Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator Kit with Nomad 20 Solar Panel
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- Power lights, gadgets, laptops and CPAP machines anywhere with built-in AC inverters
- Continuous 300W, 600W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
- Chainable with other Goal Zero Yeti 400s for longer runtime
- Kit includes one Yeti 400 and one Nomad 20 watt solar panel
- Safe for indoor use; recharge from the wall, your car and/or solar panels
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Quiet, portable power for base camps, cabins and unexpected outages. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator allows you to live life off the grid, camp in luxury, or power through an outage without the noise and fumes of traditional back-up generators. Item is hazmat and non-returnable. This kit comes with one Nomad 20 solar panel.
Top customer reviews
While very convenient, the included 33 AH battery offers fairy limited storage capacity for a 12-volt system. This can be doubled or tripled however by chaining additional compatible batteries, to create a 100AH system. I used this primarily to power a small dometic fridge on road trips when base camped for a couple days when 110 or car power was unavailable. (one additonal battery chained)
Most complaints, I've read are not so much problems with the unit itself, but people not realizing how limiting a 33 AH capacity battery really is, or not understanding how solar cells really charge. Here's a few key points that have been mentioned in other reviews, that I think are worth mentioning again:
1. 33 AH isn't a lot storage. You can't expect to power notable electric needs with this. Calculate your actual needs before purchasing. No 33 AH battery system will fulfill a 50 AH need without recharging.
2. in fact, a 33 AH capacity doesn't even mean you can power something requiring 3.3 amps for 10 hours. Many things won't run on a near dead battery, draining, a battery to zero isn't good and when trickle charging especially, it's hard to get a full charge. (One could write an entire book chapter on the nuances of this alone)
3. If charging via solar, realize a 100 watt solar cell will not increase your battery storage by 100 watt hours for every hour light is shining on it. 100 watts is the max output that solar cell will produce under ideal conditions. Many factors can decrease the efficiency of your solar charging. Read up on it.
Other reviews and other sources go into great detail about how to calculate electric needs, what you get from a given capacity, and how to calculate what you will get from solar charging. My point is simply that if you have unrealistic expectations, you will likely be disappointed.(with any 12-volt system) Spend the time to accurately figure out your needs, whether this meets your needs as is, whether you need to chain additional batteries, add more solar, etc. Having wired a couple sailboats myself, I have to say the convenience of a single self contained, portable system has it's benefits, but total storage is not one of them.
In terms of a well thought out, convenient system, I might give the Yeti 5 stars. I give it 4 primarily due to the relatively high cost for the relatively low storage capacity it has. Some better accessory cords would also be nice. Chaining with allegator clips for example. I certainly have no regrets about this purchase.
First (is this product right for you?), you need to know what you want to power and for how long (run-time). This is true for any alternative power product. If you don't know the watts, you can buy a watt meter for less than $20, or if the manufacturer has the information, you can look on the web or call. Note most manufacturer ratings in manuals are for Max power drain
(5 Stars)Product Ratings: quality is 4; functionality 4+; customer service 4-5 (both pre and post); Cost 2; educating users i.e. ads, manual etc. 2. For an overall rating of 3+. Goal Zero can go a long way by having educational series (YouTube) preparing, how to, and best practices including when to use and not use their products. Note on the cost; it is not as much as a function of Goal Zero over charging but that the more mobile and multifunctional the more costly it becomes.
This product is a low power option ~400 watts and is only good for low power items like cell phone, radios, cordless phone power base, some LED lighting or small LED TVs and some CPAPs. If you can use a portable gas generator, you can get a 2,000 watts units for less than this item. The main use most people that I have talk too about this products is as a backup for a CPAP which is one reason I use it.
If your CPAP with humidifier is 90 Watts with AC (ex. ResMed S9 CPAP), then here how to work out the power. Using the AC uses about 20% to covert DC to AC so the unit (Yeti 400) now is 320 watts. 320/90 = about 3+ hours. But if you use the humidifier on low the CPAP is somewhere between 40 to 70 watts so 320/40 watts is about 8 hours. My CPAP (not a S9) has a Car DC adapter (No loss for going from DC to AC and back to DC again.). that uses only 11 watts without humidifier installed and because I am NOT using the AC; I have ~400 watts. This comes out to be about 36 hours (about 4 and a half nights). This is why some reviews looks contradictory.
I also have a portable gas generator so why did I get the Yeti 400. I live in a rural area with power outages between 7 and 10 times a year. Most outages are only for a few hours and occur in bad weather and at night. Moving the generator outside and running power cords (open windows or doors for the cables) are best done in the daylight and not during bad weather. Also I use it car camping, remote photo shoots, and other mobile activities. Its' mobility and the fact that I only need about 250 watts (min mobile) is why I choose it.