solar generators

There is no such thing, but there is “portable” power.  These are power pac units that have battery, power input, and various power output ports, all nicely packaged, ready to pick up and go.  I’ve chosen Goal Zero although they are on the expensive side, have had experience with them, and in general am pleased with their package and their service.

Just upgraded from a Yeti 150 to a Yeti 400.  What I know now, that I didn’t know then,  is the number refers to the max watts the battery stores, not what the output it can handle would be.  The 150 only handled 80W output which made it pretty damn useless!  The 400 has two 120v outlets, pure sine wave, and can take a max of 300W output.

The unit comes in reading fully charged, but as soon as I put it on my water pump it dropped down to 40%, so now it is charging off the 100W solar panel.

IMG_0763 (768x1024) yes, it is sitting in the shade in this photo.

The Goal Zero panels are ridiculously expensive, the 90W running about $500, while this flexible 100W was under $200, and a Rexology 100W panel is about $129.  If using other than Goal zero, you need an adapter to their 8mm input port, and Goal Zero sells it for about $20 bucks plus ship and tax. BUT, the Goal Zero folding and portable panels are well made and have the power output ports attached for multi use.

As I’ve researched these things, realize how inefficient solar to electric is.  Wind seems a little better, but you need reliable wind of more than breeze strength.  A combination seems to be the best alternative for the real world, and will probably be my next investment.  Again, having looked at how to make these things, having a nice neat package can make my brain happy, and leaves me room to be doing other things.

We rarely have power outages here.  And my personal view of EOTWAWKI is more of a general decline in civilization, with on going threats to food and water supply.  And that’s why I’ve gone for such a small unit rather than one of the big ones that will take care of our household.  ALTHOUGH, as the technology improves on these things and the prices come down, may reconsider a unit that will handle our day to day, just to be sure, as everything I’m seeing is questioning the long term ability of our power supply structure to handle the demands being placed upon it.

SHTF is another matter, but that means FIRE here, and will I have the time to grab all the different things to load in the car, even if I’m paying attention.

Truly, the only way to really be ready, is to be living a day to day existence, off grid, fully self-reliant, away from any fire, weather, or other threat, with everything prepped to withstand any level EMP.  And that ain’t happening, especially for me.  So just doing the best I can.


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