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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 08-10-2017, 07:02 AM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by aeastet View Post
You should contact the Kettering facility. They host many different teams there. It is a beautiful space. They have machine shop and computer lab. I have toured it and have been there for competitions. If you need contact info let me know I I can try to get you someone to talk to. I am not sure if they have space available but it might be worth asking.
Kettering is almost an hour away from Ann Arbor, while I agree they have a nice workspace it hardly seems practical for this team.


IMO, I would see if the school would let you keep a shipping container on site somewhere. Shipping containers can be fairly inexpensive to buy (~$5000), come in a variety of sizes and can be made secure fairly easily. In Michigan temperature control is always an issue, but even if you have to keep batteries stored somewhere else it would be easier (and cheaper) than finding an entire climate controlled storage space. For that matter, an extension cord (or some solar panels) and a small space heater of some kind might solve the issue as well (for a more permanent solution, they also make HVAC systems designed specifically for shipping containers).

I seem to recall there was another team that worked out of a shipping container for a while, can't remember who though.
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Last edited by cbale2000 : 08-10-2017 at 07:51 AM.
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Unread 08-10-2017, 07:45 AM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by cbale2000 View Post
I seem to recall there was another team that worked out of a shipping container for a while, can't remember who though.
I think it was 1678.
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Unread 08-10-2017, 08:45 AM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by cbale2000 View Post
Kettering is almost an hour away from Ann Arbor, while I agree they have a nice workspace it hardly seems practical for this team.


IMO, I would see if the school would let you keep a shipping container on site somewhere. Shipping containers can be fairly inexpensive to buy (~$5000), come in a variety of sizes and can be made secure fairly easily. In Michigan temperature control is always an issue, but even if you have to keep batteries stored somewhere else it would be easier (and cheaper) than finding an entire climate controlled storage space. For that matter, an extension cord (or some solar panels) and a small space heater of some kind might solve the issue as well (for a more permanent solution, they also make HVAC systems designed specifically for shipping containers).

I seem to recall there was another team that worked out of a shipping container for a while, can't remember who though.
Why would batteries need to be kept somewhere else?

Lead acid stores fine at low temperatures, in fact they self-discharge less at low temps.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...tore_batteries
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Unread 08-10-2017, 09:17 AM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by JamesCH95 View Post
Why would batteries need to be kept somewhere else?

Lead acid stores fine at low temperatures, in fact they self-discharge less at low temps.

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...tore_batteries
I would have thought that sub-freezing temperatures would be a problem, are you telling me I should actually be refrigerating my Lead-Acid batteries over the summer?

EDIT:
It's worth noting that the last paragraph recommends not letting any battery freeze, so temperature control is still important in areas where sub-freezing temperatures are a problem.
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Last edited by cbale2000 : 08-10-2017 at 09:23 AM.
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Unread 08-10-2017, 09:47 AM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by cbale2000 View Post
I would have thought that sub-freezing temperatures would be a problem, are you telling me I should actually be refrigerating my Lead-Acid batteries over the summer?

EDIT:
It's worth noting that the last paragraph recommends not letting any battery freeze, so temperature control is still important in areas where sub-freezing temperatures are a problem.
http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_...orage_0512.pdf

Freezing is relative. A fully charged lead acid battery won't free until -92F. So, if you're seeing sub-arctic temperatures, yeah, heat your stored batteries. If you're living anywhere besides a scientific research station or the top of a mountain you're probably fine cold-storing fully-charged batteries.

Note that storing a depleted battery, or allowing stored batteries to self-discharge too far, is REALLY bad and can bring the freezing point of a battery close to that of water.
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Last edited by JamesCH95 : 08-10-2017 at 09:50 AM.
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Unread 08-10-2017, 11:55 AM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesCH95 View Post
http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/WP_...orage_0512.pdf

Freezing is relative. A fully charged lead acid battery won't free until -92F. So, if you're seeing sub-arctic temperatures, yeah, heat your stored batteries. If you're living anywhere besides a scientific research station or the top of a mountain you're probably fine cold-storing fully-charged batteries.

Note that storing a depleted battery, or allowing stored batteries to self-discharge too far, is REALLY bad and can bring the freezing point of a battery close to that of water.
That chart seems to relate more to non-sealed Lead Acid Batteries instead of the SLA batteries we use, I would be curious to know if there is any significant difference in these values between SLA and non-SLA batteries.

In any case -20F is hardly out of the question so teams would need to ensure any batteries stored outside stay charged.


That said, I feel like we're getting off on a tangent from the original point of this thread.



tl;dr: Outside non-temperature controlled storage is an option, but keep your batteries charged.
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Unread 08-10-2017, 12:44 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

My team had to move out of our shop this summer due to renovations at our school, and the vast majority of our stuff is being kept in PODS outside of a mentor's house. Everything that stands the chance of being damaged in extreme weather (e.g. batteries) is at another mentor's house, except for our electronic scouting system, which is at my house.

I would recommend storing your stuff in a few PODS near your shop. As has been said before, they are very spacious, easy to lock, and incredibly hard to move. The most ideal location would be a parking lot near your workspace, seeing as that is where they were kept before our shop was fully unloaded, and there were little to no problems. (Don't put them on a street - one of my neighbors did that once, and it caused some problems)
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Unread 08-10-2017, 01:32 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by nomythicalbeast View Post
My team had to move out of our shop this summer due to renovations at our school, and the vast majority of our stuff is being kept in PODS outside of a mentor's house. Everything that stands the chance of being damaged in extreme weather (e.g. batteries) is at another mentor's house, except for our electronic scouting system, which is at my house.

I would recommend storing your stuff in a few PODS near your shop. As has been said before, they are very spacious, easy to lock, and incredibly hard to move. The most ideal location would be a parking lot near your workspace, seeing as that is where they were kept before our shop was fully unloaded, and there were little to no problems. (Don't put them on a street - one of my neighbors did that once, and it caused some problems)
Note that ConX (e.g. PODS) and storage buildings may be regulated by local building/land use code or covenants, especially in a city or subdivision. Many places don't seem to mind you having a PODS in place long enough to load it or unload it for moving, but will not allow it for long term placement, or will require a building permit for it. Check on the legal ramifications before spending any real money, especially on an outdoor structure.
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Unread 08-10-2017, 01:39 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

Renting a PODS container long term is quite expensive. If you really don't plan on moving it, buying a used shipping container quickly becomes cheaper than a PODS container. You can get old shipping containers for under $1000 if you are lucky and know where to look.
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Unread 08-10-2017, 01:41 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by GeeTwo View Post
Note that ConX (e.g. PODS) and storage buildings may be regulated by local building/land use code or covenants, especially in a city or subdivision. Many places don't seem to mind you having a PODS in place long enough to load it or unload it for moving, but will not allow it for long term placement, or will require a building permit for it. Check on the legal ramifications before spending any real money, especially on an outdoor structure.
I agree for sure, but I figured it's worthwhile to add that those PODS were in our parking lot for at least a month before they were moved to our mentor's house. Still, check in with the college to see if they're okay with letting you store a few PODS on campus, and if you need to get any building permits. They're graciously allowing you to use their machine shop, so please return the favor.

EDIT: +1 to Chris. I hadn't thought of that.
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Last edited by nomythicalbeast : 08-10-2017 at 01:51 PM.
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Unread 08-11-2017, 02:00 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

Move to California.
You just put stuff outside. We don't have that acidic and toxic rain you other states have to damage our winning robots
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Unread 08-11-2017, 05:01 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by WCBC View Post
Move to California.
You just put stuff outside. We don't have that acidic and toxic rain you other states have to damage our winning robots
Acid rain generally isn't the problem, it's freeze-thaw.

Also, you guys barely have any weather that isn't sunny and 70s so you don't get a vote on this.
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Unread 08-11-2017, 09:25 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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Originally Posted by cbale2000 View Post
Also, you guys barely have any weather that isn't sunny and 70s so you don't get a vote on this.
Hey, wait a minute! It's been in the 80s all week around here! And it's been like that for the last 6 weeks!

(Guilty on the "sunny" part though, when the marine layer isn't around.)
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Unread 08-21-2017, 03:32 PM
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Re: Dealing with "No Storage" at your build site or school

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I think it was 1678.
That is true. Up until our 2014 season, we worked out of a single shipping container. You can buy a used one for about $2,000. You just need to find a good patch of solid ground to place it on!
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