The Goal Zero YETI 500X is just one of the ‘X’ series portable power stations that we review in this article. For most people, it’s the perfect size while still being affordable. For 2020 Goal Zero has been slowly releasing various models from this series making sure there’s a size for everyone. We cover them all so you can compare and choose the one most appropriate for your needs.
During CES 2020 which was held in January, Goal Zero unveiled a bunch of cool new gadgets. There were power banks, solar panels, chargers, lights, and more on show for tech enthusiasts. Pretty cool stuff, right? But my attention was on their brand new line of “Yeti” portable lithium power stations. These are often referred to as indoor generators by a lot of people, but they function more like giant power banks. Essentially, these portable power stations are just high capacity lithium-ion batteries connected to inverters.
They are designed to store energy, which is used to power your electronic equipment during an outage. Or pretty much any situation in which you’re too far away from a wall outlet (such as camping, tailgating, remote jobsite, etc.). Power stations can be charged from the wall using standard 120V AC power, or through a solar panel. Some models (like the Goal Zero Yeti series) can also be charged from a 12V car adapter.
VIDEO | Wow! YETI 6000X — Run your entire house
These portable power stations can be had in many different sizes (both in terms of physical size as well as energy storing capacity). And you can use them to run pretty much everything from a laptop to a microwave (or even power tools). Goal Zero made a name for themselves by creating products which are smaller, lighter, and more versatile than the competition. Their new Yeti X lineup is a significant technological upgrade over older Yeti models as you can now get more runtime in a smaller package, and the new MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) system lets your power station charge up to 30 percent faster from a solar panel.
There are a total of 6 models, covering a wide range of requirements from phone/ laptop charging to running outdoor equipment. All of the new “X” models support fast charging via USB Type C. Each Yeti’s model number is a rough indicator of the capacity (in Wh) you can expect. For example, the Yeti 200X has a maximum capacity of 187Wh
NOTE: Wh stands for watt-hours. The Yeti 200X’s lithium ion battery has a capacity of 187Wh, so it can supply 187 watts of continuous power for one hour before going dry.
The Yeti 200X is the smallest and lightest Yeti ever, and it only weighs 5lbs. It’s ideal for taking along with you on camping trips, and will charge your phone/ laptop/ drone/ camera battery several times. The Yeti 500X is the next step up, and the model which shall be my primary focus in this article. I believe the Yeti 500X is a nice all-rounder since it can actually power some appliances like toasters, blenders, desktop PCs, etc. while still being relatively small in comparison to other 500Wh portable power stations on the market.
For reference, the 500X measures 7.5” x 11.25” x 5.8” which makes it smaller than some car batteries. Yet, it packs enough juice to run a 42” OLED TV for almost 5 hours. Going a step further, you get the Yeti 1000X which has twice the capacity of the 500X. Then there’s the 1500X, which rivals small inverter generators in terms of power output. For folks who want even bigger batteries, Goal Zero has the Yeti 3000X which can power tools like air compressors, circular saws, angle grinders, etc.
You can even hook up the Yeti 3000X to your home with a transfer switch and power essential circuits during an outage. Finally, there is the “most powerful Yeti ever”, the Yeti 6000X which can actually be considered as a serious home backup solution if you don’t want a noisy gas generator.
In this article, I’ll take a look at all 6 models and their features to give you an idea of which one you should buy. At the time of writing this article (Aug 18/20), the Yeti 200X, 500X, 1500X and 3000X are available for purchase. These are selling like Apple products, selling out as soon as made available. The 1500X and 3000X were released this week and were sold out almost immediately. Now I don’t know how many they had available to sell but Goal Zero clearly underestimated the demand for these innovative power stations.
How much power do you need? The YETI X series has something for everyone. It’s mind-boggling how far technology has come with battery generators. Goal Zero has created a series of power stations that can essentially replace gas generators. For example the YETI 6000X, 3000X and 1500X are better than their gas equivalent because they are clean energy. No fumes and they can be used indoors safely. These are significant sources of power. Yes, they are more expensive than traditional generators but if you can afford them, it’s an easy decision to make. I highly recommend buying any of these streamlined power stations.
The other 2 models were released lat in 2020, during the pandemic. That’s fortuitous timing considering people have been living as if it’s the end of the world lately. Features are shared throughout the Yeti lineup, with major differences being limited to storage capacity and outlets. I will tell you what you can power with each Yeti model, and how much runtime to expect on average. Before you choose a portable power station (be it from Goal Zero or some other manufacturer), there are a few points to take into consideration-
- Capacity (measured in watt-hours, a good indicator of how much energy the unit can supply in a given amount of time)
- Outlet type and number (USB Type C, how many 120V AC outlets does it have, will it hook up to a transfer switch)
- Design and build quality (is it rugged enough for outdoor usage, does it have a water/ dust resistance rating, etc.)
- Portability (size and weight, carry handles)
- Recharging (how fast does it recharge, what are the various ways to recharge – solar, wall outlet, car adapter, etc.)
- Extra Features (Wi-Fi / Bluetooth connectivity, LCD display, companion app, etc.)
Reviews — Yeti X Series
Breaking Down The Entire Goal Zero Yeti Lineup. We review them in order so if you just want to jump straight to the Yeti 500x power station — Click Here and read the review.
Yeti 200X : One Power Station To Charge Them All
“Smaller than a lunchbox, with more than enough power to recharge everything from your GoPro to your MacBook. This is the ideal “Grab and Go” power station, and it incorporates the new MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controller to enable faster charging from a compatible solar panel.”
- Lithium power : housed in an ultra-portable design made to take anywhere. One of the most lightweight power stations on the market and the lightest Goal Zero Yeti up until now.
- High-Speed Charging Solution : high-speed Power Delivery port capable of charging USB-C laptops, tablets, mirrorless cameras, and phones in a fraction of the time.
- Solar Ready :Charge the Yeti 200X from the sun with our portable solar panels while away from the grid and keep it topped off from a wall outlet when you’re home.
- BATTERY : Cell Chemistry: Li-ion NMC
- Peak Capacity: 187Wh (14.4V, up to 13Ah)
- Lifecycles: 500 cycles to 80% (discharge rate: 1C, full charge/discharge, Temp 25C)
- Shelf-life: Keep plugged in, or charge every 3-6 months
- Management system: MPPT charge controller, low battery protection
- OUTLETS :
- USB-A port (output): 5V, up to 2.4A (12W max), regulated
- USB-C port (output): 5-12V, up to 3A (18W max), regulated
- USB PD port (input/output): 5-20V, up to 3A (60W max), regulated
- 6mm port (output): 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
- 12V car port (output): 12V, up to 10A (120W max) regulated
- AC Inverter (output, modified sine wave): 120VAC, 60hZ, 1A (120W, 200W surge)
- Charging port (input,8mm): 13-22V, up to 7A (100W max), regulated
- Weight: 5 lbs (2.27 kg)
- Size : 7.9 x 5.1 x 5.1 in (20 x 13 x 13 cm)
- Operating Usage Temp: 32-104F (0-40C)
- Warranty: 24 Months
Until recently, the most portable Yeti model you could buy was the Yeti 150. This little guy has a capacity of 150Wh, which is more than adequate If you just want to charge an iPhone or power some LED lights on the beach at night. But now we have the Yeti 200X, which is an improvement over its predecessor in every way imaginable. For starters, it packs 187Wh of energy. Which means it has 24.6% more capacity than the old Yeti 150. And that’s not all, it even features a more powerful inverter that outputs 120V AC power at up to 1 amp of current draw. So you can draw a max of 120 watts from the 120V AC port. For comparison, the old Yeti 150 allowed a max current draw of just 0.7 amps from its 110V AC port (resulting in a total power draw of 80W).
What does this increase in max power draw from the inverter mean for you? It lets you recharge your cordless chainsaw or angle grinder batteries, something that you couldn’t really do very well with the older Yeti. Building a shed in your backyard? Grab your Yeti 200X, an extra battery for your chainsaw, and set out confidently. When one battery dies, simply plug its charger into your Yeti 200X and use the extra you brought.
To give you an idea of exactly how much juice this little Yeti really packs, let’s look up the battery capacity for a DeWalt Flexvolt 9.0Ah battery (model DCB609). It supplies 9 amps of current for one hour in the 20V mode which means it has a total capacity of 9.0 Ah x 20V = 180Wh. The Yeti 200X on full charge packs 187Wh of energy, so you can fully charge your DeWalt 60V chainsaw battery with one Yeti 200X that weighs 5lbs. It can even charge the RedLithium HD12.0 battery for the Milwaukee M18 FUEL chainsaw to over 80 percent.
And you know what’s the best part about all of this? The Yeti 200X weighs 7 lbs. less than the Yeti 150. And it’s smaller as well (205.4 cubic inches vs 300.7 cubic inches). The old Yeti 150 didn’t have MPPT technology which is present in the 200X. So despite the Yeti 200X having a larger batter capacity, both should charge in roughly the same amount of time from the same solar panel. According to Goal Zero’s official video on the Yeti 200X, it should charge in about 3hrs from a 100W solar panel (results may vary depending on weather conditions).
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the Yeti 200X
— Talking of charging, the Yeti 200X also comes with a 60W USB Type C fast charging I/ O port which can be used to recharge your laptop or phone. The same port can be used to charge your Yeti 200X. The old Yeti 150 has no Type C port, which is a bummer if you’re using a recent smartphone or laptop model.
If you’re traveling, you can charge your Yeti 200X directly from the 12V cigarette port in your car (should take around 3hrs on the 5A charge setting). The console located on the front panel of the Yeti 200X is extremely easy to understand and operate. You have 4 different sections :
- 12V DC power cigarette port (up to 10amps), and a 6mm LaL port (also 10amps)
- 4 USB ports (2 Type A 2.4A, one Type C 18W, one Type C 60W),
- 120V AC output from the inverter,
- and finally there’s the LCD display on the top which shows data like percentage of charge remaining, charging rate, amps, volts, etc.
Each section of ports has its own power switch that you must turn on if you want to use the ports. And the rugged construction of the Yeti means it can shrug off a 3-foot drop without even showing a scratch or dent. This portable power station is what I would recommend for campers, although it is still a bit too big for hikers and bikers who want to travel light. Those guys might be more interested in a power bank instead of a portable power station for their GoPro’s and GPS trackers.
The Yeti 200X can be stowed away for 3 to 6 months between usages, which makes it ideal for those sudden outages you get in summer. Charge it, and forget about it for a few months until you actually need it to run a TV or charge a laptop. The lithium-ion NMC battery is the main reason the Yeti 200X packs more power into a smaller package than the Yeti 150, which uses an AGM lead acid battery. Lead Acid is not only bulkier and heavier, it also has a lower maximum daily depth of discharge. While you can comfortably discharge a lithium ion battery by up to 80 percent on a regular basis without harming its life cycle too much, regularly taking a lead acid battery under 50 percent will harm it.
What does this mean for the end user? Basically, with the old Yeti 150 you had to keep it plugged in more often, recharging the Yeti while at the same time charging your camera or laptop with it. With the new Yeti 200X you don’t have to charge it every time the charge level drops below 50 percent. Not only is it more portable in a physical sense (size and weight), but this new battery technology also makes it a better power station for camping because you can discharge it harder before having to plug it back in. So, you get more “effective” runtime out of every charge on the Yeti 200X vs the Yeti 150, not even accounting for its increased battery capacity.
Note: Lithium-ion battery technology has several more advantages over lead acid, which I shall discuss in more depth in a later section of this article. There have been several technological advancements made with this new generation of Yeti’s over the previous models, and I shall tell you everything about it.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the entire YETI X series
►REVIEW — Yeti 500X —
“This is the one I assume most of you reading this article will end up buying. It strikes the perfect balance between portability and functionality, with features previously found only on high-end Yeti models. The 500X carries enough power to run common home appliances in the event of a blackout, while also being small enough to go with you on a camping trip”.
The Yeti 200X is great for charging your phone or GoPro, but it can’t run a blender or power a desktop PC. And while it is indeed quite small, you’re better off taking a power bank like the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD if you just want to charge some phones and cameras. If you are willing to lug around some extra weight, you get more than twice the energy capacity. The Yeti 500X weighs only 12.9lbs, slightly more than the previous generation 150Wh power station (the Yeti 150). But it packs 505Wh of energy, thanks to its use of an advanced Li-ion NMC battery technology. This is the same kind of battery that is used in the Tesla Powerwall 2, meant for devices that are charged via solar power.
It weighs 158 percent more than the Yeti 200X, but packs 170 percent more energy. And that’s not all, the Yeti 500X has an impressive 1200 watts surge output from its inverter which can come in handy if you’re trying to run a refrigerator. A modern inverter generator like the Honda EU2200i has a surge wattage that is 1.2 times its running wattage. The Yeti 500X has a surge output that is 4 times its continuous output. Which means you don’t have to spend a ton of money on a larger power station just because you want to run a fridge in your basement when the power goes down.
An energy star refrigerator might consume only 220 watts while running with the compressor on, but its motor draws around 1000 to 1200 watts while starting. That massive surge wattage rating on the Yeti 500X also comes in handy during the winter when you’re trying to run a 1/8hp furnace fan, which could have a starting wattage of 500 or more. The Yeti 500X will even power some capacitor start induction run industrial motors (1/4hp and below).
The Yeti 500X is a great portable power station for short camping trips with small groups of people. It can run your pellet grill, so you can fix up some nice smoked pork ribs while the kids are watching TV. And you can even charge your laptop while all this is happening. The Yeti 500X will also power a 60W electric blanket for over 8 hours, more than enough to give you a good night’s rest. And you’ll still have some energy budget left over to run a low power LED light for the 8 hours you’re asleep.
I recommend you check out the Goal Zero Light-A-Life 350 light, it produces 350 lumens of light while consuming just 4.5W of power. On low power mode, it produces a decent 100 lumens of light while consuming just 1W of power. Another great feature is that you can connect up to 8, making these perfect for your patio or camping. Overall, these practical lights are worth owning.
If you’re out on a multi-day camping trip, you might want to pack some solar panels along with your Yeti 500X. It does recharge from solar power, and the MPPT charge controller significantly speeds up this process compared to the old Yeti 500 (which had a simple PWM charge controller).
Goal Zero has their own lineup of briefcase-style solar panels, the Boulder series. A Boulder 100 (100W solar panel) can charge the Yeti 500X from zero to full in 6 to 12 hours.
The Boulder series of solar panels are expensive, but in my opinion, they are worth the investment if you regularly go camping in areas which receive plentiful sunlight. You can stay off-grid for days, and your laptops or phones won’t get low on charge as long as you have your Yeti 500X hooked up to a solar power source. Boulder solar panels use strong yet lightweight aluminum frames and tempered glass, and they fold up for convenient transportation within the included canvas carry bag.
In terms of ports, the Yeti 500X is similar to the smaller 200X. There is one key difference – instead of a single 120V AC outlet, you get two. This lets you run multiple appliances at the same time. Like a TV + game console, or a Magic Bullet 250W personal blender + pellet smoker grill. There are a total of 4 USB ports, two Type A 2.4 amp 5V ports and two Type C ports. One of the Type C ports is rated at 18W, and the other is a power delivery port rated at 60W which can be used to charge your Yeti 500X or power a laptop.
There is a 12V DC output in the form of a cigarette port, it can output up to 10 amps of current. Right next to it is a 6mm LaL port, also 12V DC and 10amps. Underneath these two is the main charging port, an 8mm input which takes 120W max. In the center of it all is the interactive display which shows crucial data like input/ output watts, charge remaining, charge time left, etc. You can switch the 12V, USB, and AC ports on/ off.
A folding carry handle on the top lets you move this 12.9 lb. power station around with ease. And it has rubber pegs on the bottom, so you don’t scratch it while placing it down on some rough surface. The construction is pretty solid, although it isn’t waterproof. So I suggest you either build a tiny shed for this power station in your yard if you want to use it as home backup, or you keep it inside your trailer and away from the elements while camping.
Goal Zero’s power stations run virtually silent, although they do have cooling fans built into each unit to keep the lithium-ion battery temperatures in check. You can notice little slats or vents towards the bottom of the Yeti 500X. These are meant to help ventilate the unit and prevent its battery from overheating during rapid discharge (say you’re running a 4 amp 3/8” drill, something like that draws over 450 watts of power).
VIDEO | ►Goal Zero Yeti 1500X
Review : Yeti 1500X / Yeti 1400 – COMPARE
Exceptional portable power station in 2021. Safe to use indoors.
🔹 Built to handle surges from power tools, medical devices, and home appliances, including full-size refrigerators.
The Yeti 1500X is an unreleased model which is meant to be the successor to the highly popular Yeti 1400 (Goal Zero’s best-selling power station). It packs more power into a similarly sized package, while also incorporating a MPPT charge controller and USB Type C ports – standard features across the Yeti X lineup. The old Yeti 1400 has just one USB Type C port, which has a maximum output of 3-amps resulting in 15 watts of power delivery. The next gen Yeti 1500X comes with two USB Type C ports – a standard spec 18W port, and a Power Delivery spec 60W port which can be used to charge your laptop or phone.
Next, let’s talk about what you can do with a 1500Wh power station. What you can run, who it’s for, etc. It’s worth noting that the Yeti 1500X will include an improved inverter that allows it to output up to 2000 watts of 120V 60Hz AC power. This is sustained power, not surge power. Which means you can run tools with this power station. However, it doesn’t really have the storage capacity you’d expect from a serious jobsite power station. I believe that the Yeti 1400 and 1500X are more suited to off-grid living and powering small to medium sized appliances such as blenders, induction cookers, laptops, etc. You can comfortably power a mini fridge and TV simultaneously for 10+ hours with either of these power stations. That can come in handy during a multi-day camping trip, especially if you’ve brought a solar panel to recharge the power station while you’re using it.
Another feature of the Yeti 1400 is its wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi which lets you monitor power usage and shut on/ off individual ports from remote locations. For example, you can turn on charging for your laptop that’s within the camper trailer while you’re outside taking photos on your phone. And when the laptop is charged, you can stop charging it and turn on the 120V AC outlet instead to heat up your electric pan. Since Wi-Fi works as long as you’re connected to the internet, you can even turn devices on/ off from as far away as need be. Out shopping for groceries, but forgot to charge your phone? As long as it’s plugged into the Yeti 1400, you can simply turn on charging with one tap from the companion app. The app also lets your Yeti download firmware updates.
Goal Zero have retained the Wi-Fi connectivity feature for the Yeti 1500X, and there’s an updated companion app (version 3.0) as well. The app now lets you track power flowing in and out of your Yeti on a historical basis with better granularity. So you can monitor exactly how much power your Yeti received/ discharged for a specific day, week, month, etc. The new companion app also comes with customizable charging profiles, so you can precisely control exactly how much your Yeti will discharge and when it will start recharging. This results in optimal battery performance and extension of lifecycles. In summary, the Yeti 1500X is everything the Yeti 1400 was, and more. It has even more storage capacity, along with a more powerful inverter which can run heavy draw tools and appliances. And it does all this while retaining the exact same dimensions as its predecessor (and weighing 0.7lbs less).
Yeti 3000X and Yeti 3000 —
Serious Alternative To Portable Generators
2000W AC (3500W Surge) inverter allows you to run power-hungry devices and appliances with confidence. Our new industry-leading inverter can handle surges from power tools, medical devices, and home appliances, including full-size refrigerators.
SUN : Recharge by connecting a compatible solar panel. Charge times are dependent on the size of the solar panel. The Boulder 200 Briefcase will provide 200W of solar and fully recharge the Yeti 3000X in 18-36 hours of sun.
WALL : Plug it into the wall. Fully recharges in 14 hours using the included 230W Power Supply AC Wall Charger.
CAR : The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X can be charged by plugging into your 12V adapter using the [Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 12V Car Charging Cable. NOTE: Do not attempt to charge your Yeti Lithium from a 12V source using a regular charging cable. Doing so may cause damage to the unit.
- USB-A port (output): 5V, up to 2.4A (12W max), regulated
- USB-C port (output): 5 – 12V, up to 3.0A (18W max), regulated
- USB-C PD port (input / output): 5 – 20V, up to 3.0A (60W max), regulated
- 6mm port (output, 6mm): 12V, up to 10A (120W max), regulated
- 12V car port (output): 12V, up to 13A (160W max), regulated
- 12V High Power Port (output): 12V, up to 30A (360W max), regulated
- 120V AC Inverter: 120VAC 60Hz, 16.5A (2000W, 3500W surge) (output, pure sine wave)
- Charging port (input, 8mm): 14-50V, up to 10A (150W max)
- High Power charging port (input): 14-50V, up to 50A (600W max)
- Expansion Module port Covered port under the lid. To be used with Goal Zero expansion modules only.
At the time of writing this article, the most powerful Yeti you can actually purchase is the Yeti 3000. It features a 3075Wh Li-ion NMC battery, PWM charge controller, and 1500W inverter for AC output (3000W surge). The new Yeti 3000X has a similar battery type and storage capacity, but it also includes an improved solar charging management system, i.e. the MPPT charge controller. This boosts charging speeds from solar panels by up to 30 percent. And it also features USB Type C which is the future of ports for mobile devices. The Yeti 3000X has got Wi-Fi connectivity like its predecessor, and supports Yeti Link so you can connect the power station to an external lead acid battery pack or the 12V electric system in your car.
Apart from all this, the new Yeti 3000X also uses an improved inverter module which can output 2000W of continuous power. This will let you run more tools simultaneously, or you can use the additional 500W budget to power something like a saw or air compressor in your shop. It should also be noted that the new Yeti 3000X has a surge power rating of 3500 watts which allows it to start some industrial motors and compressors that the old Yeti 3000 cant with its 3000 watts of surge power.
Both the Yeti 3000 and 3000X function excellently as home backup solutions if you just plan to run the essential stuff like lights, a fridge, router, and TV. They are also a great choice for running medical equipment like CPAP machines. The weight and size of the Yeti 3000/ 3000X means it isn’t a grab-and-go system like the Yeti 200X or 500X. Lugging around nearly 70lbs of weight is hard, so Goal Zero includes a roll cart within the package. This roll cart is made from a tubular steel frame and has telescoping handles, so you can conveniently stow it when not in use.
VIDEO | A Closer Look — Goal Zero YETI 3000X
If you wish to power the lights, CPAP machine, garage door, etc. more easily in the event of a blackout, I suggest you purchase the Yeti home integration kit and hook up your power station with the breaker box. Only Yeti 1000 and above models are compatible with the home integration kit, which is essentially a fancy name for a Goal Zero 4-circuit manual transfer switch. Get it installed by a professional electrician, who has the appropriate licenses and knowledge of building codes.
Yeti 6000X : The Biggest And Most Powerful Yeti Ever
It’s the most powerful Yeti ever, and Goal Zero plan to release it sometime later in 2020. Features like MPPT and USB Type C “Power Delivery” spec (60W input/ output) are present, and on top of that, the Yeti 6000X comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. It is also compatible with the home integration kit which lets you hook up your Yeti directly to the breaker box. This will let you power crucial devices like CPAP machines, refrigerators, lights, etc. with the literal flip of a switch.
The top 3 Yeti X models – the 1500X, 3000X, and 6000X all come with upgraded inverters which can output 2000W of AC power. This means you can now power anything that runs off a standard 120V wall outlet, including power tools and energy hungry home appliances such as ovens, air conditioners, dishwashers, sump pumps, etc. For context the previous flagship model, the Yeti 3000, came with a 1500W continuous output inverter system (surge power of 3000W). The new 2000W continuous AC power delivery lets you run powerful corded chainsaws like the Oregon CS1500 which can draw up to 15amps of current. With the old 1500W inverter units, your Yeti could supply a max of 12.5amps from the AC outlets. Now, that number has been bumped up to 16.6 amps. The surge wattage has also been increased, from 3000 watts to 3500 watts.
As far as ports are concerned, you get 2 USB Type A 2.4 amp ports, a 60W USB Type C power delivery spec port, and a 18W standard USB Type C port. There are two 120V AC 60Hz outlets as well. And the 12V DC section also includes an Anderson Power Pole port next to the car port. There are two 6mm LaL output ports as well. And in the charging section, there is a power pole input port right underneath the 8mm main charging port.
Forbes has reported that the wall charging times on these new Yeti X units have been improved significantly, particularly for the top 3 models – the 1500X, 3000X, and 6000X. Apparently, they can charge “twice as fast” from the wall. Probably due to the revamped charge controller and the ability to draw additional power from the 8mm input port. Comparatively, the older Yetis can only draw a maximum of 120 watts through their 8mm input port while charging.
Yeti 1000X and Yeti 1000 Lithium
The 1000X model has not been released yet, as of Feb 2021.
Big Power In A Small Package
The upcoming Yeti 1000X is positioned to be a successor to the Yeti 1000 Lithium. Both use the same cell type – Lithium-ion NMC, which is primarily found in tools and electric vehicle powertrains due to its high specific energy/ specific power and low self-heating rate. The Tesla Powerwall 2 also uses Lithium ion NMC cells. The new Yeti 1000X has a storage capacity similar to the existing Yeti 1000 lithium. But it comes with a MPPT charge controller resulting in faster recharge times from solar power sources. And you also get 2 USB Type C ports, with one of them being a 60W Type C “Power Delivery” spec port and the other being a standard 18W port. The old Yeti 1000 has no 60W Type C port, so you need to plug in your laptop’s charger to the 120V AC outlet whenever you wish to charge it.
So, who is the Yeti 1000/ 1000X for? It is basically a beefier version of the Yeti 500X, with twice the capacity. The new Yeti 1000X doesn’t receive the brand new 2000W inverter module that’s found in its larger cousins (1500X and above). It has a 1500W maximum continuous output, with a 3000W surge output (just like the older Yeti 1000 lithium). Both the Yeti 1000 and 1000X are ideal for outdoorsmen and adventurers, who like to bring their modern conveniences along with them on trips. They are also useful for construction workers and DIY enthusiasts who want to run their tools in areas that have no AC wall outlets.
The Yeti 1000 has an expansion module port located underneath the top lid. This feature is exclusive to 1000Wh and above Yeti models, so you won’t find it on the Yeti 500X or 200X. A Yeti Link expansion module can be purchased separately, which lets you link up your Yeti to an external lead-acid battery for extended capacity at home (whenever you aren’t on the move). You can charge the external battery and your Yeti at the same time. It is also possible to hook up the Yeti Link with your car’s electric system, so it charges directly from the alternator whenever you’re on the move. Check out the video below from Goal Zero which shows you how to connect the Yeti Link with your car’s 12V system.
The expansion bay also accepts MPPT charge controller modules which are a necessity on the old Yeti 1000 if you need faster solar charging times. An issue arises from this when you’re charging from the solar panels in your home. You can’t connect the Yeti Link to your Yeti 1400 because both the Link and the MPPT module use the same expansion bay. You can only have one at a time. This is where the Yeti 1000X pulls ahead since it has an internal MPPT charge controller by default. So you can hook up an external lead acid battery or “tank” via the Yeti Link that you install in the empty expansion bay. So you speed up your solar charge time while simultaneously boosting your Yeti 1000X’s storage capacity.
You might also be interested in reading these articles on power stations :
What Did They Improve Upon In the Goal Zero Yeti X Series?
Several things. First of all, every Yeti X model from top to bottom has MPPT and USB Type C. MPPT or Maximum Power Point Tracking used to be an external expansion module that you installed into the expansion bay of your Yeti 1000 and above. It wasn’t even available for the lower capacity models like Yeti 150 or 400. So, what is it and how does it work? According to Goal Zero, MPPT “actively monitors and optimizes the energy source to maximize power input”. Since the output of photovoltaic cells varies depending on sunlight exposure and temperature, the MPPT system modulates voltage to maximize the current delivered to batteries. If you want to get technical, you can read more about how MPPT works.
The best analogy I can think of to explain this system is a garden hose – you can place your thumb on the opening to restrict the gap which will decrease volume (current) but increase pressure (voltage). Removing your thumb will decrease pressure (voltage), but increase volume of water flowing through (current). Imagine you need to wash a car and the flow rate of the water through the hose varies constantly (like a solar panel under varying weather conditions). A MPPT controller will decide when to increase or decrease voltage by placing its “thumb” on the hose so as to maximize the charge time for batteries.
The old non-X Yeti models include a PWM charge controller (Yeti 3000 has a MPPT expansion module installed by default). Previously, since you had to install an external module for MPPT, which means you couldn’t use the Yeti Link at the same time (since both use the same empty bay). Now that the MPPT charge controller is an internal feature on all Yeti X models, you can install a Yeti Link in the expansion bay, and connect an external power bank to your Yeti. So you get faster charging from solar panels and the ability to increase your storage capacity on demand.
The new Yeti X models also come with USB Type C power delivery ports (60W), a feature missing from the previous generation. Now you can charge your notebook, tablet or phone straight from a USB Type C port without having to connect the charging adapter to the 120V AC output. The new Yeti X models also feature more powerful inverter modules. For example, the Yeti 500X which replaces the old Yeti 400 and 400 Lithium, has a continuous output power of 300 watts and surge wattage of 1200. Compare this to the Yeti 400 which has the same continuous wattage, but half the surge watts.
This is a big deal, because not only does the Yeti 500X provide higher surge watts which comes in handy for running appliances like refrigerators, but it does so while maintain a smaller physical profile and reducing weight. The top 3 Yeti X models (1500X, 3000X, 6000X) use 2000W inverters. The previous high end Yetis were limited to 1500W maximum continuous power output from their inverters (up to 12.5A from 120V). Now you can run heavy draw appliances that pull 15amps or more from the socket with your Yeti 1500X, 3000X, and 6000X.
The old Yeti 150 and Yeti 400 use lead acid batteries which are large and heavy, with less “effective” capacity compared to lithium-ion batteries. A typical deep-cycle lead acid battery isn’t supposed to be discharged below 50 percent unless you are using it for emergency power backup. If you drain a lead acid battery beyond 50% frequently, you’ll cut its life cycle drastically. Plus, lead acid batteries can’t charge as quickly as modern lithium ion batteries. On top of all these weaknesses, lead acid batteries don’t hold charge nearly as well. So if you pump in 200 amp hours of charge, the battery will actually store only 85 percent of that amount since the rest is lost to various charging inefficiencies.
Lithium ion batteries can be discharged harder, down to as low as 15 percent without negatively affecting their life expectancy. And they store a lot more charge in a lot less space, while being more efficient. Charge rates are higher on lithium ion. The major negative of lithium ion batteries with respect to lead acid batteries is their cost – Li-ion cells can be quite expensive. But for any application that requires high energy density, fast charge times, and high efficiency, they are the undisputed champs. Which is why portable appliances like tools, solar power banks, phones, etc. use lithium ion batteries.
The top 3 Yeti X models can also charge faster from the wall. Finally, the Yeti X series is available with an updated companion app which lets you track power usage history and set customizable charging profiles.
Can You Power Tools And Other Heavy-Draw Devices With A Yeti X series power station?
Yes, provided you have one of the top 3 Yeti X models. You certainly shouldn’t try powering a saw or drill with the Yeti 200X and 500X. You need at least 1500W of continuous 120V AC output to run something like a sump pump or ½ hp air compressor. The Yeti 1500X, 3000X, and 6000X have both the storage capacity as well as power output from their 120V AC outlets to run saws, motors, compressors, and pumps. Anything you would normally run from a standard 120V wall outlet, you can run with a Yeti 1500X/ 3000X/ 6000X. These three will even power RV air conditioners (12.5k BTU or even 15k BTU), large refrigerators, washing machines, hair dryers, and other heavy draw home appliances.
Portable Power Stations vs Inverter Generators
An inverter generator is powered by gas whereas a portable power station is powered by a battery. Gas generators can only be used outdoors as they created fumes. Power stations can be used safely indoors and are near-silent, producing clean power to run your electronics.
The Champion 100692 is an example of an inverter generator (read our review)
A portable power station is a great alternative to inverter generators for people who don’t like noise and air pollution. You don’t have to bother with maintenance either, since the power station is basically a giant battery pack attached to an inverter and some outlets. A gas generator on the other hand, requires air filter cleaning, spark plug replacements, carburetor tuning, etc. Don’t forget the fact that you have to keep fuel containers at hand to refuel the thing whenever it runs out of gas. Now some of you might be thinking, “well at least an inverter generator provides pure sine wave power for my delicate electronics”. Guess what, so does a portable power station. You get pure sine wave power because every power station with an AC outlet also has an inverter, just like an inverter generator.
An inverter generator works by first converting the AC power from its alternator into DC power, this happens when the source AC power is passed through a rectifier. This low voltage DC power is then transformed into pure sine wave 120V 60Hz current by passing it through an inverter. In comparison, a portable power station stores energy in batteries so the source power itself is DC. No need to convert AC to DC and then back to AC. A portable power station takes DC power from its battery and transforms it into 120V 60Hz AC current directly by passing it through an inverter that’s designed to produce pure sine waves with a THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) similar to that of wall power you get from the utility company. If anything, there are less fluctuations and power surges in a portable power station compared to a gas generator.
You can theoretically “generate” free energy forever from a portable power station by connecting it to solar panels, assuming your area gets ample daily sunlight exposure for a significant portion of the year. And a portable power station is easier to carry around on camping trips because you won’t be breaking any noise laws within the park. Some national parks and state forests only permit generators between very specific time periods (usually between 8am to 9pm).
And finally, you can operate a portable power station indoors. It emits zero fumes, unlike the generators which burn gasoline/ propane/ natural gas to create electricity. You stand the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if you use your portable generator indoors, which is why they are often used at least 20 feet from any doors and windows of the house. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is colorless and odorless. If you ingest sufficient quantities of it into your lungs, it will replace the oxygen in your red blood cells and result in death.
Can You Operate The Goal Zero Yeti Indoors?
Oddly enough, portable power stations are also referred to ‘indoor generators’ by people who don’t know the actual name of power stations but need to search for them online. Incidentally, we have a guide targeting people specifically looking for ‘portable power stations’ but they search for ‘indoor generators.’ Yes, we’re sneaky that way but hey, you have to meet people where they are. Truth is, we’re here to help even if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Back to the question, can you use the YETI X power stations indoors?
Absolutely, it is as safe indoors as any other battery device. No fumes, no noise. Perfect for powering medical equipment indoors, and it won’t make a distracting noise in the background (like a generator would) when you’re trying to watch movies on the TV. Portable power stations are an excellent choice for people living in apartments, or homes without a backyard. You can even mount solar panels on the roof of your camper/ van and get unlimited power for your Yeti that’s operating “indoors” within the van. Can’t even think of doing that with a portable generator, can you?