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Novel Thermal Energy Storage and Electricity generation for Moon exploration

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 13:24
Contract Nr.: 
GSP Ident.: 
Energy Storage
Sonaca Space
DLR - German Aerospace Center
OHB System AG
Start Date: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
End Date: 
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

One of the most critical points in the space exploration beyond Earth orbits is the provision of systems which ensure the survival of both crew and technological assets, such as rovers, landers, and others.
The utilization of the Moon, being as the next logical step in implementing the global strategy for colonizing the solar system, is in the focus of all the national and international space agencies.

In accordance to these two points, the first main objective of this project is to assess the potential of thermal energy storage systems as means of supporting future lunar exploration scenarios. In a more concise definition, the main objective is to perform numerical and experimental studies for the design of an efficient technology for storing thermal energy, and reusing it for the production of electricity in-situ.

In comparison to the environment of the International Space Station, a now established working environment for mankind, the one on the Moon is much harsher. Given that the lunar night can last, depending on the location, for as much as 14 earth days, the surface temperatures can vary between 100 K and 400 K. This makes any system designed for lunar applications complex and constrained by many factors. In order to address these challenges, a novel heat storage and electricity generation system has to be designed and studied.

Executive summary: