The flat situation the other day pushed me to make a decision about my replacement for my Goal Zero 150. When I purchased it, thought, as others seem to be doing, that the 150 meant how many watts the unit handled. NO. it max’s out at 80W! So it was pretty useless for me, and I put it on Ebay along with its chintzy 20W solar panel.
Have since purchased a 100W solar panel and have been deciding what I want to do about portable power.
Despite my brain shutting down everytime I think about putting together my own unit, its not really hard, and just requires purchasing the parts and putting it all together. Would not have to create circuit boards or crazy schematics. Just wire from part to part and it would be done.
The nice thing about units like the Goal Zero is its all there; battery, power in, inverters, regulators, outputs including USB and 110V AC with pure sine wave. Its in a box that can just be picked up and moved to location. it has digital read outs for in and out voltage. All done. Expensive, but how much of a value is ones sanity? There are now other such units on the market and when I first started looking at these, it was Humless. Then they dropped their lower unit and just offered the big $2k job which was a bit more than I wanted and not quite so portable.
Anyway, finally just ordered the Goal Zero Yeti 400. It handles 300W which will power my water pumps for getting water from my water tanks to the garden areas.
And in an unusual move for me, I ordered it directly from Goal Zero, which meant paying for shipping and sales tax. Could have gotten it from Ebay or Amazon with free shipping and for less money, and (with Ebay at least) no sales tax. But I went with Goal Zero. Why? being able to return it within 30 days if necessary.
My Yeti 150 had some immediate issues and it had to be returned. Goal Zero has tightened up on its policies and none of the sellers on Amazon or Ebay would take a return.
Have had success with Goal Zero’s customer service, unlike some others I’ve heard about. They are not always quick in replying, but they have been good in taking care of issues. As a matter of fact, my Yeti 150 had just been replaced with a factory refurbished unit even though more than a year off warranty because of those previous issues (and yes, I disclosed that when I sold it). So I’m sticking with buying from them and hoping that will give me the extra attention should I need it.
Now, I’ve got to look towards setting up a wind generator to supplement the solar panel so I can keep the unit charged during a week like this when the wind blows and the sun doesn’t shine.