Sunday, September 8, 2019

Dyrt Ranger Review: Renogy E.FLEX10 Portable Solar Panel

I found this nice little video review of the E.FLEX 10 solar panel on YouTube.


The Renogy E.FLEX 10 is what I've been using for the past few months for charging my phone and Kindle. Actually, as I explain in my Talking On Sunshine paper, I use the panel to charge a power bank and I use the power bank to charge my devices.

As noted in the video, the E.FLEX 10, clips nicely to a backpack.

In the Solar Nomadics Store we have the E.FLEX10 Solar Panel for $40 along with a couple of choices of power banks. If you already have a USB power bank, the E.FLEX 10 is all you need to get into the world of solar power. However, if you need a power bank, either the 38.5 WattHour or 74 WattHour banks are good choices.

We also sell a $50 version of the E.FLEX10 that includes a little 18.5 WattHour power bank.

While I'd initially been skeptical of such a tiny power bank, I've actually found it works really well as my daily phone charger and it's the one I carry with me and use most often.

Kent Peterson
Solar Nomadics
Eugene, Oregon USA

Friday, September 6, 2019

Mechanics Who Hate Cars

Interesting dude Austin Kleon has a fun blog post about Mechanics Who Hate Cars. You can read it here:

My kids will tell you that I was a long time faithful Car Talk listener, even though we gave up owning cars decades ago. "Why do you listen, Dad?" "Well," I'd answer, "it's funny. And every damn week it reminds me of all the problems I don't have because I don't have a car."

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Air Conditioning Paradox

This article in the Guardian

does a good job of describing the problem and paradox of air conditioning, that basically as the planet gets warmer, we use more air conditioning and that energy use, in turn, contributes to the warming of the planet.

Decades ago Christine and I had one of the few serious disagreements we've ever had. We were newly married and I bought a new car. (This will tell you how long ago it was, we haven't owned cars or driven for more than three decades now!) The car I bought didn't have air conditioning. Christine was appalled. I grew up in Minnesota and viewed air conditioning as an unneccessary luxury. Christine grew up in the south and viewed air conditioning as close to essential. That summer, when she was pregnant with Peter, our first born, and we sat snarled in hot summer traffic on our commute from Bethlehem. Connecticut to White Plains, NY along I-684, I realized that I had been very, very wrong. That, of course, meant that Christine was very, very right.

Our ultimate solution was to ditch both the car and the commute and eventually move to the more temperate Pacific Northwest. Issaquah, Washington proved to be a pretty good place to raise our kids and they seemed to have turned out fine despite being raised in a car and air conditioning free household.

Now we live several hundred miles further south, in Eugene, Oregon. While Eugene is a very cool town in many ways (for example, it has the highest bakery & bookstore score of any place I've ever lived) but in terms of average weather, it's a bit warmer and Eugene tends to have higher high temperatures. Clicking below will give you the details:

Average Weather in Issaquah

Average Weather in Eugene

Christine, Inkling and I have been doing fine in Eugene with strategically opening and closing our blinds and windows and using a few fans to keep cool. Inkling, being a black furred solar cat, has become expert at finding the coolest, shadiest places to be in the summer and the sunniest warmest spots in the winter.

I have one more bit of cooling technology, one that both Christine and my friend Michael have declared to be "dorky". It's a USB rechargeable neck fan. It looks like this:

I charge mine using either an Ultralight 6 Watt Solar Panel or the 10 Watt Renogy E.FLEX Solar Panel. The fan sucks air in the front and blows it straight out the top. When worn around the neck it provides a cooling breeze right across the major blood vessels in your neck and I find it makes a big difference in my personal comfort. But, I have to admit that I look like a dork when I wear it.

A comfortable dork.

Keep Cool!

Kent Peterson
Eugene, OR USA

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Solar Nomadics' Director of Marketing In Action

Today Christine and I rode our bikes over to the River Road Community Resilience Festival. We got to chat with a bunch of folks about the wonders of solar energy. Christine now has the official title of "Director of Marketing" and she looked fabulous in her sun costume.