As some of you may know, I’m something of a fan of the Goal Zero product even though it is made in China. Started out with a Yeti 150, which was pretty much useless, unless all I ever wanted to do with it was power a C-Pap machine and charge a cell phone while on an overnight camping trip.
Traded up to a Yeti 400 and a Renology 100W solar panel with the appropriate connector for charging the Yeti and was a happy camper. As it happens, my Yeti 400 gets used regularly for power the pumps that take water from my storage tanks to my garden – that sits uphill from the house.
Had wanted to go bigger – MORE POWER!! – but the price was heafty and the weight with the lead acid battery heaftier!
Then, they came out with the Lithium battery. Made the units lighter, but more expensive. The Yeti 150 remains a lead acid battery and is $230, which equals $1.53/watt hour (the 150 means the battery is good for 150 watts hour -or in other words, a 150W incandescent light bulb will burn for one hour, a 50w low voltage equivalent to 150W will burn for 3 hours).
The Yeti 400, with the lead acid battery as I have it is $460, or $1.15/watt hour. The Yeti 400 Lithium is $700 or $1.75/watt hour.
The next level up from Goal Zero is their Yeti 1250 with lead acid battery, weighing 103lbs and costing $1600, or $1.28/watt hour (the Yeti 400 is so far the best buy!).
Then there is the Yeti 1400, good for 1425watt hours at a price of $2000 or $1.40/watt hour – definitely better price/watt hour than the Yeti 400. And only 45.7lbs!!
Lithium batteries are a mixed level of acceptance for me. They hold a charge longer off the charger than the lead acid, and they certainly are lighter. But Lithium Ion batteries still have a mixed reputation for FIRE!!
Anyway, back to the story.
So there I am in Costco and they have a Goal Zero Yeti 1000! This is NOT in the Goal Zero catalog. BUT, Costco is known for having the pull, and the market, to get one off’s for them alone. BEST, this unit costs $1000. basically, $1/watt hour. DEAL!
If it works!
So far the solar input connection is not working. Hooked it right up to the solar panel and NOTHING! NA DA! Hooked it to the regular house 120v and the light came on and the panel responded to the input.
Was it my solar panel or wiring? Hooked up my Yeti400 and its fine.
So have e-mailed Goal Zero. In the past they have been very prompt with replies and appropriate action. Am not keen on having to send this back, but if that’s what needs to be done, so be it!
So do I need TWO Yeti’s. probably not, but this does allow me to keep one in a faraday cage while the other is working, and am sure there are places where this will get hauled out and used instead of running extra long extension cords.
And why Goal Zero? Well, Humless is still more expensive, without having any kind of panel to let you know how its charging and where in the charging / useage level you are. Goal Zero has high quality panels, but VERY expensive, though other panels will work with their products. They’ve proven themselves to be a reliable product and a reliable company. There are other people offering packages about the same price or a little less, but they are a guy (or gal) building them up one at a time. What kind of back up are you getting if you have a problem? and they are, so far, using the lead acid battery which makes a HEAVY product.