We like to think that we are mostly off grid. Our primary heat is oil and we have a tank that when full will last about a year. We have our own well water. Electric is our one dependency. There was a storm a week ago that knocked out power for several hours. Our oil heater was therefore down during a cold spell with 15 degree temps. If an outage happens in the summer, our refrigerator and freezer would be out.
We have been talking about how to run power out to a 100 ft. high tunnel that will go up next spring. We are hearing that a couple hundred feet of underground wire could run in the $5K area. This got us thinking about some kind of portable power that would preferably be renewable. After extensive chats with a great energy company in Anchorage (Susitna Energy) we settled on Goal Zero’s Yeti 6000x. Susitna offered to create a component solar system but ended up recommending the Yeti as a better portable solution to accommodate the greenhouse in addition to a home backup. Susitna has heard excellent feedback on the Yeti from Alaskan guides and owners of remote cabins.
Here is a description with some specs:
What you get is a whole lot of power, and delivered at high rates. Inside there’s 6,000 wHr of lithium-ion batteries, with two 2,000W AC ports on the front panel that deliver 2,000W continuous and 3,500W surge.
Other ports include a USB-A 5V/2.4A (12W max), a USB-C 5-12V/3.0A (18W max), and a USB-C PD input/output 5-20V/3.0A (60W max). There’s a 12V output 12V/13A (160W max) and a 12V HPP 12V/30A (360W max).
Charging is via either Goal Zero’s included 600W power supply – which takes about 12 hours for a full recharge – or solar panels, with the Yeti 6000X having a built-in MPPT module for more efficient solar charging. With two of the company’s Boulder 200 Briefcase solar panels delivering up to 400W of power, Goal Zero says the new Yeti will charge fully in 18-36 hours. You can plug the power station into a car’s 12V outlet. Charging and power use can be monitored via the Goal Zero app, since the Yeti 6000X has built-in WiFi.
We also bought the two Briefcase solar panels that Goal Zero sells for the power station. With Alaska’s 18 hours of daily sunlight during the summer, we are thinking the solar panels might just keep the power station topped off during the growing season. At the very least, it should be able to operate self-contained for long stretches of time.
The unit is spendy but its versatility and solar sustainability make it worth the cost in our minds. We will provide an update next year after some time using it to power the high tunnel.