Yeti 150 Battery Upgrade + Anderson Powerpole Add
We like Goal Zero products a lot. Easy to use and good performance for the price, especially if you don't want to DIY a solar backup system.
The battery on my Goal Zero Yeti 150 finally died, after 7 years years of service. I used it quite a bit, so this fell right in line with what wold be expected.
So this was my chance to do a few upgrades I've wanted to do for some time - put in a better battery and add Anderson Powerpole connectors.
I'll walk you through how I did both, step by step, so if you want to take on this project yourself you can have some guidance.
Changing the battery is very easy. Adding the Anderson Powerpole connectors took a little more finesse, but was fairly simple as well.
I'm using the Powerpoles to increase the overall capacity of my Yeti by attaching a Vmax 45 amp LifePo4 battery.
Warning: these modifications probably violate any warranty you might have from Goal Zero. Since my Yet 150 was out of warranty anyway, I proceeded with the project.
Changing the Yeti 150 Battery
Let's tackle how to change the Yeti 150 battery first, since this is probably a task most Goal Zero Yeti 150 owners are going to have to perform at some point anyway.
The battery that comes with the 150 won't last forever, so will need to be replaced eventually. Good news is, its a pretty straightforward process to change it out.
Here's the original battery: a Ritar RT12140 12 volt 14 amp hour sealed lead acid battery.
It got all deformed as you can see from the photo, and looked like this when I took it out of the Yeti 150.
In order to open the case, you'll need the right sized hex key.
I'm not sure what exact size it is, so if you don't have one lying around grab a hex set from Amazon.
There are 4 hex bolts along the top of the 150. Unscrew them and put them aside for later. Then lift the cover straight off with the handle.
Once you have it open you'll see the battery and a red wire and a black wire connected to the terminals on it.
Disconnect them by grabbing them and wiggling side to side while gently pulling off.
Here is what the inside of the Yeti 150 looks like without a battery inside.
You can see the red and black battery leads on the left (more on those later) and the circuit board with the various inputs and outputs.
Here's a closer look at the board for those who are interested. You wont need to do anything with it during this procedure, just posting for you to look at.
What is worth noting here is the location of the 15 amp fuse on the top right of the photo, which also might need replacing from time to time.
(To change it out, just pull it straight out and look at it from the side and see if it's blown.)
The battery I decided to use as the replacement for the original one installed in the Yeti 150 is the VMAX V15-64 AGM, Deep Cycle & High performance battery.
VMAX is a small company, but one that makes very durable and robust AGM and LifePo4 batteries for all kinds of applications. They have a great reputation, which is why we purchased our Goal Zero Yeti 150 replacement battery from them.
Also, the VMAX AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries give you a performance boost over the original SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) that came with the Yeti 150 and is a direct drop-in for it.
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Typical Price: $60
A direct drop-in replacement for the stock Goal Zero Yeti 150.
|ominal Voltage||20Hr Capacity||RC (min)||Terminal Posts||Dimensions||Weight||Charging Current*||Charging Voltage||Float Voltage|
|12V||15AH||30||F2||5.94"w x 3.86"d x 3.74"h||10lb||1.5A-5A||14.4-14.9V||13.5V-13.8V|
Recommended Charging Options:
- AC Chargers: Any Quality Brand AGM- Smart & Microprocessor controlled- charger with the recommended specs above can be used.
- Vehicle Alternator: 14V-15V.
- RV Converter: 14V-15V.
- Solar Panel: 20W-75W.
- Wind Turbine: 20W-70W
- Charge controller: 2A-20A
Put It Back Together
The rest is easy, put your new battery into the Yeti 150, and reconnect the black and red power leads.
You might hear the Yeti "beep" at you when the power gets connected, this is OK.
(Ignore those red and black cables coming out to the right in this photo, these are for the Powerpoles, discussed in the next section. Just use the original connectors you removed from the OEM battery.)
Put the cover back on and screw down the bolts. Make sure you don't over-tighten them, hand tight will do.
Plug it back into your wall socket, and make sure it's fully charged up before using out and about.
Adding Anderson Powerpole to a Yeti 150
Now this is the part I've been waiting for!
For those who don't know, the Anderson Powerpole connectors are universal 12 volt DC plug adapters. You can use them to attach batteries together, solar panels, accessories, Ham radios, you name it.
Once you have Powerpoles connected to your 12V equipment, you can easily use them all together, or as I like to say "Powerpole all the things."
The point is to make the Yeti more universally adaptable, you're not stuck to the Goal Zero connectors for input.
You can still charge up your battery using the same plug that came with the Goal Zero using the same front panel input - or you can connect to the Anderson Powerpoles. They work in both directions, you can charge the battery, or you can pull power from them.
Goal Zero does include Anderson Powerpoles on their larger power units, just not the Yeti 150. I decided to fix that.
- Powerwerx PanelPole1: Panel Mount Housing for a Single Anderson Powerpole Connector
- (2) 45 Amp Anderson Powerpole Connectors (beware of cheap knockoffs)
- 1' 10 gauge wire (14 probably would have been better, more on that later)
Here is a great article which explains how to assemble the connectors should you need it.
If you decide to try this mod, take your time and keep double checking the sizing.
Most Dremel tools allow you to control the speed of the head, opt for a slower speed until you feel comfortable.
Prepping the Yeti for Anderson Powerpoles
They way I decided to do it required some modification of the top of the case of the Yeti 150.
There are two sets of vents along the top side. Now that I moved to AGM battery, I don't think both are necessary.
These seemed like the easiest place to put the PanelPole1, and it all fit nicely.
Here is what the PanelPole assembly looks like from the back. It comes with an install ring which screws on nice and tight and secures the unit from the inside.
In order to install the PanelPole, I took a Dremel to the inside and outside of the cover.
It took me about 30 minutes of work, and it was pretty straight forward.
Do the work in a well ventilated area, the plastic melts and the fumes can get pretty harsh.
I only used two bits: the cutting wheel and a sanding cylinder.
I marked the outside of the vent with a marker to make a rough outline of the PanelPole.
The outside took a little finesse, but in the inside I more or less just hacked away until I made enough space.
This is what it looks like with the tightening ring in place. Note the cuts into the support s along the bottom, took about 2/3 of the material away.
I thought about reinforcing that area, but I didn't bother - my Yeti usually rides inside a case when in the field, so the stress on the handle is minimal. You may decide differently.
Once I got the hole wide enough and the right shape, I placed the PanelPole into the hole and screwed on the retention ring.
Here is what it looks like from the outside. Looks clean and almost OEM.
I installed two Power poles at the end of some 10 gauge wire.
Looking back on the install I probably should have used some smaller gauge wire, like 12 or 14, 10 is probably overkill and was a little hard to bend. But that's what I had on hand so in it went.
I ran some painters tape along the top to help keep it in place when putting the cover back on.
To connect the other ends of the cable to the battery, I took a little bit of a short cut.
I didn't want to cut the original wires and solder new connectors on, so instead I used a small flat head screwdriver to pry open the original connectors a little bit, so I could squeeze the new wires in.
Then I stripped insulation off of the end of the new wires, flattened out the copper wires inside and put them into the connectors. Then I slid the connectors back onto the terminals on the battery.
Doing it this way ensured a snug fit, and pushed the cable into place nicely.
Here's what it looked like when it was all wired up.
In order to finagle the wires out of the way to put the cover back on, I put another piece of painters tape over the wires in the middle of the battery (not shown.)
Then on went the cover, and that was it!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
If you have any comments or questions about it, head on over to our Facebook Group and join in the conversation.