Solar charging has become a hot topic in recent years. As the technology has continued to improve, companies have found new and exciting ways to enhance our daily lives using solar power. At CES 2015, we had the opportunity to speak with Goal Zero about their smaller consumer devices, such as their portable camping chargers and lights. But this year, Goal Zero joined us on the live show to talk about their line of larger solar solutions.
Many people have used a solar-powered calculator, maybe a radio, or even a battery charger, but the idea of whole-home solar power is gaining traction. This growth is thanks in part to creative new implementations of the technology, paired with large capacity battery systems. While most people think of solar as a single piece of technology - the panels on the house - the other essential aspect of the setup is a way to store that power for when the sun is gone.
The newest version of the Goal Zero home product, which was introduced and demoed at CES 2020, allows for 6000 watt-hours. An average home in Louisiana uses 42,000 watt-hours per day, while a home in Hawaii uses about 17,000 watt-hours per day. Depending on your usage, a single unit could power your home for as much as 8 hours, or as little as 3.5 hours, depending on where in the country you live.
But, these units are capable of being installed inline, which means that you can increase your overall capacity. With just a few units, you could power your whole home for days with no external. The most important part of the setup, however, is the solar charging, which allows you to charge the units off the grid. For those who live in places like Florida or Texas, where hurricane season can regularly leave you without power, this system can change your experience.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.