Author Topic: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery  (Read 3576 times)

FINate

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$1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« on: November 27, 2016, 06:44:53 PM »
 Advertised on a certain social media site: http://www.goalzero.com/p/140/goal-zero-yeti-1250-solar-generator

No idea how they came up with the name for this thing. It has no solar panels. Nor does it generate electricity. Quick look at the tech spec reveals that it's essentially a 100Ah sealed AGM lead acid battery with a built in charger and AC inverter. Yours for just $1249! I guess you're supposed to pair it with a $500 solar panel that charges it in just 27-54 hrs.

A 100Ah AGM battery can be procured for about $200. A good charger for about $50. Add another $40 or so for a 1500W AC inverter - so about $290 in components!

Who buys this stuff, and why?

human

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 07:18:04 PM »
Yeah that thing is crazy expensive, but is your homebrew in a fancy plastic case with handles? It's all about packaging and marketing.

Metric Mouse

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 01:54:37 PM »
Think of how big of a gas powered generartor could be had for $1200 bucks!

El Marinero

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 10:38:55 AM »
It will look nice next to the $400 Yeti cooler on your next camping trip.

TheAnonOne

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2016, 11:23:07 AM »
Think of how big of a gas powered generartor could be had for $1200 bucks!

Why do you hate the planet? ;)

No Name Guy

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2016, 12:47:39 PM »
Think of how big of a gas powered generartor could be had for $1200 bucks!

Why do you hate the planet? ;)
You only really hate the planet if said generator is bio-diesel powered....with the oil rendered from harpooned whales.

zephyr911

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 03:30:16 PM »
Man the harpoons!

secondcor521

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2016, 07:56:55 AM »
I think I'll leave mine plugged into my car's 12V adapter, because they recommend to keep it plugged in all the time.  So I can then plug my 12V devices into my Yeti's 12V supply, so I can...uh, what was the question?

"This means you should leave your Yeti 1250 plugged into a power source at all times, especially during storage."

"Although not the most ideal recharge time, the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 can also be charged by plugging into your car 12V adapter in about 44 hours."

"The 12V best charges all your 12V powered devices."

FINate

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 01:23:04 PM »
Charging it from your car is essentially an extremely inefficient gas generator :(

Their #SOLARLIFE photo gallery is interesting. Apparently this thing is targeted at van/rv hipsters - hey, nothing wrong with being a van/rv hipster, but can't believe anyone falls for this type of marketing - a status symbol for this set, just as the Yeti cooler is for the hunting/outdoor lifestyle demographic. How I despise lifestyle marketing.

The shocking thing (no pun intended) is how many of the rv/van photos show this thing being used INSIDE without proper venting. In theory AGM batteries are safe to use inside but, since they are still lead acid batteries at the core, they produce hydrogen gas within the sealed unit. If the seal fails the hydrogen can leak out which can result in an explosion. If you need batteries for your rv/van then simply rig up some batteries somewhere on the outside or within a sealed battery enclosure that vents to the outside. This is safer and cheaper.

bigalsmith101

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2016, 01:56:30 AM »
My friend lives full time in his small camper and loves it. I asked him what he decided on for his power source. He told me he was planning on a battery and solar panel to charge it.

Turns out he ended up buying a Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator from REI for $460. I'm pretty sure he bought the Goal Zero Boulder 30 Solar panel as well, which is $200. All because of the easy and simplicity offered in a single package.

He's effectively purchased a 33amp hour battery with a charge controller and inverter built in, and a 30 watt solar panel. For $640.

Meanwhile, I'm tackling the same task for our pop top camper on our truck. I bought a 125amp hour batter for $120. (4 times larger at roughly 1/4 the price.

I sourced a kit on Amazon for a 100w solar panel complete with charge controller, wiring and brackets (from Renogy), for $200. That the same price as the GoalZero panel, but 3 time the output, and includes mounting brackets.

For less than half of the goal zero system price, I'v managed to create a system 4 times larger, faster charging, and more versatile.

I've offered to help him do the same. We'll see!

Metric Mouse

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2016, 03:44:59 AM »
Think of how big of a gas powered generartor could be had for $1200 bucks!

Why do you hate the planet? ;)
You only really hate the planet if said generator is bio-diesel powered....with the oil rendered from harpooned whales.

Actually I use dolphin oil - it's cheaper because they're easier to catch. :D

FINate

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2016, 09:18:00 AM »
My friend lives full time in his small camper and loves it. I asked him what he decided on for his power source. He told me he was planning on a battery and solar panel to charge it.

Turns out he ended up buying a Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator from REI for $460. I'm pretty sure he bought the Goal Zero Boulder 30 Solar panel as well, which is $200. All because of the easy and simplicity offered in a single package.

He's effectively purchased a 33amp hour battery with a charge controller and inverter built in, and a 30 watt solar panel. For $640.

Meanwhile, I'm tackling the same task for our pop top camper on our truck. I bought a 125amp hour batter for $120. (4 times larger at roughly 1/4 the price.

I sourced a kit on Amazon for a 100w solar panel complete with charge controller, wiring and brackets (from Renogy), for $200. That the same price as the GoalZero panel, but 3 time the output, and includes mounting brackets.

For less than half of the goal zero system price, I'v managed to create a system 4 times larger, faster charging, and more versatile.

I've offered to help him do the same. We'll see!

You're a good friend, wonder if he'll take you up on the offer. As someone mentioned earlier, I think sometimes people just want the fancy packaging and marketing which is so foreign to me I don't get it.

Besides being cheaper, your setup is also more flexible (you can add more capacity if needed) and it's more modular so you can replace a component if it fails or if you need more wattage.

BFGirl

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Re: $1200 "solar generator"...er, i mean...lead acid battery
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2016, 01:10:45 PM »
I looked at something similar at one point several years ago and figured out it was a lead acid battery being charged by solar.  I bought the components and made one for myself that doesn't look as cool, but is much more efficient.  Plus I learned a lot along the way.