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For Earth – Clean Green Energy From The Moon

In The Not Too Distant Future, The Children of Earth Can Look To The Moon To Light Up The Night, In More Ways Than One

363734main_image_1400_946-710The National Geographic Channel (NGC) recently ran a program called “Living On The Moon”, an episode in the Naked Science series. It delved into the plans and challenges of establishing a long-term human presents on the Lunar surface and what it would take to sustain such endeavors. A segment of that program showed a fascinating look into the future of constant, sustainable, cheap, energy for use here on Earth, as well as the Lunar outposts, a concept that is simply ingenious.

In 1996 David Criswell, director of the Institute for Space Systems Operation at the University of Houston, had a bright idea to solve the world’s energy needs. The Lunar Solar Power (LSP) System collects solar power on the lunar surface and converts the power to microwaves. The microwaves are transmitted as multiple power beams directly or indirectly (using orbital reflectors/retransmitters), to tens of thousands of receiving antennas called rectennas, here on Earth. Fields of these rectennas will convert over 80% the microwaves back into electricity and direct it into existing and new distribution grids. FYI: Aircraft passing through the beams will not turn into flying microwave ovens, their metal skins shields the passengers, so no worries.

dn6892-1_853Can this work? Yes. Criswell points out that successful Earth-Moon power beams are already in use, a radio telescope operating from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico regularly uses a beam of microwaves to produce images of the moon. And since the Moon receives 13,000 Terrawatts of power from the Sun, by harnessing just 1% of that solar power and directing it via microwave to Earth, fossil fuel power plants could be completely replaced. “Clean, safe, low-cost commercial electric power can be dependably delivered to receivers on Earth,” he said.

Working with NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Alex Freundlich a research professor of physics/electrical/computer engineering also at the University of Houston, and his team in the Nanotechnology lab, along with Charles Horton, senior research scientist at the Texas Center for Superconductivity and Advanced Materials, are working on transforming Criswell’s brilliant idea into a reality by turning the Moon’s lack of an atmosphere into an advantage. By utilizing the vacuum of space and lunar regolith (moon dust) in the manufacture of thousands of kilometers of highly efficient solar cells. The lunar regolith contains all the raw materials to make solar cells, it just needs to be collected and processed – right where it lies. The team designed a solar-powered robotic rover that would leave a trail of solar panels in its wake. Solar cells that are far more efficient at converting sunlight than those utilized on spacecraft and more resistant to damaging radiation. “The best space solar cell technology currently in use converts only about 28% of the sunlight hitting the cell into electricity. By adding a thin layer of nano-engineered material in these cells we are capable of boosting solar cell efficiencies to well above 35%,” said Freundlich.

paper138_image6As the rover rolls along, it first melts silica in the lunar surface to create a layer of glass, it then lays down a grid of solar cells on top of the glass. Putting multiple robots to work will transform hundreds of square miles of the lunar surface into vast solar farms. Criswell’s idea is to place these solar farms on the east and west limbs of the sunward hemisphere of the Moon, in the lunar highlands, near the equator.

The Lunar Solar Power (LSP) system can be scaled up on the Moon to supply the 20 terawatts or more of electricity required by 10 billion people, the expected population of Earth in 2050. Sunlight shines on the Moon continuously, except once a year for about three hours during a full lunar eclipse. During that period of time, stored energy could be used to keep the energy pipeline from the Moon to the Earth fully operational.

…. as the green future unfolds.

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No Responses to “For Earth – Clean Green Energy From The Moon”

  1. Alex Foster Says:

    Getting energy from the moon still seems very science fiction to me and I think it’s still too expensive to harness it within the next 20-30 years.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Alex … Not necessarily! It could happen much sooner than you think.

  3. Lissof Says:

    Thanks Linda,,,

    Very interesting post, yes it may be “science fiction” at this time,,, But look at the many everyday devises we enjoy in our daily lives that were “science fiction” in our youth… Perhaps not for my generation but for our future generations we need to explore such ideas.

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof …. “science fiction” has be wonderful for all of us in our everyday life. This may take a couple of more years but hey! why not!

  5. Solar Energy Albany Says:

    Great blog! I genuinely love how it is easy on my eyes as well as the facts are well written. I have bookmarked your site! Clean Energy is green energy. It will be interesting to see how the design of photovoltaic tile evolves over the next decade.

  6. Linda Says:

    Hi Solar Energy …. It will be very interesting. Tiles are now being made that are pretty small or can be painted on. 😀

  7. Build Solar Panel Says:

    Hi, I´m Pam, interesting post. I am a third grade teacher in Orange county. Nowadays , most people wish to save cash on their electrical energy bills and one of the most popular methods is through utilizing solar energy. What can we, the ordinary people do to aid save up our World? The response may sound strong, but it’s very simple. Build your own solar panel.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi Solar Panel …. yep! building your own solar panel is sure a way to go but why not get additional help from the moon?

  9. Oakley Flak Jacket Says:

    Hello there,I love reading through your article post – For Earth – Clean Green Energy From The Moon |, I wanted to write a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation……Good luck for all your blogging efforts.

  10. Linda Says:

    Hi OAKLEY … Thank you and come back again! 😀

  11. MovingCost Says:

    Interesting post! What an excellent concept, very innovative. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. Thanks Linda for such awesome information, I always enjoy reading your blog!
    .-= MovingCost´s last blog ..Top-Quality Chesapeake Moving Companies are Easy to Find =-.

  12. Linda Says:

    Hi Moving … Thank you ! I think this is pretty cool myself

  13. Jocuri Online Says:

    “I’d like to say that you always offer valid information and I have been an fascinated reader of your site for quite some time. I wanted to say thankyou really 🙂 for all the good work you do!”

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