About this project
Spirulina Systems has set out to make it easy and affordable for anyone to start growing spirulina. So why are we excited about helping spread the word about live spirulina? Well, home-grown spirulina is cheaper, safer, and filled with more nutrients than any other form of food in the world! If you already have tried the powder form of spirulina, we know you'll love growing and enjoying this amazing superfood!
Is growing spirulina right for you?
Spirulina is a powerful superfood that is widely known as the most nutritious food in the planet. It is 20 times more efficient per squared foot than any other plant, making it suited for compact indoor growing.
If you care about nutrition and have a small window to spare, spirulina is right for you.
Spirulina is very easy to work with. It only requires a set of tools to do two things: grow and harvest spirulina.
How it works?
There are two air pumps used in the system. One of them takes care of aerating and feeding CO2 into the tank which results in no maintenance growing. The other is used for the harvesting process. Air is fed to the bottom of a a food grade tube to make the spirulina rise and is then caught in a harvesting cloth. Set a timer, and the system will run automatically.
Once set up, the system is low maintenance and low risk with the amazing reward of fresh spirulina in your own home. Algae integration into our diets is the future of a diversified nutrition base.
Automatic Harvesting Process
Harvest and aerating demonstration.
Below is a video of a previous prototype we made. It works very similar to our current version except that automatic harvesting is not integrated in this prototype. Instead, a bi-valve controls the air flow between harvesting and aerating.
Is it safe to grow spirulina at home?
Yes, Spirulina is safe for indoor cultivation because of the environment it grows in: an alkaline medium that naturally prevents other organisms from growing in the culture.
Our kits were designed with the intention of efficiency and accessibility. All of the hardware is ready made components that we have engineered to work with spirulina growth. This reduces our risks as we are only "manufacturing" or growing the spirulina cultures. We have developed the relationships with our suppliers to have access to low cost hardware that we can turn into spirulina kits on any scale of demand. With financial support we will be able to begin ordering and processing all of the kit components.
Pro Kit Manufacturing
The pro kit box will be manufactured in house with the leadership of a carpenter with over thirty years experience. The wood is of high quality and smooth finish. It will be assembled before shipment and ready out of box.
We are currently growing 150 cultures a month. Part of the kickstarter funds will go into the increase production of spirulina culture with 2 new photo bioreactors designed for efficient desert growing. We have them designed and are ready to revamp production and expansion.
Detailed Fulfillment Process
Finish funding (August 2013)
Build 2 new spirulina photo-bioreactors (August 2013)
Process Hardware and Nutrients (August 2013)
Design and Illustrate kit guides (September 2013)
Finalize Backer Shipping info (September 2013)
Begin Shipping Rewards (December 2013)
Where the funds will go?
Our project is simple. We really like growing fresh spirulina at home. Currently there are few resources or cultures available at an affordable price. If we get funded, we will be able to run and maintain a business model that creates access to spirulina. We also understand that with increased support we can lower the cost of the nutrients for spirulina. We hope to bring down the cost per pound of live spirulina to 3 dollars per pound or less. The funds will directly go into increasing spirulina production, hardware for the kits and a website for customer support. Almost all the funds will go into the fulfillment of the rewards because they all have hardware for spirulina.
We are spirulina farmers who want to share with others. For the last two year we have experimented with different growing and harvesting methods for indoor spirulina cultivation. Spirulina can be very efficiently grown indoors and our kits provide the tools to do just that. Our goal is to introduce spirulina to people to grow the community of open source spirulina farmers.
Spirulina Systems is comprised of a complete
team to handle hardware, documentation and operational management.There is a core mentality of open source that drives
our developers to make and document the simplest tools for indoors
Our team is made up by Edgar and Oscar Ortiz. Edgar has a college background in operational management and product development. Oscar does all the design, programming, and hardware development.
Risks and challenges
To this date we have shipped test kits across the U.S. and even Asia with cultures arriving well. Our space produces 150 cultures monthly and our suppliers have the quantities needed to fulfill our rewards. An assuring fact is that growing algae is not a project to us, we live with our cultures and improve constantly. For that reason, our team is always ready to adjust to situations by creating cost effective solutions. We hope that you see that we spent good effort in our idea and how to relate it to others well.
Thank you for your time and thinking about supporting algae research for the improvement of people's nutrition.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! Spirulina is easier to grow than the average plant. All of the nutrients are provided and the kits were designed for easy use. Before spirulina farming, we had never grown anything in our lives (urban lifestyle). Which is why spirulina is easy to integrate into your lifestyle.
Spirulina can be added to just about any food because it has a neutral taste. There are many spirulina recipes for smoothies, salads and fresh drinks. Fruits and spirulina are just so good too!
You will be able to harvest 2 table spoons a week with a 10 gallon culture, year-round! The best part is that our kits are modular, so you can grow out your culture to 20, 30 or even 50 gallons. Here at Spirulina Systems, each employee has a 30 gallon culture, which is enough for daily consumption.
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