The Champion 200988 is another high quality inverter generator from Champion. We compare it to several other popular brands to see how it stacks up to the competition. But before we get into all the details let’s lay the groundwork on the usefulness of generators.
For the past several decades, there has been a lot of discussion regarding humanity’s impact on climate change and how it affects our future. We’ve constantly been trying to lower our emissions and use more sustainable sources of energy. However, the most immediate threat from man-made climate change isn’t a melting ice cap. Large temperature swings caused by changing weather can impact the power grid and leave millions of people at the mercy of mother nature. We saw this just a few months ago when the Texas power grid was knocked out by a winter storm of unprecedented scale. People were burning personal belongings to keep their kids warm; others were sleeping in their cars because the water pipes in their homes froze and burst.
The opposite of a winter storm is a heat wave, and that’s exactly what happens during June and July. Heat itself is known for killing around 12,000 Americans every year. And where there’s a massive heat wave, power outages aren’t far behind. During summer, the electrical grid is already strained to its limits thanks to all the extra air conditioning load. The June 18th heat wave this year has already shattered temperature records. And the entire Southwest power grid is struggling to keep up with demand as people are pushing their air conditioning harder than ever before. California grid operators are issuing flex alerts, requesting customers to conserve energy during the afternoon and evening (this is peak load time).
Amidst the news of drought and wildfires caused by the heat, it’s truly depressing to hear about widespread power outages. Add to that the fact that many people are still quarantining thanks to Covid-19, and you get the picture. Being stuck in your home on a hot summer day without air conditioning is no fun. Temperatures above 110°F are pretty common during this time of the year. You need some form of backup power to keep air conditioning and medical equipment running during blackouts. The best time to consider a portable generator is now, because preparedness is the key to success. You don’t know if there will be a blackout today, or next Wednesday. You don’t know if it will last for a few minutes or several hours. Some of these heat waves are so strong they melt power lines. Recently, the streetcar service in Portland had to be shut down because power cables got burnt by the heat.
During times like these, you need a generator that is- A) reliable, and B) capable of generating clean sine wave power for running delicate electronics. I know a lot of you are working from home on your computers, just like me. Kids are using the laptop for online tuition. When the power goes down, it isn’t just your air conditioner that you will have to run with a generator, you also need to power all your electronics. Computers, smart TVs, phones, etc. don’t get along with dirty power, like what you get from a conventional generator. You need an inverter generator that produces pure sine wave power similar to what you get from the wall. True sine waves, very little fluctuation in voltage- that’s how the microprocessors in your computers and phones stay safe.
The Champion 200988 is what I recommend if you’re looking to buy a generator that will get you through the summer. Not only is it an inverter, but it also runs on propane. That’s in addition to gasoline, which makes this is a dual-fuel model. And with a continuous power output of 3150W, you can easily run an air conditioner in combination with a computer or CPAP machine. If you want to run the sump pump in your basement to prevent it from flooding, the 200988 has 4500 starting watts. That’s more than enough to handle a 1/2hp sump pump.
Champion is my go-to brand for reliable, cost-effective backup power. Their dual-fuel generators are the best that money can buy. And if you want inverter technology without spending a fortune, Champion is perfect. Westinghouse is the only other company that rivals Champion in terms of value when it comes to inverter/ dual-fuel generators. And yes, I have also got a comparable Westinghouse generator in this review- the iGen4500. Both the Champion 200988 and Westinghouse iGen4500 have their unique strengths (as well as weaknesses). Read the rest of this review to find out which one you should get. I also review two other generators that offer exceptional value for money. Here’s a list of all 4 generators that I review in this article-
- Champion 200988- Dual fuel, inverter, 4500 starting and 3150 running watts.
- Pulsar G450RN- Inverter, 4500 starting and 3700 running watts.
- Westinghouse iGen4500 – Inverter, 4500 starting and 3700 running watts.
- Generac 7127 iQ3500 – Inverter, 3500 starting watts and 3000 running watts.
You’ll notice that the Champion is lagging behind in terms of running watts compared to the other 4500W models. But specifications don’t tell the entire story. You also have to consider things like quality of power, noise levels, size, weight, runtime, etc. That’s why I’ve got detailed reviews for each model. If you asked me to provide a short description for each one I’ll say the Generac is the quietest of the lot. And the Pulsar is basically a Honda clone with a reliable engine for a much cheaper price than an actual Honda.
Westinghouse and Champion offer the best build quality for the money, and both have their own little party tricks. Champion’s 200988 can run on propane which is excellent for emergency situations in which the gas pump may not be active (like during a flood, hurricane, etc.). The Westinghouse iGen4500 has remote start which is useful when you’re camping or using the generator for home backup. You don’t have to walk outside and expose yourself to the elements (heat, rain, snow, etc.) every time you need to turn the generator on.
Review : Champion 200988 | Excellent Inverter Generator
“If you want a reliable yet affordable dual-fuel generator for emergencies, the Champion 200988 is hard to beat. It’s built tough, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking down even after an entire day of nearly non-stop operation. And thanks to the fully enclosed body, it runs quieter than an open-frame inverter generator. At just 61dBA (measured from 23 feet), this is one of the quietest generators you can buy. And despite being so quiet, it produces more than enough power to run a 15000 BTU air conditioner.”
Champion Power Equipment was founded back in 2003. And since then, it has been committed to producing affordable but reliable generators for everyday use. In recent times, Champion has also started making generators for jobsites. They are known primarily for their affordable inverter and dual-fuel generators which give companies like Honda a run for their money at a fraction of the price.
The 200988 is a thoroughbred inverter, it uses a fully enclosed body with internal sound dampening chambers to keep noise levels at a minimum. The alternator is specially designed to extract more electricity out of each engine revolution. And the shell is built with plastic that is both tough, yet extremely light. As a result, you get a generator that’s only slightly larger a suitcase but capable of running half the essential equipment in your home all by itself. That’s right, not only will the 200988 power your window or RV air conditioner, but it will also run the fridge and CPAP machine while powering the air conditioner.
A revolution in dual-fuel inverter technology
With most dual-fuel generators, you see a slight drop-off in power output when you switch to propane. That’s because propane has a lower energy density compared to gas. So to generate the same amount of power as gas, you have to burn more of it. The energy density of propane is 26 mega joules per liter, while that of gasoline is 34.2 mega joules per liter. Most dual-fuel generators take the loss of power just so they can keep their advertised runtimes higher on the spec sheet. But it creates a disparity between gas and propane performance, in fact there might be tools that run in gas mode but don’t run in propane mode.
To avoid all that confusion, Champion modified the 200988 so it generates the exact same amount of power on both propane and gas. Which is 4500 peak watts, with 3150 continuous watts. Even the amperage stays the same- 37.5 amps peak and 26.3 amps continuous. This does mean that you’ll burn through propane faster than gas. But unlike gas, propane isn’t stored in a tiny internal tank. You can hook up a standard 20lb propane tank and get more runtime than gas, or a massive underground tank that will keep your generator running for an entire week.
Advantages of using propane instead of gasoline
Propane burns cleaner than gas, so it generates fewer harmful emissions. Which is a small contribution towards a future where severe climate swings don’t take out our power grid. Propane is also good during freezing weather, because unlike gasoline it doesn’t become thicker at lower temperatures. So no more clogged fuel lines or jammed up carburetors. This reduces maintenance requirements, and you won’t have to take your Champion to the shop as often as someone running a pure gasoline generator.
There are several things about propane that make it a much better fuel source for emergencies. Particularly the fact that it doesn’t require fuel stabilizers for long-term storage. Often times, your generator and its fuel will be sitting out in the garage or shed for months on end. And by the time you finally face a blackout, the gasoline is degraded to the point where the engine no longer fires up. Hence, people put stabilizers in their gas cans if the fuel is supposed to be stowed away for more than a month or two. Not the case with propane, you can leave it in the tank for as long as you want. The quality of the tank’s seal will determine how much propane you lose over the months (or years).
Most companies have some form of “easy start” functionality built into their generator. For some it means having a pull cord with less resistance. For others, it means having the choke in an easily accessible location (or even an automatic choke). In the case of the Champion 200988, you literally turn a dial to start your 4500 watt inverter generator. I have used desktop PCs that require more work to start than this 103lb generator.
All you have to do is press down on the yellow ignition switch built into the dial with one of your fingers, as you rotate the dial. Not only is the dial large so you can grip it while wearing winter gloves, but it also has grooves so your hands don’t slip. This is very useful on a jobsite or during rain when you need that extra bit of grip. There are 3 positions-
- Engine RUN
- Engine STOP
For cold starts, what you want to do is set the dial to “Choke”. Then you press and hold the yellow ignition button on the dial for about a couple of seconds, during which the engine should start. As soon as it starts, release the switch and turn the dial to the “RUN” position (marked by a green piston and con rod). Now you’re good to go. There are two 120V AC outlets and a 30amp RV outlet. You also have a 12V DC outlet with a dual USB port adapter included within the box. Use the AC outlets to run your air conditioning, CPAP machines, computers, etc. and use the USB adapter to charge your phone. When you want to turn the generator off, simply rotate the dial to its final position, which is “STOP” (marked by a red piston and con rod). Once the engine is warmed up, you don’t have to apply choke for every start. Just switch the dial back to “RUN” which is in the middle of “CHOKE” and “STOP”.
Assembly and operation
Unlike open-frame inverter generators, the wheel kit of the 200988 is built into the frame. So you don’t have to mess around with wrenches and pins after you take it out of the box. Everything comes as one unit, all preassembled. You just have to fill engine oil and connect the battery. The engine oil access cover is located next to the left wheel on the back of the generator. And the battery can be connected by removing the large yellow access panel. Here’s a video guide from Champion to help you out with the process. Once you’ve filled oil and connected the battery, take the generator outside and fill it up with gas (or connect the propane hose). Now, you’re ready to power stuff.
How does it perform?
The Champion 200988 has 4500 starting watts and 3150 running watts, which means it can run pretty much any 120V appliance in your home that isn’t hardwired. To run hardwired appliances, you need a heavy-duty portable generator (5000W and above) with a transfer switch that connects it directly to the main electrical panel.
If you want to run the RV air conditioner or a fridge, just one Champion 200988 will get the job done. And you’ll even have power left over for other appliances. For those among you who want a generator for running tools, the 200988 can handle a 1hp air compressor and 10” table saw. You could even use this thing on a farm, since it will run an electric fence, milk cooler, 2hp milker, etc.
Most of the people reading this article are looking to purchase the generator for backup power during summer blackouts. And yes, it will run a 12,000 BTU central air conditioner with ease. If you are using a small window AC, you’ll have energy left over that you can use to run the fridge, TV, microwave, dishwasher, etc. If you want twice the power, you can connect two Champion 200988 generators with a parallel Kit (sold separately). Not only will this add up the watts from both generators, but also the amps. With a parallel kit, you can power 50amp RV circuits.
Note: If you aren’t using the generator beyond 50% load, switch to economy mode by pressing the “Eco” button on its digital display. This will lower fuel consumption and noise levels. The digital displays shows how many watts you’re using, voltage, runtime, and other important information.
Visit the Champion site to learn more.
Review : Pulsar G450RN | Reliable and Affordable
For decades, the best in the generator business has been Honda. Their generators are the quietest, most reliable, and most well-built. However, all of that carries a price tag. A really big price tag. Many customers out there want the legendary Honda reliability, but they can’t afford Honda prices. Every now and then comes a brand that promises things like “Honda silence” or “Honda reliability” for several hundred dollars less than a Honda. But they always fail to deliver on any of their promises, since most of the parts are sourced from cheap Chinese manufacturers with little to no QC.
Pulsar is different. It is based in Ontario, California and has American R&D backing up its products. Even though the components are manufactured in China, strict QC and quality guidelines ensure well-built products that will last several years. You see, there is a difference between cheap Chinese knockoffs of popular brands and original products built in China with high standards of quality. Even companies like WEN, Westinghouse, Champion, etc. build their engines and electronics in China to keep manufacturing costs low. I did some research, and Ducar seems to be the engine supplier for Pulsar generators. Ducar is owned by MTI Canada and is known for making fairly reliable engines at a cheap price.
With a THD (total harmonic distortion) under 3%, the G450RN is up there with legendary brands such as Honda and WEN in terms of power quality. The quality of AC power you get from this generator is miles ahead of cheap inverter generators, and on par with the 120V AC your utility company supplies to your home. What’s even more interesting, is the fact that the G450RN is quiet silent despite being so cheap. At just 63 decibels, this is one of the quietest inverter generators you can buy. And while the Champion 200988 is slightly quieter, it doesn’t generate as much power. The Pulsar G450RN produces 3700 continuous watts compared to the Champion’s 3150. That an increase of 17.4% in continuous watts without any significant increase in noise levels. At 108lbs, it is only 4.8% heavier than the Champion 200988. For the extra power you get, I say that’s a pretty good trade-off.
In terms of features, the G450RN is ahead of many popular brands at the same price point. For instance, it has a telescoping front handle made from tubular metal which makes transportation very convenient. Just press the button to detach the handle and pull it out. Even someone above 6 feet of height can comfortably pull this thing around since the handle stretches out pretty far. The wheels are solid and puncture-proof. Everything from the spark plug to air filter can be easily accessed by removing a single side panel. Draining the oil is very easy, thanks to a separate oil drain opening underneath the maintenance panel. Starting the generator is as easy as turning on the lights in a room- just press a switch and the generator will automatically start itself. It will turn on ignition, apply the choke, remove choke- all in one button press. And if you don’t want to walk outside the home to turn on this generator, no worries. It comes with a remote start feature so you can turn it on or off from as far as 80 feet away.
The G450RN has a USB port, in addition to a 12V car outlet. You don’t get any USB ports in the Champion 200988, that’s why they include an adapter in the box for use with the 12V outlet. So if you want to use a USB device, you can’t power any 12V appliances at the same time on the Champion. Not the case with Pulsar G450RN, thanks to its separate USB port.
However, like with any other product, the G450RN has some downsides. Like the lack of a digital readout. It would be nice to see how many volts, amps, and watts are being used by connected appliances. Or the remaining runtime based on the fuel in the tank. Talking of runtime, you might think the G450RN is at a disadvantage since it runs for 11 hours on a full tank of gas compared to the Champion which does 14 hours. But then you see that the Pulsar actually has a bigger tank (3.4 gallons) compared to the Champion (2.3 gallons). And both use similar 212cc 4-stroke engines. So what’s going on here? Well, Champion advertises their runtime at 25% load, while Pulsar advertises their runtime at 50% load. So in the real world, the G450RN actually runs longer thanks to its bigger fuel tank. That’s why you never take manufacturers at face value, look for the fine print and you will learn the truth.
Review : Westinghouse iGen4500
Ideal For Camping and Home Backup
If we talk history, Westinghouse has some of the oldest and most fascinating stories to tell. This company was founded all the way back in 1886 by George Westinghouse who was a proponent of alternating current. Back then, America’s electric infrastructure was mostly DC since it was considered safer. In what is described as the “war of the currents”, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison fought to secure infrastructure rights and manufacturing bids across the United States. Westinghouse was making large generators for electric railways in the late 19th century. And they are the makers of the world’s first hydroelectric power plant for industrial use- the Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant (built in 1890).
Safe to say, Westinghouse knowns a thing or two about power generation. And that knowledge works really well even when scaled down to little 100lb portable inverter generators. The iGen4500 is part of their new inverter generator lineup designed for households and RVs. It comes with a 30amp travel trailer outlet and a couple of 120V AC outlets to power everything in your home and RV. You can run a 12000 BTU air conditioner in combination with the TV, computer, wifi-router, and food blender. With 4500 starting and 3700 running watts, this generator matches the Pulsar G450RN in terms of performance.
The advertised noise level of 52 dBA makes it seem like the quieter generator compared to the Pulsar, but Westinghouse haven’t specified the distance at which this was measured. Or if it was measured in Eco mode. An independent review from a YouTuber claims the iGen4500 runs in the low 60 decibels, and at full load the noise is around 74 decibels (much like other 4500W inverter generators). Mind you, the testing conditions in a lab are very different compared to street testing. Ambient noise is much lower and the load is tightly controlled. In the very same review, it was also found out that certain iGen4500 units ship with the auto choke cable detached from the control unit. The auto choke uses a servo motor to automatically apply and remove the choke when you do a cold start.
With the cable detached, you have to manually activate the choke by removing the side panel. Otherwise the engine will not rev properly and it will run on a rich mixture of fuel and air, resulting in a lot of soot and heavy power loss. It’s fairly easy to attach the cable back to the control unit, as long as you have a screwdriver at hand. You can see the detailed procedure in this video, around the 4:20 timestamp. If your iGen4500’s engine doesn’t sound right and its emitting a lot of black sooty exhaust, you might want to take a look. Or just send it back to the service center, Westinghouse has pretty good customer service.
Auto choke issues aside, starting the iGen4500 is extremely easy. Just turn the fuel dial to “ON”, set the ignition to “ON” and press the start switch. Then when you need to turn it off, turn the engine ignition switch to “OFF”. If you want to run the fuel lines completely dry, switch the fuel control dial to its leftmost position which cuts off fuel supply to the carburetor. When the residual fuel in the lines is dried out, the engine will automatically shut off. This is a great way to prepare your iGen4500 for long-term storage. You never want to leave it for months with fuel in the lines, because that fuel will gum up your carburetor and fuel lines. You don’t need to do it daily, because when the lines are totally dry the generator will take slightly longer to start as it primes everything.
You can also start the iGen4500 with the recoil starter. This comes in handy when the built-in battery is dead. Make sure to connect the trickle charger and keep the battery topped up, otherwise both the electric and remote start functions won’t work. When you first receive the generator, the battery will be disconnected to preserve charge levels. Remove the battery access panel and connect the leads, I also recommend you check voltage levels with a multimeter if you have one. A lot of these batteries ship with lower than usual charge from the factory so you might have to charge them up before using the electric start. With a charged battery, you can use my personal favorite method of starting the generator- remote start. Which works perfectly at a range of 80 to 100 feet. Just make sure the fuel and engine ignition are turned on, otherwise your remote won’t do anything.
Once the battery is connected, you want to fill up the engine oil. And Westinghouse does provide some 4-stroke oil along with a little plastic funnel in the box. There is a sticker on the side of the iGen4500 mentioning how much oil it needs, the type of oil, etc. The user manual suggests you use a funnel to drain the oil by tipping over the generator, instead of the drain plug. As for other maintenance, you are supposed to change the spark plug after every 300hrs of usage (approximately one year of regular use). And the air filter should be cleaned after every 50 hours of use (or 6 months). Accessing these parts is quite easy thanks to the large plastic side panels. Remove about 8 screws, and you get a full view of the internals.
There is a very useful digital data display built into the front panel of the iGen4500. It has a rectangular LED readout in the middle that shows amps, volts, runtime, etc. with 2 crescent shaped gauges on either side. The left gauge shows fuel level just like in a car, and the right gauge shows load in percentage. To the right of this data display is a bright red “Reset” switch that resets all the breakers if the generator gets overloaded. Above the digital readout is a set of 3 status lights. The middle one is for overloads. If you push the iGen4500 beyond its wattage limits, a red light will turn on. The final light is for low oil, which means you need to change the engine oil. Thankfully, the generator has automatic low oil shutoff so the engine won’t tear itself apart if you mess up and don’t fill it with oil.
Read our indepth review of the iGen4500.
Review : Generac 7127 / iQ3500
Its Quieter Than A Honda
Despite being a 3500W inverter generator, this Generac costs the same as most 4500W inverters from Champion, Westinghouse, etc. But why? If you ask me, it’s probably because of the build quality. Little things stand out, like the usage of a hinged metal door instead of a plastic panel for the side cover. Thanks to this hinged door, you don’t have to pull out a screwdriver every time you need to change the oil. And when you open this door, you can see why the generator runs so quietly compared to its rivals. On the inside, you’ll find a layer of noise insulation foam glued to the door. The whole enclosure feels rugged, like it can take a beating. And it is, because unlike most other inverters the enclosure of the iQ3500 is made from steel. Well, most of it. Parts that need to be tough are tough, like the load bearing sections which house the engine. Parts that don’t need to be tough are made from plastic, like the control panel and exhaust side cover.
The steel enclosure increases durability, but it also increases weight. If you want the lightest 3500W generator, there are better options on the market. Because despite generating less power than the Westinghouse iGen4500 or Champion 200988, this Generac weighs just as much as those bigger generators. However, if you want a tough and rugged generator for outdoor activities, jobsites, etc. nothing in this price range beats the Generac iQ3500. It has a simple yet reliable Generac OHV engine, designed completely inhouse. Lesser companies use suppliers for their engines because they lack the expertise or funds to design one by themselves. Generac cuts down on costs by designing their own OHV 4-stroke engine. Generac engines are right up there alongside Honda and Yamaha engines in terms of reliability and low emissions. At 50% load, the iQ3500 manages to run for 8.9hrs with a full 2.6 gallon tank.
Generac’s design feels more futuristic compared to the competition. It has an advanced digital display with status lights integrated into the display itself. There are two USB ports, in addition to the 12V automobile outlet. Choke and fuel shutoff are integrated into the start dial, which greatly simplifies operation. If I were to point out a shortcoming, I would say it’s the lack of protective rubber/ plastic covers on the outlets themselves. Without weather protection, dust, moisture, etc. will get into the outlets more easily. The Champion, Pulsar, and Westinghouse generators have flip-up covers on their outlets.
So, what can you power with this Generac? I say just about everything, whether it’s your home or inside an RV. Generac claims it can run an air compressor, circular saw, and hand drill- simultaneously. Of course, they didn’t mention the hp of the air compressor or size of the saw/ hand drill. Still, 3000 running watts is a lot for a generator of this size. And it runs extremely quiet. How quiet? Well, Generac didn’t provide any official numbers on the product page but they do say that the iQ3500 is 5dB(A) quieter than the Honda EU3000is. They were also eager to emphasize the fact that their iQ3500 has 500 more starting watts compared to the Honda EU3000is. Safe to say, the iQ3500 is the quietest of the 4 generators I am reviewing. And just like all the other inverters, this one has parallel operation capability so you can hook up two iQ3500s in tandem for twice the power.
Read full review of the Generac iQ3500.
Propane vs Gasoline | Is A Dual-Fuel Generator Worth It?
If given the choice between a dual-fuel generator and a gasoline-only generator for similar price, I will always go with the dual-fuel option. Not just because propane burns cleaner and produces less harmful emissions, or because propane is sometimes cheaper than gasoline. But because I like to have options. Generally though, the dual-fuel option will be more expensive for the same power output. But that’s a small price I’m willing to pay for the versatility it offers me.
When a hurricane strikes, not only does it take down significant chunks of the power grid, but it also interrupts the operation of gas stations. Gas pumps need electricity to work, and when the grid goes down so do the pumps. Sometimes even with electricity you will have a hard time getting gas at the station because there will be a long line of scared people queued up, buying several gallons of gas in preparation for an impending crisis. Propane is something you can buy at general stores, months or even years before the hurricane/ heat wave/ flood, etc. If you want large quantities for cheap prices, you can go to a propane filling station. Granted, these are not as common as gas stations but you don’t have to worry about propane spoiling over time. It has truly unlimited shelf life, unlike gasoline which lasts for just 3 months without fuel stabilizers (even less if it’s an ethanol mix).
Another benefit of dual-fuel generators is the fact that you don’t need to refuel them as frequently. The internal gas tank in a portable generator holds a couple gallons of fuel, and it will run out after 7 to 8 hours of operation at 70% load or higher. But with propane, you have more options. You can use the same 20lb tank you use to run your barbecue grill. Or you can a larger 100lb tank and keep your generator running for days on end. Combine that with a remote start feature, and you won’t have to step outside at all. Home standby generators are often powered by underground 500 gallon propane tanks that can power the generator for a week.
In terms of safety, propane ranks higher than gasoline. When your gas generator runs out of fuel, you are supposed to wait a while for the engine to cool down before you can refuel from a gas can. Hot engines can light fuel vapors on fire, so if gasoline drips onto a hot engine you could have a massive problem in your backyard. With propane, you just detach the old tank and attach a new one. No waiting period, no fire hazard.
To summarize, propane is better for the environment and easier to store. It is also available in much larger tanks so you don’t need to refuel your generator as frequently. And when you do refuel, propane is safer. It can also be purchased from hardware and convenience stores during times of emergency when gas stations aren’t accessible.
Note: Propane does have one weakness compared to gasoline- its lower energy density means your generator’s power output will be lowered slightly. Either that, or it will have to burn more propane to get the same wattage as it does with gasoline.
Review : Yeti 3000X | Indoor Generator
Technically, this isn’t a “generator” in the same sense that the other 4 are. It doesn’t convert gasoline or propane into electricity. The Yeti 3000X is more of a battery station with a built-in inverter. However, it can generate power when you hook it up to a solar panel. Well, the solar panel is the part doing the actual conversion of energy, and the Yeti is just storing it for later use. But you get the idea.
For people who want a backup power source that is 100% silent and can be used indoors, a power station is the only option. These are completely noiseless, apart from the cooling fan that keeps the battery from heating up. And the cooling fan is no louder than the fan in your MacBook Pro. Talking of MacBook Pros, you can charge one of those about 30 times from zero to full with a Yeti 3000X. And the best part? You don’t even to use the wall charger. Just use the Type-C power delivery port on the Yeti 3000X which can supply up to 60 watts of power to devices.
With a 3020Wh lithium ion NMC battery, the Yeti 3000X packs enough juice to power a pool party or camping trip. It is also good for running CPAP machines and other medical equipment, because you can use it indoors (remember, no emissions). And the quality of power you get from the Yeti 3000X is actually better than most inverter generators. It is a lot more stable in terms of voltage and current than a cheap portable generator, and the THD is around 2 to 3 percent. You can run a 600 to 800W desktop PC from the Yeti 3000X with enough power left over for a microwave or coffee machine.
The inverter in the Yeti 3000X is capable of putting out 2000 watts of continuous power with a 3000 watt surge rating. Which means, you can even run tools like air compressors and bench grinders with this thing. And for power backup during the summer? There is no better time of the year to rig up a couple of solar panels in your porch or backyard. You sure won’t be lacking exposure to the sun during summer, and thanks to the new MPPT charge controller these new “X” series Yeti power stations charge much faster from solar. With a 400W Boulder panel, the Yeti 3000X charges up in as little as 9 hours (if it gets consistent and direct sunlight).
Comparable 3000W gas generators weigh around 90 to 100lbs, but the Yeti 3000X weighs just 69.78lbs because it is basically a large battery + inverter. There is no engine, fuel tank, carburetor, etc. And it’s about half the size of most inverter generators, which makes it extremely portable. You get more USB ports than any conventional generator. Even the newest inverter generators don’t have Type-C ports, which is a travesty. The Yeti does have Type C ports, and it also has regular 120V AC outlets for powering stuff like the air conditioner and refrigerator. You can even drive around with one of these in your car, and it will charge from your car’s electrical system. And since we are living in the 21st century, you can control everything about your Yeti from an app in your phone, no matter where you are.
How Climate Change Has Made Heat Waves Worse Than Ever Before
It’s no secret that greenhouse gases are a contributing factor to ever-increasing temperatures. And the recent bout of heat waves have broken all previous records. You read about dozens of deaths caused by heat, and failing infrastructure. Extreme and sustained heat can bend asphalt roads, forming cracks that makes them unsafe for driving. It can even melt power cables. Compared to the previous 5-year period, blackouts and grid failures have increased by 60%. Aging infrastructure combined with man-made climate change is a recipe for disaster.
Normally, when you think of natural disasters, hurricanes and floods come to mind. However, the National Weather Service believes that heat waves are the deadliest weather phenomenon in the United States, on average, over the past 30 years. And that statement is backed up by statistics, as you can see in this graph. If you look at the 30 year average, more people have died of heat than floods or hurricanes.
Because of how the Earth is tilted in its orbit, during summer the northern half of the planet gets more daylight hours and increased exposure to solar energy. This warms the atmosphere and increases temperatures. Heat waves start with the formation of a high pressure system, often referred to as an anticyclone. Atmospheric pressure rises over a certain area which generates a sinking air column that compresses itself. This compression further raises the air temperature, and the compressed air acts as a lid to trap in heat that has been absorbed by the land. This whole system is called a heat dome. Cool, fast moving air currents cannot penetrate the barrier of compressed air and clouds are also pushed away. All this means sunlight has a clear path into the heat dome with little to no obstruction. A compounding effect is created which means you don’t notice the effects until well after the longest day of a week.
Urban areas feel the heat much more compared to rural places that are covered in vegetation. Think about it- cities are filled with roads, parking lots, buildings, etc. which absorb heat much more effectively than a landscape covered with grass or trees. Studies have shown that climate change extends the duration, intensity, and frequency of heat waves. Burning fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases which trap heat in the atmosphere. Combine that with the naturally occurring heat domes, and you get an idea of why recent heatwaves have been worse than ever before. Artic and oceanic heat waves are more frequent than ever before because polar regions are warming at thrice the planetary average rate. While heat waves do occur naturally, it can’t be disputed than human interference is to blame for their increasing intensity and frequency. And looking at the impact these heat waves have on our health and infrastructure, it becomes clear that renewable/ green energy sources need to adopted at faster rates.