Regardless of how humanity decides to power its off world settlements (whether by solar power, geothermal, solar steam, or even algae), they are going to need an efficient and quick way to transfer the energy to not only space habitats, but future rovers as well.
While NASA and Germany have come up with innovative ways at storing energy, respectively, it looks as if researchers from Massachusetts may have developed a way to recharge electrical batteries at lightening speeds.
(Times Online) Scientists in the United States have invented a battery that can charge in seconds, promising a revolution in power storage that could also help green cars and renewable energy.
The advance allows lithium-ion batteries, the standard variety used in consumer electronics and cells for electric or hybrid vehicles, both to charge and discharge stored energy more quickly than at present. […]
“If you can charge your phone in 30 seconds, that becomes a life changer,” said Gerbrand Ceder, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who led the research. “It could change the way we think about technology like this: you would literally be able to charge up while you stand and wait.”
This technology could enable future colonists to create fleets of rovers to travel across the surfaces of the Moon, Mars, as well as Jupiter’s lunar children (Ganymede and Callisto to be exact).
Settlers could construct electric charging stations to supply rovers en route to distant destinations, thereby enabling explorers to travel their world without fear of running out of energy.
While this technology has yet to be perfected (not to mention tested on Earth), it may help humanity expand across the various worlds that orbit around our golden star Sol.