only. Be careful though as most of these machines provide very little
output in wind speeds less than 10mph and don't reach their rated output under 25mph.
So basically to grow spirilina requires water, wood ash, urine, a temp >68 F and 30% of full sun light. And this is what I will attempt to prove into a solution.
Offered by Gary.