As many of you know my daughter is an insulin dependent (type 1) diabetic. If her insulin gets warm it stops working. Today I built a solar powered generator. It will if necessary power an ARB 12v refrigerator if we have a prolonged power outage at home. It will also work as a power station for base camping trips. In a nut shell it’s a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 for less than a third of the cost.

Here is the breakdown. I purchased these three dustproof containers at Home Depot ($98 OTD special) I only used the bottom wheeled box which by itself was $60.


Next up was selecting the battery. I wanted something sealed so I went with a 70ah AMG battery from Auto Zone. I considered Optima but from my research the new ones lack quality and were WAY more expensive. The charge controller is a Morningstar 10amp model from Amazon ($56).


I went with Blue Sea for the fuse panel, master switch, 12v outlets and the USB outlet. Amazon had them but they were about 10% cheaper from a marine shop on EBay.




Here is the almost completed interior. I still need to cut some stiff foam to hold the battery in place.


The RENOGY 100 Watt 12v solar panel was purchased from Amazon for $150. I also bought with it a 25 foot cord and cut it in half so I could have a positive and negative 12″ section with the correct connectors for the panel. On the box side I went with an easier to connect/disconnect plug type.



All the wiring is 10 gauge except for the wiring to the USB. Goal Zero wanted about $1600 for their unit plus a few hundred for the solar panel. I’m in it for less than $500 and am very happy with the final results. The rolling box weighs about 50 pounds and the panel weighs just a few pounds. I still need to make some folding legs for the panel and sew up a neoprene sleeve to store it in.

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