Laying Out the East Mechanical Room

The East Mechanical room will be congested.  Yes, making it look simple will be complex and difficult.

East Mechanical Room

Many of the systems in our house will be in the East Mechanical room.  For example, we have the following:

  • Power inverters for the solar panels on the roof.
  • Breaker panel for east side of house (main and lower level).
  • Whole-house water filtering system.
  • Sewage ejector system for lower level.

We want the layout of the two mechanicals rooms to anticipate the space requirements for the various components that will be located in these rooms.

Heating electrical conduit so it curves smoothly and gracefully.

Heating electrical conduit so it curves smoothly and gracefully.

Electric Service and Breaker Panels

Meeting the functional requirements for our solar system translating those into a robust physical layout and placement of the components took some planning.  We want to embed the panels and infrastructure in our 10 inch concrete walls to reduce the visible conduit and pipes in the East Mechanical room.

The components on the east wall of the East Mechanical Room will include the junction box for the DC connections coming from the photovoltaic solar panels on the roof.  This junction box will supply two inverters, which will then take the AC current to the external emergency shut-off on the east side of the house.  That AC current must then go the main panel, also located above grade on the east side of the house.

The 400 amp underground electric service must enter the concrete wall 24 inches below grade in a 3 inch conduit and then sweep up to the electric meter in the exterior east wall.  That meter, located in the main panel, must be connected to the panel in the East Mechanical room and the AC from the inverters.

Plus, we have the auxilary backup generator transfer switch …

We’re glad that Clausen Electric, Inc. is responsible for our electric panels and layout, and has worked closely with Akeena Solar on the design.

Electrical conduit from working slab to the bottom of the electric panel in the East Mechanical room.

Electrical conduit from working slab to the bottom of the electric panel in the East Mechanical room.

First Interior Concrete Wall

Bill Brown’s team started placing the form for the first interior concrete wall.  This is a two-part wall, which will have an exposed interior concrete surface visible to the atrium.  The other part will be under the garage, exposed to the pantry.  There will be two inches of insulation (R-10) between these two six inch thick concrete walls.  We want the thermal mass inside the house to help maintain a comfortable and constant temperature to be insulated from the thermal mass keeping the pantry cool.

Form for first interior concrete wall.

Form for first interior concrete wall.

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