- how an off-Earth base could quickly become self-sufficient -


Power: Elliot Carol of lunar resources describes their laboratory work in which they have gone from lunar dirt simulant to working solar cells.

The research needed to know how to produce solar cells from lunar material has, to a fair degree, already been completed. We know how to do it.

In 1997, Dr. Alex Ignatiev conducted some work using lunar mare simulant. In the process, he succeeded in producing working solar cells. This is done by melting lunar dirt to a high temperature and fusing it into a material upon which can be deposited the layers necessary to produce electricity. Whereas the efficiency of the solar cells would not be as great as the best solar cells on Earth, the process could be conducted using automated robots that could work 24/7. Such steady work would result in an increasingly large power production capacity.

There are a number of processes associated with a permanent base which would require electrical power. Because plants would need to have dirt on top of the greenhouse to protect against radiation, efficient LEDs would need power as would all of the pumps. The inductance heating of metals, the electrolysis of water, the operations of robots, and all of the processes that occur in within the habitat would require electrical power.

We know how solar power cells could be produced on the Moon using local resources.

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