Energy Options > Solar Power

goal zero power packs

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surfivor:

 I am not sure, but I am not at my camp for weeks at a time so if the solar panels get covered with ice or snow then the battery may die so that's one thing .. I could try putting panels up in a tree but that makes the distance further

 If the battery is someplace that gets hot in the summer like a storage container or in the yurt then there's that. The battery could be outside someplace where it is concealed to some extent and the panels might have to be. It seems somewhat complex considerations, the portable stuff is less complex and could be used for car camping or an RV; although it's lower power.

Carl:
Doesn't your car have the ability to charge a battery?,and even a second battery with a battery isolator to allow you to forget and yet still be able to start your vehicle and charge the battery back. All of this worry for a system you can carry with you and yet not need solar as an inverter in the vehicle and even a 200 foot extension cord is way easier than heavy batteries and solar panels . Your car can idle for an hour on less than a gallon of fuel when the 500 watts from your 'second' battery (way more than any portable option) runs out. Try to not be a MULE for your technology.Why not have power every place you go?

The Sherpa 100 has LESS than a 10 Amp battery that you should not use below 7 amp hours so your laptop better be damn small. (70 watts for ONE HOUR.)

The YETI 150 has about 15 AMP HOURS of which you can (without damage to the battery) use about half of ,so OH MY,You get about the same 70 Watts for ONE HOUR from this one too.

A second battery in your vehicle,with an inverter will give you at least 250 to 500 watts for an hour ,without damage to the battery, or about FOUR TO EIGHT TIMES as much power as either of the units you linked to. I really love the nice package they both make ,BUT I WANT POWER...without the high cost.

DonC:
Man, I gotta weigh in. I'll tell you what..... you give me $400 and you spend $400 on your setup and we can compare setups. I'm willing to bet for $400 bucks, I can buy 2-100 watt solar panels, (which come with a charge controller), a 100ah marine deep cycle battery, and a 1,000 watt power inverter.

Sure, convenience is a nice thing to have. But for the same price, you can have a better power setup. 1,000 watts of power is plenty in a "cabin." But 150w in a "Goal-zero" setup will leave you struggling.

Buy the parts yourself
150w inverter- $30
50ah battery- $60
100w panel & controller- $125
Total: $215

That would leave you with $185 to buy a cheap dual band mobile and a mag mount antenna and allow you to buy some coffee and snacks plus put gas in your vehicle.

Goal-Zero Sherpa 100w kit- $400
Total: $400 THAT'S IT!

What you paid for is the brand name and convenience. But you were robbed of knowledge and power (LOL)!

As an example of what Carl mentioned: I was in an ice storm in Oklahoma in 2009 that knocked out power to the entire city and Air Force BASE for 14 days. People had generators, but the gas stations were rationed by day 4 and empty by day 8. I bought my fuel ration and was running a 150w inverter from my truck. I had powered my phones, Laptop, daughters handheld games, and lights at night on the gas in my truck and my ration cans (about 10- 5 Gall on cans altogether) and it lasted me just fine!

What everyone is trying to say is, ask around before going out and buying the 1st thing you see. There are a lot of people here with a lot of experience. We're all willing to share and help out.

Are Goal-Zero products cool and convenient? Sure. Are they worth it? Seems like the general consensus is not really. Are you happy with what you bought? Well, I hope so, cuz it's yours.

surfivor:
 The sherpa battery pack was $300 which is a NCM lithium battery. I think NCM is one of the much better types of long lasting lithium. I am not sure if that is the same type used in hybrid cars but it may be. It weighs 2 pounds and can charge from a wall socket in 3 hours or from a car cigarette lighter in 4 hours.

They sell a decent 12 pound lead core based battery pack for $179 and you can replace the inner lead part for $50. This one can hold slightly more juice than the lithium one but weighs more and can take twice as long to charge.

These smaller batteries will only charge a laptop maybe once or twice but can be good for led lights, charging phones, tablet etc. The lithium one can charge a cell phone 14 times and the lead one slightly more. The specs say the lithium pack can charge a tablet between 2 and 4 times and the lead one 6 times.
 
They may be expensive, but I felt like getting one and I liked the small size of the sherpa and it's fast charge time. It also means I can easily run the larger goal zero LED light which is pretty bright as I saw one of those at EMS.  If these battery packs are well made and last that would be good because some stuff does not but they seem to have good reviews


 It seems like those other battery options are decent but they are big and bulky. I would consider it but it's complicated because I have to figure out where to put the solar panels up in a tree, there's a long distance of line. It may snow or something and cover the panels which means the battery could go dead because I sometimes don't go to my camp for several weeks at a time. If the panels are outside, someone could steal them but I have not had problems - though I think they would have to be inconspicuous from the road because stuff has happened in the area.

 If I am going to cart a battery back and forth, I am not sure it appeals to me if it is going to weigh alot .. I already have to pack all kind of gear when I go up, coolers and everything

Smurf Hunter:

--- Quote ---But you were robbed of knowledge and power (LOL)!
--- End quote ---

That's hilarious.  I suppose without changing your own flat tire during a rain storm, you'd be "robbed" of a character building opportunity 

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