In this study, production of the microalga Scenedesmus AMDD in a 300 L continuous flow photobioreactor was maximized using an online flow (dilution rate) control algorithm. To enable online control, biomass concentration was estimated in real time by measuring chlorophyll-related culture fluorescence. A simple microalgae growth model was developed and used to solve the optimization problem aimed at maximizing the photobioreactor productivity. When optimally controlled, Scenedesmus AMDD culture demonstrated an average volumetric biomass productivity of 0.11 g L−1 d−1 over a 25 day cultivation period, equivalent to a 70 % performance improvement compared to the same photobioreactor operated as a turbidostat. The proposed approach for optimizing photobioreactor flow can be adapted to a broad range of microalgae cultivation systems.