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Sandia Labs, NASA Partner for Lunar Microgrid Development Project

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The Sandia National Laboratories and NASA have embarked on a project to develop microgrid systems to power equipment for the Artemis lunar exploration program’s base camp.

The space agency is designing a controller for an electrical system of a planned habitation unit on the moon while SNL researchers are working on similar technology for a center envisioned to mine and process samples for the mission, the lab said Wednesday.

Additionally, Sandia’s engineering team aims to build a system for connecting microgrids of both the moon habitat and the mining and processing facilities that will be situated far away from the main base.

The team is conducting research to determine the optimal voltage needed to operate the interconnected energy grids, the impact of distance between the lunar facilities on power transmission and whether an electric current converter will be necessary for the connection.

Lab engineers plan to use Sandia’s Secure Scalable Microgrid Testbed and Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory and Kirtland Air Force Base’s Emera DC microgrid for their project.

The Department of Energy’s electricity office funded the project under a partnership between DOE and NASA.

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