(ORDO NEWS) — Providing electricity to future lunar bases is a major challenge for lunar colonization, but scientists have come up with an elegant solution.
Most of the methods we use to generate electricity on Earth cannot be used elsewhere. No object in the solar system has fossil fuels, and transporting it from Earth would be too expensive.
You understand that wind, waves and hydropower cannot be used in an airless moon. It remains only to use solar or nuclear energy.
Since there are no clouds on the Earth’s natural satellite that block the sunlight, it is easy to produce electricity from solar energy on the Moon. True, this is possible until night falls.
All the energy received will need to be stored somewhere during 15 Earth days of darkness, and this is already a problem.
Professor Jeffrey Gordon of Ben-Gurion University thinks the vault can be dispensed with. He published a work on the relevant topic in the journal Renewable Energy. The scientist claims that the proposed method of generating electricity will be much cheaper.
Gordon proposes to place solar collectors in a ring around the moon and transfer energy to where it is needed.
The Moon has far fewer extreme seasons than Earth, as its axis is tilted only 1.5 degrees from flat, rather than the 23 degrees it is on Earth.
Consequently, even very close to the pole there is no long winter darkness. The ring of solar collectors could be placed just 3 degrees from the pole, which would allow a continuous supply of electricity.
With a radius of only 1734 kilometers, a little over 600 kilometers of cables will be required. Wires do not have to be hung from high towers or built to protect from the wind.
The bases will need oxygen not only for breathing, but also for fuel to return to Earth or go to Mars. Gordon estimates that about 10 MW of continuous power will be required to provide this, which covers the rest of the needs of the lunar bases.
There are also other ways to generate electricity without creating special storage facilities. For example, you can place solar panels on satellites and transmit energy through them to the surface of the moon.
However, such technologies have not yet been introduced anywhere, and, therefore, the idea of solar collectors on the surface of the Moon seems more realistic.
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