Blue Barrel System Is Born

This past week and weekend was quite productive. We started off by framing an annex "Utility Room" for the Kozy Kottage tiny house. This building will house the powerhouse, water storage and a few miscellaneous tools along with a ventless propane space heater to keep the water from freezing in the winter. In the image below you can see the 2x4 skeleton along with the beginning stages of assembling the water storage.

Image of starting to assemble barrel system

There is a catch barrel set upon six concrete blocks that catches the rainwater from the Kozy Kottage metal roof via the flexible downspout. The catch barrel is equipped with a standard brass faucet for attaching a garden hose for things like a pressure washer, or just to have an outdoor spigot to wash my hands when I am outside getting messy.

catch barrel and spigot

A generous portion of silicon was applied to the barrel lids to keep them water tight before plumbing them together with PVC piping.

adding Silicon to seal the barrel lids

The lids were tightened using a standard pair of channel lock pliers. I had previously attached 3/4 inch thread to slip PVC fittings into the barrel lids and sealed them on the backside with silicon and a threaded metal lock ring like is used in electrical conduit systems.

tightening a barrel lid into place

The barrels were stacked in place and the bottom layer PVC plumbing was glued into place. This was an interesting event. I was gluing this during the late evening into the early night in the rain. I was racing to get all the bottom catch pipe glued into place as this is the piping that attaches to the catch barrel overflow. I wanted to try and finish this before the catch barrel began overflowing. I was gluing the last piece of pipe into place about 11 at night with only half an inch of space left in the catch barrel before it began overflowing into the other barrels.

barrels with the bottom catch lines in place

The over flow from the catch barrel is plumbed into the bottom lid of the storage barrels. The water will be moved from the utility building by the small 1/2 horsepower electrical pump.

catch barrel over flow plumbed into storage barrels and electrical water pump

The dirt floor of the utility building has a slight slope so the lowest sitting barrel was plumbed with a ball valve and a friction connector. This will be where the electrical pump is attached in order to draw the water to pump out of the building.

pvc ball valve with friction connector where pump will attach

In the foreground is the plastic tool box which serves as the "powerhouse" of the Kozy Kottage. It houses a charge module that distributes power from the solar panels into the battery. It also houses the invertor that converts the DC voltage from the battery bank into AC voltage that is provided to the Kozy Kottage electrical panel to run the house. The batteries are currently in disarray and sitting on the Kozy Kottage back bumper.

Plastic tool box that will serve as powerhouse

This shows the "powerhouse" on top of the electrical deck of the utility building. There are currently 4 deep cycle marine batteries stored underneath it. Each battery is a 12V battery rated at 125 amp*hours, the plan is to upgrade the system eventually to 12 batteries. This should provide all the energy needs for the Kozy Kottage and will be about all the EleK Deck will hold.

plastic toolbox power house on electrical deck with batteries underneath

I will update later with more information about the powerhouse, water storage and hopefully soon the completion of the utility annex.

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