“Professor Jeffrey Gordon was invited by NASA to present a plan to power lunar colonies solely through solar energy,” announced Ben-Gurion University.

By United with Israel Staff

As NASA and other national space agencies revive programs for colonization of the moon, the conundrum of energy supplies on the lunar surface has reemerged.

Specifically, how could a future moon colony be powered?

A Ben-Gurion University (BGU) professor named Jeffrey Gordon​ may have the solution: a “paradigm shift” that led to “an invitation to present to NASA in late August,” BGU recently announced.

The concept was also published in the top academic journal in the field, Renewable Energy.

In the announcement describing Gordon’s project, BGU explained, “On the Moon, solar is the sole available renewable resource. The overriding challenge is to completely supply the main energy consumer: factories that need to continuously (24/7, 365 days a year) produce thousands of tons of oxygen (O2) per year from the lunar soil, for rocket propellant, orbiting satellite refueling and human sustenance. A large part of the challenge derives from any location on the Moon on average spending half of the lunar rotational period of 29.5 days in the dark.”

Gordon documented “a feasible strategy where uninterrupted electricity would be produced by photovoltaic (PV) arrays installed around a 360° latitudinal ring close to (but not at) a lunar pole, with transmission lines installed to the O2 plants for which there would then be substantial remote siting flexibility.”

“My solution … is more than a factor of 100 better than solar with battery storage,” explained Gordon. It’ is also at least a factor of 6 superior to the solution now being contemplated by NASA of nuclear reactors driving conventional turbines and generators.”

The professor added, “NASA scientists expressed preparedness to rethink the plan to power lunar colonies with nuclear energy instead of solar energy.”

Gordon is a member of the Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research of Ben-Gurion University.