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Every new house should have this ... — Parallax Forums

Every new house should have this ...

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 23,347
edited 2022-07-19 04:58 in General Discussion

The kitchen I inherited when I bought my house had very little counter space. Food prep was a complete juggling act. My brother, who was a total foodie and amazing cook, groaned whenever he visited and endeavored to prepare a meal in my kitchen. So I built a food prep peninsula that juts out from one wall. It consists of a 2' x 4' butcher-block top above steel shelving where I store pots and pans. It worked great— for awhile.

But guess what I use it for now? Charging! It's covered with batteries for my lawnmower and my weed-whacker, a wireless charger for my cellphone, another for a hand-held electric chainsaw, multiple USB-A wall warts and USB cables of all sorts — mini, micro, USB-C. Occasionally I bring in a 12V lead-acid charger for a small SLA battery. It's a total mess! Any fantasies about using the counter for food prep have long-since vanished.

So it occurred to me that anyone contemplating building a new house should consider including a charging room in the design. A 6' x 6' space with a counter, cabinets above, and drawers below, along with ample AC outlets would suffice. And you could close the door on the entire mess.

It's not just me. When I visit friends' houses, I see chargers on the kitchen table, in the pantry, on home office desks -- anywhere there's an outlet available — and batteries stowed everywhere. So, architects out there: include charging rooms in your new home designs!

-Phil

Comments

  • JRoarkJRoark Posts: 1,079

    Silly question: why not charge all that outdoor power stuff in the garage? (My workbench looks like your kitchen!)

  • You're obviously imagining an uncommitted swath of horizontal space in my shop. Would that there were any! :)

    -Phil

  • JRoarkJRoark Posts: 1,079

    @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" said:
    You're obviously imagining an uncommitted swath of horizontal space in my shop. Would that there were any! :)
    -Phil

    A point well taken! 🤣

  • @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" said:
    So it occurred to me that anyone contemplating building a new house should consider including a charging room in the design.

    If anyone is going to do this, make sure it's constructed to withstand one or more of the batteries going up in flames. I've never had a battery fire but from what I've seen, LiPo cells produce a lot of awful smoke. There should be a way to ventilate the smoke when/if there's a fire.

    Remember to keep fire extinguishers far enough a way from an ignition source that you can safe reach the extinguisher when needed. (Don't put an extinguisher above the stove.) Not that an extinguisher would stop a LiPo fire. I think those will burn under water.

    IIRC Phil had a battery fire a few years back with some NiMH cells?

    While I haven't had a battery fire, our oven caught fire once. The heating element had cracked the electric arc had ignited the metal element. The metal kept burning when the power was remoted. It was an insanely bright fire. I emptied an extinguisher on it and it kept burning. I dumped a box of baking soda on it and the pile of baking soda glowed from the fire within. I finally called the fire department but the fire finally went out while the fire truck was on its way (I called them back to let them know it was out). It was a very strange fire.

  • ercoerco Posts: 20,182

    If not a whole room, a dedicated shelf. I have a shelf in my garage dedicated to charging various items and I have thought about making a nice one for the house for phones, cameras, & such. Ikea and Mastercard, I'm bored!

  • The squids among us used to call the "charging room" the battery locker. And it ate many a pair of seafarers....

  • IIRC Phil had a battery fire a few years back with some NiMH cells?

    It was a charger that caught fire while charging a SLA battery. That's another reason that I charge batteries in the house. If the house catches fire and burns down, I can still sleep in a tent and rent a Port-a-Potty. If the shop burns down, I'm completely screwed.

    -Phil

  • sam_sam_samsam_sam_sam Posts: 2,275
    edited 2022-08-06 10:41

    I feel your pain I have the same exact issue not having enough outlets for charging battery packs I have a counter that I have two charging usb a outlet connector banks each one has 6 positions and it also holds the phone or battery pack that I have recapped before I put it into service but even with this setup I still do have enough battery charging stations I have not come up with an solution for this issue that is already made and just modify it

    I have super fast usb a charger station but it only has two outlets I made several of them but I still do have enough electrical outlets to power every battery charger station I have not figured out a solution for this issue that looks good I do not like leaving batteries on charge in my shed when I am not at least go in and out of the shed at least a few times during the day

    I have a 5 volt 50 amp switching power supply that I would like to use with usb modules to make a very big changing station but have not found any that will charge iPad and iPhones and Android based phones because the charging profiles are not the same so what is the solution for this issue

    I also have a lot of tool battery packs chargers which even more of a headache to find enough electrical outlets for these chargers some brands have dual battery charging stations but what I do not like about them it will only do one battery at a time the ones that do two of them at a time some of them do not have separate charging boards for each batteries I do not like the ones that both chargers use one big board because they use one switching power supply transformer and most of the time they are under size and over heat

    Harbor Freight has a line of battery powered tools that have a battery charger heating problem with the switching power supply transformer over heating issue when charging battery packs that are over 2.5 amp hour I have to remove the primary side of the switching power supply and use a table top switching power supply that is 21 volts which was extremely hard to find and use the BMS protection part of the board to charge these tool battery packs I have informed Harbor Freight about this issue with these battery charger over heating switching power supply transformer but I really do not think that anything will be done about it ( this is really sad because there battery packs are good quality the tools are fairly good quality the battery charger has the BMS protection board on the charger board not in the battery like most manufacturers but I like this concept I just wish that they would address the switching power supply transformer issue and then it would be great alternative to the higher priced better quality tools that you expect them to be higher priced

    Normally if I can find a tool manufacturer that has issues with there tool battery pack chargers I find an manufacturer if I can find the exact replacement of the functionality that I am looking for in a tool unfortunately there are none for inexpensive tool I work for a company right now that unless you have your tools under lock and key they grow legs and walk away by themselves right off the the tool cart while you have your back turn away working on a pice of equipment or someone borrows one of your tools and does return them where they got it from and you have to hunt them down and get it back from them……really

    Milwaukee has an issue with there M12/M18 charging station frying the switching power supply regulator ic chip over time or the capacitors near the switching power supply regulator over time get a very high ESR value and either it will not charge correctly or it refuses to charge at all or no power at all

  • @erco said:
    If not a whole room, a dedicated shelf. I have a shelf in my garage dedicated to charging various items and I have thought about making a nice one for the house for phones, cameras, & such. Ikea and Mastercard, I'm bored!

    When ever you do this I like to see what you come up with

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