Summer and Winter are both infamous for yield inclement weather. Damaging winds in the Midwest, tornados in the South, and hurricanes on both coasts have been known to cause significant damage each year.
When bad weather strikes, it's not uncommon to lose electricity. And, depending on the severity of the outage, service could be out for several hours or days.
Many families tough it out and wait for service to be restored, relying on candles or flashlights. However, there are of course risks associated with prolonged power loss. These may include:
- Fire risk due to using an open flame for lighting
- Injury due to dimly lit surroundings
- Food spoilage caused by lack of refrigeration
- Flooding in basement due to malfunctioning sump pump
- Downtime and lost income (work from home professionals)
- Health risks, such as CPAP machine malfunction
- Anxiety caused by these types of factors
Sure, these risks sound daunting. But, realistically, what other options do you have?
Gas-powered generators are quite common solutions in these circumstances; however, they also require an ample supply of gasoline and technical know-how. Luckily, newer generator technology has hit the market and may be the perfect fit for you. Let's meet the "Goal Zero" suite of generators.
Goal Zero Yeti: A Size for Every Need
The sleek and intuitive design of Goal Zero's generators was clearly modeled with the consumer in mind. Even the smallest unit (measuring at 7.8 x 6.8 x 5.8 inches) is packed full of useful ports, including AC inverters, USB ports, and 12V plugs. In addition, the units accommodate a variety of charging solutions, including: wall outlet plug-in, solar panel, and automobile 12V adapter. No gasoline, no problem!
The product currently comes in three sizes:
- 150WH (Waat-hours)
- 400 WH
- 1250 WH
As you may imagine, as the number of Waat-hours increase, the more potential energy you gain. (You also get a larger, heavier unit as WH increases). Here's a brief overview of each size.
Goal Zero (22004) Yeti 150
Perfect for laptops, tablets, smartphones, and lights, this compact unit weighs around 14 pounds. According to product documentation, a full charge requires 17 hours with the Nomad 20 solar panel. This converts into two full re-charges for a typical laptop computer.
Price Range: $ 175 – $ 199
Goal Zero (23000) Yeti 400
A bit more powerful than it's little brother the 150, the Yeti 400 is used to power lights, CPAP machines, and televisions. After a five-hour wall charge, your Yeti 400 is ready to re-charge your laptop three to five times. Smartphones can typically be charged over 30 times by a single charge of the Yeti 400. Be advised, that with the larger storage size, solar panels do begin to take substantially longer to deliver full charges. For example, the Nomad 20 takes between forty and eighty hours to fully charge the Yeti 400. Of course, more expensive panels (such as the Boulder 90) can reduce the time down to a similar charge time as the Yeti 150.
Price Range: $ 459 – $ 499
Goal Zero (31901) Yeti 1250
This 1,250 WH generator is the "big daddy" of the Yeti product line. For those looking to power lights, kitchen appliances, important health equipment, or other large items, the Yeti 1250 is a great option. Weighing it at over 100 pounds, this unit offers three USB ports, three AC outputs, and multiple DC ports.
In terms of charge time and power, it takes two Boulder 30 solar panels approximately forty hours to fully charge. With a single charge, the 1250 could run a refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Stated differently, the Yeti 1250 could charge an average laptop over twenty times off of a single charge.
Price Range: $ 1,399 – $ 1,499