Solar generators – Goal Zero solar generators

Uses of solar generators

Solar generators come handy for many people when power outages occur. However, solar generators have several uses especially in remote areas or locations that lack an electrical outlet or grid. Many solar generators are portable and hence can be carried around to provide power to your phones and other devices such as lights, phones, tablets, laptops, DSLR Cameras, CPAP, TV, and Fridge.

How solar generators work

Solar generators consist of solar panels, a battery charger, solar batteries, and an inverter. A solar generator operates in the same principles as a PV power system, but solar generators are portable in most cases. Usually, solar generators are built for the voltage of the battery bank starting from 12V, 24V, and 48V, and an inverter helps to convert the DC power to AC power. Therefore, the work of an inverter is to step up the voltage from 12V, 24V, or 48V to the required voltage of either 110 volts or 240 volts.

There are different brands of solar generators in the market, including but not limited to Goal Zero, Be Prepared Solar, Renogy, and Anker; just to list a few of the brands. For more details about solar generators, please check out this solar generators article.

Solar Generators from Goal Zero.

Goal Zero was founded with the goal of providing energy solutions to people lacking the basic access to light in the developing countries. It designs products that are portable in nature to power devices in many situations, including but not limited to charging gear on a camping trip to running essential equipment in a natural disaster.

Goal Zero solar generators can be used by people without energy access in a developing country context and also provide energy solutions that can be used for outdoor activities such as camping.

Goal Zero solar solutions can power anything, anywhere, and whether it is a refrigerator or a cellphone being used at home or in a camp somewhere. With this concept, Goal Zero provides reliable renewable energy solutions for different groups of people and you can review more the history of the company here.

Goal Zero Solar Generator Models

Goal Zero has some of the most popular solar generators in the market, including but not limited to

  1. Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station,
  2. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Portable Power Station,
  3. Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Portable Power Station,
  4. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station,
  5. Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power Station,
  6. Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station, and 
  7. Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station.

These solar generators offer portable solar solutions and come with different sizes depending on their uses or the amount of power needed to power different devices or gadgets.

Below we are have reviewed some of the most popular Goal Zero solar generator models in the market today:

1. Goal Zero Yeti 400

The most important thing about solar generators is that they run quietly and without giving off fumes.
solar generator
As such, this Goal Zero Yeti 400 can be used to power a wide range of USB, 12V and AC powered devices and can store huge amounts of power from wall outlets, carports or solar panels which is then used to recharge gadgets or run your household electronics such as laptops, tablets, lights, C-PAP machines, smartphones, camera, E-readers, MP3 players, TVs and many more.

For instance, when it comes to lighting, Goal Zero Yeti 400 can power 12V light for 100+ hours before a charge is exhausted and can provide up to 30+ recharges for a smartphone.

It can provide 5 recharges for a laptop and up to 3 hours of power for a TV. You can get Goal Zero Yeti 400 solar generator from Amazon for less than $500.

2. Goal Zero Yeti 150

This solar generator has the same features as Goal Zero Yeti 400, but of smaller battery capacity- 168Wh (12v, 14Ah) and hence best for your medium-sized power devices unlike the Goal Zero Yeti 400 which is good for large-sized power devices.
solar generator
For instance, for lighting Goal Zero Yeti can power 12V light for 50 hours, 15 recharges for your smartphone, 6 recharges for your tablet and 2 recharges for your laptop.

Goal Zero Yeti 150 is built for indoor/outdoor use and use at home as an emergency power supply or you can take it anywhere with you for some portable power.

You can get Goal Zero Yeti 150 from Amazon for less than $300.

3. Goal Zero Yeti 1250

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 can be charged in three (3) different ways i.e. by the sun (by connecting to a compatible solar panel), or through a regular wall outlet in about 18 hrs, or by plugging into your vehicle’s 12V adapter in about 44 hours (this way you will need an 8.0mm to 12V Charger).

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 has a battery capacity of 1250Wh (12V, 100Ah) and hence has a bigger capacity compared to Goal Zero Yeti 150 which has a battery capacity of 168Wh (12v, 14Ah) and Goal Zero Yeti 400 has a battery capacity of 428Wh (10.8V, 39.6Ah).

As such, Goal Zero Yeti 1250 can power bigger home equipment such as a refrigerator. It is ideal for lights, phones, tablets, laptops, DSLR Cameras, CPAP, TV, and Fridge.

solar generatorThe Goal Zero Yet can power your fridges freezer, CPAP, Lights, your electronics, and more. It has a 1250 watt-hour (100Ah) capacity and a 2.1A USB output or 1200W AC/12V for charging/powering up to 10 devices at once. It is ideal for short power outages. You can get a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 from Amazon.

When it comes to other Goal Yeti solar generators i.e. Yeti 400 Lithium Portable Power Station, Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power Station, Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station & Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power Station; these have Lithium-ion batteries instead of Lead-acid (AGM) batteries. You can learn more solar generators here or visiting the Amazon.

Learn more about other models of portable solar generators from the following articles:
solar generator

Cooking with solar energy is possible with Sun Oven

solar oven

Technology for cooking with solar energy

With the continued development of solar innovations, it is possible to harness solar energy and use it to cook almost anything you would in a conventional oven or stovetop.

There are different solar oven brands that are used for cooking with solar energy. One good example is the all American Sun Oven which comes with collapsible parabolic reflectors (Anodized aluminum), leveling rack, alignment leg, sun-track indicators,thermometer, ground stakes, and CD with over 600 recipes, instructions, videos and preparedness tips.

Can cook everything you would cook with a conventional oven

According to eartheasy, you can use the sun oven to cook anything including but not limited to bread, vegetables, pizza, poultry, fish, meats, pasta, casseroles, stews, desserts and more. The Sun Oven is also good to rehydrate and cook dehydrated or freeze-dried foods. This technology is ideal for everyday use, at picnics, camping or in the event of a power failure.

Sun Oven has been used in 125 countries – good for sustainability.

In the last three decades, the Sun Oven has been used in over 125 countries and is known as one of the solar cooking appliance that is efficient. This technology is being used to provide energy solutions for cooking. About 2.5 billion people in rural areas of developing countries that rely on biomass, such as fuel wood, charcoal, agricultural waste and animal dung, to meet their energy needs for cooking.

Unsustainable use of biomass resources comes with serious adverse consequences for health and sustainability; while 1.3 million people –mostly women and children –die prematurely every year because of exposure to indoor air pollution from biomass.

Models of Sun Oven

There are two Sun Oven models today

  • Global Sun Oven which has been devised to meet up to 70% of the needs of a family of 6 to 8 people in a developing country, with 100% solar power. It can be used to boil, steam, roast or bake at cooking temperatures of 360° F / 182° C. This solar appliance weighs about 21 pounds / 9.5 kg and will last more than 20 year.
  • Villager Sun Oven is a large scale sun oven used to cook for many people such as community feeding, Retreat centers, Refugee programs Emergency relief, Missions compounds, Orphanages, Hospitals (Cooks food for staff and patients and sterilizes medical instruments.). Enormous quantities of food can be boiled, steamed or baked at cooking temperatures of 500° F / 260° C with no fuel costs.

EarthEasy which is one of our affiliate partners sells a Sun Oven with parabolic reflectors for solar cooking and water pasteurization of dimensions 19″ x 20″ x 15″ weighing about 22 lbs and Made in the U.S.A. It can be used for cooking, baking, boiling, or dehydrating all types of food with the power of the sun – no fuel needed & it is Light and portable. It is great for camping, picnics or good in times of emergency. Click here to learn more from Eartheasy.

Features & Benefits of the Sun Oven from Eartheasy

  • A great solution for energy efficiency, it saves energy –no gas, electricity or fuel needed.
  • It can fold up to the size of a small suitcase and hence easy to use and portable.
  • Can provide good and high temperatures for cooking about 360 – 400 Fahrenheit
  • Slow cook or cook in comparable time to conventional stovetops or ovens
  • Large oven interior holds most standard baking pans
  • Extra-thick glass lid heats quickly and efficiently
  • Made in the USA

Is solar worth it for hotels that are going solar?

solar power system

Moving towards a sustainable path

With the increasing awareness about the need to adopt sustainability in the business sector, there are a number of hotels that have already embraced the concept and are actually enjoying the benefits that come with it.

The benefits of sustainability cut across many sectors and some of the businesses investing in solar PV are experiencing positive environmental and economic returns thus improving their bottom line. The demand for renewable energy and especially solar PV is rising globally as the cost of solar panels continue to plummet.

Sustainability challenges such as climate change and the increased awareness among the customers are the drivers to move towards a sustainable path.

For the hotels’ industry, addressing the challenges of sustainability is undertaken in a holistic way since many hotels have seen tangible benefits as a result of implementing some of the green initiatives such as rooftop solar panels, LED lighting, digital thermostats etc.

LIDAR Powered online solar tools for estimating your solar potential

However, despite the emergence of LIDAR solar panel calculators and online solar marketplaces like the EnergySage that can determine instantly the financial savings of going solar; there is no doubt that companies including hotels would like to learn from other similar companies (case studies) that are tackling these challenges.

As such we have three case studies that are based in the USA. We have provided links that you can check to learn more about the specific hotels captured here. We hope that after researching more about these hotels; you could perhaps check out some of the solar panel calculators or the solar panel cost calculator which utilize LIDAR to provide you with very specific solar irradiation data that is hitting your rooftop. In some cases, especially for hotels that don’t have enough roof space you can contact an online solar marketplace like the EnergySage to access pre-screened solar installers in your local area.

Is solar worth it? Three (3) case studies of solar powered hotels in the USA

Case study 1: Hampton Inn & Suites located in Bakersfield, California

This solar project was implemented by REC Solar and involved the construction of a 102 kW DC solar panel array with annual electricity production of 157,000 kWh DC. This solar power system utilized a solar canopy solution or carport type project. A rooftop solar solution was not possible because it would have caused the closing of the top floor of rooms at the Hampton Inn thus forfeiting revenue. The investor of this project utilized the 30% investment tax credit and other tax benefits to realize the project. Solar PV investor that have a high tax appetite or tax liability and has sufficient upfront capital are more likely to obtain an attractive return on investment (ROI) over the lifetime of the solar power system.

According to REC Solar, over the lifetime of the solar power system, the solar power system will help to offset over 44% of the annual electricity costs. In addition to this energy saving benefit, the carport roofing in  addition to providing shade to parked vehicles; also promotes the concept of going green with installed two electric vehicles charging stations, with room for up to eight stations.

This 102 kW DC solar power system and its electric vehicles charging stations were marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 30, 2014.

Case study 2: Hyatt Regency New Brunswick

In June 2009, Hyatt Regency New Brunswick with technical support from SunPower Corp commissioned a 421- kilowatt solar power system (about 32,000 -square-foot) which is located over the top floor of the hotel’s garage. The hotel adopted some of the best solar panels from SunPower that have the best warranties and provide high efficiency helping to maximize the output of the solar power system. According to Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, the output from the system will help reduce New Jersey’s CO2 emissions by 10,000 tons over the next 30 years, and will further lessen oil dependence by at least 749 barrels annually, using conversion formulas provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. solar panel cost calculator

Also, using a solar power system from a well-known solar manufacturer (SunPower solar panels) in the USA that has some of the best product warranty of up to the lifespan of its solar panel (about 25 years) coupled with the best solar panels efficiency in the market guarantees a great return on investment (ROI) for this project

Case study 3: La Quinta Inn & Suites in Danbury, Connecticut

This is a 400 solar panels solar power system of 132 kWh capacity. The project was commissioned in July 2015 and with savings of $1,500 a month in energy costs and earning $16,000 annually in renewable energy credits. Connecticut is one of the US states that has high electricity costs and the average retail price in 2015 was 23 US cents per kWh compared to a national average of about 13 US cents per kWh. La Quinta Inn & Suites in Danbury has also adopted other green initiatives, including but not limited to LED lighting and digital thermostats.

Solar power systems adopted in places with high electricity costs helps to maximize on energy savings and help to hedge against the rising electricity costs.

The case studies explained above indicate that hotels are seeing the benefits of going solar and the adoption of solar panels from very well-known solar panel manufacturers can help to realize economic and environmental benefits of switching to solar. This solar panel will answer whether: is solar worth it for your hotel?solar panel cost calculator

If you are interested in going solar you can start using this solar panel calculator to estimate your savings, costs and the return on investment (ROI) based on the type of solar power system you end up installing. This solar panel cost calculator will help you to determine: is solar worth it for your hotel?

You can also find out more about the following solar panels brands listed below.

Finding the right solar power system for hotels

solar power system

Going solar is a trend within the hospitality sector for marketing to customers.

Going solar is becoming a trend in many business sectors as the cost of solar panels continues to plummet. This is not different in the hospitality sector, as more and more hotels continue to embrace the concept of going solar because of the economical, social and environmental benefits associated with the idea. Some hotels also see solar PV as a tool for marketing their businesses as “going green” even as hotel customers become aware of environmental stewardship because of the increased awareness about sustainability challenges like climate change.

As such, many hotels continue to develop sustainability strategies to adopt clean innovations such as solar PV and other sustainability initiatives that help to improve their competitiveness while at the same time building their reputation as a hotel brand.

Sustainability or green marketing for hotels.

Among the hotels that have developed a sustainability strategy, they are able to adopt other going green initiatives such as the installation of free electric vehicles charging stations; implementing energy efficiency measures such as switching to efficient energy bulbs, or LED and installing occupancy sensors that help to automatically turn off lights when hotel rooms are not occupied. Also, such hotels have adopted systems to help them recycle more and reduce material waste as much as possible in addition to the installation of high-efficiency HVAC systems and switching to roofing that has increased insulation to prevent heating and cooling energy losses.

Uses of a solar power system for hotels

When it comes air conditioning, solar PV can be a great contributor in gaining a lot of energy and money savings because many hotels need a lot of heating and cooling throughout the year, since air conditioning is usually the heaviest load, accounting for more than half of the total energy consumed in a hotel. Other typical loads of a hotel are almost like for an ordinary household or slightly different and may include the following depending on what type of hotel it is i.e.

  • Lighting
  • Entertainment (TV, radio etc)
  • Refrigeration
  • Air conditioning
  • Elevators & escalators

An Example of a hotel that has implemented the idea of going solar

Due to the above benefits of going solar, many hotels consider being environmentally responsible and “going green” to be an important priority. Solar PV is now increasingly being perceived as a green measure that is also a good financial investment over the long-term mainly because of electricity bill savings using green energy.

One good hotel example that has considered going solar very recently is Marriott in Lancaster, Pa, the first Marriott-branded hotel in the U.S. with 100 percent of its electricity needs to be generated from solar power. The total installation cost will amount to about $1.5 million and will be the first hotel in the USA to be 100% solar powered according to GLOBE NEWSWIRE. Once the solar installation is completed, it will make the 133-room hotel in the United States to be the first solar array in the country for the sole purpose of generating 100% of the electricity needs of a hotel. The installation will involve more than 2,700-ballasted photovoltaic panels made of a solar array with Q Cells manufactured by Hanwha Cells Co., Ltd., headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. The solar array is expected to produce 1,239,000 kWh of power for the hotel that consumes 1,117,000 kWh and through net-metering, any excess power produced by this solar power system will be sold to the utility.

There are so many other hotels that are going solar and we will be capturing some of these hotels in our future blogs. For now, if you are a hotel owner or manager that is interested in going solar for both economic or environmental reasons; we have captured some online tools and data sources that can help you find the right solar power system for your specific hotel using LIDAR powered online tools as explained below.

Financing a solar power system for hotels

The above going solar for Marriott in Lancaster, Pa, is a great example that can be considered a commercial solar power system which can qualify for tax credits from the government, for example, the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) which can be claimed through taxes of the company investing in building this solar power system. Depending on what financing model to be adopted whether cash, solar PPA, a loan or solar leasing; the owner of the solar power system can save up to 50% of the cost using tax incentives, rebates as well as renewable tax credits which are available from the government and other organizations to promote solar innovations.

High Hotels, which is an investor for this solar project, received a grant of $504,900 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) through the Solar Energy Program to complete the project.

Finding the right solar power system for your hotel

Today there are various solar panels in the market from different solar manufacturers and finding the right panels for your project can be a daunting task. As such we have written different solar blogs to help you make a more informed decision based on solar potential data, solar panel cost, solar panel efficiency and other internal as well as external organizational factors about the solar panel manufacturers that can affect the long-term warranty of your preferred solar panels. Here are some of the solar panel brands that our affiliate partner have listed on their website:

To get started about finding the right solar power system for your hotel; you can get started using this solar panel cost calculator from the EnergySage and you will be guided through the process of going solar for your hotel by solar energy advisory that understands your specific needs based on the solar irradiation data collected using LIDAR technology.