Goal Zero Yeti 400 Experiences?

snowblind

Adventurer
Hi Everyone.

I just picked up a Yeti 400 from Goal Zero. -> http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/165//16:1/

I was attracted to the small form factor ease of use and I get discount pricing through my work. I plan on using as back-up power for a 12v fridge. I have no solar so charging will be done via 12v or AC power. Originally I planned on using a dual battery mounted to the vehicle but this provides options for use outside the vehicle that I had not considered.

Capacity is only 33Ah and while that should be fine for my immediate use I anticipate needing more reserve in the future. I'm pretty sure I can just daisy chain "any" 12v battery to increase the reserve. Are there any Yeti 400 users out there who can comment?

Here are the specs:
USAGE
Approx. Charge Time:
Wall Charger (75W) 5 hours
Car Charger (30W) 13 hours
GOAL ZERO Nomad 27 30-60 hours
GOAL ZERO Boulder 30 20-40 hours

BATTERY
Cell Type AGM Lead Acid
Pack Capacity 396Wh (12V, 33Ah)
Lifecycles Hundreds of cycles
Shelf Life Charge every 3 months
Fuses None
Management System Charging and low-battery protection built-in

PORTS
USB Standard Port (output) 5V, up to 1.5A (7.5W max), regulated 6mm port
(output, 6.0mm, green, hexagon) 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
12V car port (output) 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
AC inverter US (output, 60Hz, pure sine wave) 110V, 2.6A (300W continuous, 600W surge max)
AC inverter International (output, 50Hz, pure sine wave) 220V, 1.4A (300W continuous, 600W surge max)
Charging Port
(input, 8mm, blue, circle) 14-29V, up to 10A (120W max)

GENERAL
Chainable Yes
Weight 29 lbs (13.2 kg)
Dimensions 10.25 x 8 x 8 in (26 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm)
Warranty 6 Months
Certifications CE, FCC, ROHS
Operating Usage Temp. 32-104 F (0-40 C)


Matt
 

snowblind

Adventurer
Preliminary testing with BaseCamp (Edgestar) 63qt fridge

I plugged my fridge in last night to see how the little Yeti 400 would do.

The Yeti has a number of output connections on the front. The connections are grouped inside a colored outline. They are 12v, USB and 110/220. Each group is turned on/off via a button top/center of the colored outline. This is nice because you can easily turn off a group without unplugging anything. I began testing last night by connecting a Basecamp 63qt fridge via the 12v "car" port. For reference this fridge is an Edgestar variant with presumably similar power consumption as other Edgestar 63qt fridges. http://www.amazon.com/Basecamp-Heat...id=1372261166&sr=8-1&keywords=basecamp+fridge

y400_lg.jpg

The Yeti 400 displays outgoing current in real-time on the front of the box so I was able to easily watch the power drain. With the fridge plugged in but not cooling power consumption was <1 watt. When the compressor kicked on consumption spiked to 62 watts and then tapered down to 59 watts. The fridge showed an input voltage of 12.3v to 11.9v This pattern of power consumption was identical every time the compressor cycled.

I left the fridge connected to the Yeti 400 last night. Conditions were: Indoors at 73º ambient. Fridge @ 34º (30º-38º swing). After 12 hours the Yeti is showing 60% reserve remaining. I expect it will be empty by 5 p.m. tonight as the ambient temps will push closer to 80º

So... 12-24hrs depending on temps. Calculating for higher ambient temps and other draw rough math puts consumption at 25 watts/hour. I think that equals 16 hours if the Yeti's controller uses the whole 396whr. Am I doing the math right there?

13 hours to recharge from a 30 watt car charger. 5 hours from a 75 watt wall charger. I'm thinking a 60 watt (or bigger) solar panel if I want to run without any other power source.


Matt
 

Rando

Explorer
One of the questions that was brought up about this in another thread was is the true capacity of the lead acid battery inside these things? Based on the weight alone, I am guessing that the 33AH listed is the actual capacity of the battery inside the device. Given that, you certainly don't want to use 100% of the batteries capacity as it will dramatically shorten the life of the battery. Obviously I don't know the specs for this particular cell, but typically if a battery is rated for say 500 cycles at 20% discharge (ie using .2 of the battery capacity), you will get something like 200 cycles at 50% depth discharge and 100 cycles at 80% depth of discharge and 50 cycles at 100% depth of discharge. The point being if you want this thing to last for any amount of time, you shouldn't take it below 50% state of charge (this is a general rule with VRLA batteries) and certainly shouldn't take it below 20% SOC. Therefore, budget about 15Ah useable capacity, or 180Wh, or about 8-12 hours for the fridge. If you want your fridge to run at stasis with a solar panel, you will need at least 80 - 100W of solar panel, and possibly a bigger battery. For reference I have a 43Qt Edgestar, a 70Ah (35Ah useable) battery, and a 100W flat mounted panel and I am almost able to run indefinitely.

I think the 400Wh marketing from GoalZero is quite deceptive.
 

snowblind

Adventurer
One of the questions that was brought up about this in another thread was is the true capacity of the lead acid battery inside these things? Based on the weight alone, I am guessing that the 33AH listed is the actual capacity of the battery inside the device. Given that, you certainly don't want to use 100% of the batteries capacity as it will dramatically shorten the life of the battery. Obviously I don't know the specs for this particular cell, but typically if a battery is rated for say 500 cycles at 20% discharge (ie using .2 of the battery capacity), you will get something like 200 cycles at 50% depth discharge and 100 cycles at 80% depth of discharge and 50 cycles at 100% depth of discharge. The point being if you want this thing to last for any amount of time, you shouldn't take it below 50% state of charge (this is a general rule with VRLA batteries) and certainly shouldn't take it below 20% SOC.

I think the 400Wh marketing from GoalZero is quite deceptive.
Back from a 5-day trip using the Yeti extensively. It 85-90 temps fridge was able to run about 10-18 hours on the battery using 12v power. One very disappointing aspect was that the wall charger is cheap feeling, buzzy, hot and (worst of all), only charges at 60-65watts. Goal Zero indicates 75watts from the wall for a 5 hour charge but the product doesn't even ship with that capability. LAME!!!

I think you're right Rando. The capacity, weight, etc all indicate that it is a 33AH battery. It may have a very smart charger/controller but I doubt that will add much longevity.

The battery only has a 3 month warranty so my plan is to absolutely HAMMER one this thing (within Goal Zeros instructions) and see how much the capacity drops in that time. Goal Zero is local to me so returns/warranty are easy.

I will post more info and a more detailed review soon.


Matt
 

JKJenn

Adventurer
Back from a 5-day trip using the Yeti extensively. It 85-90 temps fridge was able to run about 10-18 hours on the battery using 12v power. One very disappointing aspect was that the wall charger is cheap feeling, buzzy, hot and (worst of all), only charges at 60-65watts. Goal Zero indicates 75watts from the wall for a 5 hour charge but the product doesn't even ship with that capability. LAME!!!

I think you're right Rando. The capacity, weight, etc all indicate that it is a 33AH battery. It may have a very smart charger/controller but I doubt that will add much longevity.

The battery only has a 3 month warranty so my plan is to absolutely HAMMER one this thing (within Goal Zeros instructions) and see how much the capacity drops in that time. Goal Zero is local to me so returns/warranty are easy.

I will post more info and a more detailed review soon.


Matt
Matt - any follow-up to report on the Yeti performance? I have been considering either this or the 1250 but the very short warranty is a little disconcerting.
 

spikemd

Explorer
I have the Extreme350 which is the precursor to the Yeti. In Baja last month I ran the ARB 50qt fridge (smaller and more efficient) off an Escape 30 daisychained to a Nomad 27 and Nomad 13.5 while stationary for a few days. I was able to run the fridge overnight and with sun able to run the fridge and recharge the Extreme the next day. It is a great basecamp setup as long as u dont run out of sun.

My buddy has the Yeti400 and it is a sleaker design with inverter built in but probably the same 33ah battery.

I also rewired my fridge connectors to Anderson PowerPlugs so the stay secure. The dang cigarette connectors are horrible.
 

JKJenn

Adventurer
I have the Extreme350 which is the precursor to the Yeti. In Baja last month I ran the ARB 50qt fridge (smaller and more efficient) off an Escape 30 daisychained to a Nomad 27 and Nomad 13.5 while stationary for a few days. I was able to run the fridge overnight and with sun able to run the fridge and recharge the Extreme the next day. It is a great basecamp setup as long as u dont run out of sun.

My buddy has the Yeti400 and it is a sleaker design with inverter built in but probably the same 33ah battery.

I also rewired my fridge connectors to Anderson PowerPlugs so the stay secure. The dang cigarette connectors are horrible.
Thanks for the update. I am now just debating between the 400 or the 1250. The 1250 would be enough to bail me out in power outage.
 

Imager993

Pixel Monkey
I heard from Goal Zero that the current batch of the Yeti 400 (sold withing the last month and from here on out) is using a much better battery from a different supplier than the one sold over last summer/fall. When they went out of stock this last fall, they changed battery suppliers. I'm probably going to get one for base camp device charging and to run camp lights (goalzero light-a-life). I also just picked up a bolder 30 panel for charging if I'm stationary and not charging from the car.

I also really like this setup as an option for emergency power in case of a long term blackout as the east coast saw with Sandy. I live in earthquake country and could easily see a scenario where the power grid gets knocked out. I feel like solar is a much better power option compared to a generator in urban emergency situations because it is quiet and nobody else around will know you have power.

I already use my Sherpa 50 for travel to keep my iPhone and iPad topped off when I don't have any place to plug in. Very light weight and fits in my camera bag perfectly.
 

spikemd

Explorer
Thanks for the update. I am now just debating between the 400 or the 1250. The 1250 would be enough to bail me out in power outage.
The 1250 is a great unit with loads of capacity but it is HUGE and very heavy at 100lbs. No comparison when you are talking about portability. It can bail you out of a power outage, but it would be a challenge to take in a vehicle and unload/etc. It would be a great set-up in a trailer without having to do a lot of extra wiring.

Check CostCo for the Goal Zero roadshows that swing through your area. That is where I saw a Yeti1250 in person. They have greatly discounted prices on panels and batteries. I picked up a cool Switch8 flashlight that isn't even sold on the website yet. It is rechargeable, flood/spot light and has attachments for red/green/blue lenses. It is awesome.
 

cactusjk

Explorer
Goal Zero is clearing out the 350s for about $170 without the inverter. Any thoughts on whether this is a good way to go or hold out for the Yeti 400?



I have the Extreme350 which is the precursor to the Yeti. In Baja last month I ran the ARB 50qt fridge (smaller and more efficient) off an Escape 30 daisychained to a Nomad 27 and Nomad 13.5 while stationary for a few days. I was able to run the fridge overnight and with sun able to run the fridge and recharge the Extreme the next day. It is a great basecamp setup as long as u dont run out of sun.

My buddy has the Yeti400 and it is a sleaker design with inverter built in but probably the same 33ah battery.

I also rewired my fridge connectors to Anderson PowerPlugs so the stay secure. The dang cigarette connectors are horrible.
 

Captain Jim

New member
Hi Everyone.

I just picked up a Yeti 400 from Goal Zero. -> http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/165//16:1/

I was attracted to the small form factor ease of use and I get discount pricing through my work. I plan on using as back-up power for a 12v fridge. I have no solar so charging will be done via 12v or AC power. Originally I planned on using a dual battery mounted to the vehicle but this provides options for use outside the vehicle that I had not considered.

Capacity is only 33Ah and while that should be fine for my immediate use I anticipate needing more reserve in the future. I'm pretty sure I can just daisy chain "any" 12v battery to increase the reserve. Are there any Yeti 400 users out there who can comment?

Here are the specs:
USAGE
Approx. Charge Time:
Wall Charger (75W) 5 hours
Car Charger (30W) 13 hours
GOAL ZERO Nomad 27 30-60 hours
GOAL ZERO Boulder 30 20-40 hours

BATTERY
Cell Type AGM Lead Acid
Pack Capacity 396Wh (12V, 33Ah)
Lifecycles Hundreds of cycles
Shelf Life Charge every 3 months
Fuses None
Management System Charging and low-battery protection built-in

PORTS
USB Standard Port (output) 5V, up to 1.5A (7.5W max), regulated 6mm port
(output, 6.0mm, green, hexagon) 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
12V car port (output) 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
AC inverter US (output, 60Hz, pure sine wave) 110V, 2.6A (300W continuous, 600W surge max)
AC inverter International (output, 50Hz, pure sine wave) 220V, 1.4A (300W continuous, 600W surge max)
Charging Port
(input, 8mm, blue, circle) 14-29V, up to 10A (120W max)

GENERAL
Chainable Yes
Weight 29 lbs (13.2 kg)
Dimensions 10.25 x 8 x 8 in (26 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm)
Warranty 6 Months
Certifications CE, FCC, ROHS
Operating Usage Temp. 32-104 F (0-40 C)


Matt
I own several Goal Zero products. You can add a extra battery but it must be compatible with the battery in the Yeti 400 which is a 33 ah AGM type battery. You cannot use a car battery or either a lower or higher amp hour battery. You can use a 35 ah it is compatible. They must be the same to work. However you can chain up to 3 of the 33 ah batteries to the Yeti 400 or even chain an Extreme 350 power pack which has the same battery as the Yeti 400. They make a chaining cable and it is very simple to add one especially now that the price on the Extreme 350 is under $200 since it is being discontinued in favor of the Yeti 400. The Extreme 350 is a great power pack and if you can get it without the inverter it is now $195 but quantities are very limited. I had to go back a couple times until they had one in stock.
 

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