At CES I got to check out the Yeti 1250 Solar Generator from Goal Zero, an interesting alternative to the good old putt-putt generator. It stands 16 inches tall, 11.6 inches wide and 14.5 inches deep and weighs in at 103 lbs. It features multiple ports allowing you to charge several devices at once and offers a variety of output types, including AC, 1.5 amp USB, 33amp 12V DC, 6.6 amp 12V DC. All the ports are easily activated with a flick of the master switch, but can also be micro-managed by power group to individually protect circuits. The Yeti 1250 charges fully in 20-22 hours via solar power or in 16-20 hours via a wall outlet. It can power a laptop for 30+ hours; support a printer through 18,000+ pages of printing; keep a full sized refrigerator cold for two to four days straight and maintain subzero temperatures in a chest freezer for eight days. Unlike traditional gas-fueled generators, the Yeti 1250 never produces more power than is being drawn from it, so users needn’t worry about wasting power or unnecessary maintenance.

Designed for camping and emergency power outages, obviously the Yeti 1250 can’t really replace a putt-putt for every production. But in the right situation, say a small location shoot that needs to power a monitor and where the sound from a putt-putt would be a problem, the Yeti 1250 might be a good option.

The Yeti 1250 Solar Generator will be available in May 2012, both as a single unit ($1499.99) and as part of Yeti 1250 Solar Generator Kit ($1999.99) which also includes two Boulder 30 solar panels and a carrying cart for the kit. www.goalzero.com