David Willis claims that SpaceX is iterating on the design of the Lunar Human Landing system Starship with large solar panels.
The solar panels would fold out and deploy from within the Starship.
The moon has 1400 watts per square meter of solar power. Solar energy collection on the moon would be about 25% efficient. The SpaceX Starship is about 50 meters tall. The solar panels are half the height of Starship.
The large solar panels are 25 meters tall and 4 meters wide. This is about 35 kilowatts of solar per wing. The total of five such panels is about 175 kilowatts.
Do you guys wanna see something cool?
New HLS renders from SpaceX pic.twitter.com/dE0cQjCSsm
— David Willis (@ThePrimalDino) November 2, 2023
This rendering while visually interesting seems to be using heavier solar panels.
There is lighter thin film, flexible solar which would enable more power per kilogram transported to the moon.
Doug Plata and Chris Wolfe have an updated design for solar drapes for gathering power at the South Pole of the moon. They looked at how much power a single lunar Starship (100 tonnes) could establish at the best so-called Peak of Eternal Light (PEL) at the lunar south pole. They proposed a solar drape moon energy system built from 30 spans (33 telescoping supports) and weighs in at 48.8 tonnes and produces 7.38 MW. There is a 30 tonnes payload budget for the deployment hardware and cabling from the array to the settlement, plus 20 tonnes of payload margin. They are using additional margins elsewhere in the estimates, but these numbers overall are very achievable. The power-system performance is about 150 W/kg and an all-in mission performance of 92 W/kg with comfortable margins. The highest one could reasonably estimate here is 12 MW, which assumes 80 t is reserved for power hardware and 20t for everything else.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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