Comparison Of Goal Zero Solar Generators Power Stations/Banks
Goal Zero is a popular brand that makes both portable power stations, also known as solar generators, and solar panels. I own the Yeti 1000 Lithium and use it daily for all of my electricity needs as I travel the country full-time in my travel trailer.
Since there are so many different models, I figured it would be a good idea to make a list of all of them to make it easier to get a clear picture of the differences when it comes to how much battery capacity they have, and how powerful the inverter is in each product.
If you don’t know the differences between watt-hours and watts, check out the FAQ section after the table below.
Basically, the watt-hour (Wh) rating is the battery capacity. Usually, battery capacity is talked about in amp-hours, but to make power stations easy to compare in terms of battery capacity, watt-hours are used.
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For example, a 50W device will use 50 watt-hours in an hour (50*1). A 100W device that runs for two hours will use 200 watt-hours (100*2), and so on.
The watt (W) specification of a power station is how powerful the built-in inverter is. An inverter changes 12V AC battery power to 120V DC power, and will together with 120V outlets power your regular household electronics.
Something that might make it more confusing is the fact that the watt rating usually has two numbers (like 500W/1000W surge). What this means is that the inverter can output 500W continuously, but it supports a surge of up to 1000 watts for a couple of seconds. Usually, it will be able to output the surge watts for less than 30 seconds before shutting down.
Most power stations have other ways to power devices as well in addition to the AC outlet, but 12V ports like a cigarette lighter port or USB ports will have different specifications.
Now that we know the difference between the two, let’s compare the Goal Zero batteries. Since there are so many products, I have split it up into Goal Zero Yeti power stations and Goal Zero Yeti power banks. Since most of the power banks only have USB ports, I have listed how powerful the USB ports are instead.
The information below comes from Goalzero.com.
Goal Zero Power Stations Compared
|Product (link to Amazon if available)||Battery Capacity – Watt-Hours||Inverter Rating – Continuous Watts/Surge Watts|
|Goal Zero Yeti 150||168Wh||80W/160W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 200X Lithium||187Wh||120W/200W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 400||396Wh||300W/600W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 400 Lithium||428Wh||300/1200W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 500X Lithium||505Wh||300W/1200W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium||1045Wh||1500W/3000W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium||1425Wh||1500W/3000W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 1500X||1516Wh||2000W/3500W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium||3075Wh||1500W/3000W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 3000X||3032Wh||2000W/3500W|
|Goal Zero Yeti 6000X||6071Wh||2000W/3500W|
Goal Zero Power Banks Compared
|Product (link to Amazon if available)||Battery Capacity – Watt-Hours||Output Rating|
|Flip 10 Power Bank||9.4Wh||USB: 5W (5V, 1A)|
|Switch 10 Core Power Bank||9.4Wh||USB: 7.5W (5V, 1.5A)|
|Flip 12 Power Bank||12.06Wh||USB: 5W (5V, 1A)|
|Sherpa 15 Micro/Lightning||14.7Wh||Micro USB: 10W (5V, 2.1A), Lightning port: 10W (5V, 2.1A)|
|Sherpa 15 Micro/USB-C||14.7Wh||Micro USB: 10W (5V, 2.1A), USB C: 10W (5V, 2.1A)|
|Flip 20||18.7Wh||USB: 10W (5V, 2.1A)|
|Flip 24||24.12Wh||USB: 10.5W (5V, 2.1A)|
|Venture 30||29Wh||USB: 12W (5V, 2.4A)|
|Flip 36||36.18Wh||USB: 10.5W (5V, 2.1A)|
|Sherpa 40||44.4Wh||USB (2 ports): 12W (5V, 2.4A)|
|Venture 70 Micro/Micro||66.9Wh||USB: 12W (5V, 2.4A)|
|Venture 70 Micro/Lightning||71Wh||USB: 12W (5V, 2.4A)|
|Sherpa 100PD||94.7Wh||USB: 12W (5V, 2.4A), USB C PD: 60W, Wireless Qi: 5W|
|Sherpa 100AC||94.7Wh||USB: 12W (5V, 2.4A), USB C PD: 60W, AC port: 100W|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Watt-Hours And Watts?
When talking about watt-hours and watts in power stations/banks, it’s about battery capacity (watt-hours) and power output (watts).
The watt-hour capacity tells us how many watt-hours the battery in the power station/bank is capable of storing. You’ll most likely not be able to use every single watt-hour in a battery, since transferring the battery power to your device isn’t 100% efficient, especially when using an AC outlet. You should expect 80-90% of the watt-hours to be usable.
The watt-hour capacity will also decrease over time with use. It’s common for a lithium power station to have a rating of 500 cycles to 80%. This means that after the battery has gone from 100 to 0%, 500 times, the total battery capacity will be lower than it was the day the battery was fresh and unused.
There are different types of lithium batteries, and some can go through many more cycles before seeing that kind of permanent damage.
A way to make your battery capacity last longer is to not drain the battery completely.
You’ve probably heard the word watt before, which is a unit of power.
When powering a device, or using a charger of any kind, a certain amount of watts is pulled from the port or outlet. If you plug your phone charger into the wall, it might draw 10W from the wall outlet to charge the phone battery.
Outlets and ports are capable of outputting a certain amount of watts, or amps and volts. Your household outlets are usually rated at 1800W, which is 15A at 120V (15A*120V=1800W). Large appliances in your home like the oven are probably plugged into 20A outlets, which can output up to 2400W (20A*120V=2400W).
In a power station or power bank, the output rating lets us know how many watts a certain port is capable of outputting.
Power stations often have AC outlets that look like the outlets in a house. In a power station, these outlets are powered by a built-in inverter that changes the 12V DC battery power to 120V AC power. But just because they look like 15A AC outlets doesn’t mean you’ll be able to pull 1800W. It will depend on how powerful the inverter is.
Most power stations have a text printed next to the outlet that tells you how many watts the port(s) can output at most.
In the first table above where I listed the Goal Zero Yeti power stations, the inverter rating is how much the AC outlet(s) can output at most. If there are two outlets, it’s how much they can output combined.
The surge watt number is how many watts the inverter can output for a small amount of time, usually less than 30 seconds. Sometimes electronics need to use slightly more power to start up, then less to run continuously, and that’s when the surge watts can be useful.
Based on my experience with power stations and the quality of the inverters used in them, I wouldn’t suggest relying on the surge watts to power any devices. I recommend getting a power station that supports the wattage your devices need without exceeding the continuous watt rating.
How Long Will The Watt-Hours Last?
It depends on what you’re powering. If you have a 5W phone charger, and a 29Wh battery bank, you’ll be able to charge your phone for almost six hours before the battery is empty (29/5). If your phone charges 0 to 100% in an hour, that means the power bank will charge it six times in total before needing a charge.
If you have a laptop with a 60W charger and a power bank with 94.7Wh battery capacity, it’ll power it for a little over 1.5 hours (94.7/60).
Basically, figure out how many watts your device requires, and divide it with the watt-hour capacity. It won’t be 100% accurate, but you’ll get an idea. I use a Kill A Watt energy monitor to find out how much a device uses exactly.
Which Yeti/Power Bank Is The Best?
There are a couple of things to consider when choosing what power station or bank is best for you. In addition to the battery capacity and output ratings, you need to consider portability, ports, charging capabilities, and how you’re going to use the device.
I have a Goal Zero Yeti 1000 that I plug my travel trailer into and it’s possible because it has a 1500W inverter. That’s powerful enough to run everything in my RV except the air conditioner. I can even use power-hungry electronics like the microwave, toaster, and coffee maker.
If I had a power station with a 1000W inverter, I wouldn’t be able to use my 700W microwave that uses around 1200W at full power.
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Power banks are the more portable way to go, but as shown above, most of them don’t have AC outlets but USB ports so you can only charge small devices like phones, tablets, speakers, lights, and some laptops.
Power stations are less portable since they have more battery capacity and an inverter that powers outlets. They’re much more powerful and can be used to charge and power larger electronics depending on the size of the inverter.
What About Amp-Hours, Voltages?
The more common way to speak and write about battery sizes is in amp-hours. Each of the power stations/banks in the table above have an amp-hour rating as well.
To figure out the amp-hours of a battery, you need to know the watt-hours and the voltage. For example, the Goal Zero Yeti 500X Lithium has 505Wh at 10.8V, so 505/10.8=46.76Ah (amp-hours).
You can find the watt-hours, amp-hours, and voltages on Goalzero’s website. Search for the battery you’re interested in, and check the “Battery details” under the “Tech Specs” tab.
If you’re looking at a power bank, it will probably tell you the mAh, which is milliamp-hours. One thousand milliamp-hours is one amp-hour.
Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions, or suggestions on how I can make anything more clear or accurate.