New Compact Solar Generator is an Energy System in a Box
Back-up power based on green energy usually requires the installation of a small solar or wind energy system. Unfortunately, even the most minimal of systems might not be that economical to set up if all that it would do is back up your system. What’s worse is that not all of us have the luxury of building our own modular green back-up power systems if that’s the case.
The solution? Well, there is one interesting item that was shown at the 2013 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) that might suggest a more “compact” alternative for this.
The Yeti 150 Solar Generator is Goal Zero’s newest addition to their line of off-grid solar power products and item packages. It appears to be a rather small, compact, portable box, that has all the things that you would need for an independent, off-grid energy source. All of the connectors and plugs are already laid out in the unit, so no need to use inverters, solar charge controllers and other such things.
The primary purpose of the design and size of the Yeti 150 is to make it a lot more portable than its predecessor, the bulky and lumbering Yeti 1250. In exchange for this convenience however, it has a lowered charge capacity, only about 150 watt-hours, or about 12% of what the original Yeti 1250 can do. Goal Zero have promptly advertised the unit as an independent energy source only for emergency use, or only for electronic items and gadgets that relatively require little energy to operate such as tablets and laptops.
Despite having a smaller charge capacity, its system is still actually capable of accepting any device or appliance that you plug to it, regardless of whether you’re plugging a simple USB device, a 12V gadget, or an appliance that is usually plugged in a regular AC outlet. The battery’s working time would of course be lessened if you use power hungry electronic items though so be careful.
The Nomad solar panel included in the Yeti 150 package is said to be able to fully charge the unit in about 5-10 hours. If you can’t harvest solar energy at the moment, it can be plugged to an outlet, where it can be charged for about 4 hours.
The price for the Yeti 150 is $400. Looking at it from a pure materials standpoint, we can say that it’s not really that effective and it is a lot cheaper to build your own small, modular solar system using standard items and materials. From a practical standpoint however, it has other merits, especially when you think about the convenience of not having to fix those current and voltage levels/rates just to accommodate to a wide variety of different electronic items.
Besides, it seems to be less “messy” to use anyway.
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