In any off-grid renewable energy system the battery bank, power inverter, bridge rectifiers, charge controller, and other expensive equipment need to be housed away from the elements, close to the generation equipment, and definitely not inside the living quarters. Hence the invention of the Power Shed (aka Battery Shed) – a stand-alone building in which the renewable energy enthusiast will spend many happy hours!
A good power shed should be water-tight but well ventilated in case the batteries vent explosive hydrogen gas. Batteries do not hold charge well when they are very cold – particularly when temperatures fall close to or below zero – therefore if frost is likely, it is best to insulate the shed well and/or use a small heater as a dump load. Similarly batteries can overheat if the ambient air temperature is high and so in these conditions a fan can be used as a dump load.
The power shed should be built as large as possible so you have room inside to move around comfortably and safely. In addition, making the shed large means you have room for expansion should your system grow with added batteries and generation capacity.
An economical way to construct a shed is to recycle used wooden pallets. They are made of strong treated wood and so they will last a long time even in the harshest of climates. Click here to find out how to Build a Pallet Shed with the article from our sister website self-sufficient.co.uk.
Photographs of Battery Sheds
Below are a few more photographs of power sheds to give you a little inspiration:
1. Power shed in Boulder, Colorado, USA with battery bank and inverter for a solar and wind renewable energy system.
2. Power shed at the base of the tower of a wind turbine generator in New York state, USA. containing a 1.5 tonne 810 Ah 48V forklift truck battery and bridge rectifiers.
3. Power shed for 2.4kW of PV solar panels and a 1.5kW wind turbine in California, USA.