Bonanno’s bright idea focussed on storing solar thermal energy in concrete blocks made from lunar soil, known as regolith.
“Our research is focussed on using as many resources as possible that are readily available in the lunar environment,” Mr Bonanno said – something termed In-Situ Resource Utilisation.
“Generating sustainable power efficiently will be one of the largest technological hurdles to future exploration and colonisation of the moon,” said Mr Bonanno.
Solar energy provides an attractive option, but the challenge of ensuring a constant power supply remains, given the Moon’s 336-hour long night, during which temperatures plummet to bitter extremes.Article continues below…
Some of the other technologies currently being explored include PV cells, nuclear energy and fuel cells, Mr Bonanno said, but these would require transporting heavy materials, which is prohibitively expensive.