The first large(r) solar system that I purchased was a GoalZero Boulder 30w Solar Panel with a GoalZero Guardian 12v Charge Controller. It came already packaged and ready to put into service, which I did on Day 1. That system has not disappointed me since.
I wanted a pre-configured solar charging system that was already tested, proven and ready-to-go right out of the box. I chose GoalZero solar equipment for this application, which required ease of storage and transportability.
“Rugged, durable, and rigid. The Boulder 30 Solar Panel is built with strong tempered glass and an aluminum frame for temporary or permanent installation.”
Boulder 30 Solar Panel General Info –
* Weight: 6.5 lbs (2.95 kg)
* Dimensions: 21 x 18 x 1 in (53 x 46 x 2.5 cm)
* Certs: CE, FCC
* Optimal Operating Temp: 32-104 F (0-40 C)
* Warranty 12 months
* Rated Power: 30W
* Open Circuit Voltage: 18-20V
* Cell Type: Monocrystalline
* Solar Port (blue, 8mm): 14-16V, up to 2.0A (30W max), not regulated
* Can be daisy chained together.
After buying the first panel and charger/controller I purchased a second Boulder 30 panel. The two panels can be daisy-chained together effectively doubling the charging rate to 60w. Then about 6 months later I purchased a second charger/controller.
That gives me the ability to charge two batteries at the same time or redundancy on the original charger/controller unit. Two is one, one is none.
In a pinch I can use the smaller 12V solar charger (Nomad) but they have a much slower charging rate than the larger Boulder panels. But they too can be daisy-chained to increase the charge rate.
There are lots of options for solar charging of batteries and alternatives to GoalZero. You can pick whatever system is best for you, just do your research, or find someone you trust and buy what they bought. GoalZero is kind of pricey but I believe they are a high-quality brand from everything I’ve seen.
Note: I understand that GoalZero is no longer producing the charger/controller units. You can still find them occasionally on eBay for about $45 – $55.00. Worth the money.
And then installed 45amp Anderson Powerpoles. This gave the battery clamps the capability to still work as designed. But, it also gave the charge controller the ability to hook directly into my radio boxes and power poxes.
This is a great combination of GoalZero equipment that provides 30w solar power or combine it with additional Boulder 30 panels to beef up your power delivery. Yes, you can buy 30w panel systems cheaper, but you can’t get cheap and GoalZero quality.
A solid buy in my opinion.
Update: 7/24/2019 – This article is essentially for information only…and to give you ideas. These products are no longer available. I no longer recommend GoalZero products. They tend to be a full generation behind in technology and they are way over priced in my opinion. GoalZero quality has slipped noticeably in the last couple of years. I will try and get a new recommendation out as soon as I can.
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