Goal Zero Yeti 3000X Portable Power Station/Solar Generator Review
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X solar generator has been available for quite some time and many people are wondering if it’s worth getting. They’re generally readily available and have an incredible marketing crew behind it at Goal Zero.
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has been compared to other solar generators such as the Titan and Bluetti AC200P and we wanted to know which one is actually the best option.
First, we need to know what the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has to offer.
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. 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.
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, to converter a 24v battery to useable 120v power it 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. 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 1 cycle. If you do 1 cycle per day, that gives you 500 days before the battery has reached its full lifecycle.
After 500 cycles, the battery will be 80% efficient of what it was when it was 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.
The entire system weighs 70lbs which is mostly the battery.
The Goal Zero 3000X has one of the larger inverters on the market at 2,000w pure sine wave AC output. That is definitely strong enough to run basic needs such as fridges, fans, lights, food dehydrators, hair blow dryers, washing machines, TV, and so on. It should be enough to run heavy-duty equipment such as power tools as well.
The biggest limitation that comes into play with the 2,000w inverter is when using it on an RV while boondocking or even in some vans while van-living.
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A typical A/C unit on an RV uses about 13,500 BTUs to cool the RV down. The rule of thumb is that you take 10% of the BTUs and that will give you your average running wattage on an A/C unit. That means a typical RV A/C unit will use about 1,350 watts while running to cool the RV down.
The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has a 2,000w inverter and so that’s not a problem to run a 1,350w A/C unit, once it’s running. The problem some people have experienced is not being able to get the A/C unit running at the very beginning. The problem usually comes in because the A/C isn’t the only device that is being run in an RV.
Most people don’t realize that RVs are terribly efficient which sounds crazy because they should be extremely efficient. A typical RV fridge will use as much power as a household fridge even though it is about ¼ of the size. This is why many people switch to a DC fridge (Code: NC6USLB for a 5% discount) in their RV and save tons of power.
Running the A/C, while running the fridge, while also running chargers, lights, fans, TV, microwaves, toasters, coffee makers, etc. is what the real issue is.
Because the 2,000w inverter cannot handle running the A/C, fridge, coffee machine, and so on at the same time, it’s common for people to overload their Yeti 3000X and have to reset it.
It becomes quite a nuisance having the power get shut off sporadically. Even worse is if you’re out boondocking and you leave the RV for a bit to go do some hiking or adventuring and come back and everything is shut off because the Yeti 3000X overloaded.
Generally speaking, a 2,000w inverter is great, but it can be limited depending on what you need to use it for. RVing with A/C, may not be the best choice.
The same applies to the Bluetti AC200P. Although a good unit, it suffers from the same issue of a 2,000w inverter which isn’t enough for long term power needs for some people. Even running a fridge and a few freezers, if they surge power at the same time, can shut down a 2,000w inverter. I know from firsthand experience. It’s generally not a problem but has happened, more than once.
This is an issue I have not run into while using the Titan. The Titan has a 3,000w inverter which means it’s fully capable of running an RV A/C unit, fridge, hairdryer, and so on at the same time. Or even at home during a power outage, running a 5,000 BTU window A/C unit is quite easy off of something like the Titan.
Now you’d think that since Goal Zero is the largest solar generator power station company in the world, they would know that since they have such a large battery in the 3000X that they can put a lot of solar charge on it. You’d think.
This is the second biggest let down 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 get fully charged from a dead battery. 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. What that means is that solar panels are capable of making their full power potential during those peak hours. 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 clarity, generally panels will not make their full potential for those 5 hours. But there’s obviously sunlight for more than 5 hours a day. 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 creation during the 5 peak hours.
That all being said, that means the 3000X can make about 3,000wh a day. 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 hour 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.
This is why large solar input is so vital in a solar generator power station. Sadly most reviews do not include this bit of info for people. This causes people to purchase a power station thinking that all is well but then when they need it most after a hurricane, flood, or while RVing or during a blackout, they find out the hard way it’s not enough.
This is one of the top reasons I recommend the Titan overall solar generators. The Titan has a max solar input of 2,000w. That’s 333% more power production! But that’s not even the biggest piece of news when comparing the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X to the Titan. I’ll get to that shortly.
Not only does the Titan have 333% more solar input, but it can be “over-paneled.” That means more than 2,000w of panels can be put on the Titan and that will increase the total solar peak hours per day allowing even more power to be made for longer each day.
Goal Zero claims that the max solar input on the 3000X is actually 660w, but you can only get that if you get specific solar panels that make 110w each which are not common at all. In all our testing, we were never able to get more than 600w of solar input into the 3000X.
To get the full 660w input, it appears the solar panels have to charge along with a car charger or wall charger at the same time. Not a fair statement in my mind to claim 660w input in that way.
The Bluetti AC200P is not far off from the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X in solar input. The AC200P has a solar input of 700w.
The Yeti 3000X surprisingly only has two 120v AC outlets on the front. This doesn’t allow for many things to be plugged in at once which means using extra power strips will be helpful.
One thing that does set the Yeti 3000X apart from most solar generators and power stations is that it has a true 60w USB-C output port which is nice for people using it for fast charging of drone batteries or laptop batteries.
Other than that, it has 2 USB-A plugs, another 18w USB-C plug, 1 12v DC cigarette lighter port, 1 Anderson Powerpole 12v port, and two 8mm 12 ports.
The screen is simple and handy. It shows the battery percentage as well as the general battery capacity in bars. It also shows the total input charge and output draw which is all vital information.
I simply wish it had more AC outlets on it. The Titan has 6 and so does the Bluetti AC200P.
The Yeti 3000X does have the ability to attach to the Goal Zero Tank battery system. Sadly though, the Tank system is made with lead-acid type batteries which means it can only use 50% of the total battery capacity. And when connected to the Yeti 3000X, cuts the total battery capacity of the onboard lithium battery to half the capacity as well.
This means if you add the massive 4.8kwh (4,800wh) Goal Zero Tank system to the 3000X, you’ll have a max battery capacity of 3,900wh. That means you’ll spend $2,000 extra, to add about 900wh of battery capacity. Not worth it at all.
This is what kills me with Goal Zero, they are the largest solar generator company in the world, but they are making equipment like this.
This is the #1 I started this website was to help people understand the true capability of solar generators.
I’m sure someday they will release a lithium-based Tank system and that will be great. But until then, it’s not worth a penny.
The Bluetti AC200P is not expandable at all so at least the 3000X has that edge over the AC200P.
But once again, the Titan takes the cake on this. The Titan can add as many batteries that are desired. It can have the Titan Expansion Battery added to it or other external batteries such as the Lion Energy UT 1300 LiFePo4 batteries.
The Titan can technically add up to 135 Titan Expansion Batteries on it. Of course, that’s not practical, but it technically can. I personally use three batteries on my Titan for a total battery capacity of 6,000wh. With that, I have run my off-grid cabin for well over a year with no power outages.
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The Goal Zero Yeti 3000X has a 3-month shelf life. Meaning it needs to be charged every 3 months or the battery will drain itself down 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’s capable of connecting to your phone via the Goal Zero App. This allows you to monitor, change and manage the system.
In this picture, you can see clearly why I prefer the Titan over the AC200P and the Yeti 3000X. The AC200P is definitely better in many ways over the 3000X but the Titan beats both by a long shot.
In the end, the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X costs $3,200 and the Titan is only $2,995. Getting a Titan will save you $200 and give you tons of more options. The only thing the Yeti 3000X beats the Titan is the base battery size.
As much as I want Goal Zero to put out good products since they are so big, they don’t put out good products. For someone in a Van or small RV, it may work. For someone just running a fridge, fan, and light during a power outage it may work. But for less cost, why not go with the best unit ever created and get a Titan?
I know I really beat up the Goal Zero Yeti 3000X portable power station in this review. But I feel that most reviews out there are not letting people know enough about this unit and are just trying to earn a quick buck. That’s not what my reviews are about. This review was brutal on the Yeti 3000X but it’s honest.
After reading other reviews and knowing all the specs, I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t go with the Titan and have the best for an even better price.