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Battery bank placement and questions

 
gardener
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Battery bank placement and questions

A list of questions for wise folks to help with. I have read enough to confuse myself pretty well, so I give up, and ask. If you know of threads or links that might help with any of this, please toss them at me, I’d love to know. The things I ask, I need to know good or bad, and if it’s bad, WHY it is, so I can understand this.

I’m building our house soon, will add solar and wind generators later, but I need to know where to put my battery bank so I can make sure I have all my construction plans correct. The batteries will be car or marine types, whatever I can afford and work in as I get them.  

The BEST placement for me, for ease of maintenance, is in the basement. The room above the place I am considering is a bedroom, and there is airflow that goes between the floors. If I put it there, would I need to put it in a cabinet with a vent to the outside? I can do that.

Other options for placement are the garage, and there’s a mudroom/dogtrot room, like a long hall, that is an option. I don’t like the garage because it’s too easy for them to get damaged and way too easy to forget to do maintenance there. All the other systems that need maintaining are in that same basement area. It’s a good place because some of the input wires might possibly be shorter, and the output wires might be too. The shorter wire length is the only good thing about placing it in the dogtrot, that’s a high traffic, very busy space, I don't want it there if there is any other option. But it’s very close to the breaker box area.

So if we decide where it goes, then I have secondary questions...
1.  I have no real clue of where my best areas for generators will end up being (depends on several factors,) how long is too long for wires to the batteries? For wires to the breaker box?

2.  Is there such a thing as a breaker type switch to just swap a breaker in the breaker box over to the batteries? I plan to put the stuff I want to stay running in a power outage on a breaker circuit or two, and little to nothing else on those circuits. I’d love to be able to say “power’s out, just switch onto the batteries.” I could also do a separate small breaker box if that would work better.

3.  Until I get generators running, can I get away with putting a battery float charger onto the batteries, keep them charged off the grid? If so, then can I get away with making those circuits ALWAYS bouncing through the battery bank, so when the power goes out, it just draws straight off the batteries, no switch required?

4.  If I have it either switching or always bouncing through the batteries, do I need it all surge protected? I’m thinking yes. The main grid power in will be on a full house surge protector, this area has REALLY grubby power. Brownouts and flickering, short blackouts, and long blackouts are all par for the course here. My desktop computer is on a UPS at this rental, I still unplug it off the wall anytime I’m not actively using it, it’s that unstable. I plug in the UPS and power it all up if I need to use it. I want the house to be MUCH more stable.

5.   Right now I’m only worried about things that need to be built into the house, not the panels or wind generators, can you think of anything I’m possibly missing? I know where the breaker box is, where the wires go, where the circuits I want battery-able are, what kind of power draw I’m expecting, etc. Anything else in the structural design I need to have planned out now?

Thank you for your input!!
Pearl

 
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Hi Pearl,

You have a load of good questions, but let me ask you one or two before I begin to jump in.  I am an electrical engineer, now mostly retired, with 35 plus years work experience on a variety of rocket, satellite, airborn, shipborn, and handheld systems.  As for solar etc., I am no expert, but i do have some hands on experience at my home with a solar system and a backup generator.  I will help walk you through some wiring options, but first the question or questions.  

Do you plan on having a generator in addition to your off-grid generation?  This will affect how you wire the system and is a good first step to protecting yourself quickly form power outages.

Solar and especially wind are far more construction intensive and take longer to get all the bugs worked out.  Most importantly, however, is that in the winter you don't have a great deal of sun and the angles of incidence are not so friendly unless you opt for an expensive mounting and/or tracking system for the panels.  Also wind generators do not put out a lot of power except in mid to heavy winds.

The beauty of a less than off-grid (because you still need to buy propane) propane generator is that you can run it for a few hours and recharge your battery bank when the batteries are low.   This also provides a step by step path to off-grid power security.  

Your first step after installing the generator would be to add the battery bank and the inverter /charger system.  This gives you the ability to run off batteries until they need to be charged.  Then the generator would kick on and the house would run off the generator while the batteries charge.  This means that the generator may only have to run 2 to 4 hours a day depending on the size of battery bank, power load you are using, and size of the generator.  Also since you are drawing power at the same time you are charging the batteries, the net efficiency of your system is better.  This would greatly extend the life of your propane reserve in an extended power outage.  The other item which would be accomplished as part of this phase is the power to your house would all be routed and wired to automatically switch between, grid, generator, and battery power modes.

The next step would be to add the solar panels and solar charging circuit and work out those bugs.

Final step would be installation of the wind generator, charging circuit and a dump load for excess power when the batteries are charged.  This may include adding a second water heater inline with and in front of the primary water heater to store the excess power from the wind generator.

I guess that is probably enough food for thought in a single post.

We are neighbors as I am in NW AR.
 
gardener
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Let me touch on 2 and 3.
If you are feeding a few devices from battery power during power outages,  they will either need to be DC devices or the power will need to be converted to AC via an inverter.

If you always run that power through the batteries you will be coverting it at least twice, each conversion making the process less efficient.

I would want a sub panel for the power critical circuits,including the trickle charger, equiped with a transfer switch.
 
pollinator
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Grid/Generator Powered Charger $400 24kWHr/day
https://www.wholesalesolar.com/2915346/cotek/battery-chargers/cotek-cx-2440-battery-charger

DC(battery) to AC Inverter 4000W (8000W surge) cost $1,200
https://www.wholesalesolar.com/2923535/cotek/inverters/cotek-sp4000-124-inverter
https://www.wholesalesolar.com/2923502/cotek/inverters/cotek-sd3500-124-inverter

Battery $2,000 4.6kWH 24V (8X3.2V),  180AH with 80% DOD comparable to 9.2kWHr car battery with 40% DOD.
http://www.evwest.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=4&products_id=50&osCsid=rp0cj2i33tp2j88tnj80dto4e5

Solar Charge Controller $300 3.5kW (* the usual 4hr of sunlight for 14kWHr per day)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/electrodacus/solar-bms-and-digital-mppt-for-pv-electricty-and-h

12 Solar Panels $2,000 for 3500W ($0.52/Watt) and (14kWH/day assuming 4hrs)
https://www.wholesalesolar.com/1922388/solarworld/solar-panels/solarworld-swa-285-plus-black-mono-solar-panel



If you wanted to do radiant floor heater.
Thermal Battery (Floor) $2,000
Heating element ($1/sqft) $1,000

Controller $600
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/electrodacus/solar-bms-and-digital-mppt-for-pv-electricty-and-h

24 Solar Panel $4,000
https://www.wholesalesolar.com/1922388/solarworld/solar-panels/solarworld-swa-285-plus-black-mono-solar-panel
(the solar controller will interface with the house battery to give 6kWH/day on top of the 14kWH/day for 20kWH/day)
solar.png
[Thumbnail for solar.png]
 
S Bengi
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I prefer LiFePO4 batteries they last at least 5 times as long, with twice as much usable power. no problem with motor surge. They don't need maintenance/fumes/acid/lead or extra weight.

How much power do you see yourself using per day?
My above system assumes 10kWH/day
Lighting =0.5kWH (10x LED (10w) for 5hrs)
LED TV/Tablet-PC/Phone = 1kWH (4x 50W for 5hr)
Appliance/etc = 9kWH

What is your peak usage?
I assumed just 4000W thus only one inverter rated for 4000W and about 4600WHr in LiFePO4 battery.

I would just put my system about in a laundry room.


Going with your lead batteries.
I think the basement is perfect.
Wires from battery to inverters and chargers should be at a max 6ft.
When it comes to wires from solar/wind to charge controller they can be pretty far away esp as the DC voltage goes or if the amperage is kept below 10amps and the wire is reasonable thick. You could run all the solar strings wire to the house independently and then combine then there.

When it comes to wind expect 1/5th of whatever it is rated for 1000W becomes 200W at best but you do get 24hr production so 4.8kWHr per day.

I think you might like this.
Inverter $4,400 8000W. With Battery Input+Generator Input+Grid Input. So Two AC input and One DC input. It will charge the battery too, and also automatically switch between and combine power sources to match load. And in the future you can connect whatever solar charge controller you like to the battery.

https://www.wholesalesolar.com/2550157/outback-power/inverters/outback-power-gs8048a-01-inverter
or https://www.wholesalesolar.com/2550550/outback-power/inverters/outback-power-sbx5048-120-240-inverter
inverter.png
[Thumbnail for inverter.png]
 
pollinator
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I like your path of making infrastructure considerations before shoe-horning equipment in or having to walk around it. Retrofit integration is usually the main challenge of installations.

If you like your ups function for the computer you will absolutely appreciate a whole house version.

A transfer switch is a nice device, manual or automatic.

Automatic transfer switches are available as an add on or even better, integrated into the inverter.

I like Ralph's suggestion of having a battery based inverter system in place first (large UPS system), it will get the panel work and battery enclosure in place and integrated into the building electrical and is the hub of the system, no matter what order new energy sources are added.

Midnite solar has a manual transfer switch enclosure that is compact and inexpensive. Samlex makes an auto transfer switch that can be added to most any 120v inverter, inexpensive also. There are others.

Aims inverter/chargers are probably the most capable amd reliable low cost inverter charger option and come about 800$ for 2000w-3000w and have auto transfer.

Its hard to beat an outback fx series or radian for this but they are 1800$ for an fx, mate and temp sensor. Worth every penny.

An inverter/charger with a good (4 milisecond) transfer switch will detect poor power quality on the utility line and disconnect from the grid while switching to inverted battery power without you even knowing, usually. This function is highly under-rated.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Apologies to y'all, I lost track of this thread... Thank you all for your input!

If y'all would check this for me please, I'd appreciate it...
House plan:


Larger version HERE if needed.

Lighter green are the best places for the breaker box for grid power coming in, and the best place for the battery bank. Any issues with either of them? The battery bank is in the mechanical area, in with the water shut offs for the gray water piping, two water heaters (one that runs the house, one for the radiant floors) the manifold for the radiant, (there IS a floor drain right there in case of issues,) the air control area where the filters and fans are (contained in their own fairly airtight space.)  Is any of that a problem near the batteries? They can be elevated off the floor if needed. The space just north of it (plans are REVERSED orientation, so downwards on the drawings) would be a secondary kitchen area, mostly used for terrible things like dyeing fabric and baking fimo, but possibly for food prep or herbal distillation.  1. Would the batteries want to be in an airtight space? With exterior venting? Or are they safe to have there?  Air tight cabinet is easy to add right now, harder later. Constrains the space though, I'd rather not if it's safe.

The darker green is where I can put a secondary breaker box, for the 12 volt system, if I need it. 2. Is this needed, good, bad, suggestions? If it's by the main breaker box I'd have to keep it pretty well under control, that's the main living room. I need the main breaker box there due to health issues, if I have to shut it off NOW, which I may have to due to storms etc, it HAS to be a place I can access easily even if I am very sick. So not in the garage, or downstairs which are more normal places.  I can keep the 110 system neatly constrained since I wont have my fingers in it much, but the DC system that I will be messing with doesn't want to be in public space, where I'm attempting to have one respectable looking space in the house.

The wiring in the house is all surface mount, so it's easy to have space for extra wires in there. 3. Is there a problem with running wires from 110 AC right next to wires doing DC? If I have my way, some of the outlets will be wired to the DC, and marked, so I can hook in things that run on it, and just leave them in place.

So my visual here: Batteries in the basement with the rest of the mechanicals, DC breaker box in the laundry room, DC wires that run with the 110 around the house and have their own outlets.  Inputs from the asst generating systems through the west wall there, that puts their wires in pipes that run in the trenches with the water lines (backfill the trench halfway, then add the electrical piping? How far from water lines if not?) Is any of this a bad idea? This seems to me to give me the most versatile options, since the tech changes so fast. AM I MISSING ANYTHING?!

The tech itself is a whole 'nother ball of wax. I'll ask about that later, right now I need to get the structural stuff under control, I need to get a building permit, and they want plans that show where all the structural stuff goes.

THANK YOU ALL for all your help!!
:D


 
frank li
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Pearl, luckily you could have command and control from just about anyplace you like. I would have to hear more about the feature you are looking for with access to breakers. You could have a big red button machine stop switch disconnect absolutely everything and its not far out on cost if you have the battery and inverter system so far removed from the mains distribution panel. Technically, it easier to have the service conductor entrance, disconnect(s) and meter(s) grouped and within 5 feet of the entrance to the secondary source/inverter, but it can be accomplished different ways to have things where you like.

The main floor emergency disconnect and the arrangement of electric gear beg for a big red button, rapid shutdown where ac output and ac input are disconnected at the inverter battery panel work when the button is pressed outside (possibly one in the living room? Or selective remote operated breakers) budgets though...

Trenches should sit side by side unless you need the economy. Im not too experienced with major layout of multiple sevices at the ground...... you likely will not ever have to get to the water line again, but i wouldnt want to have to destroy a conduit and conductor set from an array or to a building to do so.

I will sit down and look at your post and floor plan. If i fire something from the hip, it is what that always is...

Dc power if you need it. If you cant think of a real use right away, i would either not use it or distribute it to only a few locations where it makes sense. Utility rooms, some auxilliary/security lighting, workshops/work stations, office and entertainment, which then could amou t to every room, but a complete low voltage distribution and outlet system for every point there is ac should only be commissioned if that is exactly what you desire.

I like to use the house battery voltage (usually 24 vor 48v) and step it down to run the dc appliances and loads at a constant voltage. This can also be used to get dc at say 48v, 65' to 75' or more on moderate size wire and then step down to lower controlled voltage at the point(s) of use. That way you are not pulling (or surface mounting!!!) #2 copper to run a 250w load, 100' away!

This can be done with cat6 cable using common electrical/communications outlet enclosures for an edge on budget and an eye to the future. Low wattage only, no large pumps, fans or heaters.

Use of chases and oversized redundant conduit and clever 3-d closetry junctions for passthroughs to areas of the building that need connection and possible re-fit for additions or removal is good stuff if you are building.
 
frank li
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Number 1. Batteries should be in some type of enclosure, if not for vapors then for general protection. It does not need to be air tight, but well sealed and arranged to accumulate at the vent outlet. If you have sealed batteries, it just needs to protect the batteries and terminals from personal and other contact. A broom or other item could fall across the exposed terminals and ot will not stop arc welding until theres not much left. It could be transparent or wood metal, cob, whatever.

Ventilate flooded lead acid batteries to outdoors power or convection.

Roll out shelves are sometimes used to keep batteries accessable vertical and tight to a wall.

Lots of waterworks... be creative and create distance. Partitions, or a lightweight modular closet, removable for service. (think facilities. I always pay attention in large facilities power and utility rooms.) A jet of water could kill power electronics. Still a great location. You dont have to listen to relays and fans or they are drowned out by building mechanical!

#2 id send it all from the same place with the meter, disconnects, service entrance, mains distribution/critical loads distribution with dc distribution and battery and power electronics downstairs directly below the main panel. Having the battery in the location drawn I guess it would just be bringing a sizable circuit right from a fuse or breaker on the battery or battery bus, to the dc panel location that places it wher you need it and some sxtra ac wiring and communications cables. You should not have to get into the dc panel, but to maybe add circuits., for that reason, it could easily be housed in the inverter panelworks. Any more insight on the need to shut down power in a hurry helps.

And actually, first. Where does the utility power meet the house best? Or is there a location yet? I could assume the main panel location, but that trick does not always work.

#3 you should not have an issue with power. Sensitive signals might get over ride from ac lines in close proximity, but you shouldnt hear david bowie coming out of your smoothie mixer or anything.

If you use the stranded thhn housewire wjth a round profile, it will be twisted even. Part of the trick is keeping the two dc current carrying conductors the same distance apart as they travel electromagnetically shields the line, twisting helps keep this and probably ads some alternating spiral mojo to the flux, not sure on that one.
 
pollinator
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Pearl,

There is a lot of good information here, but I wanted to touch on issue #2.  There are breaker type switches called transfer switches.  These switches are also called “break before make” switches.  Normally these switches are used in cases where one has both main grid power and a backup power supply.  

In these situations it is critically important to have a switch installed that prevents the homeowner from accidentally sending electricity down a line that a lineman might be working on.  This has the potential to kill an innocent electrical worker who was working on a dead line that suddenly goes live.  These transfer switches automatically break the connection to the main line before they make the connection to the backup source so as to save the lineman.  

Some people illegally wire up an extension cable that had two male ends, plug one end into a wall outlet, the other into the generator and then turn off the main power circuit breaker.  Should the main breaker be turned back on (even accidentally) while the generator is still operating, that power gets fed to the main grid which can kill an innocent lineman.

These switches are not mounted in the normal breaker box, but instead are wired into individual circuits on the main breaker box and physically reside in their own separate breaker box that resides near the main box.  I have installed one of these transfer switch breaker boxes for backup power from a generator.  If memory serves, each individual transfer switch has 6 feet of electrical lines, so the transfer box must be less than 6 feet from the main box.

So to answer your question, yes, there are switches that allow you to switch between power sources.  They need to be specially wired in.  This can be done by a homeowner, but only if you are skilled, knowledgeable and comfortable working with electrical wiring.  If you think you will fall short in any one of these categories, then you should have this work done by an electrician.

I hope this helps you.  I am writing so extensively because I find your project truly interesting and I would love to hear how things progress for you.  If you have any other questions or if I was unclear on any point, please do not hesitate to reach out again and I will do what I can.

Good luck,

Eric
 
frank li
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Not sure if this was brought up yet, a good inverter with an internal transfer switch will transfer automatically when any poor power quality condition is detected on the grid line in 4 milliseconds. Thats way faster than you could shut it off, even if your finger was on the trigger!

An automatic transfer switch is also available from tiny to 60 amps that can be plug and play or hardwire. They are quite inexpensive 30-60$, and are made by several companies for rv/marine and other applications some are even ul and etl listed equipment.
 
Pearl Sutton
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I keep losing track of this thread...
I'm taking notes for later when I get farther along, THANK YOU ALL for being so helpful!

While I have y'all paying attention, oh wise electrical types::
I bought a LOT of schedule 80 PVC cheap, 4 inch gray, bell ends, unused, 10 foot joints, $5.00 each. (I filled the truck twice at that price! Have 1620 feet of pipe!) (and know where to get more, possibly) I'm using it for my air tubes, for my french drains, etc, for anything that's not potable water. Running some from the electric meter to the house for the grid wires into the house. (I am REALLY sensitive to things like smart meters, made them put the meter way out at the road, although they aren't using them here... yet.) I'm trying to figure out what I'm running how now, both inside and out. So, weird batch of questions about all of this::

Outside:
1. Can I run ethernet or fiber optic through the same pipe as the grid in lines?
2. Can I run lines from the wind or solar power generators to the house in that same pipe?
3. If I can't run them with the grid lines, can I run wind/solar stuff in the same pipe as internet stuff? (a different pipe, probably in the same trench? Does THAT work?) (can I french drain in that trench too? Above or below the other pipes?)
4. (this may have been answered before, I'll look in a bit) Can I run wind/solar input lines across the yard in pipes in the same trenches as the water lines? What about in the trenches for the french drains?

In the house:
7. (may have asked this too?) (really tired today, apologies) So if I put a breaker panel for the batteries into the utility room, and I need to run wires parallel to the 110 system, can I run then in the same conduits? If not, what separation distance do I need? How about ethernet or fiberoptic? (not sure yet which is happening, WILL be hard wired though, no wifi) Wait. Shit. I'm losing my mind. the inverter makes it run 110, so it's the same voltage, and can be run together, as it's all the same... right? And can use the Romex,same as the rest? I'm marking all these wires, I hate non-marked systems.
8: Can I put regular 110 outlets to run 12 volt? I don't guess I've looked at that! I'd love to have a few dedicated outlets to the battery bank, marked clear, and others that can shift over easily with a shut off switch. I don't want the whole house to switch to battery if the power goes out, only the shifting over ones. The dedicated ones want to be always running off the batteries.  (Seems to me the inverter would make it run 110, so the outlets would be the same. Please correct me if I'm wrong!!)

Looks like I shouldn't ask questions when my brain is fried. :D

I think the outdoor questions might be the only valid ones :)  Any commentary on the indoor ones is welcome, in case I'm more lost than I think.

And, for what it's worth, yes, I am good with wires and circuits. The only thing I do NOT do is from the meter to the breaker box. Breaker box to anything I have no issues with, skill wise. I rewired my last house. It couldn't be brought up to code, so no electricians could touch it, but what was there was NOT safe, so I did it myself. Safely, just not to code. They wanted it to be inside the walls, wouldn't allow any kind of conduit, and the walls were 2 foot thick rock inside and out, and there was no way, and I wasn't going to frame in and sheetrock over all my pretty rock just so they liked where the outlets went. They finally changed the code in the area, due to all the old adobe and rock buildings that couldn't be wired without surface mount conduit, but I had already done it by then. When I got there there were things like a hot 220 Romex line hanging cut ends exposed in the air... stuck a screwdriver on it to test. FUCK!! Yup that's hot. Find it's breaker. And NOTHING was grounded, all 2 wire, and all 2 prong outlets. And some NASTY junctions. Masking tape is not a good thing to connect hot wires with. Oh, and a modern house needs more than 6 breaker circuits. I think the breaker box was older than I am. Was an interesting education :) Had an electrical engineer as my mentor. I miss him.



 
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Hi Pearl; I'll try to answer a few of your questions. Just my opinions here I could be mistaken...
#1) I would say no to this.  Leave your grid power lines alone in one pipe and put your wind/solar / internet lines in a separate pipe.
#2) see #1
#3) I think the French drainage should get its own trench... don't want to flood those pipes.
#4) If the water line is deep than I think your wind /solar lines would be fine up higher . But make sure to clearly mark that line, in the event your water line must be dug up.

I think you are already doing this but I'll mention it for any others who are reading.
When you bury any lines in your yard … use marking / locating tape as you bury and draw a detailed map , with accurate measurement's from known points!
I promise that despite the fact you are sure you will never forget where those lines are … time marches on … things change.... as you get older you develop C.R.S. disease … make a good map!
You will never regret it and some day after your gone that new homesteader who buys your dream will REALLY appreciate it !
 
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A few things ......
a- type of batteries. A car battery won't do it. Batteries need to be deep cycle. In my area, most people use lead-acid batteries basically because they are relatively cheap, lightweight enough for a person to handle them themselves, are readily available. I use golf cart batteries from Costco. I started out with L-16s but the weight is too much for me now to handle. I still heft a 6 volt golf cart battery myself. The 12 volt ones are too heavy. There are plenty of other battery types out there, but when I considered weight, length of life, availability, and especially cost, the golf cart ones were my choice. They normally last me 6 or so years. Their life depends a lot upon how you use them or abuse them.
b- I've never tried using just a battery charger to tup up my battery bank. I'd need to consult with my solar store on that one. There are different kinds of battery chargers out there. You would need to match the voltage with your system, that is, 12 volt, 24 volt, 48 volt, etc. Some are semi-smart, in that they will disconnect when they sense that the battery is full. But I haven't read where they will automatically reconnect. That's something to ask about. But you could use a generator and inverter system where it would automatically charge the battery bank as needed. I don't have such a system, but my neighbor across the street does. Of course that means his generator sometimes kicks on in the middle of the night.
 
Pearl Sutton
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thomas rubino wrote:
When you bury any lines in your yard … use marking / locating tape as you bury and draw a detailed map , with accurate measurement's from known points!
I promise that despite the fact you are sure you will never forget where those lines are … time marches on … things change.... as you get older you develop C.R.S. disease … make a good map!
You will never regret it and some day after your gone that new homesteader who buys your dream will REALLY appreciate it !



I'm not only mapping trenches, and photoing them, I'm making a whole log book/owner's manual of the property, both house and garden. What IS that weird plant? It should be in there somewhere. When do I need to do this maintenance? It's in there. When was it done last, by who? in there...

I'm assuming at some point someone is going to be trying to figure out what exactly is edible on the place (most of it, but NOT all) and what the hell I was thinking when I built it like I am planning to :D

Thank you for the answers, only one I don't know how to deal with is the french drain not being with the pipes. The pipes run parallel to the driveway, not sure exactly how far away from it I can get them. Drains are to keep the driveway dry, so they can't move, unless I get creative with some other way to move the water on this side to that side, without a muddy mess in between. I'll get a tape measure out next time I can get over there, we are snowing this weekend...
 
pollinator
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I visited some folks with a very nice off-grid setup a few years ago. They had their battery bank in the basement, like you are thinking of doing. Iirc it was enclosed in a plexiglass case he’d built — wood shelving with a plexiglass enclosure — it was a wee bit like a cold frame in design. The owner told me he did that to keep the off-gassing from the batteries from escaping into the house. There was a vent from the battery case to the outside.

The advantage of the basement is a constant cool temperature for the batteries. They do well in cool but not frigid cold temps. He suggested using old forklift batteries, as they last longer. I had been thinking golf cart batteriesbut he said it would cost me more in the long run. I still haven’t setup a system of my own, though, so I cannot say what’s best from personal experience. They clearly had more capital than I have to work with, though. 😸

Anyhow, I think your proposed basement location will be fine. Just be sure to provide ventilation and maybe consider building an enclosure for them.
 
pollinator
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Just one point, but to me it looks like a serious red flag:

>Can I put regular 110 outlets to run 12 volt?

Don't do this. Assuming you mean "use the same outlet type for both AC and DC".  Is that the plan?

Judging from my own talent for making dumb mistakes, and even smart ones, using the same type outlet for two wildly different voltages is nothing but a booby trap waiting for the worst moment. Even though there is no (to my knowledge) standard for DC plugs and sockets, and thus using dedicated DC sockets will cost more than the plain Jane AC outlets available everywhere... It's a real risk point that should not be built that way.

I'm sure you're going blind researching everything, but perhaps  a search trick and a few links I found useful may speed things up down the road. The line below is a google search term which limits your search to a few particular "electrical" sites which I have found contain real usable info (as opposed to marketing). Paste it into the search box, including the parenthesis, then add your own particular search terms. It's a lot easier to run down a short list hitting sites that may actually help you.

(site:www.electriciantalk.com OR site:gardenweb.com OR site:www.electrical-contractor.net OR site:www.inspectionnews.net OR site:electricalcodeconnection.com OR site:ecmweb.com OR site:www.diychatroom.com OR site:www.garagejournal.com OR site:www.electricalknowledge.com OR site:www.selfhelpforums.com)

Here are some links to some of those sites that I have used. IF you want to ask particular questions on one of the forums set up for professional contractors, you will need to "register"; then, if you have not already, read through a few dozen threads first and also look at their rules to get a feel for what and how questions are asked and received. _Usually_ they are happy to bend any rules a little and give help when the question is specific and shows that you have done due diligence and have a respect for their time and knowledge; _sometimes_ a forum actively discourages layman questions, restricting comments to those in the profession that have an advanced technical problem and need help with it immediately. It's nothing personal and I would not hesitate to try asking on most of those forums if you have a need - just be aware.

https://www.electricalknowledge.com/
http://www.selfhelpforums.com/forum.php
https://www.doityourself.com/forum/electrical-ac-dc-electronic-equipment-computers-131/
https://www.structuredhomewiring.com/Wiring/WiringExistingHome/
http://www.tpub.com/ceb/68.htm
https://dengarden.com/home-improvement/a-comprehensive-emt-conduit-bending-guide-for-electricians
https://codefinder.nfpa.org/                 ==========this has various codes; just drill down============
https://inspectapedia.com/electric/Electrical_SEC_Sizes_Amps.php
www.contractortalk.com


Regards,
Rufus
 
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