I believe that the requirements for a single persons $\require{mhchem}\ce{O2}$/$\ce{CO2}$ balance run somewhere in the region of $8m^2$ of algae, which would seem to be possible in a single $\approx 1m^3$ bioreactor. Which is pretty handy, as it also produces algae which can be used towards food requirements and/or biofuel.

1) However I can't seem to find data for how much energy this would require?

2) Also can't find data on how long this algae would take to 'grow' to a stage where it could be harvested? As in what would the calories per month be from such a setup?

I know these are kinda... not 'space' questions, but I'm not sure people on a gardening forum will have information on this kind of setup either! Figured this question has probably occured to other people on here before now :)

  • $\begingroup$ I've read some of those already, but while they have similar questions they don't seem to have much in the way of answers (for the questions I had at least). One of them mentioned 1500W needed for 8m2 of algae, which at least sounds like it might be correct, though I'm not sure how they come to that value. I think it was something to do with sun power over that area of ground on earth. Actual growth times aren't mentioned at all, I suspect it's something people either don't think about or gloss over haha. $\endgroup$
    – nirurin
    Nov 5 '19 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ Okay good to hear it. I'm not proposing those as duplicates. By including them in a comment they become linked questions which can be helpful for future readers as well. It's an interesting question by the way! If you have no luck here, you could either move it to Biology SE or ask a different but related question there simultaneously. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 5 '19 at 4:09
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    $\begingroup$ Ahh sorry, I'm tired, my brain thought of it as "12 square feet" instead of 12x12. I wonder why LED grow lights are generally given much higher values. Even 'low light' crops like lettuce are said to be 30W per square foot, which would be 300w per square meter (i believe?) $\endgroup$
    – nirurin
    Nov 6 '19 at 1:36
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    $\begingroup$ I'll give Biology a try :) $\endgroup$
    – nirurin
    Nov 6 '19 at 1:59

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