Community > Forum > Technology & Science > Energy generation at the Mars, for the martian rovers etc.

Energy generation at the Mars, for the martian rovers etc.

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:58 pm
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 314 posts ] 
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ... 21  Next
Energy generation at the Mars, for the martian rovers etc. 
Author Message
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:15 pm
Posts: 1233
Location: London, England
Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:35 pm
Remember also that the level of sunlight will be less on the Martian surfave compared to that in orbit and dust covering an array large enough to generate even 100kw would require constant attention from astronauts. For that reason I dont think that reliance solely on solar power is feasible for a Martian base and that a combination of power sources should be used.

Nuclear power is still the best for a permanent settlement as its power output will be unaffected by external conditions.

_________________
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:24 am
space.com in the article "Rocky Mountain High: Spirit Rover Surveys its Surroundings
" ( www.space.com/missionlaunches/050901_rovers_update.html ) today say that south of Husband Hill there may be a winter refuge because the solar arrays of Spirit can be angled towards the sun to get more electrical power this way. North-faced slopes could be used for this if geology allows for that.

This causes me another thought - what about equipping each future Mars orbiter by a large adjustable mirror to focus more sunlight down to rovers? Would that be possible or would it be an unbearable and expensice obstacle for scientific instruments, antennas and more?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
avatar
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:25 am
Posts: 887
Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:21 pm
The new nanosheets should make this possible without the need for ponderous aluminum rail construction. I think we need space-based solar power here on Earth as a demonstrator first. There is a picture of a simple Soyuz-borne reflector here as you were talking about:

http://www.spaceislandgroup.com/solarsat.html

Hurricane buster
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articl ... sc=I100322

I had Mr. Hoffman contact gene Meyers of Space Island Group:

http://www.businessinsurance.com/cgi-bi ... 2005-03-20


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:17 pm
Posts: 243
Location: So Cal, baby!
Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:21 pm
Ekke, solar power collection is always about AREA (I'm talking about the geometric property here), and whether it is mylar reflector or solid-state cell wafers doesn't really matter that much, you still need to wrangle it in-situ. The designers of Spirit/Opportunity certainly could have placed an ultra-lightweight fold-out mylar mirror on the rover and paid a small wieght penalty for the erecting hardware, I am sure that someone at JPL talked about it, too. In the end they chose not to for some reason of engineering to which we are not party, but as materials become even more lightweight (I thought I read that someone figured a way to make solar cells 80% lighter recently), it will inreasingly be a better (i.e. more efficient) idea to simply use more cells if you want more collection area.

As far as solar powersats, well, I do believe that this weather-mod idea is the first time I've ever seen that make sense. For power generation itself the idea is just plain silly. Even if the cells were 1000% more efficacious outside the atmosphere (which they will never, ever be) AND you did get your $1000/lb LEO infrastructure working, it would still be cheaper by a couple orders of magnitude to just put the cells on your roof...

But to control the weather? That could actually be worth it. I doubt that the insurance industry would foot the bill though. And the geopolitical/ecological import of such an undertaking effectively prohibits the US govt from funding it. Besides, as someone once said,
Quote:
Still--this should be required reading
http://www.space.com/adastra/adastra_hu ... 50901.html


Actually the whole 4-part series should be.


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:46 am
Hello, SawSS1June21,

I had in mind chances to handle interruptions of power production by solar cells only.

Of course mirrors in orbit couldn't provide a substitute of the sunlight at night or in winter. But they could keep a certain level on power production during times of darkness.

Rgeradless of the very very small amount of energy created - it could be stroed in accumulators. It might require long times - but as long as power-consuming activities occur at the current level this simply would be gathering stroed energy for the future. Esepcially for a manned Mars mission in or after 2015 this could be advantageous if a landing site is fixed. But it could be of meaning for later colonists too.

The idea wasn't menat to provide energy for the current rovers - the artciel caused the thought simply like a catalyst. I had in mind a future electricity infrastructure for general and various purposes - not for the actual and current scientific missions of NASA simply.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:34 am
Under www.wissenschaft.de I read an article today saying that a backpack has been invented that generate electricity for handies and other things the current capacity is electricity for seven handies.

The mechanical energy from walk is used to do so.

This way 300 times more energy may be generated than by formerly invented electricity generating shoes.

The article refers to Lawrence Rome (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) et al.: Science, Vol. 309, page 1725 ( www.sciencemag.org )

May it be possible to develop a good source of energy for rovers from this too? And what about using it at backpacks of astronauts and others walking on Mars? ...



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 3:17 pm
Posts: 243
Location: So Cal, baby!
Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:52 pm
Interesting idea, Ekke....

Good: It will help to offset muscle atrophy in the reduced martian gravity.

Bad: Thermodynamics still rule. The energy must come from somewhere, in this case it is chemically stored in the form of food, so without an in-situ method of feeding and oxygenating your astronauts, you are still paying to ship what is essentially chemical fuel to another planet. Chemical fuels have poor energy density as it is, and homo sapiens may be a marvel of natural engineering, but they are notoriously inefficent energy users.


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:48 pm
I didn't have in mind the complete backpack but simply the method it is used to generate energy ( I look at this method as something which might be used even if it is not made part of the backpack - according to the initial post of the Synopsis Technology-thread).

What's generating the enrgy seems to be the up-and-down-Movements etc. of the backpack. These movements are caused by the walking movements of the human's legs and feet.

Rgearding a Mars Rover there should be up-and-down-movements too as that rover moves over stones, up-hill and down-hill. If that rover now would have something now which allways keeps its orientation relative to the direction to the martian center then other objects mounted to that rover should change their orientations to that thing when moving over a stone or climbing up a hill and down again. These changes could be used to generate energy a similar way than is done by using the invented backpack I suppose.

Regarding the astronaut one thing is sure - all the food and chemicals and so on will have to be carried there unpreventably. And unpreventably the astronaut will have to carry a backpack because the air which has to be provided to him has to be placed somewhere. So the astronaut will have to carry a backpack unpreventably - even the most recent designs of spacesuits I have seen include a backpack for air and so on.

If the amount of electricity to be got this way could be increased or would be larger at Mars then there is a chance perhaps to save some electricity which then could be added to the electricity store of a vehicle or a habitat.

But it would be interesting for colonists too - they would be generating electricity all the time they are doing something outside any habitat.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
avatar
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:56 am
Posts: 1104
Location: Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
Post    Posted on: Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:32 pm
Sounds like it might be based on the Faraday Principle, as evidenced in the Forever Flashlight (look on the right side of the page).

Remember, though, that the transformation of energy is never perfectly efficient, so the energy you use to generate the electricity is more than the energy stored as electricity in the batteries you charge. Basically, you'll run out of battery power even faster than you would have before -- which is why nobody has a Wimshurst machine attached to their laptop's hard drive or optical drive.

_________________
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

In Memoriam...
Apollo I - Soyuz I - Soyuz XI - STS-51L - STS-107


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:37 am
Hello, spacecowboy,

as far as I understand it currently regarding the astronaut(s) the enegry consumed to generate the electricity simply is the energy consumed by human walking which in turn is consumption of anergy got by eating and drinking.

In so far it simply is truning a portion of one form of energy into another - it is completely within the common and overall circulation of energy, matter and so on (of course the enegry leaves the circulation much later)

Conventional backpacks were filled by batteries and energy humans got from eating and drinking were consumed to carry stores of energy - now the heavy energy stores are replaced by light food and drinking whiich "refuel" the human energy.

So regarding the astronauts and future colonists the new invention seems to be reasonable and advantageous in my eyes even on Mars or on the Moon.

Regarding the rovers they still could be driven by solar energy at daylight while storing electricity they could generate the descripted way during daylight. At night the electricity got by the descripted way could be used. I am thinking about it but this too seems to be truning a portion of energy into another form of energy.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:15 pm
Posts: 1233
Location: London, England
Post    Posted on: Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:33 am
This ideas sounds like the devices described in Frank Herbert's Dune series of novels. The suits worn by travellers on the planet surface contain pumps built into the soles of their boots which circulate fluid as they walk.

This idea could be adapted on a real spacesuit to use the moving fluid to turn a small turbine generating electricity.

_________________
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:23 pm
Perhaps the less gravity of Mars makes it even easier to use it since human movements require even less consumption of energy than on Earth or any other planet with earthian gravity.

Plus the astronauts or future colonists willbe interested in each way to get electricity in the first phase because there are no power plants on Mars initially. The electricity will be required for safety and stability of such fragile settelemants, colonies, environments... They will be very consciuos of that.

The larger the crew of a future Mars station, the number of settlers or colonists the more energy will be eneeded and the more energy could be got thsi way I suppose.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:23 am
Posts: 195
Location: Lincoln, England
Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:50 pm
The stirling engine idea could be good. Focus some sun light onto the hot plate, and use the deep cold of the permenant shadows of a northern crater wall to create as large a temperature differential as possible. I'm guessing though that stirling engines prefer higher temperatures than can be created using directed sunlight alone. Mmm!

I also liked the orbital mirror idea. Unfirled like a solar sail, but reflecting light down to augment ground based solar arrays during the day, and give some power during the night.

How deep and how warm is the Martian core? Would it be possible to drill down for geotherm, or would that simply be too expensive (energy wise) for the return?

Looks like nukes and solar cell arrays are the way forward for now, until some sort of manufacturing can be done on site.

_________________
Sean Girling

Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.


Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
avatar
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:56 am
Posts: 1104
Location: Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:44 pm
Stirling engines don't care about the temperature, they care about the temperature differential -- you can put solid water ice on the "hot" side, stick the other in something that's within a few degrees of absolute zero, and get the exact same efficiency (theoretically, of course) as if you'd had steam on one side and ice on the other.

Naturally, in reality, you want to deal with temperatures that cheap and lightweight materials can actually handle -- putting a Stirling engine in the solar corona is an outstanding idea in terms of raw theoretical power generation and efficiency, but a terrible one in terms of materials science and engineering.

Martian core is either dead or very close to it -- we're betting on the latter, since Mars does have a (very) weak magnetic field.

_________________
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

In Memoriam...
Apollo I - Soyuz I - Soyuz XI - STS-51L - STS-107


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
avatar
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:50 am
Posts: 265
Location: UK
Post    Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:02 pm
I suspect Mars's magnetic field is just purely a fossil remnant in iron bearing materials on/in the planet and not to do with anything now happening in the cooling core. IMO the only interesting long duration power sources for Mars seem to be solar power and nuclear power, that's possibly not too different to the situation on Earth over a longer time frame. Solar cells likely to be available in the next ten years probably work out pretty good weighwise for solar power without concentrators. Stirling cycles are viable for nuclear power, as there is an atmosphere other cycles might have substantial advantages. Maximum efficiency of thermodynamic cycles are based on the ratio of temperatures on an absolute scale. Especially with nuclear power, thermodynamic efficiency is probably of somewhat secondary significance. On Mars what would normally be waste heat from nuclear power might be quite useful.


Back to top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 314 posts ] 
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ... 21  Next
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests


cron
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use