Tag Archive: charging

  1. HOW TO BE READY FOR AN EMERGENCY OUTAGE

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    As we have learnt over the past few months in Australia, emergencies can happen anywhere at any time—and while no one likes to be a pessimist, it’s truly better to stay prepared than to be caught off guard without a plan. No matter what the emergency power outage may be, here’s what you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe:

    CREATE A PLAN

    Gather your family members and create a plan for a number of different situations. Explain the dangers and discuss how you can prepare, react and help one another should disaster strike. Create a map detailing your home and where you all can meet outside of your home if you are separated or lost. Make sure your escape plans are accessible to all members of your family, including the young ones, seniors and those with special needs.

    Ensure each family member has each other’s phone numbers, as well as local emergency numbers programmed into their cell phones. It is also recommended that designating an “out-of-town” contact who each family member should contact with their location and status in the case of emergency.

    PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT

    Now that you’ve got a plan, you should put together an emergency kit. It’s worth noting that modern technology allows many older recommendations, like spare batteries, can be replaced with a solar generator kit, which uses solar power to create power for your other electronics.

    • 3-4 litres of water per person per day for at least three days. This should be enough for drinking and sanitation purposes.
    • A three-day supply of non-perishable food for everyone in your family — and any pets — as well as a manual can opener.
    • A first aid kit that includes enough bandages, and prescribed medications for everyone in your family. 
    • Spiral-bound, laminated copies of local maps. They’re more durable than paper.
    • portable power station that will help you keep all your family’s electronics, medical devices, and lights charged. Find a style and size that works for you, and be sure to bring any cord adapters you might require.
    • A torch with fully charged batteries or rechargeable lantern
    • A cell phone and a power bank.
    • A whistle to signal for help in the case of a crisis.
    • Spare clothes for cold or wet conditions.
    • Stay informed You’re prepared with a plan and with a kit, now all you have to do is stay informed. First, learn everything you can about where you live. Understand what weather patterns you can expect and how you should react when they occur. 

    Ask where your local law enforcement officers are. Ask those officers how they will contact you during an emergency and what kind of directions you can expect from them.

    Sign yourself up for emergency alerts, breaking news notifications and severe weather warnings. These will keep you up-to-date on the latest information you need to stay safe and aware of your surroundings.

  2. GOAL ZERO YETI POWERS: CHARGING EDITION

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    We’re showing you all the ways to recharge your Yeti—from the wall outlet to your vehicle to solar. Goal Zero Product Manager, Robbie Kerback, walks through how to charge a Yeti at home and while on the move using a number of different charging options. Watch the video to find out which recharging options are right for you.

  3. LITHIUM EXPLAINED

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    Tesla’s doing it, cell phones became viable with it, and now Goal Zero’s Yeti has gone the way of the lithium battery. It’s expensive, seems to catch fire sometimes, and can you throw it away in a regular trashcan when it’s time? Well don’t do that, much like larger lead acid batteries, you need to dispose of these properly, not in your standard recycling, but taken to a certified facility.

    As a battery company, Goal Zero has investigated and produced products using multiple battery technologies. We have seen both successes and failures within the emerging market of portable power, but most importantly, we have learned a lot in doing so. Many are wondering what the main differences between lead acid and lithium technologies are, and why the whole world is currently moving in the lithium direction.

    First and foremost, we must talk price. No longer an exotic futuristic technology that costs an arm and a leg, lithium has arrived in the realm of attainable, available, and affordable. The future is now, and the price of lithium has dropped dramatically in recent years. Lithium is closing the gap in price per watt compared to Lead Acid, especially when factoring in # of cycles and depth of discharge. This allows the other benefits of lithium to exude a much greater value proposition.

    Secondly, plain and simple, smaller + lighter= better. Compared to its lead predecessor, lithium is up to 2/3 lighter, while giving the same amount of power (energy density). This allows a better user experience simply from a labor standpoint. The smaller form factor allows for a versatile use case with convenient portability to get more power to more places and more devices.

    A deeper depth of discharge enhances user experience. Lithium can be discharged further before harming the battery, essentially increasing its potential power output and overall life. Because lithium holds a steady voltage, it can deliver 99% of its stored power! Lead acid’s continuously dropping voltage sees product functionality issues as voltage gets lower, leaving a little “gas in the tank” so to speak. Also, lithium operates in a much larger temperature window. Safety goes up because of this, where we only see failure in extreme thermal conditions that simply exist less in the real world. However, when lithium exceeds its limits, it fully shuts down… or catches fire, whereas most of the time lead acid will function, just with less capacity. All in all, lithium is more reliable as a byproduct.

    As far as lifetime, lead acid and lithium don’t have a huge difference. Only LFP, lithium iron phosphate, has a reliably significant increase in the number of cycles it can handle. Oddly, most devices are not using this technology, opting for the smaller size of other lithium technologies over the larger, heavier LFPs. Otherwise, heavy use sees only a few hundred cycles in non-LFP lithium cells, which can scale up to a few thousand with much lighter cycling (depth of discharge), just like lead-acids. Either way, you will get many years of good use out of your battery before needing to consider a replacement, so its perceived value over time is present nonetheless. As a bonus, the idle shelf life of lithium is significantly better (it can sit longer unused until the battery self-depletes). This just means that a lithium battery will probably still work if it has been sitting in your garage all winter, once again increasing value and lifetime.

    The few drawbacks found in the lithium world are getting smaller. Lithium prices have dropped significantly over the past few years, but still remains more expensive than lead acid. Chaining multiple lithium batteries isn’t as easy as lead acid and is a hurdle currently being overcome, no big deal. We are also beginning to see lithium batteries becoming replaceable, so you don’t always have to throw away your device when the battery dies. Finally, the international availability of replacement batteries is still dominated by lead acid. As Goal Zero prides itself on humanitarian work around the world, this cutting edge technology remains rare in the dark corners of the planet. Now, a lead acid product can live longer around the world only because lead acid batteries are readily available. Otherwise, there aren’t many reasons not to go the way of the lithium battery.

    From a safety standpoint, the world has learned to use lithium properly… mostly. As with any learning curve, we must find out the bad in order to prevent it. The knowledge and safety protocols available within this sector are growing every day. Now we can limit most harmful issues, so besides dealing with TSA and UPS, the hassles of lithium are largely over. The impact of our obsession with lithium is changing the way we look at power. From pocket batteries to micro grid community backup, lithium is working its way into our lives on multiple fronts. We should no longer be wary of this emerging technology. Smaller, lighter, and more powerful are the way of the NOW. Enjoy the new power revolution!

    By David Rosner

  4. HOW TO CHARGE A YETI FROM YOUR VEHICLE

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    Need to quickly charge a Yeti Lithium Power Station while on the move? We’ve got you covered. Goal Zero Product Manager Robbie Kerback walks through how to charge your Yeti right from your vehicle’s alternator using the Yeti Link Car Charging Kit.

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