Aussie Scientists Go 9,400 Miles on DIY Solar Power

Scientists Drive 9,400 Miles on DIY Solar Power

A team of Australian scientists is putting their low-cost solar panels to the test by taking a 9,400 mile road trip in a Tesla Model 3 … without plugging in!

The project is called “Charge Around Australia,” and the team hopes to get Aussies to think about new ways to prevent climate change while showing off the range and flexibility of the electric Tesla sedan. Out in Australia’s most remote regions, the team faces scorching temperatures, vast distances, and an overwhelming lack of water that simply prohibits human habitation. Out there, the team’s roll-up solar panels will be put to the ultimate test.

“This is actually an ideal test bed to give us information about how we would go about using and powering technology in other remote locations, for example, in space,” said, Paul Dastoor, inventor of the printed solar panels that will be used to keep the Tesla topped up on the trip. “(The) community is seeking these sorts of answers to the problems it’s being presented with, day in, day out, around climate change.”


Printed Solar Panels Roll-up for Easy Storage

tesla with solar panels
Image courtesy Reuters.

The roll-out solar panels powering the Australian Tesla are made from lightweight, laminated PET plastic (think: plastic drinking bottles). That’s impressive enough, from a sustainability standpoint— but there’s more. Dastoor claims can be made at a cost of less than $10 per square meter on a standard commercial label printer. The panels shown here were printed on one that used to wine labels for a local vineyard!

The team plans to visit about 70 schools during the course of their 84-day Tesla journey, and hopes to give students a taste of what the future may hold. You can learn more about the project by watching the video, below, and let us know what you think of these roll-up solar cells in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


Charge Around Australia



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3 Responses

  1. Wow this is absolutely brilliant .this is exactly what the world need .mobility is so much easier than solid panels .one can do so much more with it space wise. So how does it work can one cut it into shorter pieces etc. How is it secured .compared to the conventional solar panels. What is the power output per square metre and max voltage etc etc. This is exiting wow

    1. It seems like the downplay the watts, but in terms of weight it seems like about the same as several rolls of printer labels. The push seems to be to compare amount of electricity per dollars spent on a fully recyclable material, and they’re very clear about hitting a GBP 0.50 per kWh target.

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