Chuc Mung Nam Moi! Happy New Year of the Tiger from Saigon.
The arrival of Tet in Vietnam normally means clean air, little air pollution and lots of sunlight. As you can tell from the photo below, Saigon gets a lot of sunlight.
Sunlight means "free" solar power! So why not take advantage of it?
Back in 2017, when I was still living in Shanghai, China, I decided to buy a portable solar panel. They were cheap and readily available. I had seen some of my Chinese students using them to charge their mobile phones on field trips. I ordered one through TaoBao and then brought it with me to Saigon in the middle of 2017.
At first I connected it to one of my Air Quality Monitors in my last apartment. It did a pretty good job. There was just enough sunlight to power the LaserEgg for most of the day. At night I would turn it to nightmode.
Earlier this year, I decided to use the solar panel to charge my small portable fan. The fan is just effective early mornings. The charged battery can power the fan for roughly 45 minutes. By the time it dies, the sun has already risen so the sunlight will continue to power it. By 10:00 AM, I normally turn the fan off and then the solar panel charges the battery until about 6:00 PM. Then I remove the solar panel.
A couple times I was able to hook my mobile phone to the solar panel and get a decent charge. The solar panel could easily charge the battery of my small fan and the phone at the same time. The only issue was that the solar panel was hanging on the window. This made it more difficult for the USB cable to reach the solar panel making it hard to charge the phone. I would have to leave my phone on the window sill, something I was not interested in doing.
Overall, when I eventually move to Kazakhstan or Japan, I will get some more powerfall portable solar panels to charge items. It is just a little effort but enough to help make the world more circular.