Is it possible to provide electricity from solar energy on the moon without interruption or storage?

Providing electricity from solar energy on Earth without interruption or storage remains a difficult goal, but it appears to be viable on the surface of the Moon; Ben-Gurion University scientist Jeffrey Gordon has proposed a way to provide electricity to oxygen plants on the moon without interruption or storage, BV Magazine reported (PV Magazine).

And he recently published his findings in the “Renewable Energy” magazine, entitled “Flow electricity of solar energy for lunar colonies without interruption or the need for storage.

Accordingly, NASA invited Gordon to present his results, a few months ago, according to what was monitored by the Specialized Energy Platform.

Electricity production on the moon

On the Moon, solar energy is the only available renewable resource.

Solar energy on the moon
Solar energy on the moon – photo from Discovery Magazine

The biggest challenge is getting supplies to factories that need around-the-clock electricity to produce thousands of tons of oxygen annually from lunar soil; It is used as fuel for rockets, to fuel satellites, and to support human life on the moon.

With no dark side to the moon, and all of its parts exposed to sunlight at some point, Gordon believes solar arrays can be placed in a ring around the moon and carry electricity to the desired location.

In his paper, Gordon documents a feasible strategy in which electricity can be produced without interruption by installing photovoltaic arrays in a 360-degree circular ring near one of the moon’s poles, with long distribution lines carrying electricity to oxygen stations.

The strategy takes advantage of the fact that the moon has no atmosphere, the inclination of the moon’s polar axis, which is close to zero relative to the path of the sun, the conditions on the moon that can be installed inexpensively low distribution lines without the need for high towers, and that the diameter of the moon is smaller than the diameter of the Earth.

lunar settlement

The biggest challenge to colonizing the Moon is to constantly supply electricity to the oxygen-producing plants.

Most of the methods we use to produce electricity on Earth are not available in any other worlds; You won’t find fossil fuels in any other world in the solar system, and getting it from Earth to the Moon would be expensive.

With no air on the moon, there are no winds or waves; So there is only exploitation solar energy and nuclear energy.

Recent studies have revealed that the use of Nuclear Energy Or solar energy along with storage represent a promising solution on the lunar surface, but it revealed that using solar energy without storage could be the most appropriate solution.

Gordon said the new strategy is better than solar energy andbatteries 100 times, and 6 times better than the solutions that NASA is considering, which is to use nuclear reactors to power turbines and generators.

He referred to his invitation to NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio, during August (2022), explaining that NASA researchers have expressed their willingness to rethink the plan to provide lunar colonies with nuclear energy and replace it with solar energy solutions.

Solar panels on a satellite
Solar panels on a satellite – Photo courtesy of the Daily Guardian

need for oxygen

Lunar bases need oxygen not only to breathe, but also to provide fuel for return to Earth or to support research.

According to the study, 10 megawatts of solar energy is needed to run the oxygen plants continuously.

An alternative way to do without storage on the Moon is to place solar panels on the satellites and send electricity to the Moon, and this proposal will take advantage of advances made in wireless transmission of electricity.

even The rest of the proposals pay off, Gordon’s idea has the advantage of combining proven techniques.

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