*Please note that the suggestions in this article will only work for a Yeti 1000, 1400 or 3000 Lithium. The Yeti 1000 and 1400 will need to have the MPPT charge controller installed. You can follow our simple step by step guide with pictures here.*
Goal Zero's line of solar generators known as Yeti’s are amongst the best on the market. They boast an excellent battery life, fantastic output and the lithium models weigh a very reasonable amount. Their only downfall up to this point has been their incredibly long recharge times. For example, if you wanted to charge your Yeti 1400 Lithium with a Boulder 200 (one of their biggest solar panel options) it would take between 14-28 hours which really isn’t good enough for any type of real world use.
Goal Zero has tackled this issue by creating an MPPT charge controller that can be installed on both the Yeti 1000 and Yeti 1400 lithium models. (The MPPT charge controller comes pre-installed on the Yeti 3000). This allows the Yeti to be charged more efficiently and cuts the charge times in about half. However, this is still not quick enough to compete with the Inergy Apex, which when combined as part of a Gold Kit, can recharge the Apex generator in as little as 2.5- 3 hours of ideal sunlight. So, the purpose of this article is to explain to you how you can “hack" the system and bring the charging time of your Goal Zero Yeti down to around 3 hours. This can be done only once the MPPT Charge Controller has been installed.
Most people don't know that the Yeti's can handle a massive wattage input once you've installed the MPPT charge controller. They can handle up to 685 watts which will allow you to recharge a Yeti 1400 in about 3 hours. The way to get 685 watts into your Yeti via solar panels is to connect multiple panels together. You can connect multiple Goal Zero panels or, if you own multiple panels already, you can connect those to your Yeti. Below is your step by step guide on how to super charge a Yeti 1000, 1400 or 3000 Lithium.
The standard charging port for the Yeti is called the Anderson power pole port which you can see below.
This input can handle 360 watts of power. In order to achieve this you can connect 4 of the boulder 100 watt panels using a 4 x 8 Connector cable. You can also use 2 of the boulder 200 watt panels etc. The reason for this is that solar panels generally do not output their full rating. So, if you connect 400 watts worth of solar panels you should be able to get close to the 360 watts the port can handle.
If you already have solar panels that are not from Goal Zero you can still connect them to your Yeti. You will need to purchase an MC4 to Anderson connector which is only available by phone call. You can call in here, or you can call directly into Goal Zero's customer service line.
In order to connect multiple panels together, you need to purchase MC4 branch connectors (which can be found on amazon) and connect your non-Goal Zero panels together in parallel. You then connect those panels into your yeti via the MC4 to Anderson cable you called in for.
- Please note: if your panels are not made from Goal Zero, be sure that they dont go over 22V or up to 30A*
Next, the MPPT charge controller that you have installed, as you can see below, can also handle 325 watts of solar.
The MPPT is essentially acting as another Anderson power pole port that you can input more solar into. The MPPT can handle 325 watts meaning that when you add up the 360 watts from the Anderson Port with the 325 watts from the MPPT, your Yeti is now able to input a whopping 685 watts of solar which in ideal conditions can recharge your Yeti 1400 in around 3 hours.
You can do the same thing for the MPPT charge controller either connecting multiple Goal Zero panels together using the 4 x 8 Connector cable, or by calling in for the MC4 to Anderson cable like we explained above so you can input panels that are not specific to Goal Zero.
Now you can enjoy your Yeti even more with the knowledge that you can charge it up in as little as 3 hours.
You might also be interested in our next blog - How Long Does It Take to Charge a 12V Battery with a 100W Solar Panel?