Moon Dust Substrate For Solar Panels

Simulated moon dust has been used to make the substrate of a solar cell, according to University of Houston researchers. The fine grey powder is 50% silicon dioxide, along with a mixture of oxides of twelve different metals (including aluminum, magnesium and iron).

(Regolith in cross-section)

Alex Freundlich and his colleagues melted JSC-1, a powder that simulates the lunar regolith samples brought back by Apollo astronauts, in a vacuum. The melted powder solidifies into a smooth, glassy sheet on which solar cells may be deposited by thermal evaporation. The finished cell can then convert sunlight into electricity.

(From Regolith as substrate)

The simulated lunar solar panels are only about one percent efficient in converting sunlight to electricity (conventional cells convert about twenty percent).

(From Rover deposits solar cells)

In his 1951 novel The Moon is Hell, John W. Campbell wrote about marooned members of the second lunar expedition surviving by manufacturing solar cells using lunar materials.

Read more at Lunar colony to run on moon dust and robots. Thanks to Winchell Chung for the idea for this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/14/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...' - Nat Schachner, 1941.

The 'Marching Mountains' Of Pluto
Calling Captain Future! Your time has come.

3D Printed Pluto And Charon, For Imperial Collectors
'It was the kind of globe made for wealthy collectors or planetary governors of the Empire.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

A Solar System Swept Clean - For A Dyson Swarm
'They cleaned it out...' - Larry Niven, 1970



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."

Tesla Suit Gives Haptic Hugs
'Then a pressure on the lips...'

Surgically Implantable Artificial Kidney Starts Testing
'George Walt... proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...'

Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...'

Microsoft's Surface Book Is Part Clipboard
'Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications...'

Police Use Predictive Maps ala 'Minority Report' Routinely
'...the data-receptors, and the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Tesla Autopilot Road Trip 2995 Miles, 57 Hours
'The beautiful old car cruised ... under the guidance of its automatic controls...'

The 'Marching Mountains' Of Pluto
Calling Captain Future!

Graphene Thermopile May Grant Predator Heat Vision To Humans
'What the hell are you?'

BitDrones Flying Microbots Model Programmable Matter
'... as though a child should build from nursery blocks a fantastic shape which abruptly is filled with throbbing life.'

Starship Turbolift Elevators Coming From ThyssenKrupp AG
Your sideways elevator is getting closer to your floor.

LineFORM MIT's Shape-Changing Interface
'For an interval, the device struggled with itself...'

LM3D Swim First 3D-Printed Production Car
'Almost as good as the original it was printed fromů'

Protopiper Lets You Sketch Full-Size Objects In Real Space
'Plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens...'

AI Trainers: Assisting Artificial Intelligences
'[Ava] wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.