Goal Zero solar generators review: A trip with a Yeti
- 02 Aug 2023
- 7 min
Hiking and camping are safer and have more potential when you have a power source behind your back for all the necessary electronics. On the other hand, you really don’t want a smelly and loud generator to spoil a trip into the wild for you. An American company Goal Zero seems to get it. That’s why we’ll be taking a look at their Yeti power stations in our Goal Zero solar generators review.
Solar generator is a portable PV system
A solar generator is a kit that has solar panels and a power station in it. The power station is an inverter, a battery, and a charge controller all in one.
The solar panels turn sunlight into direct current (DC). It can be stored in the power station's battery or used right away to power devices that use DC. Most appliances and electronics use a different type of electricity called alternating current (AC). The inverter in the power station changes the DC electricity into AC electricity.
You can plug your devices into the power station just like you do with a regular outlet in your home
Solar generators don't need fuel because they get their energy from the sun. This makes them better for the environment and saves money in the long term. Solar generators also don't smell and work quietly. That’s why more and more people prefer these portable solar kits to any kind of fuel generator.
Goal Zero specializes in solar generators for campers
Goal Zero was founded in 2009 by Robert Workman and is headquartered in Bluffdale, Utah, United States. This company specializes in portable solar power products: solar generators, solar panels, power stations, and portable power accessories. While Goal Zero offers their power stations as home backup and vehicle support kits, their target audience are outdoor enthusiasts, campers, hikers, emergency responders, and individuals seeking sustainable energy solutions.
Goal Zero was founded in 2009 in Bluffdale, Utah
Goal Zero power stations are called Yeti which is funny if you think about it. On one hand, a solar generator helps you traverse the wild lands and conquer them but on the other hand, you do it in an environment-friendly way without causing damage to wildlife and nature.
Goal Zero solar generators: cost, capacity, quality
Let’s dig into the properties of solar generators that American company puts out on the market. We’ll take a close look at the power capacity of Goal Zero Yeti generators, reviews and cost.
Power: Appears to be legit
The capacity of a single power station from Goal Zero can range from 187Wh to 6071Wh. You can also pair Yeti power stations with stationary energy tanks that provide additional capacity for home storage kit. The largest backup system from Goal Zero has a total capacity of 10,800Wh.
When it comes to solar panels from Goal Zero, there are portable panels and mountable rigid PV modules. Portable panels are lighter and easier to carry around. Mountable panels offer a higher degree of protection because they have a rigid frame and glass cover. The power output of Goal Zero solar panels ranges from 50W to 300W.
Cost: Seems average
Portable solar panels from Goal Zero cost from $2 to $3 per watt, being more expensive than average numbers on the market. Power stations float around $1 per watt-hour, being relatively affordable. DIY-savvy readers might find the idea of pairing a Goal Zero power station with cheaper panels from other brands attractive.
Quality: Looks good
Goal Zero products get a 2-year warranty. You can also additional 3 years of coverage by paying a little extra. This way, you’ll get yourself a 5-year warranty. That’s a good number for power stations and more than most competitors offer..
Solar panels from Goal Zero get mixed reviews on their own website. On the other hand, their power stations have strong 4-to-5-star ratings both on the Goal Zero website and on Amazon. Customers highlight app usability, the quietness of the generator and their overall performance.
Goal Zero solar generators: Pros
Let’s take a look at the strong sides of Goal Zero products that stood out to us:
• Good reviews for power stations. Amazon customers praise Goal Zero power stations for good performance and good usability.
• Fair-priced power stations. Goal Zero power station costs float around $1 per watt-hour which close to the average numbers on the market or slightly cheaper.
Goal Zero solar generators: Cons
What about the downsides that Goal Zero products have? Here is what we weren’t so excited about:
• Short lifespan. Most stations have NMC batteries that can only survive about 500-700 charge cycles.
• Expensive panels. Portable solar panels from Goal Zero cost from $2 to $3 per watt, being more expensive than average numbers on the market. Solar panels also get mixed reviews from customers.
Top 3 Goal Zero solar generators: For home and traveling
Let’s look at the Yeti solar generators that Goal Zero puts out on the market. We’ve picked three models that can be a solid choice for your home or a mobile installation.
Yeti 200X + Nomad 50 solar generator
The Yeti 200X power station is one of the lightest on the market — it weighs only 5 pounds. The battery in it provides 187Wh capacity. It is enough to recharge your laptop battery four times. Yeti generator includes a 50W solar panel that can charge the battery in 4-8 hours. You can also use a wall outlet at home. A high-speed Power Delivery port allows for quick charging of USB-C devices like laptops, tablets, cameras, and phones. Like all the Goal Zero products, it comes with a 2-year warranty that can be extended to 5 years for a fee.
Yeti 1500X + Ranger 300 BC solar generator
The Goal Zero Yeti X power station features a 1516Wh battery. It is enough to keep the full-size refrigerator running for over 20 hours. It has a 2000W AC inverter with a 3500W surge capacity that can handle power-hungry devices such as power tools or medical equipment. It offers fast-charging USB-C Power Delivery, multiple USB-A ports, regulated 12V ports, and two 120V AC ports.
The Yeti X comes with 300W Ranger solar panel which is actually four 75W panels folded together. Ranger can recharge the station in 6 hours. With the Yeti App 3.0, you can remotely monitor, control, and optimize power usage, receive real-time power consumption notifications, track power history, and set charging profiles to maximize battery life.
Yeti 6000X + Four Nomad 200 solar generator
This Yeti Goal Zero solar generator combines a 6071Wh power station and an array of four 200W solar panels. It can be used both in your travels or as a home emergency backup. PV modules recharge the station fully in 11-18 hours. The station has a 2000W AC inverter with a 3500W surge capacity that can handle power-hungry devices such as power tools or medical equipment. You can manage the generator with a Yeti App 3.0 that customers find helpful and easy to use.
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