Lining a new battery box

porch13porch13 Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭✭
I just built this pretty new box for our new setup at a cabin.  I'm at the point where I need to line the box with something in case of spills, etc.  I've been searching and pond liner is pretty pricey.  Are there any other good options for lining the inside of the box?  I'm not too concerned about the fumes because I have a 48V Zephyr fan that will be mounted on the top of the box.

Northern Arizona...4050 Watt off-grid system - Outback FP1 - Rolls 605 in a 48V bank


  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Polyester resin, fiberglass resin, is resistant th 30% sulfuric acid, better yet is a 2 part epoxy resin.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016 #3
    If you can find an old Water bed mattress, it is as thick as pond liners
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Be sure the center of the bottom of the box is supported so the batteries don't punch through.
    If the hinge and hardware is stainless, that would be good.
    Use a good primer on the wood.  i don't know what paint would hold up, so pond liner sounds good to me.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 1,000 ✭✭✭✭
    Unless you have a catastrophic failure of the inner and outer battery case, what chance is there of one tipping over to spill?  The odd drip from the hydrometer just discolours my OSB built battery box.  I think you're expecting too much problem.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 1,009 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016 #6
    I have seen plywood battery boxes lined with automotive undercoat spray and/or epoxy coatings. I have also seen batteries standing in 6" high plastic trays, inside of wooden battery boxes - with a layer of vermiculite around the battery bases for absorbancy.

    My aircraft battery customers talk about this stuff:

    Your approach should be based on just how much of a catastrophic event that you want to plan for. As @Ralph Day pointed out, bare wood works too!

    With no long term experience with either of the above, I can only offer what I see other people doing, so take it with a grain of salt!

    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,351 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016 #7
    Hey Marc! Plan any motor lifeboat trips this year :)

    Overthinking a bit on this one. Pick a color of latex you like and you are done. Bare wood has worked for over 20 years also.
    I have never liked battery boxes as most of the time they are not needed. They just seem to encourage corrosion. Secure the batteries from cats and kids, a plastic liner on cement floor, and adequate ventilation in a garage size room and you are done.

    Many like the OP here end up leaving the top open if the room is large enough and abandon the fan and it's danger of not working.
    I like a top with 6 ventilation holes 3",  and open on the sides attached to the wall where the inverter is. Meets the intent of lockable, has plastic 4" pan to protect against a cracked case, and will not cause much of the corrosion I have seen at other offgrid homes.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
    E-mail [email protected]

  • porch13porch13 Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for all the tips, everyone.  I think I'll go avead and leave the wood bare or maybe a coat of latex paint.  I'm a bit fanatical about cleanliness and maintenance, so I think I'll be okay.   I have to go with the box because the batteries are in a relatively small concrete room under the cabin with no air flow.  Hence, the Zephyr fan to vent the fumes outside.  I'm so very excited to get the system up and running.  I have everything purchased except the batteries, which I'll get when everything is ready to start them charging.  Panels go up the week after Christmas.  Here's the array mount.  Lots of steel pipe, concrete, and IronRidge components.  

    Northern Arizona...4050 Watt off-grid system - Outback FP1 - Rolls 605 in a 48V bank
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,351 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That is not going anywhere! Nice job! Probably better wind rating than your panels :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
    E-mail [email protected]

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