Electric car charging around Australia makes special pit stop at UOW

Tesla electric vehicle on display at Australian National Fabrication Facilities Materials Prototyping Open Day

Electric car charging around Australia makes special pit stop at UOW

An electric car that is circumnavigating Australia using direct solar charging for some of its power made a pit stop at the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus today (Wednesday 23 November).

The Tesla electric vehicle is part of the Charge Around Australia (CAA) project and will be on display as part of the Australian National Fabrication Facilities Materials (ANFF) Prototyping Open Day.

The ANFF Materials node involves the University of Wollongong (UOW) and the University of Newcastle (UON). The node provides skills and facilities to assist with the upscaling of processing of advanced materials, even those just recently discovered.

Australian National Fabrication Facilities Materials Prototyping Open Day

The node also provides access to the most advanced fabrication equipment including reel to reel printing and 3D printers for polymers, metals and ceramics.

These capabilities have enabled the node to assist in the development of a number of new technologies for use in energy and in health. This showcase will provide a demonstration of some of the prototypes that have facilitated this journey, including:

  • 3D printed electrodes
  • Electrochemical cells
  • Thermal energy harvesting cells
  • Axcelda biopen for cartilage regeneration
  • iFix pen for corneal ulceration
  • 3D Redi – a customised bioprinter

ANFF Materials Node Director Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace said creating practical prototypes is all about getting devices into the hands, and minds, of end users.

“Creating practical prototypes that present the latest technological advances in a usable form is critical if others are to see the advantages and assist with deployment,” Professor Wallace said.

“A number of examples from the ANFF materials node and used in the health and energy sectors will be on display today with the centrepiece being the flexible solar cells that are powering the Tesla to charge around Australia.”

The display and demonstration session will also feature some interesting materials the ANFF node is processing at scale, including a new form of graphene for use in batteries and for medtech and a biomolecule extracted from seaweed to assist in wound healing.

About Charge Around Australia

The CAA project is sending a Tesla electric vehicle completely around Australia and it is being recharged in part by a new type of printed solar cell that is being developed at the Centre for Organic Electronics (COE), at the University of Newcastle.

The Charge Around Australia printed solar cells

This flexible, light-weight printed solar, developed using Materials Node ANFF equipment at the COE, will be carried along the route and unfurled to charge the car during the day. This is the first time an electric car will circumnavigate Australia while using direct solar charging for some of its power.

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