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Vietnamese students create solar device able to charge 10 cellphones at one time

Monday, February 02, 2015, 09:31 GMT+7
Vietnamese students create solar device able to charge 10 cellphones at one time
Doan Tran Vien (R) and Nguyen Thuy Tien, two 11th grade Vietnamese students, are seen trying out their solar cellphone charger.

Two K-12 Vietnamese students have created more choice for electronics consumers with their creation of a comfortable, time-saving solar cellphone charger which enables users to charge several mobile phones at the same time.

>> An audio version of the story is available here

Doan Tran Vien and Nguyen Thuy Tien, both 11th grade students, recently won the first prize at a science-technology competition in the central city of Da Nang and will send their design to a national innovation contest in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap in March.

Tien and Vien, enrolled in Le Quy Don High School for the Gifted in Da Nang, researched online clips that discussed solar-powered inventions and asked their acquaintances to buy solar batteries from reputable websites in Singapore.

“It took months for us to receive the batteries. A complete solar charger panel includes 10 small batteries worth US$1.5 each. A finished product can charge 10 phones at the same time in only 1.5 to 2 hours,” Vien said.

After successfully connecting the small batteries together, Tien and Vien went to electronics stores to buy different types of cables to assemble the device, which helps charge various kinds of mobile phones. Many classmates were surprised when they used the product before it was sent to the contest in Da Nang.

“It’s easy to use solar cellphone chargers in the central region of Vietnam as the weather is hot and sunny, not to mention that we can use it when traveling to far places that don’t have electricity, such as mountains or islands,” one classmate said.

With the help of their teachers and a lot of effort, the two students finally made the charger look sophisticated enough. It is small, like a notebook, and is less than 0.5 cm in diameter.

In addition to its convenience, small size and affordability, another advantage of the product is its use of new, clean natural energy.

The innovative idea came from the fact that there are currently many types of Chinese solar cellphone chargers on the market, which are not only expensive but also unreliable.

“We realized that the local market has similar types of products but they mainly come from China at a very high price. We hope that our product can help Vietnamese to have a better choice,” Tien said.

The two students added that their solar cellphone charger can replace the backup battery charger that many smartphone users have.

Le Pham Lien Chi, Tien and Vien’s teacher, who has followed them from the beginning of their innovation journey, said she is pleased with the invention as it provides a clean energy source.

“With appropriate investment, it is absolutely viable that their creation will be commercially produced for the local market,” said Pham Phu Thanh Son, a member of the jury at the science-technology competition in Da Nang.

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