Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Review
Goal Zero’s second largest power station in the Yeti series appears to be beast. The makers call it the ‘epitome of on-demand power’, however we’re not sure if it justifies the price tag or not. It houses a large 3,000 watt hour battery that can power everything from the small appliances to refrigerators, sump pumps to basic tools. But the Yeti 3,000X commands a large price tag and has an unimpressive 500 lifecycles.
Our Goal Zero Yeti 3000 review looks at different aspects of the product. From wi-fi connectivity, built-in MPPT, a weight of 70 lbs. (32 kg.) and it’s overall build quality. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at the Yeti 3000 or check out alternative solar generator options.
Throughout their history, batteries have been able to simply produce DC power at a given voltage as well as be charged in the same way. Any other requirement, such as AC, required connecting an inverter and making those dreaded (at least for beginners) connections. On the input side, charging with solar required connecting a charge controller, not essential, but it was always recommended. For starters, charge controllers are devices which modify the fluctuating input voltage of the solar current into a more constant current at a more efficient power (Voltage × current).
The Yeti 3000 breaks this image by being a lot more than just a battery. It includes an in-built inverter to directly supply AC power. It is a pure-sine wave one, meaning the output power is exactly like a wall output. All Yeti models were perfectly compatible with the Boulder series solar panels. They did, however, require an external charge controller unit to optimize the charging. This large model goes a step further and houses a Maximum Power Point Tracker (MPPT) charge controller inside. This improves charging time as well as battery life.
Additionally, the unit comes with wi-fi connectivity. With the Goal Zero app on the mobile phone, the phone can act as a nicely-sized display screen, showing all information about the machine. It also acts as a remote control that can switch the ports on or off.
At a price that is much higher than that of any other battery device, this product cannot win solely on the basis of connectivity features. Labeled as a portable unit, it has to be durable. The battery sits securely in a high-quality plastic casing. This casing has rounded vertical edges that have some reinforcement on them.
The handles are thick and securely fastened and show no possibility of coming off the unit. The base has four rubberized stoppers that hold the box in place.
Although it is true that a 70 lb. (32 kg.) device is not meant for falls, this unit feels strong enough to take some from a low height. For lead acid batteries of similar capacities, the weight can be more than twice that. This relative difference in weight also makes the Yeti 3000 less susceptible to damage.
Being weatherproof is an essential requirement in being durable and portable. The unit can sustain sunlight and temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius, which is seldom crossed by North American regions. It comes with a water tight enclosure which can save the battery from small to medium rains and splashes. This is an important addition over smaller models, as charging with solar panels may demand setting up the device out in the open.
Ease Of Use
This product will not make much sense if it is not significantly more convenient and easier than regular batteries, which require playing around with wires, wire strippers, and multimeters. It succeeds in becoming a straightforward device to use by almost anyone.
There are 10 ports, to which 10 devices can be connected at a time, and yet it is not very confusing. The ports are grouped and marked neatly with their type and voltage. There are no MC4 connectors or positive-negative jumbles. It is as easy as plugging something into a wall or a laptop’s port, if not easier.
The mobile app is equally as simple to read as the display on the unit. It also keeps updating itself over the internet, bringing possible new features or design.
It used to be especially difficult to charge batteries using solar panel because of keeping track of the voltage, the charge controller’s connections, etc. Charging any of the Yeti models from solar panels is noticeably easy, however.
This model by Goal Zero is among the few power stations in the market that are loaded with features. The high energy-density lithium ion battery is the prime highlight that makes it compact and modern. DC and AC connectivity on both input and output sides is one more feature that makes it more efficient than simply enlarged power banks.
In-built MPPT is a rare feature and deserves praise, as Goal Zero claims an almost 40% faster charging. As such, using this power station with Goal Zero’s high efficiency monocrystalline panels would mean a lot of extra space and less time. Its dark and elegant display gives information about remaining battery percentage as well as remaining hours of charge, depending on which device is connected. It also displays power input, from solar panels for instance, and output, by whichever appliance(s) is connected to it.
The integrated inverter has a surge protector to it, which can power devices up to 1500W and can tolerate surges up to 3000W. This is useful in devices such as fridges, small pumps, and some power tools. The Yeti 3000 comes with a lot of attractive features, but if you would like to check out more options before finalizing, here are some other generators we reviewed.
We mentioned before that this Goal Zero model is a beast. It is the largest in the entire Yeti series. The design is elegant, with a cubical structure that neatly houses the ports and display in the front, plus a lid and charging ports as a wi-fi button on the top. The sides have slatted plastic panels that provide some space for ventilation and also add some strength.
The front has the brand name and ‘lithium’ printed in black on either side of the rectangle, while the center has the model name printed over a lime green background. The handles also sport the green color, so do the feet. The body is a mix of black and shiny grey. Aesthetically, this power station stays subtle and elegant and yet commands considerable attention to itself.
Today, there is a huge spectrum of portable battery devices. These range from the 5Ah units that can fit in your shirt pocket to over 200Ah units that may need two people to lift. The Yeti 3000 sits on the upper end of this spectrum. Despite of a weight that is low for this capacity, it is still heavy and cannot be carried around effortlessly in one hand.
Goal Zero has provided a roll-cart with wheels and a telescopic handle that weighs less than 10 pounds and has good material quality. It is far easier to carry the unit on it and setup for use.
Other factors that improve the portability are its superior battery size and a durable casing over it. None of the dimensions exceed a foot and a half. This makes it possible, though not simple, to carry it in almost any car’s trunk.
What We Like
We do agree on the fact that this giant 3000Wh power station can burn a hole in your wallet. But if you are someone who goes on outings and adventures very regularly, that might be worth it. From the technological point of view, Goal Zero has really not left any stone unturned in the case of this model. The inclusion of a charge controller and wi-fi are standout features. Even the regular Yeti series features such as the sine wave inverter and 10-port output never cease to impress.
Having the roll-cart as part of the purchase and not having to buy it separately is a relief, considering the weight of such a large battery. To summarize, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000 is a magnificent power station that is highly capable and well-built.
- Multiple input and output possibilities (wall/solar charging and DC/AC output)
- Wi-fi connectivity and remote mobile control
- In-built MPPT charge controller and pure sine-wave inverter
- Durable build
- Easy to read display and easy to connect/disconnect ports
- High cost
- Low Lifecycles (500)