Photovoltaic panels made of lunar dust? According to German scientists, it is possible!
Innovative steps of scientists
Use of lunar regolith
What is lunar regolith?
German researchers from the Technical University of Berlin are gaining recognition for their innovative approach to the production of photovoltaic panels from lunar dust. As part of the SoMo project, funded by the German Space Agency, scientists hope that this innovative technology will become a key element in the creation of a new lunar base.
The SoMo project, co-financed by the German Space Agency and the German Aerospace Center, is a new approach to the production of solar panels. Leading researchers at the Technical University of Berlin are developing technology that uses lunar regolith to produce silicon cells. They have the potential to power future exploration missions, including manned missions to Mars.
The German Space Agency and the Technical University of Berlin are jointly implementing the SoMo project, which combines space research with the development of photovoltaic technology. Dr. Thomas Driebe from the German Space Agency emphasizes that this unique project may be a key element of future manned lunar bases, answering questions about the supply of raw materials and energy to the lunar surface.
Based on ISRU technology, i.e. In-Situ Resource Utilization, German scientists are directing their research towards an autonomous energy source on the Moon. Using lunar regolith and solar energy, producing photovoltaic panels on the Moon has the potential to reduce the costs associated with rocket transportation. This therefore constitutes a key area of German space research.
The SoMo project, led by Dr. Enrico Stoll, focuses on the use of lunar regolith to produce photovoltaic panels. According to the project manager, developing production capabilities on the Moon is a key step towards an autonomous energy source. Especially considering the astronomical transportation costs from Earth. The pursuit of solar cell efficiency based on regolith and sunlight puts Germany at the forefront of space research and exploration, providing a solid foundation for future exploration missions.
Lunar regolith, also called lunar dust or lunar dust, is a layer of earth on the lunar surface composed primarily of small, fine rock particles and dust. It is formed as a result of erosion processes and micrometeoroid bombardment of the Moon’s surface for hundreds of millions of years. It is characterized by small, pointed grains that create a loose structure. Lunar regolith is poor in organic components, water and other chemicals, which distinguishes it from soil on Earth. However, it is a valuable research material that provides information about the geological history of the Moon. This layer preserves traces of processes such as meteoroid collisions. In the context of modern space research, lunar regolith has become an object of interest for scientists and engineers working on potential applications in future exploration missions. For example, as mentioned in the previous text, German scientists are investigating the possibility of using lunar dust to produce photovoltaic panels to power space bases.