Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station

Goal Zero Yeti 500X Portable Power Station

Goal Zero Yeti 500X can be powered with the sun or charged using your mains power or using your car and has a lithium-ion internal battery.

It weighs about 12.9 pounds a little bit lighter than the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500, another generator that can be powered using solar and that weighs about 13.32lbs. It has a two (2) year manufacturer warranty.

Goal Zero was formed with the idea of providing energy solutions in developing countries that lack the basic access to light. Goal Zero also designs products that can lift the poorest of the poor while at the same time extremely relevant to the richest of rich.

Goal Zero Yeti 500X like the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 500 has a lithium-ion battery of 500Wh capacity. The lithium-ion battery is rechargeable with about 500 life-cycles to 80% capacity (Discharge rate: 0.2C, Full charge/discharge, Temp: 25C) with a shelf-life charge of about three (3) to six (6) months. 

The following are the output and input power ratings for the Goal Zero Yeti 500X with regards to the USB port power output, solar panel port (6 mm port for the output and 8mm for the input), 12V car port output and 120V AC inverter (sine wave):

• USB port (Output): 5V, up to 2.4A (12W max), regulated
• USB-C port (Output): 5/9V, up to 3.0A (18W max), Regulated
• USB-C PD port (Input/ Output): 5-20V, up to 3.0A (60W max), Regulated
• 6mm port (output, 6mm): 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
• 12V car port (Output): 12V, up to 10A (120W max), Regulated
• 120V AC Inverter: 120VAC 60Hz, 2.5A (300W, 1200W surge) (output, pure sine wave)
• Charging port (input, 8mm): 13-22V, up to 10A (120W max)

The Goal Zero Yeti 500X comes with a 300-watt AC pure sine wave inverter and has a high-speed charging capability through its 60-watt USB-CPD port capable of charging USB-C laptops, tablets, mirrorless cameras, and phones in a fraction of the time.

As such, the Goal Zero Yeti 500X is good to power your outdoor activities such as hiking, backyard camping, backpacking, etc. For Goal Zero Yeti 500X to become a solar generator so that you can enjoy the unlimited free power from the sun, Goal Zero recommends the following solar pairings as recommended by Goal Zero depending on whether it is being used for light usage, standard usage or heavy usage. The below solar panels are sold separately:
1. Light usage: Goal Zero recommends the Goal Zero Nomad 20 solar panel that charges in 29-58 hours. The Nomad 20 solar panel is rated at 20W with an open-circuit voltage (Voc) of between18 – 22V and the cell type of the panel is monocrystalline.

Goal Zero Nomad 20 solar panel

2. Standard usage: Goal Zero recommends the Goal Zero Boulder 50 solar panel that charges in 12-24 hours. The Boulder 50 solar panel is rated at 50 watts with an open circuit voltage of18-20V and the cell-type of the solar panel is monocrystalline.

Goal Zero Boulder 50 solar panel
3. Heavy usage: Goal zero recommends the Goal Zero Boulder 100 briefcase solar panel that charges in 6 – 12 hours also sold separately. The Boulder 100 briefcase solar panel is rated at 100 watts with an open circuit voltage of 18-20V and the cell-type of the solar panel is monocrystalline.

Goal Zero Boulder 100 briefcase solar panel

According to Goal Zero, the above charge times assume standard conditions of 75 degrees and 1000 watts/meter squared solar radiance. The lower end of the range requires frequent repositioning for faster charge times while the high end of the charge assumes the solar panel is in a fixed position resulting in longer charge times.’

You can also compare pricing or other technical features on eBay

Nature’s Generator System 1800W Solar & Wind Powered

This type of solar generator is hybrid in nature as it can allow you to connect to solar panels or wind power generators at the same time and enjoy the benefits of renewable energy. It is designed to have two ports and one of the ports is for solar panel(s) with an output of 100-watt while the second port can be used for the wind generator that can be purchased separately as well.

It also has a built-in 1800W Pure Sine Wave Inverter to provide quality power that can be used to power sensitive equipment like medical equipment, computers or an ideal solution for off-grid living, camping, RV’s/Vans, boats or generally used during power outages.  

The hybrid solar/wind generator comes with a Bluetooth application that can work with both iOS and android—useful for monitoring the charge in your battery or monitoring both the power produced by your solar panels and the wind generator. You can also monitor the runtimes for all the devices or appliances connected to the system.

The wind component of this hybrid power system makes it possible to continue using it during cloudy or at night when there is no enough solar. It comes with two types of the wind-turbine edition, that is:

Nature’s Generator GOLD System: Wind Turbine Edition with a total output of 1800 watt that includes one 100-watt solar panel with a battery capacity of 720-watt hour

Nature’s Generator PLATINUM System – Wind Turbine Edition: with a total output of 1800 watt that includes three 100-watt solar panels with a battery capacity of 1920 watt-hour

Below are the System Specifications

  • Generator Outlets/ Ports, Inverter & Battery –
  • Three 120V household AC outlets
  • Two USB ports (3A of combined power)
  • One 12V DC port (240W max)
  • Expansion Port: 200A Fuse
  • Charging AC Input (90W)
  • Solar Input (200W Max)
  • Wind Input (300W Max)
  • Generator Output Power: 1800W max
  • Generator Output Wave Form: Pure Sine Wave
  • Generator Output Voltage: 120V
  • Generator Output Frequency: 60Hz
  • Built-in 60Ah SLA battery (Keep plugged in or recharge every 2-3 months of non-use)
  • Built-in charge controller
  • Built-in low battery protection

Solar generators – portable solar power

With the advancement of the solar PV technology, solar energy has the potential to power homes, businesses and can be a source of portable power for laptops, RVs, off-grid power systems, entertainment (radio and TV), cellphones, cabins or for recreational purposes like camping facilities.

Uses of Portable Solar Power (solar generators)

The typical solar power system consists of stationary solar panels that are placed in your rooftop to harvest, store and power your home or business with solar electricity, but when it comes to portable solar power, it is a different form of solar energy because you can carry solar anywhere you go including remote parts of the country that are remote or away from the main grid.

With a portable solar panel, you can collect, store and power your gadgets or electronics such as cellphones, laptops or even your camp site using portable solar power generated from a solar powered generator or a solar generator.

Solar generators

There are various forms of solar generators in the market that can produce carbon free solar power for your lights, refrigeration, cellphone, radio and TV, laptops and home alarm systems. Solar generators require minimal maintenance and can be moved or transported to desired locations that are remote or with no natural grid. Usually, ordinary solar generators have a capability of producing solar power of over 1kW output.

Solar generators are easy to move around and some may have wheels while others can be folded like a briefcase providing more flexibility for portability or carrying around. These generators can weigh over 100lbs, for example the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Portable Power Station Kit weigh about 116 lbs (52.6 kg).

Also solar generators are silent and do not produce any noise like most power generators or fumes while running and thus they are eco-friendly because they are not reliant on fossil fuels or electricity.

Solar generators reviews

Below are some examples of solar generator reviews:

  • Multipurpose solar generators used in homes and cabins to power home equipment such as television, radio, refrigerator, charging cellphones etc. Such generators can have a capacity of 1.8kW and above.
  • Solar generators for homes are good for homes that experience power outages or for cabins that may be off-grid or away from the power grid.
  • Just like a normal solar power system, these type of solar generators will come with an inverter, charge controller, batteries and cabling that can also be used during emergency power outages or for homes that are not connected to the main grid. These solar generator systems can also be upgraded to meet increasing energy requirements if need be and hence it is possible to increase power output capacities, by just increasing the solar panels or batteries needed to power up your system.
  • One example of the solar generator that fits home, cabin or off-grid applications including when there are power outages or a perfect power solution for remote cabins, lodges or an emergency power back up system include the 1800 Watt Solar Generator – Solar Generator for Home, Office, Remote Cabins & More. 
  • As of February 2017, this type of solar generator for home cost about $1,800.This solar generator has a 1.8kW capacity Inverter with four 115VAC power outlets for operating various gadgets at the same time. This system is can be customized to fit your energy requirements.
  • Hybrid solar power generator: this type of solar powered generator combines other forms of renewable energy like wind to provide a power back up during power outages. It is also ideal for residential, wind generator kit that features a wind turbine to complement the solar generator, especially at night times when solar panels are not generating any power.
  • One example of such a hybrid solar powered generator that uses a wind turbine include the Earthtech Products 1800 Watt Wind Generator Kit with Primus Air 40 Wind Turbine for Homes, RV’s and Remote LocationsIt is ideal RV’s and remote locations or as a residential wind generator kit that features the Primus Air 40 Wind Turbine. Click here for more details about this solar generator system.

 

Is going solar good for sustainability?

It is true that fighting climate change will take combined efforts of government, private sector and individuals like you and me.

I have worked on a few projects concerning mitigating climate change, and I have come to the conclusion that innovations to reduce the effects of climate change will require huge amounts of finance by the private sector with technical assistance from the government.

Finances alone without innovation in policy and technology will be a waste of time and this calls for a multi-stakeholder approach where businesses work together with government and financiers to solve this sustainability challenge. 

Solar innovations/going solar 

When it comes to solar innovations or going solar, this approach works well because the government creates an enabling environment to attract the private sector and individuals like you and me to innovate and cause a market transformation that will ensure wider adoption of solar PV technologies or cleantech.

For example, the private sector has developed solar PV technologies through innovation and the government facilitates their wider adoption by making it easy to adopt through online solar tools such as the solar panel cost calculator that help individuals and businesses in going solar with reduced customer acquisition cost. 

So far this approach of creating solar energy markets is working because the government is providing tax credits that cause the private sector to innovate by researching how to develop innovative products as well as innovative business models for engaging the end-user.

For example, to obtain solar panels such models like the solar PPA and solar leasing help the end-user to acquire solar panels without any requirement in putting any money down.

Such financing models are developed with the idea that a third-party investor will invest their money into buying the equipment.

Then the investor will charge the end-user a monthly fee that is slightly lower than their current energy bill. This way, the third-party investor bears all the risks but enjoys an attractive rate of return when a customer agrees in going solar.

However, it takes the government to provide the 26% federal tax credits and other additional state tax credits to reduce the high initial costs of solar panels.

Also, the investors or private sector are encouraged to put their money down because they know it will cost them half the actual cost (i.e. when they have a high tax appetite) and thus are able to claim the full 30% tax credit while enjoying a good rate of return.

A solar panel cost calculator can show you the actual cost of a typical solar panel based on your current energy bill and how government tax credits help to reduce this cost by almost half; thus making solar panels affordable to a third-party investor.  

With solar PPA and solar leasing, the end-user or the customer may not be required to put any money down and hence can enjoy the benefits of adopting clean technology while reducing by between 25% to 30% of their total energy cost. 

EnergySage provides a great platform to get started to determine how much you can save with solar energy with or without any money down if you are interested in going solar. 

Is going solar good for sustainability? 

In my personal opinion, going solar in the long-term is good for sustainability because of the cumulative effect it has on reducing your carbon footprint. Platforms like the EnergySage are a great place to start to show you the carbon footprint potential in terms of how much carbon can be reduced by going solar has in the long-term.

For instance, the EnergySage provides a good comparison point to use when thinking about carbon emissions and what a typical vehicle emits 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. EnergySage makes this comparison using the national system size of a PV system in American households which is 6 kW (6,000 watts).

Such a solar PV system can help you reduce about 6.3 metric tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Hence, we can say going solar is good for sustainability i.e. going solar with the right solar panels comes with the “benefit of taking a car off the road” as noted by the EnergySage

When it comes to sustainability, it will take homeowners and businesses to adopt the right solar panels or adopt the right concepts for going green to move towards sustainability.

One way of going green is through going solar or the adoption of sustainable technologies such as solar panels.  It is the combined effect of adopting sustainable technologies that would have a meaningful effect on reducing one’s carbon footprint.

The total cumulative carbon footprint reduced in the long-term will be worthwhile because any good solar panel will last for over 20 years and hence depending on the number of people or businesses that adopt, it will have a tremendous effect. 

Also, clean technology such as solar panels is one solution for helping us to move towards sustainability or fighting climate change and therefore the government and private sector can work together to make it happen. 

If you are interested in going solar today, you can get started by using this solar panel cost calculator to help you determine your solar potential, solar savings and solar panel cost.

EnergySage are good online solar marketplaces that we recommend since they help to reduce the customer acquisition cost of going solar.