Here’s a nice easy solar generator diy project. Let’s clone the Goal Zero YETI 150, improve it, and save almost 45% on the retail price (currently $229.99).
- AGM battery, 14ah (we’ll upgrade it to 18ah)
- inverter, 80 watt (we’ll upgrade to 120 watts)
- Charge controller, 5 amp (we’ll double it to 10 amps)
- 8mm DC 14-29 volts
- 2 x usb sockets
- 1 x 12v car socket
- 1 x 110v AC outlet (we’ll have two)
plus some switches and wiring.
Then of course there’s the case. The Yeti case is very sexy. Ours won’t be quite so sexy since we’ll be using either a toolbox or a pistol case, but it will do the job nicely and won’t cost much.
A couple of things to note. The Yeti 150 doesn’t come with a solar panel, so that’s extra. It also needs a wall charger if you want to charge it when the sun isn’t shining.
What components do I need?
This battery has 30% more capacity than the YETI-150.
Twice the power of the YETI-150.
Features of the Wagan inverter:
- 2 x 110v ac outlets and 2 x USB outlets, plus an on/off switch.
- AC Continuous Power: 120 Watt, Peak Surge Power: 200 Watt
- Safety features: over-voltage, overload, short-circuit, high-temperature protection, low voltage shut-off
Use this case if you plan to expand your system in the future. It has space for 3 more batteries, plus ample room for all components and some tools as well.
Use this case for a more compact version. It has ample space for one battery and all other components.
This is the only additional output socket we need. The others are included in the inverter.
So how much have we spent so far?
|Deep cycle battery||$34.95|
Let’s add another $10.00 for wiring and connectors, and we have a YETI150 clone for $127.48, a saving of 44% over the retail price. *using the toolbox case will save another $5.00
In the process, we have improved almost every feature of the YETI.
- 30% more battery capacity
- Double charge controller capacity
- 50% more output power.
But we’re not finished. To make the unit fully functional we need a solar panel and a wall charger.
This 70 Watt power supply is a perfect match for the Renogy charge controller. It will charge at 4.5 amps and can be used on any of the voltage settings.
These two items add another $63.34, making our total outlay $190.82. So, we are still below the retail price of the commercial unit, and we have a complete system. To give you a comparison, the YETI 150 with a 20 watt foldable solar panel sells for $428.00 on EarthTech and $410.68 on Amazon.