Photofermentative hydrogen production by immobilized Rhodobacter capsulatus YO3 was carried out in a novel photobioreactor in sequential batch mode under indoor and outdoor conditions. Long-term H-2 production was realized in a 1.4 L photobioreactor for 64 days using Rhodobacter capsulatus YO3 immobilized with 4% (w/v) agar on 5 mM sucrose and 4 mM glutamate. The highest hydrogen yield (19 mol H-2/mol sucrose) and hydrogen productivity (0.73 mmol H-2 L-1 h(-1)) were achieved indoors on 5 mM sucrose. The effect of initial sucrose concentration (5 mM, 10 mM, and 20 mM) on hydrogen production was also investigated. Sustained hydrogen production was carried out under natural, outdoor conditions as well. For the outdoor experiments, the highest hydrogen productivity and yield were obtained as 0.87 +/- 0.06 mmol H-2 L-1 h(-1) and 6.1 +/- 0.2 mol H-2/mol sucrose, respectively on 10 mM sucrose. Furthermore, this system prevented sudden pH drops and fluctuations caused by the utilization of sucrose throughout the process. These results demonstrate that a proper immobilization setup can lead to long-term efficient and robust hydrogen production even under naturally varying conditions. (C) 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.