How Does It Work?

1-Collect Power

Plug your power pack into the solar panel
or wall to start the collection of power.

2-Store Power

Once your power pack is all charged
up, you can use it just like you
would a wall plug.

3-Power Your GearMedium Solar Kits Large Solar Kits Small Solar Kits

The power you have collected in the
power pack can now be used to power
or recharge any device.

What Can I Power?

Device Range Kit Range
  Guide Sherpa Extreme
Small Devices Check Check Check
Medium Size Devices Check Check Check
Laptops   Check Check
TVs     Check
Fridges     Check

What Can I Power?

Devices

It doesn't really matter the device. We can give you a portable solar power solution for your cell phone, smart phone, MP3 or iPod, your GPS, laptop, desktop, CPAP, biPAP. We even give you power when you're hunting, fishing, camping or complete any emergency preparedness kit.

Get Started

How To Use Solar Power

If you want to keep your devices powered anytime and anywhere, all you need is a solar panel and a power pack. That's it. The solar panel will collect the power and the power pack stores the energy for you to use. GOAL ZERO power packs can be charged by the sun through the solar panels, but can also charge from the outlet on your wall or even through a 12-volt car adapter. GOAL ZERO power packs have a variety of outputs: USB ports for cell phones or tablets, 12-volt for DC accessories, and AC ports for laptops, fans, CPAP, etc… It's easy to use – no electrician required.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Buy The Right Solar Kit

If you want to keep your devices powered anytime and anywhere, there really are only two things you need:

Kits for cellphone
Kits for laptop
Kits for TV

Solar Panels:

The solar panel captures the power from the sun and puts the power in the power packs. Getting power from the sun is only one way of putting the power in your power pack. Another way is to plug into the wall or hook it up to your USB or even your 12-volt plug, the kind you see in boats or cars.

How to use the Solar Panel

The important thing is to get power in your power pack. The solar panel works anywhere there is sun. Just point it at the sun plug in the power pack and you are set. The rest is up to Mother Nature.

How to use the Power Pack

The power pack is where you store the power. It's like a battery. You can get power packs that store anywhere from 10 to 350 watt hours.

Power Pack Sizes:

We offer three different sizes of power pack to meet the need of any device:

  1. Small Power Packs: These work well for powering small things like cell phones, lights, MP3 players (iPod) and e-Readers (Kindle)
  2. Medium Power Packs: These are used for powering things that need a little more power like laptops, CPAP's, Tablets, DSLR cameras etc.
  3. Large Power Packs: These are used for powering bigger devices, multiple items or entire camps. These packs tend to be a bit heavier (26 lbs) and not as portable.

Is my device compatible?

9 times out of 10 we have a product solution for you. But if you want to verify a specific product, then put your mind at ease and ask us. Use our Live Chat feature or e-mail support@goalzero.com. You can also rest assured that if you buy a product and it doesn't work with your device as expected we have a 30-day money back, no hassle return program.

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How To Buy The Right Solar kit

Solar Power: 12 Things to Know

  1. Solar power is not as expensive as you think. Sunlight is free. All you need is a solar panel and power pack to store that free sunlight power. To get started with solar power we have kits starting at about $130.00
  2. No need for an advanced degree to use. Plug and play system means instant power for anyone. No red and black wires to worry about. No extra cables to figure out and purchase. At GOAL ZERO you basically open up your solar panel and let the sun do all the work.
  3. Not just for calculators and roof tops. The Guide 10 is small and compact enough to fit in your pocket or backpack. Use our power packs and solar panels to power your phone, laptop and more.
  4. You can charge just as fast from the sun as you can from the wall. You can plug in your cell phone to a power pack that has been charged from the sun and it charges at the same rate as plugging it into the wall. It will just charge up in the most eco-efficent way possible.
  5. Solar power is not magic. Turning sunlight into electricity is really just another form of energy conversion. It’s kind of like burning wood or coal. Burning wood or coal simply converts chemical energy into heat energy. It’s the same thing with a solar panel. The photovoltaic effect converts the light power into electrical power.
  6. Solar panels are not huge. Thanks to recent advances in solar technology what once fit only on your roof can now fit in your pocket.
  7. Solar Panels are not fragile. We have run extensive tests on our panels. From dunking them in rivers for hours, to running them over with trucks. We even have thrown the glass-covered panels multiple times on the concrete. They are made for what you can dish out.
  8. Solar Power can be used to enhance your everyday life. You will find that you will use portable solar power everyday. You will feel smarter for doing it. We challenge you to never have the need to buy AA or AAA batteries again.
  9. AC/DC is not just a rock band. AC is Alternating Current and DC is Direct Current. Here’s what you need to know: the voltage of an AC source can be changed by using a transformer, while DC can’t. On the other hand DC can charge a battery while AC can’t. Electrical power is delivered in two ways: Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). Direct Current is electricity that moves in one direction. Alternating Current moves back and forth.
  10. Power Packs measure the amount of energy stored in Watt Hours. Wattage is the result of Volts x Amps. For instance 5 volts x 2 amps = 10 Watt. Watt-Hours (Wh) is an amount of power (in watts) expended in one hour. For instance, 120 Watt Hour power pack will run a 3 Watt light bulb for 40 hours. (120/3=40)
  11. Mono-crystalline solar panels are the best you can buy. There are all kinds of materials used for photovoltaics including mono-crystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide/sulfide. At GOAL ZERO, we use mono-crystalline solar panels because they are the most efficient and very reliable. They have a lifespan of 10 to 30 years and provide the highest wattage per square foot. Plus, they perform best in most conditions including low light.
  12. Solar Power is just plain super awesome. Let’s face it, using and having the power to be reliant on the greatest resource the earth provides is just super awesome. Become EmPowered!

Education Center

POWER 101

In this section we are going to break down what "power" is and how it works. We are not talking about "political power" or "power of attorney". No, we are talking about electrical power.

What is electricity?

Let's start at WHAT electricity is. Electricity is a form of energy. To get a little more scientific it is the flow of electrons or energy from one thing to another. You see this flow of electrons happen every day; when you turn the lights on (if the electricity is working) there is power flowing from your local power plant to your light bulb and when you plug anything into the wall outlet it is receiving power from an exchange of electrons or energy.

AC/DC not just a great band!

Electricity gets even more interesting from here. There are two different "types" of electricity: Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). They mean exactly what they sound like. DC is a direct flow of power in one direction while AC is power that changes or alternates direction.

AC-DC Power

A few facts about DC power:

  1. Most vehicles use DC power....to run the lights, the radio and even to start
  2. It is the only "type" of power that can be stored in something like a battery.

A few facts about AC power:

  1. Most "Wall Plugs" are AC power systems. That kind of power comes from a power plant.
    The most common power plants are Hydro (water), Coal, or Nuclear.
  2. AC power is much better at traveling over long distances.

Watts going on?

It's time to get down to the nitty-gritty; Watts, Volts and Amps. You really don't need to be worried, let's take it one step at a time.

Amps

Electricity consists of the flow of electrons through a conductor such as an electric wire. You can't see electrons but a helpful analogy is to think of electricity as the flow of water through a pipe. We measure the rate of flow of electricity as an electric current (notice the water analogy again if we think of a river current). Electric current is measured in Amperes, shortened to Amps or simply the letter A. A current of 2 Amps can be written as 2A. The bigger the current the more electricity is flowing.

Volts

So what makes the current flow in the first place? A device such as a battery provides a potential difference in an electric circuit. If we go back to our water analogy, the battery is like a water pump that propels water through a pipe. It creates pressure in the pipe causing the water to flow. So how do we measure this pressure? We call electrical pressure Voltage and measure it in Volts, shortened to V. A voltage of 3 volts can be written as 3V. The bigger the voltage the higher the pressure and the more current flows. But in order for the current to flow, the electrical conductor or wire must loop back to the battery. If we break the circuit, with a switch for example, then no current flows.

Watts

So how do Current and Voltage relate to one another? Well, the bigger the current the brighter the light and similarly the bigger the voltage the brighter the light. Both the voltage and the current in the bulb determine how much energy is released in a certain time. The Watt is a measure of power or how much energy is released per second. It can be shortened to W. One Watt can be written 1W. We can calculate the power released in a bulb by multiplying the voltage in Volts across the bulb by the current in Amps flowing through the bulb (W = V x A). For example a current of 2 Amps flowing through a bulb with 12 Volts across it generates 24 watts of power. In the UK, domestic power is supplied at 240 Volts. A 100 Watt bulb will therefore draw a current of 100/240 Amps (about 0.4A). This means a 1A fuse can be safely added to the mains plug of a desk lamp with a 100W bulb because 1A is much greater than 0.4A. In the USA, the domestic supply is typically 110V, safer than the UK, and this means a 100W bulb draws a current of 100/110 Amps (about 0.9A).

SOLAR 101

What is solar?

Solar power is energy that is collected from the sun. The amount of sunlight that reaches the earth is enough energy to power the needs of the entire world more than 8500 times over. How does it work? Solar power cells consist of two layers of treated silicon. The bottom layer is positively charged and the top layer is negatively charged. When the sun hits the panel electrons move and create electricity. What does solar efficiency mean? Manufacturers test their solar panels and cells in perfect conditions (74 degree, 1 MPH wind), which is never what actually happens in reality. However, with the correct orientation to the sun and good sunlight, you can expect on average around 60% of the rated wattage that the panel advertised.

What are the different types of solar and why do we use mono-crystalline?

Mono-Crystalline

Mono-Crystalline:

  • This is the technology GOAL ZERO employs
  • 11-22% efficient - most efficient and very reliable
  • Lifespan 10 - 30 years highest wattage per square foot
  • Made from single silicon crystals
  • Perform best in the most conditions (light & temperature)
  • Performs well in low light conditions.
Properly aligning your solar panel.
Poly-Crystalline

Poly-Crystalline:

  • 8-15% efficient
  • Made from multi-crystal silicon
  • Looks like fish scales or shattered glass
  • Simpler manufacturing process
Amorphous

Amorphous:

  • 5-6% efficient
  • Old technology
  • Weak: break easily
  • Nice looking
  • Rigid
  • Work well in shady conditions
  • Typical use: solar calculator
CIGS

CIGS

  • 5-10% efficient
  • Flexible
  • More expensive
  • Bigger size
  • Easy to manufacture

Why use GOAL ZERO solar?

  1. Easy-to-use: GOAL ZERO has taken the guess work out of using solar. Panels, power packs, lights, accessories and cords - everything you need is in one place and is designed to work together.  No electrician required!
  2. Cost-Effective: GOAL ZERO is choosing pieces and parts that are high-quality and cost-effective so that we can pass along the savings to you. We want to make solar power accessible to everyone.
  3. Dependable: We test and test and then test some more so that you always have the power you need when you need it.

Comparison Guide

Goal Zero Power Packs Guide 10 Escape 150 Extreme 350
Watt Hours 10 150 350
Weight (oz/lbs) 6.4 oz 12 lbs 26 lbs
Size (inches) 2.5 x 4 x 0.72 9 x 9 x 18 9 x 10 x 6
Price $59.95 $199.99 $349.99
Charge Time with Nomad 7 2-4 hours n/a n/a
Charge Time with Nomad 13.5 n/a 12 hours 27 hours
Charge Time with Nomad 27 n/a 6 hours 13 hours
Charge Time with Boulder 15 n/a 10 hours 23 hours
Charge Time with Boulder 30 n/a 5 hours 12 hours
Charge Time with Escape 30 n/a 5 hours 12 hours
Charge Time from Wall n/a 5 hours 6-7 hours
Charge Time from USB 6-8 hours n/a n/a
Charge Time from Car/Boat n/a 5 hours 12 hours
Recharge Times: Cellphone 3 times 75 times 175 times
Recharge Times: Laptop/iPad 0 7 times
Run Time: Mini Fridge 0 3 hours
USB Output Inverter Additional
12V Output n/a Inverter Additional
AC Output n/a Inverter Additional
Chainable? No No Yes
Available in Kit? Yes Yes Yes
Battery Technology Nickel-Metal Hydride AGM Lead-Acid AGM Lead-Acid
Cycles 2000 800 800
Product Family Elite Escape Extreme