Monday, November 19, 2012

Our New Multi-Function Battery Room

Earlier in the year we wrote about the big solar shift when we moved our batteries and inverter from under the solar panels outside, to inside the house at the back of our workshop. As the workshop gets quite dusty from time to time when we are sanding or sawing wood etc., we thought it would be wise to build a dividing wall to separate the battery room from the workshop area.

Battery room shelves under construction
Fortunately, we were able to make use of quite a bit of recycled material, most of which was completely free. The whole project of creating our new battery room cost less than $200 made up of:-
  • Door –purchased second hand
  • Box for the battery set – second hand and left over timber from other jobs
  • Pine studs for the wall frame- gleaned from a skip behind a shop where they were remodelling. We asked first!
  • Timber for the shelving. The uprights came from another shop makeover and the wood for the shelves from various free sources
  • Grain bench.  A cupboard no longer wanted by a family member
  • Wall paint was half price because another customer was unhappy with the tint
The shelves are filling up with produce
We built a wall of shelves in the room, which now serves multiple functions including:-
  • Storage for all our bottling and jam making equipment and supplies
  • Storage our ginger beer making gear as well as the bottles of ginger beer
  • Storage area for some long lasting crops including pumpkins (about 60 this year), potatoes, garlic and other produce
The power management system and battery box

Other uses of the room include
  • Storage for our battery bank (in a vented cupboard)
  • Shelving for our inverter, regulator and associated equipment
  • Space for our grain processing bench with oat roller and grain grinder attached (storage underneath)
  • Provides a mouse proof storage area for bulk grains (oats and wheat)
The thermal mass in the slab and mudbrick walls ensures temperatures in the battery room do not vary greatly. Our new verandah helps in this regard, by keeping the sun off the external walls. This makes it an ideal space for storing vegetables, grain and produce.

The dividing wall with one side to be finished
The dividing wall that separates the battery room from the workshop has one other benefit. We intend finishing off the project by building shelves on the workshop side of it, so all our tools, workshop equipment and materials can be housed together in an orderly fashion.  This extra storage area will massively improve the way the workshop functions as well. However,  we know from past experience that any spare shelves will mysteriously fill up with objects we need to store, as well as objects that we keep because we are sure they will come in handy one day!

1 comment:

Colette Aubin said...

It’s good that you were able to make room for the equipment and have space to store your produce. At least now you can do your processing done without having to carry the raw produce and the finished products to and from storage! That, and having extra storage never hurts in the long run. Cheers!


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