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Is Goal Zero 3000x Worth It?

The popular power station/solar generator company from Utah, Goal Zero, recently released its latest lithium power stations.

Two of the new models are the Yeti 1500X and the Yeti 3000X. They've implemented a couple of features that I have been asking for for a couple of years now, and they're now competing with some of the best power stations on the market.

Goal zero is a popular company that offers solar power systems. They have the goal of making sure everyone has access to clean energy, and they are currently on their way to doing so with their award-winning products. Goal Zero 3000x is an inverter system with lithium-ion battery storage for homes that can be used in emergencies or when there's no grid power nearby. It provides up to 3000 watts of AC power, and it also comes with two 12 volt DC outlets for charging devices like laptops, phones, etc. This goal zero 3000x review will provide you peace of mind knowing that if the grid goes down, you'll still have electricity powering your home until it gets fixed!  

As Goal Zero continues to improve its line of solar generators, they continue to have a leg up on their previous models.

The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X is one such example.

The Yeti 3000X is one of several "X" models by Goal Zero. This solar generator line is the successor of the "Lithium" series generators. The 3000X has 3032Wh of battery capacity and an inverter that supports 2000W of continuous power output and 3500W of surge power.

Goal-Zero-yeti-3000X-Lithium-portable-power-station-melbourne

Yeti 3000X: What Makes It Stand Out?

Similar to the 1500X, the 3000X has a larger inverter and also has an MPPT charge controller. The previous generation models had a 1500W continuous output with a 3000W surge capability.

This amount of power is usually sustainable enough for most users of the generators. Still, Goal Zero has enhanced the inverter capabilities to 2000W continuous and 3500W surge for both the 1500X and 3000X models.

With that being said, the MPPT charge controller is a huge improvement because it is the best style of the charge controller to have with your generator, but the previous generator models came with a PWM charge controller, which works fine is not the best.

This MPPT addition will allow for faster solar charging due to efficiency improvements.

In addition, the YETI 3000X (amazon link) now has the ability to input a maximum of 600W of solar panels into its system.

This is a massive boost from the previous 360W of solar from the YETI 3000 Lithium.

These are only some of the many improvements from the 3000X, so below will show you the full stats sheets comparing the 3000X to the 3000 Lithium.

Frequently Asked Question About Goal Zero 3000x

Overall, the Goal Zero Yeti 1000 Lithium Portable Power Station does not seem worth it. At $1,200, a solar generator that will only last 500 cycles and takes ages to recharge is not the best option on the market.

The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X can be charged by plugging into your 12V adapter using the Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 12V Car Charging Cable. NOTE: Do not attempt to charge your Yeti Lithium from a 12V source using a regular charging cable. Doing so may cause damage to the unit.

Goal Zero customers can use the Yeti Fuel gas generator when solar or wall-plug power isn't available. Gasoline is a widely available alternative. Thus, it fits part of the brand's mission "to help people power anything anywhere. 

Battery

The Goal Zero 3000X has a very large base battery capacity within the unit. It boasts a large 3,032wh capacity from the Lithium-Ion battery pack. As a result, the 3000X has a larger base battery than both the Bluetti AC200P and the Titan solar generators. But, there is a big drawback that will make you think twice about the Goal Zero Yet 3000X that we'll get to shortly in this review.

The battery is a 12v battery pack which many companies are still going with, but there's no doubt that a 24v or even 48v configuration in batteries has many benefits and increased efficiency. I am simply surprised that this far into the game Goal Zero, the biggest solar generator company, has not adopted a higher voltage battery to be more efficient like the Titan solar generator, which uses 24v batteries.

yeti 3000x melbourne

To convert power from 12v to usable 120v power, the voltage has to increase 10x. That is one of the reasons there are efficiency losses. However, converging a 24v battery to useable 120v power only has to increase the voltage 5x, which is much easier.

Having a higher battery voltage allows the battery to last longer, stay cooler, and have less stress on it. Of course, a 12v battery isn't necessarily bad, but it's just surprising that they haven't upgraded it to a better battery voltage.

The biggest drawback about the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X battery is that it is only rated to 500 cycles. That means, if you drained the battery from 100% down to 0% and recharged it back up to 100%, you would've just used one cycle if you do 1 cycle per day, which gives you 500 days before the battery has reached its full lifecycle.

After 500 cycles, the battery will be 80% efficient when it is brand new. On units such as the Titan, it has 2,000 cycles which means it will literally last four times as long as the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X.

Compatibility

Throughout their history, batteries have produced DC power at a given voltage and are 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 that 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 supply AC power directly. 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.

Durability

At a much higher price than any other battery device, this product cannot win solely based on connectivity features. Labelled 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 indeed, a 70 lb. (32 kg.) device is not meant for falls, this unit feels strong enough to take some from a low height. Moreover, 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. In addition, it comes with a watertight 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.

Ports, Screen & Buttons

You'll find the same ports on both Yetis.

Two AC outlets, two USB A, one USB C PD, one USB C, a full-size regulated 12V output, two 12V 6mm outputs, one HPP output, and two inputs (8mm & Anderson Powerpole).

One of the USB C ports is a PD port, which means that it's both an input and an output, and can be used to charge the Yeti battery if you have a USB C PD wall charger.

The screen shows input/output watts, output amps, watt-hours used, battery percentage, battery bars, time to full/empty, and battery voltage.

Three buttons control what unit you'll see on the screen, whether to show battery percentage or time to empty/full and the screen's backlight.

There are also buttons above each output type (AC, USB, 12V) to turn on or off the different types.

Charging

Now you'd think that since Goal Zero is the largest solar generator power station company globally, they would know that since they have such a large battery in the 3000X, they can put a lot of solar charge on it. You'd think.

This is the second biggest letdown of the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X. They have a 600 solar input in the 3000X through the onboard MPPT charge controller. That sounds like a lot of power until you break down the math.

Generating 600w of power from solar panels for an hour will charge the battery up by 600 watt-hours. Since it has a 3,032wh battery, it will take about 5 hours to charge a dead battery fully. 5 hours seems pretty quick, but the reality is that it's not fast enough.

There is an average of 5 solar peak hours per day in the USA, depending on the time of year and location. That means that solar panels are capable of making their full power potential during those peak hours. For example, a 100w solar panel can make 100w for 5hrs, making a total of 500wh in that time frame.

But, accounting for panels getting hot, inefficiencies in the charge controller, and the skies cleared, generally, panels will not make their full potential for those 5 hours. But there's obviously sunlight for more than 5 hours a day. So outside of the 5-hour peak, the panels will still make power and charge the system.

As a rule of thumb, you take the max solar input, multiply by 5, and that gives you the average power production on a full sunny day which accounts for the extra hours of sunlight each day outside of the 5-hour peak as well as the lack of full power created during the five peak hours.

That all being said, that means the 3000X can make about 3,000wh a day. So it can charge itself up then! But only if it's not running anything during the day.

Just running a fridge all day long will typically use about 80wh per hour. With the 5 hours standard unit of measurement, that means the solar panels will make a total of 3,000wh but will have spent 400wh running the fridge during that time, which leaves 2,600wh to go to the battery. That means the battery would be at 87%, not 100%, by the end of the day. Not a big deal unless you're running anything else too.

Running a small A/C unit would effectively keep the 3000X from charging while using the solar panels because the A/C units use so much power.

Features

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, it was 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 the remaining battery percentage and remaining hours of charge, depending on which device is connected. It also displays power input from solar panels and output by whichever appliance(s) is connected to it.

The integrated inverter has a surge protector, which can power devices up to 1500W and tolerates surges up to 3000W. This is useful in devices such as fridges, small pumps, and some power tools. The Yeti 3000 comes with many attractive features, but if you would like to check out more options before finalizing, here are some other generators we reviewed.

Extras

The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has a 3-month shelf life. It means it needs to be charged every 3 months, or the battery will drain itself to zero. I tested this with my Goal Zero Yeti 1400 and let it sit without charging. After 11 months, it was completely dead. The Titan will hold a charge for up to 5 years.

The Yeti 3000X has a 2-year warranty which is wonderful, and the customer service at Goal Zero has been extremely good in my experience. They are very responsive by phone and are always ready to help.

The biggest cool factor that the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has is that it can connect to your phone via the Goal Zero App. This allows you to monitor, change and manage the system.

yeti 3000x solar panels

Who Is the Yeti 3000X For?

The 3000X is a massive solar generator. It is heavy and bulky for certain events. But if you're using it for the following events, it will be a very useful tool on deck.

Using the Yeti 3000X at a Tailgating Event

Going to a sporting event parking lot or a family event outside is perfect to use the 3000X. Its various ports and extensive battery capabilities have enough power to electric power stoves, speakers, TVs, and more.

RV Camping With the Yeti 3000X

Having this unit with your RV will greatly use several appliances and devices when in and out of the RV.

If you need some power in that format, the battery can run CPAP machines, lights, and even microwaves.

Utilizing the Yeti 3000X as a Home Backup Solution

This is one of the best full solar generator systems to have on hand during a power outage. The 3032Wh battery will be able to keep the refrigerator going until the power comes back on.

Want to use it daily for lighting and other sections of your house? No problem. The 3000X can be installed to power whatever you need.

The YETI App also makes it easier to access the power you need from your phone or tablet.

It lets you switch on and off specific ports and even shows user data from the past to help you take advantage of as much power as you need throughout the day.

Final Verdict

Goal Zero's second-largest power station in the Yeti series appears to be a 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 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 its overall build quality. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at the Yeti 3000, or check out alternative solar generator options.

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