Scientists in Australia are testing the solar panels they will use to power a Tesla on a 15,100-kilometer journey starting in September to encourage the public to think about measures to help prevent climate change.
The Charge Around project will power a Tesla electric car with 18 team-printed plastic solar panels, each 60 feet long, extending them along the side of the vehicle to absorb sunlight when it needs a charge.
Paul Dastoor, the inventor of printed solar panels, said the Newcastle University team will test not only the strength of the panels, but also their potential performance for other applications.
“This is really an ideal test platform to provide us with information on how we would use and power the technology in other remote locations, such as in space,” Dastoor told Reuters.
Solar printed is a laminated PET plastic that can be produced for less than $ 10 per square foot.
The panels are made on a commercial printer originally used for printing wine labels.
Dastoor said using the panels to power a car will make Australians think more about electric vehicles and could help ease their range anxiety. “The community is looking for this kind of answer to the problems that are presented about climate change,” she said.
On its 84-day trip with Tesla, the team plans to visit around 70 schools.
When asked what Tesla founder Elon Musk would say about the project, Dastoor said he was satisfied. CAA is showing how our technology is helping to develop new solutions for the planet, Dastoor said.