If you are looking for an easy way to keep your gadgets powered up during a blackout and don’t mind throwing down a fairly sizable sum of cash then you might want to check out the Goal Zero Yeti solar generator.
It uses two 30-watt solar panels to charge a 1250-watt-hour battery – doing so takes about 24-48 hours. That should be enough juice to keep your critical devices running during a power outage – or to keep your lights on when you are away from civilization.
The Yeti 1250 offers a few other charging options. There is an 80W AC wall charger (included) that can charge the unit in 16-20 hours or there is a 30W car charger (not included) that will get it charged up in >40 hours. A third option that looks to be possible is using larger solar panels. The panels are optional, so if $300 for a 30-watt panel sound to expensive – you should be able to plug a third-party panel into it, as long as you have a compatible 8mm plug on the panel, that should work. Given that the two inputs on the generator are each rated up to 200 watts, a more powerful solar panel may be a better option (just make sure that you know what you are doing and that everything is compatible before you buy part with your hard-earned money).
Is it worth it? That would depend on how often the power goes out in your neck of the woods (or how often you spend going on really long camping trips).
AC Wall Charger (80W) Included 16-20 hours
Goal Zero Boulder 30 x 2, included 20-24 hours
Car Charger (30W), not included 40+ hours
2 x 8mm Charge Ports 16-20V, 10A max (200W) each
Power Pole Charging Port 16-48V, 20A max (250W)
3 x AC standard US outlets 110V AC 60Hz pure-sine wave
1200W max total continuous
1500W max short-duration Female 12V port 111-14V, 10A max (120@), unregulated
2 x 6mm 12V ports 11-14V, 6A max each (72W), unregulated
12V Power Pole port 12-14V, 30A max (360W), unregulated
3 x USB ports 5V, 1.5A mx (7.5W) each, regulated
Battery Type Lead-acid (AGM) Battery Capacity 1250Wh (12V, 100Ah)
Battery voltage range 11-14.8V
Life Span Hundreds of cycles
Fuse 200A (4x50A fuses in parallel)
Inverter 1200W pure-sine wave inverter
Charge Controller 20A MPPT
Shelf Life: Charge every 3-4 months
Chainable Yeti 1250′s and other 12V AGM batteries
Weight 103 lbs Dimensions 16 x 11.5 x 14.5 in (410 x 305 x 370 cm)
Warranty 6 Months Certifications FCC, CE Operating useage Temp. 20-105 F (6-40 C) Optimal storage temp. 70 F (21 C) 6mm Tool Included