Off-Grid Portable Yeti 1250 watt hour solar charged system, complete with Yeti 1250, 120 watt Quick Set solar panels and 30 foot extension cable. Keep your life running. Take anywhere for home, camping, cabin, or emergency use.
This kit is expensive and large. It will be shipped insured and will require an adult signature at delivery. This is done to help protect your order.
The Goal Zero Yeti 1250-240 Off-Grid Kit is complete. I comes with everything needed to charge and operate the system. Everything is plug-and-play and does not require any special tools to assemble. Take a look at everything that is included with this great system.
The Yeti 1250-120 Off-Grid Kit comes with one 120 Watt Quick Set solar panels. This solar panel is ruggedly build to transport and store. The panel has two solid metal handles on the top that can be used when open or folded. Once open, the positioning legs unfold from the back of the panel allowing you to quickly and easily position the solar panel upwards towards the sun.
When folded, the 120 watt solar panel slips into its own soft carry case included with the kit. The carry case has a handle and shoulder strap. The 120 Watt Quick Set solar panel also comes with a set of battery clips allowing the solar panel to be directly connected to any 12V battery for trickle charging.
A 30 foot extension cable is included with the Off-Grid kit. This cable connects into the input Anderson plug on the Yeti 1250 and into the 120 Watt Quick Set solar panel allowing you to position the solar panel outside and your Goal Zero Yeti 1250 inside.
The 120 Watt foldable Quick Set solar panel comes with a rugged soft carry case that protects the panel when being transported or stored. The solar panel folds in half and snugly fits into the case. The case has both a handle and a shoulder strap for easy transport. There is also a generous side pocket where all cables and other accessories can be conveniently stored.
The Yeti 1250 packs the power. To help you move the Yeti around, a built-in hard cart is designed into the unit allowing you to roll the Yeti from place to place. The handle unhooks when not in use. If the Yeti 1250 needs to be carried or lifted, two strong side handles are provided for lifting.
The Yeti 1250 has many useful input and output ports used to run and charge various types of electrical items. Below is a diagram showing the Yeti 1250 front panel.
Posted by David on Sep 5th 2015
120 watt Panels:
- Panels and frames are well-constructed and solid.
- The legs work smoothly and are easily adjustable.
- Attached cables well-designed, and include cables to work with both Yeti and charge controller.
- Frame's corners smoothed to prevent scratching everything they touch.
- Bag for holding the panels is roomy and comes with a carry strap. The pouch to hold the cables works well (no bulging cables that fall out).
- The 2 legs don't extend quite high enough for my latitude. Also they need to be adjusted individually, which is awkward.
- The hinges don't hold the panels quite flat when open (bows slightly in the middle). Likewise when closed, they don't allow for a complete seal, which lets the cables poke out the sides.
- It includes a charge controller that doesn't seem to be used with the Yeti. Not sure how much this unneeded component and associated cables added to the cost.
- The 120 watt panels only generate (at best) ~80 watts in direct sunlight (ouch!).
- For a product that is only intended for use outside, it is odd that the instructions say that the panels shouldn't get wet. since charging a Yeti is something that is done over hours (or days), people may not be sitting right there if the weather changes.
Looking at the pictures before purchasing the unit, I was worried that this was some cheap plastic toy. Some of this product's competitors, appear to be something that was thrown together in someone's garage. But that is not the case with the Yeti. The Yeti is a well-designed, well-constructed home appliance.
The device arrived fully charged. It was necessary to perform some minor assembly (to attach the handle and wheels). The assembly instructions omitted reference to some of the included parts (washers).
The cart works well to move the (fairly heavy) Yeti (~100 pounds). There is a handy compartment on top that can be used to hold the AC charger, but has room for other things (for example USB charger cables). The handles on the sides are solid, and can safely be used to lift the box (if you are sufficiently beefy). The cart handle can be removed as needed without tools.
There are 2 AC input ports on the front that can both be used simultaneously to charge the box (the Yeti only comes with 1 charger, so I haven't tried this). There is only 1 (Anderson) input for solar panels, but panels can be chained if you have more than one.
I found the display to be very useful, showing the watts in, watts out, and remaining power shown as a percentage (rounded to the nearest 20%). A "minutes to power exhausted" or "minutes to fully recharged" (depending on whether we are charging faster than using) would have been useful too.
The 3 AC power ports work as you would expect. And yes, you can connect a power strip if you need more plugs, but remember the Yeti can only support so many watts output at a time.
I don't know what to say about the 3 USB charging ports. I plugged my phone into them. It charged. Yay.
The 2 smaller DC outputs (documented as "5mm") are something of a puzzle. After talking with a variety of sources (Lowes, Home Depot, even Radio Shack), I couldn't find anyone that had anything that could plug into this. Even searching the internet, the only 2 devices I was able to find were Goal Zero's Light-a-Life and Goal Zero's adapter to turn these plugs into "cigarette lighter" plugs. This was something of a disappointment to me, as I had been hoping that appliances that come with an AC adapter (ie essentially every small electronic device in my house from my wifi to my cd player) could run off the DC plug. This seems like a better idea than wasting the limited amount of power in the Yeti converting the battery power to AC, only to have the device's AC adapter convert it back to DC to power the device. But for this to work, the Yeti's DC ports would have to have some way of adjusting the output voltage (which they don't). As a result, I can't think of any usage for these ports. Makes me wonder what the Goal Zero designers were thinking here.
The "cigarette lighter" DC output seems to be of limited value as well. Once upon a time (many years ago), there were a variety of things you could plug into cigarette lighters. Not so much anymore. So having 1 here (or 3 if you use the adapters for the "5mm" plugs) is not useful for me. And while the entire Yeti is a "keep children away" device, that big hole in the front seems like an invitation to trouble.
Similarly, I have questions about the Anderson output plug. I understand the Anderson *input* (that's where the solar panel connects), but what am I supposed to run with the Anderson output? Other than another Yeti, what possible device could I plug in here? And if I want to connect another Yeti, there is a plug on that back for that specific purpose (which I haven't used).
The feet are rounded and smooth, so the unit can be put on car seats without ripping them to shreds.
Using the device:
As a sample usage, I tried running my 40" Sony TV, DirecTV DVR, satellite power and my amplifier. From a full charge, with no charge coming in, I was able to power this system for ~6 hours (obviously your mileage may vary). Power cut off cleanly when the charge was exhausted (no dimming, just 'click' and off), but there was no audible warning of the impending shutdown, which would have been nice.
The AC recharger recharges at ~65 watts. So even with both AC and my (in theory 120 watt, but in reality ~80 watt) solar panel, my test suite draws current faster than my available recharging puts it in. Vizeo claims to sell a 40" TV that uses < 30 watts. Something for me to think about. Also, adjusting the "backlight brightness" on my Sony has a huge impact on the watts used (~80 vs ~180 watts). Just sayin.
Other things of note:
So far the only real quirk I've seen came when recharging the system. After I had exhausted the battery and was recharging the system via AC, it seemed like it spent a very long time stuck at 20% charged. Suspecting that something was going wrong, I unplugged the AC, and plugged it into the other AC charge port. At which point the display abruptly changed to 60% charged. Not sure what the story is here, but I have had this happen more than once, so something isn't quite right there. Still, it was actually charging, so I don't see this as more than a quirk.
And since the panels use MC4 cables, an MC4 disconnect tool would have made a nice addition.
I was disappointed in the performance of the solar panels (80 vs 120), but perhaps that is common among solar panels? While I didn't expect the full 120 watts, only getting ~66% of the rated capacity was an unpleasant surprise.
The Yeti itself does what I expect and what I need. For my primary requirements (AC power during a blackout and recharge via solar) it does just fine.
Someone put some real thought into designing the Yeti. While there are some things I would like to see for a Yeti 2.0 (feel free to contact me Goal Zero!), I give the current model 5 stars.