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Old 09-08-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

Just wondering if anyone uses Goal Zero stuff? I just got a Yeti 1250 and 4 of their Boulder 30 solar panels. It is an all in one charger/battery/inverter and seems to be an pretty awesome set up but I don't see any one utilizing them.

Here is a link to the Yeti 1250 on their site.

http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/140/G...Generator/2:8/

Any solar gurus wanna let me know pros and cons?

Thanks
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:30 AM   #2
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Re: Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

It's quality stuff but so high priced. It's also fairly small as far as power backup goes. It's not gonna run higher amp stuff for long.

I like the idea and might be more incline to look it over if they had a low cost method to replace the battery when it goes south especially the AGM one. Maybe they do but I haven't seen any mention of it.

It seems like it's designed around small expedition type vehicles or standard campers revolving around a portable setup.

You can buy a soft lunch box, a good AGM bike battery and a cheap inverter which can basically give you the same thing for a lot less. Functional but not real pretty. Of course you can also use a pelican case and add some high end gauges/plugs to make a more high tech copy but you're talking bucks. Still you would have the ability to swap out the battery at any time.

As far as their solar, it looks nice. A controller is another fairly expensive item to add to the stuff needed to complete the system if you built your own.

If you figure that about 200 amp hours is what is needed to run a refrigerator and have enough power left over for lights and/or A/V stuff, you can compare what you might need. I doubt they have anything close to that. YMMV
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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Re: Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

I have a couple of their lights that I bought on sale... But I use someone else's panels and controller. As above the stuff is very nice and high quality, well designed and modular but it is so expensive for what you get. I have the feeling that it is for people for whom convenience is paramount and money is no object.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:06 PM   #4
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Re: Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

I had seen their stuff at costco, and posted up asking if anyone had seen or used their stuff before. I will be checking it out again when the rep is at our local costco next month. I've been looking at getting a small portable solar charger for when camping or I'm away from the rig or other power sources for powering up my phone and bluetooth speaker, pandora sucks the juice! I have seen other units in the market, so their are other choices available, just a matter of packaging, wattage and price but it does look like its well made and well packaged.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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Re: Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

If you DIY you could get the following:

AGM battery $200
Inverter $150
Controller $150
Case $100
AC charger $50
Connectors $100

And you could do cheaper. It's a nice box but that's an awful lot for an inflexible package. You may already have many of those components in your van, or should consider installing them (shore charger, controller, inverter). And that's probably overkill for an inverter and maybe the MPPT controller as well but YMMV. And at 103 lbs it's not really very portable, and that's before you add a panel. Most of us use built in stuff at that size. Is this a replacement for your van's electrical?

And I couldn't find what they use internally. In the Amazon review the manufacturer seemed to dance around it; I suspect it's rather generic components so my price list above would probably net you better stuff. Note the USB's seem to be 2.0 (it matters with power since it's nice to have 3.0 cuz it has a higher power spec, and Apple (of course) uses something yet again different. Upshot is that it may or may not charge your devices via USB).
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Re: Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by witoke
I have the feeling that it is for people for whom convenience is paramount and money is no object.
ROFL
So many of my Homebrew projects start out because I think I can do it better and cheaper. Reality sets in about the 4th trip to the hardware store. Sometimes (not saying this case) it's best to let others break the ice first.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

Sounds about what I figured. I got the stuff for free for my "work" and am pleased with the cost. But again since there are so many folks that use solar in this world I was wondering why more hadn't utilized GZ. I am going to hard mount the panels and dial in the mounting for the Yeti this week and then we'll see.

Thanks to all.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:43 PM   #8
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Re: Does any one use Goal Zero solar?

Well you're are one lucky dude to get one from work.

I do feel their advertisement is a bit misleading and there is no way it mirrors what most SMB come with as a stock package, that being a 200ah battery and larger inverter, pure sine wave or not.

My main issue with Goal Zero's Yeti power supply is having all that in one package. If any one component goes bad, I'd want to know how costly it would be to be repaired. Like I said I just don't know.

If I found that the components could be replaced on the Yeti for under 200 bucks and I can do it myself, I'd have one. I just like high tech stuff but I don't need something that turns into a 1200 dollar anchor because one item on it fails.
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