Hypothesized Surface: Future Power Solutions for Exploring Hypothesized Surfaces – VCU – A

“Hybrid PV-TEG Power System for Asteroid Rover”


Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)


Tungsten Class (2023 – 2024)


Andrew Moffett, Mechanical Engineering
John Rebaldo, Mechanical Engineering
Jonas Neihardt, Mechanical Engineering




Professor Frank Gulla


Our design innovates on previous space energy technologies by merging PV modules enhanced by cutting edge concentrating lenses with thermoelectric generators. The concentrators will increase energy capture of the solar panels by concentrating light from the sun onto the solar cells while the residual IR energy will be used by the thermoelectric generators to yield additional power. The system will be designed to produce 100-125 Watts of power and will feature a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to allow the rover to operate briefly without direct sunlight. These design aspects paired with the decision to land on Psyche’s poles will ensure constant insolation for the mission duration and makes the system a reliable source of power generation.


This work was created in partial fulfillment of the Virginia Commonwealth University Capstone Course “EGMN 402”. The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission (https://psyche.asu.edu). “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.