The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 lithium portable power station (WiFi) is one of the latest additions to the stables of Goal Zero – the world’s leading portable solar generator authority.
This portable solar unit is, without any doubt a monster – thanks to its over 3000Wh of power and a smart lithium ion battery that is rated at exactly 280Ah.
These attributes and raw specs are clearly powerful enough to make certain the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 lithium portable solar generator powers humongous, power hungry things like blenders, coffee makers, refrigerators, drills and just about any power crazy tool that either comes to mind or occasion actually calls for it.
However, that’s just about what many (including, maybe you) know about this smart bad boy. The rest of the story is either shrouded in ‘ability’ or ‘portability’.
Today, I’ve decided to take this solar generator apart, zoom in on its details, talk about its most salient realities and importantly, give you, my dear reader, a first hand glimpse into the world of this Goal Zero’s addition and importantly, see if it’s worth your time and money.
Without much ado, let’s get to business proper.
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First Impression Of The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium
On the very first look, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium looks exactly like a giant speaker – especially when looked at from an angle that hides its facial mounted controls.
However, it appears like some special type of speaker, carefully sculpted and rendered by an artist in the league of Da Vinci; that is, when one first takes a cursory look at the portable solar generator without its roll cart.
Properly mounted in its roll cart, the renewable energy generator takes a look that resonates with something else: a gasoline powered generator, mounted with wheels except for one problem: there is currently no gasoline powered generator this small that is designed with pushing wheels!
Yet again, on closer look, an uninitiated person would be pardoned if he or she believes the poor generator looks like a giant HP laser printer, especially given that it has a cover that is opened in the same fashion with a traditional HP laser printer.
However, irrespective of the angle of look or prior acquaintance with the unit, one thing is immediately clear: the Yeti 3000 lithium lithium is boxy and traditional – in a good and appealing way.
Touching it proves that besides being boxy and traditional in a good and consistent manner, the unit is also clearly made up of sturdy and durable plastic – an indication that it is intended to last for an appreciable time, post purchase.
Designed with sturdy handles to accompany the portable solar generator to make manual carriage easy – coupled with a sensible number of ports and displays, it is clear, from the beginning, that much thought and efforts actually went into the design and manufacture of the Goal Zero Yeti 1300 lithium solar power station.
What Can The Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Solar Generator Power?
The Yeti 3000 lithium is tops on Goal Zero’s inventory; it is also top in the world of portable solar generators generally.
Thanks to an impressive lithium-ion battery that is rated at 280.8Ah and capable of churning out an equally impressive 3075Wh, this unit packs some serious punch that is impossible to sidetrack or overlook.
This generator is capable of running:
- A mini fridge for good 50 hours.
- A 32 inch LCD TV for 22 hours straight.
- The unit can recharge a laptop 50 plus times.
- A smartphone can receive 150 plus charges before the generator packs up.
- A traditional tablet, 100 plus charges and
- A digital camera? 500 plus charges.
I have independently tested and verified these estimates. However, it is worth noting that these are not all the appliances and gadgets that the unit can power.
Coffee machines, power drills and just about any regular medium or small sized electricity demanding appliance can be powered, successfully, by the Yeti 3000 lithium.
The actual times of these devices and gadgets may however vary – and are generally harder to estimate given the fact that actual consumption in such scenarios depend on model used, load at the time of use and importantly, the actual duration of use.
Key Specifications And Features
For the tech minded fellows, this remains the best part of any review. Here the strength or otherwise of a unit is laid bare for the entire world to see.
Here, the figures are impressive – and remain one of the very best the portable solar generator world has to offer.
However, why take our opinion of it serious? Take a direct look on Amazon yourself.
- Dimensions: 10.1 x 15.3 x 13.1 in (25.7 x 28.9 x 33.3 cm).
- Weight: 68.6 lbs (31.1 kg).
- Pack capacity: 3075Wh (10.95V, 280.8Ah).
- Single Cell Equivalent Capacity: 842Ah @ 3.65V.
- Lifecycles: 500 Cycles to 80% capacity (Discharge rate: 1C, Full charge/discharge, Temp: 25C).
- Shelf-life: Charge every 3-6 months.
- Management system: PWM charge controller, low battery protection.
- WiFi enabled. This sees to it that the solar generator is controllable remotely via either an iOS or Android app.
- Standard roll cart – if you need to take the unit a long distance and want to do so in style and ease.
- Smart side carry handles for easy carriage implicating short distances.
- LCD display that summarizes the reality of the unit on a single and simple glance.
- Finally, smart USB ports that can be deployed, on the spot, to power phones, tablets and all things USB.
Weight, Noise And Runtime Analysis
This generator packs a lot of punch and for what its battery is rated (280.8Ah), it is actually difficult to believe that it weighs only 68.6 lbs (31.1 kg).
However, don’t get me wrong: this is an appreciable weight – one that can only be carried successfully by a healthy and fit person without the certain panting that is sure to follow after the first few minutes or after ascending a flight of stairs.
However, what is worthy of note is that, it is one of the lightest units currently available in the market today in its power class.
Essentially thus, the 68.6 lbs is one necessary evil: one that makes it difficult to get anything better (read: lighter) at either the same price or power range.
Noise wise, I found out that the Yeti 3000 is completely noiseless.
On a busy Sunday morning (with the birds chirping outside and occasional traffic hoots and engine sounds), one will be excused to believe that the source of power around is actually from the grid!
However, in the dead of night (with nothing moving or making any sound – and with my ear very close to the unit), an ultra low hum could be detected.
This hum, it is trite to note, is lower than that produced by a regular laptop fan and I suspect that it is from the built in inverter.
However, it is nothing to bother oneself with. This is because, immediately I took my ear from its side and went back to bed, the noise ceased and everywhere was as dead quiet as before.
In my professional estimation thus, the noise one goes out of his or her way to look for does not really qualify as a cause for concern in the broadest possible manner.
Runtime wise, I have found out that the portable solar generator holds its own when it comes to emitting its stored juice in a smart and impressive manner.
For instance, a traditional refrigerator, with my own tests here, lasted for over 24 hours – a time frame which I will not criticize for any reason.
My reason: such a run-time is enough to power even the most hungry devices on the go. Moreso, any solar generator capable of powering something as a power thirsty refrigerator for a whole day certainly is good enough to be taken seriously.
What You Should Understand Before Considering The Yeti 3000 Lithium
It is easy to deceive oneself and think that one needs something when in reality, what is going on is simply a sad infatuation.
This type of scenario is not restricted to love cases alone: it can happen in the realm of technology too – with portable solar generators being no exceptions.
The Yeti 3000 lithium with WiFi, being on the top chain of Goal Zero’s stock is priced to reflect this reality. Accordingly, it is not the cheapest option on the block.
If you’re thus on a budget, looking elsewhere, would be a much better and smarter thing to do.
Besides the price implication of this unit, it is also worthy of note that it packs a lot of power – more than the average person needs in mobile or backup capacity.
If your mobile power needs are not in the realm of needing to power things like refrigerators, power drills and other power hungry devices in the class, investing in something less powerful (and cheaper) would do both your sanity and wallet a ton of good.
Finally, it is worth noting too that, if you live alone (or work alone and need to move your power source from place to place) and are not in the best of either health or physical fitness, this is not the best unit for you.
In such a scenario, getting something lighter should be what you should be looking at.
Charging Times And Means Of The Yeti 3000 Lithium Solar Power Station
The Yeti 3000 Lithium WiFi edition is charged principally by 3 means: solar, AC and DC. The addition of a DC charging option represents a radical departure from the previous models and designs where generators close to this size and capacity did not, as a standard rule, provide an option for DC car port charging.
By way of the sun, the unit recharges itself when paired with the Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Panel (sold separately) in about 20 hours on average.
However, it is worthy of note that this depends on sunlight intensity. On truly sunny says in the tropics for instance, I have found the generator to recharge fully in just over 15 hours.
In temperate conditions however, expect the generator to recharge fully in about 35-40 hours, all other things being equal.
Though a solar powered generator, I found out that charging this Yeti using the grid is well faster. Using the Yeti Fast Charge 25 Amp Power Supply, the unit charged fully in under 10 hours; however, the traditional wall chargers proved a little slower: they took an unimpressive whole day!
Finally, charging up the unit in a car and drawing from the automobile’s 12 Volts DC took almost forever to fill up and at a point, I had to unplug (to save gas) or had reached my destination.
However, if I’m to estimate, I’ll say that it will take almost a week if your regular car’s DC is going to fully charge up the unit. This, to say the least, is impractical. However, if you’re simply looking to boost the unit 5-10% for an urgent gig or task, then (and only then) will this charging method make sense.
Then again, it is also worthy of note to mention that the manufacturer expressly cautions against using a regular 12V cable for this method of charging (my guess is because of the humongous internal battery of the device).
Instead, the Goal Zero Lithium 12V Car Charging Cable is advised.
Special Features Worthy Of Note
The Yeti 3000 Lithium, though one of the top options at Goal Zero, is pretty basic when it comes to special features.
Options that are rare in other generators of this class are also to a large degree non-existent here; options that you’ll hardly see in any other solar generator available for sale on the market today also, largely, cannot be found on this Yeti.
However, the unit is endowed with 2 special features that in my professional opinion, qualify as ‘special’ and ‘worthy of note’.
First is the DC charging option. Hitherto, portable solar generator this size from Goal Zero (and other manufacturers) did not bother with a charging option that is powered by the 12V DC of an automobile.
The Yeti 3000 Lithium (WiFi Edition) is a game changer in that regard.
However, it is also important to note that this option is only advised with the special Goal Zero Lithium 12V Car Charging Cable and is good for only momentary power boosts and not full fledged charges due to its extreme slowness of charge.
Second, WiFi connectivity is an addition that makes things pleasant with this unit and to a large extent distinguishes it from the general market.
Unlike the unimpressive DC charging option just documented above, the WiFi connectivity this unit comes with is a true joy and makes managing the device an absolute breeze.
The WiFi connectivity is made possible by a downloadable app that is installed on either a cell phone or a tablet. The Goal Zero app is available for download on both the iOS and Android stores.
Once downloaded and paired, remote monitoring and control of the unit is possible and is unhindered by direct distances.
What this means is simple: you can monitor your generator(s) battery level, load, ports and just about everything even from the comfort of your office when the unit is in fact, on your balcony at home.
An interesting part of this that I truly love is the fact that the firmware of the Yeti can also be updated – in less than a minute via this route. This takes care of all challenges that have been sorted out with an update by the manufacturer.
This is a really cool and novel feature worthy not just of note but of ‘special note’.
Pros And Cons
No matter how awesome something is, it must have cons; no matter how bad something is, it must have its own advantages.
Here are the ones unique to the Yeti 3000 lithium.
- Monster on demand power. It is difficult to envisage a no-power scenario with this quiet monster.
- WiFi remote control and power management for intelligent use.
- Lithium-Ion battery technology.
- A plethora of charging options that sees to it that every device is catered for.
- Standard roll cart plus smart handles for easy carriage.
- Smart LCD that shows all that matter at a glance.
- Price. This unit is easily one of the priciest available on the market today.
- No chaining ability; you thus cannot ‘chain’ the generator to a similar one for longer runtime.
- Despite the roll cart, the physical weight of this solar generator is appreciable at 68.6 lbs.
In my professional opinion (stemming from years with solar generators), the Yeti 3000 Lithium (with WiFi) is one of the very best portable solar power stations ever made.
You (or anyone else for that matter) would have no challenges after purchase – or in the course of use; thanks to the monster ability of this 3000 lithium and its numerous talents.
However, before you consider owning one, be sure you have need of its vast powers and abilities – for they do not come cheap.
Also be certain that you’re going to confine the unit to a place – or at the very worst, have the power to either lift (or roll) it from place to place as your power demands dictate.