Solar Generator (DIY Goal Zero Yeti) - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 13th, 2015, 07:28 PM
javelinadave
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Solar Generator (DIY Goal Zero Yeti)

As many of you know my daughter is an insulin dependent (type 1) diabetic. If her insulin gets warm it stops working. Today I built a solar powered generator. It will if necessary power an ARB 12v refrigerator if we have a prolonged power outage at home. It will also work as a power station for base camping trips. In a nut shell it's a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 for less than a third of the cost.

Here is the breakdown. I purchased these three dustproof containers at Home Depot ($98 OTD special) I only used the bottom wheeled box which by itself was $60.



Next up was selecting the battery. I wanted something sealed so I went with a 70ah AMG battery from Auto Zone. I considered Optima but from my research the new ones lack quality and were WAY more expensive. The charge controller is a Morningstar 10amp model from Amazon ($56).



I went with Blue Sea for the fuse panel, master switch, 12v outlets and the USB outlet. Amazon had them but they were about 10% cheaper from a marine shop on EBay.







Here is the almost completed interior. I still need to cut some stiff foam to hold the battery in place.



The RENOGY 100 Watt 12v solar panel was purchased from Amazon for $150. I also bought with it a 25 foot cord and cut it in half so I could have a positive and negative 12" section with the correct connectors for the panel. On the box side I went with an easier to connect/disconnect plug type.





All the wiring is 10 gauge except for the wiring to the USB. Goal Zero wanted about $1600 for their unit plus a few hundred for the solar panel. I'm in it for less than $500 and am very happy with the final results. The rolling box weighs about 50 pounds and the panel weighs just a few pounds. I still need to make some folding legs for the panel and sew up a neoprene sleeve to store it in.
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  #2  
Old June 13th, 2015, 07:46 PM
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Good Stuff!!
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  #3  
Old June 13th, 2015, 07:53 PM
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Well made, peppers will be envious. When you upgrade go with a folding panel.

I just found one of those little honda inverter gensets on the road side, guy said it doesn't run. Got it home and Checked the oil. NONE in it, topped it up fresh gas and off it ran.
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  #4  
Old June 13th, 2015, 08:30 PM
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Awesome. Looking forward to putting mine together. Good ideas here.
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  #5  
Old June 13th, 2015, 10:01 PM
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Interesting. I have a type 1 kiddo as well and just found a deal on a goal zero yeti 1250 on Optics Planet to run my ARB fridge. Tested it out last week and it worked very well. I am going to add two more batteries and an array of panels to my enclosed car trailer. Can't wait to hear your test results!
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Old June 15th, 2015, 03:29 PM
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Nice work!
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Old June 15th, 2015, 03:40 PM
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Subscribed! I'm planning on something similar. Great stuff!
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Old June 15th, 2015, 04:21 PM
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Dave,

Very good work! Thanks for sharing!
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  #9  
Old June 15th, 2015, 05:03 PM
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Very cool.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 09:48 PM
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Nicely done.
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Old June 15th, 2015, 10:30 PM
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Wow....great job mate
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Old June 15th, 2015, 11:21 PM
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Nice job!
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  #13  
Old June 17th, 2015, 02:26 PM
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The experiment starts this morning and this should be a good test. Today's forecasted high...... 113F (45C) with an evening low of 85F (29C)





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Old June 17th, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Heck put it in the sun! Even I would hang out in your yard with that heat. Your yard is set up very nice!
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Old June 18th, 2015, 04:39 AM
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Waiting to see how this works out. Great job Dave. I picked up a set of panels at expo east and still need to try them out. This may be the kick I needed.....
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Old June 18th, 2015, 04:53 AM
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Definitely make the test harder by putting arb in the sun!
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  #17  
Old June 18th, 2015, 11:51 AM
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This turns out to be a great week to test things out. Record heat (114F) yesterday and hotter (115F) today. Here is the data thus far.
Battery started the test at 13.0v at 10:00a yesterday and the fridge set and pre-cooled to 32F.
07:00a this morning the battery was at 12.4v and the evening low was 82F
08:30a I lower the t-stat to 30F.
Stay tuned for further updates!
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  #18  
Old June 18th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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Taste test the beer!
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  #19  
Old June 18th, 2015, 06:33 PM
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115F on the patio, the fridge is 27F degrees and the battery is 100% topped off. I'm calling this a successful project.
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  #20  
Old June 18th, 2015, 06:42 PM
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Now all you need is a 110 volt inverter and a cooling fan, Good job
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