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Soon, solar energy system to power a futuristic moon colony

Sydney, Sun, 15 Apr 2012 ANI

Sydney, Apr 15 (ANI): A boy in US has used powder from a local quarry to simulate moon dust as he plans to develop a renewable solar energy system that could be used on the moon.

Aaron Bonanno who soaked up anything to do with space, travel and exploration is now a fourth-year university student about to appear before a conference of some of the finest space engineers to present his findings.

The American Society for Civil Engineers has invited Bonanno to explain his research at the Earth and Space 2012 Conference in California this weekend.

Using basalt from a quarry on the central coast to simulate moon dust, he has developed solar thermal energy blocks that are lightweight and easy to transport and store.

This is crucial to provide a constant source of power in an environment of extreme temperatures that range from 123 degrees during the day to minus 233 at night.

"The lunar environment is quite a complicated place. There is no water on the moon, and there is a very large temperature variation between night and day, lots of radiation, lots of meteorites," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

"You don't have solar power during the day and don't have sun during nighttime, so you need a way to store heat. Current methods involve high-temperature concrete to generate electricity or heat during the night so they have a continuous supply of energy, or using liquid salts," he said

Bonanno's method proposes using lunar soil rather than terrestrial materials to make the exercise more economically viable and more suited to the environment.

His research involves baking soil at 1000 degrees to make bricks that are then used to store heat collected from the sun. (ANI)


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