John Kruschke

converting electrical energy to kenetic energy for the use of extending battery banks during dark periods on the moon

i believe that converting electrical energy harvested from solar panels, to kenetic energy, in the form of flywheels, is the best, viable way, to extend the length of battery-banks, on the moon, that are charged from solar...if we envision a huge flywheel like the one displayed in the movie "the right stuff", that was started turning by a large DC motor, we would be seeing the electrical energy that was in the battery that started the "G-force centrifuge" turning, converted into kenetic the form of motion...and, even in space, with zero gravity, a shaft that is turning, still has torque..and this is indeed stored energy....i suggest, that we can simply reverse the polarity of the connection of the DC motor that started the huge flywheel turning, and we would instantly have amps, recharging the battery-bank....the severity of the recharge would have to be controlled, via oscillation of the reversal of polarity, or the connection of the motor's wires to the battery-bank...working in a known way, that windmills already utilize...called a "dump-load"....this would allow the solar panels to charge the battery-banks to full...and then the huge DC motor could be engaged, and the battery could then spin the flywheel up to full which time, the flywheel could be disconnected from the battery bank...and the solar panels could recharge the battery-bank to full charge this point, we have stored energy within the flywheel...that can be used to "top-up" the battery bank, during the long period of darkness experienced due to the moons orbit within the solar system, to double the battery bank"s life, or more... i call this flywheel a "power-module"...and, i feel that the flywheel could be encased in a "hull", or "pod" that the debris floating around in space does not foul the flywheel while it turns...and also gives an extra area to store things, if the power module ceases to function for any reason...also, if this "power module" was designed like the original "lunar module" that landed on the moon....we can see that it may be landed in the desired position on the moon's surface. allowing many power modules to be "spread-out", to make destruction of this "back-up power" system from a meteor shower, less the military, they spread out their men if they venture into an area of potential danger, so the whole group is not eliminated from one incident during the maneuver...the early "lunar lander" also had a rocket system to jettison the module's core off the moon's surface...and i suggest that this might be a good feature to incorporate into the design of a "power module" for the moon's inhabitants...making it possible to be able to launch unwanted junk off the surface, to drift as "space-debris"...for all for the flywheel concept, and the issue of drag, i feel that the venue of space, reduces the issue a great deal.. since there is no gravitational pull on a huge flywheel's bearings, as it turns in zero-gravity. this means, ways known to us already, of lubricating the bearing area with oil, or water, is an option with good prospects, to reduce the drag on a huge flywheel on the moon, to nearly nothing at all...i feel this concept is viable...please give any feedback you like, in regards to it's wishes, john kruschke--
20 Replies

I also think that the flywheels are the right solution.
Also, what can be considered a disadvantage could well be an advantage: the low temperatures. In fact, the loss of energy in a flywheel occurs through friction (with the gas and at the bearings). As for the friction with the gas, the question is settled since there is none.
For bearings, this is where it gets interesting. Indeed the low temperature could allow the use of magnetic bearings with high temperature superconductors (HTSC); cuprates, for example, are in the low range of temperatures on the moon.
Also, in the case of a vehicle that must enter and exit the crater, the unit would have to be mounted on a pivoting cradle because of the enormous inertia of the system (gyroscopic effect).
So I think that's the easiest solution.
For the generator, the inertial discs themselves which could be the generator rotors. In fact, since carbon is a conductor, the discs could be woven in the form of a coil in the insulating matrix. However, it would be necessary to design a principle of stator with permanent magnets which is mobile so as not to generate induced currents and losses by Joule effect when there is no demand for power. Also, the HTSC could themselves be used in the generator ... but how? I had thought about it but I forgot! by digging a little, there is a way to re-imagine it!

Regarding the principle of the generator, I just remembered it!
These are the carbon rotor discs which provide the induction via moving brushes on the shaft line and a permanent magnet generator at the end of the shaft to initiate the self-excitation. The stator windings are made of HTSC materials.
The great difficulty lies in designing the rotor disks so that they are resistant to centrifugal force and that they allow an efficient field to be supplied through the "coils" of the stator.

John Kruschke
the generator must also function as a motor to work...this way, battery energy may be used to begin the flywheel turning...and then the flywheel can produce electricity again later...on earth, a simple model is easily created...get an old generator off of a 1957 or earlier chevy car, or truck...this device will turn if voltage is applied to it, and it will produce voltage if you turn it manually...the starter on one of these vehicles from this time-period also works this same way...simple dc motor's a motor one way, and a generator the opposite for bearings lubricated in space, i feel a suspension type of bearing with pumped oil is the best crankshaft bearings in an automobile engine on earth has...the precise way to produce a fluid that's viable on the moon to lubricate the bearings, is the issue...and there must be extra lubricant somewhere, in case a leak develops...dry bearings would be a great a magnetic suspension of the flywheel, by the bearing?? requires no lubricant...sounds really tough to do though, and a power, we agree flywheels is the way to convert electrical energy into kenetic energy, and back to electrical energy at a later is the issue...and in what manner will we get it on the surface of the moon, without indecent, where we want wishes, john kruschke--
Tagged: Deleted

You are quite right. I tend to start with an idea and then get carried away a little too much ... I admit that what I mentioned are only concepts that have not necessarily been resolved with current technologies and that I omitted some things ...
However, concerning the superconducting bearing, it offers almost 0 friction for zero consumption. It is true, however, that the bearings should be protected until they reach the lunar surface, that the thermal characteristics are quite constrained and that a rather complex case study is necessary.
The reasons which led me to evoke these types of solutions are the low gravity, the low temperatures at the bottom of the craters of the south pole, the weight gains necessary for the transport and the 350 hours of capacity.
Please find below some of the documents that participate in my "runaway": (chapter 4) (temperature domains) (article written in 2005)

Yours truly
Modified on Nov. 26, 2020, 4:22 a.m. PST

William Stroud
This is of little value unfortunately to me. I probably am at a lost to understand the electrical needs on the moon. Having read the challenge I get the requirement for energy sources to perform work, but why electricity and to what purpose. Does this challenge specify the actual or assumed power needs? The distribution of energy to perform a specific function is as important as it is varied. Maybe you can clarify the big picture for me. Please help.

I made a summary which, in the first place, was intended to help me understand the precise aim of the competition and to guide the choice of possible solutions.
As I am not eligible (I knew it from the start) I posted it in the "brainstorming" forum => "Summary and tracks ..?"
Wishing that this is useful to you ...

Hyman Roth
TC - why are you not eligible?

John - why not submit your idea for proposal?

John Kruschke
i think i am a team already??( i tried to register as a team to submit my ideas)....the rules state you need ins for yourself, and team members...and, the "space-x challenge" mentions having a working prototype...that's too expensive, sometimes money stops the person with the correct answer from participating...very frustrating...i have a multiple angle plan to solve to total issue they want resolved....basically, i want to convert electrical energy, harvested from solar panels, into "kenetic energy"( motion), and then convert it back to electrical energy again, that is saved in the physical motion of a flywheel....the second idea is a filter, that removes hydrogen atoms from the atmosphere of the consists of so many hydrogen atoms per cubic's a known fact...a filter that is a long tube, like a jet engine, that has finer, and finer screens, to block larger particles from passing through, will work, in my need a fan blade that sweeps the particles that are too wide to the edge of the tube, to be ejected...this way, the centrifugal force of the fan moving kicks the particles too large to pass through the screen in front of it, out, through an "eject-port", at the outside edge of the fan's blade...this system would require quite a few different screens, with smaller, and smaller a point, you would be down to fine molecules, and it's here, that hydrogen would be passing through, and nothing else...then, we must compress the volume of hydrogen gas harvested by the filter system...and we have then gained a functional "LP" system, on the moon, or even on a ship in the confines of space...and, this hydrogen may be used to produce water( a known scientific fact, and system)-- anyway, how would i present my ideas to NASA with no funds to develop the concepts??...i doubt they will listen to me, so far, this is an interesting past-time, trying to resolve this puzzle...i have little means to do much with ideas i have at this wishes, john kruschke--

John Kruschke
@William Stroud
mr stroud, this contest is about extending the life of the battery bank planned for a moon based operation with inhabitants collecting data there...the moon only gets good sun for a certain duration of time, as it travels through it's pathway with the earth, in our orbit with the sun, in the solar system...this means, battery bank life is critical, unless a better means of making power is developed, at present, solar power is the safest, most stable power system NASA has deemed acceptable for use in moon-based operations...and, this is the reason for the parameter of the challenge that requires electrical power...i hope i was able to clarify the guidelines for NASA, and make any efforts you choose to present, relevant to the wishes, john kruschke--
Tagged: William Stroud

William Stroud
I found the NASA requirements for the proposed electrical consumption as the basis of this challenge. The pdf file pages state the requirements. Thanks for your update. The issue with solar is the low amplitude wave form, say as compared to an x-ray. As an engineer I need to provide power that has to meet a baseline consumption with some percentage of over head, based on a use and conservation model, let alone the supply concern. Maybe we can discuss further.

William Stroud
The image format is limited so you can do a save as and rename X.jpeg . Looks like the image as sent flickers.

William Stroud
Well I've thought about this now for several days and here is where I'ved arrived.
NASA should conduct its research in a earth based vacuum construct with temperatures that model the location they have chosen on the moon.
Construct a working prototype that is the intended deployment.
The power source should be small Nuclear.
The transmission of power through fresnel zones needs to be enhanced.
The devices that require power need to be able to vary the frequency
A complete functional unit should modeled in software before any active mission.
Given the moons environmental characteristics - Electromechanical methods, Chemical reaction (batteries) are poor choices for power generation or storage.
Don't get ahead of the research for developing this model. I think that this challenge is in some ways is very curious as it hints at a set of requirements that are currently earth ( nominative temperature and atmosphere)bound. Very different from the actual variables on the Moon. I don't think I can add much value in this challenge. NASA has funding issues that limit research, but maybe they could get resources from all of the "Send a human to Mars proponents". This challenge represents a vastly more important goal.


I agree with your conclusion: the objective is to find valid solutions for the lunar and terrestrial environments. The stakes on earth are also of the first order ...
Also, the fact of storing intermittent energy is reminiscent of the issues related to renewable energies. We must certainly take inspiration from what is already being done on earth to transpose it to the lunar environment. It is also fun to make the parallel between the icing of wind turbine blades (high potential in cold terrestrial areas) and NASA's request concerning the resistance of equipment to the lunar environment.
Small apartment on hydrogen: if we consider hydrogen as a means of storage, the problems on earth and on the moon are quite different. On earth, before moving to a hydrogen-based economy, serious legislation at the global level on the long-term consequences should be adopted; for example, the hydrogen found 630000km from the earth is ... of terrestrial origin. I let you imagine the consequences of a massive use of this energy vector on an industrial scale if it is allowed to leak into the atmosphere without "burning" it, among other things! Water would become a consumable of which "we" "would" accept "to lose a part in an irreparable way: water scarcity and endless inflation of its price, what about the ozone layer, increase of the oxygen content in the water. 'atmosphere ... and all the consequences still unknown at present but foreseeable if one seeks with good will ...
On the moon, a priori, there is no life. However, resources are limited and precious to keep those who come there alive. Also, the moon is not even able to hold water molecules outside the craters of the south pole. This makes me say that hydrogen should be used only if there is no other alternative. I wonder moreover if the lunar thrusters will be fed by metal propellants so that the exhaust particles are "repatriated" by the gravity of the star.
Either way, NASA is looking for sustainable models with little or no impact on the environment, and it is not easy. I think that nuclear reactors are not desirable from this point of view and should only be backup solutions. I think that the most appropriate solutions, in both environments, are those which conserve and transform energy in mechanical form or, in any case, without "consumable". On earth we can pump towards dams, on the moon we can use flywheels in cold zones (austenitic materials see their resistance significantly increased with low temperatures).
I also agree with the use of batteries. Electric charge accumulators are often chemical. Given the temperature variations, the micro / macroscopic nature of the active ingredients, their degradation over time do not argue in their favor in both environments. It is also without counting on their weight / energy ratio (to send to the moon). I do however think that areal supercapacitors could be a solution.
Also, and I ask myself the question, is there a potential difference between the areas which are alternately illuminated on the moon / subjected to cosmic radiation (place electrometer)? If so, would a series connection on a wire grounded at the ends provide significant power?
Another good thing, which is imposed by NASA, is the use of direct current. Recently, in my country, a high voltage direct current line was inaugurated. This is a good thing because, I quote from Wikipedia: "In direct current, no reactive power is produced in the cable. Other advantages of the technology can also justify its choice on short links: ease of adjustment, influence on stability and the possibility of adjusting the power transmitted in particular. "
Finally, I confirm what I said previously, the main item on which we can act is the recovery of thermal energy. The average losses in industries on earth are considerable: "The Environment and Energy Management Agency estimates, for example, that more than 100 TWh of heat is lost each year in industry, 60% of which is over 100 ° C. The use of equipment dedicated to industrial energy efficiency, such as heat exchangers, can help recover part of the heat for reuse in industrial processes and thus achieve better energy efficiency overall. " (wikipedia).

Here is. Sorry for my late response and the somewhat loose delivery of my thoughts ... hope you enjoyed it!
Tagged: William Stroud

@Hyman Roth
I am not an American citizen and, like John, this represents an investment far beyond what I can achieve.
Tagged: Hyman Roth

William Stroud
Please remember that on the lunar environment we are inside the vacuum tube not outside of it. All power generation of which some end use might require standard electrical volt/ampere can be transmitted by radio frequency.
In my view the power generation source should be an orbiting device which sends high amplitude power to a centralized switch for distribution. The notion of storing a potential charge seems unwarranted. Creating the end use environment as a test bed seems to be a reasonable way forward.

William Stroud
I think the small nuclear power generator is smaller than a rubiks cube.

John Kruschke
we can still's of value to have the right answer, in general, that leads others in the right is nice, it does not solve the problem on it's own though...unless it's an issue of heat( you may burn it, to produce some BTU's), or, it can be used to cover things( wall-paper)...or, it may solve an issue in the lavatory( no toilet paper??)...otherwise, a brain functioning above the average level, while pursuing a viable solution to the project at hand, is the thing that's really needed...please don't let "intellectual-snobs" stop you from trying to be helpful( it's not about money, most who present an idea will gain nothing in regards to's about finding the right answer to the problem), remember, the rules say you must develop a working prototype, and this will likely cost more than the 5 million dollars the prize offers for winning...meaning, this, is a pursuit for wealthy science folks, to be really smart, and spend/waste mountains of money, like it's still think it's a great thing, even though winning pays less than the cost of getting the prize in the first wishes, john kruschke--
Tagged: Deleted

@John Kruschke
I don't even play the Lottery anymore! And yet, it didn't cost me much ...
I am active on this forum only for the pleasure of making my brain work (hv-> e2 => e1 => e2-> 2hv ;-))!
Also, the insitance of William (and it is also true that there is mention of "clear line of sight" in the text) about the transmission of energy at a distance makes me hesitate. Why make it complicated when at first glance there is simpler? Also, the materials which historically have applications in the military field scare me ...
However I am aware of prospects in the exploratory scientific field ... and I have just made a connection and imagine the possible need for such materials. It would then not only be a question of producing the materials necessary for the establishment of a scientific base camp on the moon, but of developing technologies for another application in the scientific field and more particularly the very far exploration... well beyond Mars... and at speeds close to those of light, if I am not mistaken? Henceforth, MASER or LASER on the moon would indeed be more than useful! We would then kill two birds with one stone! It would make sense. (in the French expression, we do not kill birds ... sniff!)
I will continue to educate myself and I will come back to this forum if I manage to get something out of my head ... or not!
Yours truly.
Modified on Dec. 17, 2020, 4:31 a.m. PST
Tagged: John Kruschke

William Stroud
So wireless charging is an emergent technology that will only develop further on earth. A quick read would be to follow what WiTricity is developing.
Once again I think we should test any future solution in an earth bound simulated lunar environment. Thanks for the continuing dialog.

Not wireless charging in general (an AC to AC transformator use a wireless transmission), but certain types of wireless.
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