15,100 km is the distance that scientists will travel to test a new type of solar panel. Researchers will use the panels to charge a Tesla car that will drive across Australia using solar power alone.
This trip, which will begin in September, will be undertaken as part of the fight against global warming. The project is called Charge Around Australia, and it will involve powering a Tesla electric car through 18 solar panels that are printed and made of plastic. Each panel is 18m long and must be unrolled next to the vehicle when charging.
According to Paul Dastoor, inventor of the printed solar panels, the team will test the endurance of the panels, but also their potential performance for other applications.
The particularity of the new solar panels is that they are not expensive and are easy to manufacture. They are made with laminated PET plastic, the same material used for plastic bottles. The panels are also lighter than conventional solar panels.
According to information, the cost of manufacture is less than 9.26 euros per m². For printing, a commercial printer originally intended to print wine labels is used.
Reassure the public
According to Dastoor, using these panels to power a car could push Australians to consider electric cars. It could also reassure the public who sometimes feel anxious about the range of a battery-powered car.
During the trip, which will last 84 days, the team plans to visit nearly 70 schools. The researchers will then explain to the students what road trips in the future could look like.
As the project will use a Tesla car, Dastoor hopes that Elon Musk, the CEO of the Tesla company, will be delighted with this initiative. According to him, the Charge Around Australia project will show how their innovative technology will combine with the fruit of Musk’s labor to develop new solutions for the planet.
This new technology could allow more people to use electric cars, especially in remote areas where there are no or very few charging stations.