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Installation in server cabinet: fishing for ideas


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Hi all,

Yesterday I acquired one of these for a fraction of the usual cost.

cabinet.thumb.jpeg.503d32ddce0d616a5e5c57a16d2208e3.jpeg

Ignore the otherwise very-deurmekaar garage.

It's a 42u linkbasic server cabinet with three shelves. It's 800mm deep, and the usual 19 inches across. It weighs a lot.

Since I am also moving house soon, I plan on redoing my installation into this cabinet. There is enough space to put my two 300Ah lithium batteries side by side in the bottom, with the inverter and solar chargers mounted so that the blinking lights show through the glass door. That is the plan.

So now I want to ask the practical guys here, any advice on such an endeavour?

For connection to the grid, I'm considering a good old 32A socket like you'd use for a generator or caravan. PV could be connected using MC4 or maybe brad-harrison.

What say you guys?

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Nice,

Your garage is rather neat in comparison to mine...lol. I also looked for a server cabinet (albeit 2nd hand) for my  Lithium batteries.

I wanted to suggest going with those Meccano like shop fittings, but after pricing them recently I would rather suggest building a lightweight angle iron frame on the inside for the cabinet which will work out way cheaper. 

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1 hour ago, GVC said:

I wanted to suggest going with those Meccano like shop fittings, but after pricing them recently I would rather suggest building a lightweight angle iron frame on the inside for the cabinet which will work out way cheaper. 

I have a similar idea, but I'm going to use angle aluminium. Chop it up with the mitre saw (visible top right in the photo, the tool that scares me the most) and bolt it together. It's cheap enough and is as close as you get to Meccano. Or another idea, which I have already tested this morning, is to bolt the shelves on vertically (like cover plates) and mount things to them. Probably a combination of both I think.

1 hour ago, GVC said:

albeit 2nd hand

This is second hand. I paid 1.5k for it, a quarter of what it costs new, but it has a bit of wear and tear and I think the seller got a bit of a better deal than I did. Anyway, the story of where I had to go to fetch it is even more interesting. Towards the Gordon's bay area of Strand there is an area that's a bit of a gangsters paradise, where even driving around your pale complexion draws immediate attention and you hear people shouting "My larnie!" as they see you. That's where this thing was... 🙂

Edited by plonkster
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3 hours ago, plonkster said:

For connection to the grid, I'm considering a good old 32A socket like you'd use for a generator or caravan. PV could be connected using MC4 or maybe brad-harrison.

What say you guys?

Hi Plonkster

I see that ElectroMechanica have some options - see http://www.em.co.za/Home/Industrial-Plugs-and-Sockets/#2

Maybe a panel-mounted "inlet" on the back of the cabinet? I'm not familiar with the electrical wiring rules relating to this type of connection..

image.png.d53bfc9e2454bb6e29a969b9a05d7628.png

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3 hours ago, plonkster said:

It's a 42u linkbasic server cabinet with three shelves. It's 800mm deep, and the usual 19 inches across. It weighs a lot.

Since I am also moving house soon, I plan on redoing my installation into this cabinet. There is enough space to put my two 300Ah lithium batteries side by side in the bottom, with the inverter and solar chargers mounted so that the blinking lights show through the glass door. That is the plan.

So now I want to ask the practical guys here, any advice on such an endeavour?

For connection to the grid, I'm considering a good old 32A socket like you'd use for a generator or caravan. PV could be connected using MC4 or maybe brad-harrison.

What say you guys?

Nice one!

  • The most common issue is thermals. These glass-door cabinets should be used mainly for the networking equipment. Yes, some guys like to put their servers behind a glass, but for a proper cold-aisle cooling the correct doors are those made of perforated sheet metal. For a couple of solar chargers and inverter a glass doors are still okay. Just be sure to allow hot/cold air to freely escape/enter the cabinet.
  • Do not mount anything directly on the walls, rear or front doors.
  • Do not slide front vertical rails too deep in the rack. If you do, then a standard 19" equipment won't fit in.
  • Most of the rack cabinets have 4 vertical rails only. If you want to combine standard 19" equipment together with some non-standard gear, it's a good idea to get additional two "42U vertical rails" and mount them in middle of the cabinet's depth in order to support inverters, for example.
  • Do not put anything directly on the cabinet's floor. Use a shelf and leave some free space for airflow, cables and easy maintenance access.
  • For holding some super-heavy stuff, like the batteries, a metal box sitting on top of APC UPS rails is much stronger than a standard 19" shelf.
  • Fuses, breakers and other stuff can be mounted on DIN rails, attached to the cheap 2U/3U blanking panels. Cables stored in the finger ducts.
  • Keep in mind that all the wirelles stuff might experience a reduced range when locked in this nice and grounded Faraday's cage.

 

Not aplicable in your case, but I have to say it:

  • The 19" rack-mount batteries is the best option here. Like Pylontech, Sinlion, BYD.
  • For a shame, there's not much rack-mount inverters available on the market. And on top of it, they require a loud forced cooling.

 

I'm looking forward to see the new "mechanical room" :)

Good luck!

image.png.d5fd2972056493ffa99ce35b5b68bb22.pngimage.png.458900a08591b0f160b9f3ebcf5e70fd.pngimage.png.e2f0767102ec0ae4dfc8df79c525cc39.png

image.thumb.png.b8a55916f8204fe547d1d5c6db9a779c.pngimage.png.aa73daaf0a9d4605aa11c8f086b6acf6.png

 

 

 

 

 

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OK,  as I work in panels a lot, things that are convenient to have inside the panel are:

A light operated by a micro-switch on the door.

A 220Vac plug socket.

A must, is access to both front and back when it's in its final position. (The wheels may help with aesthetics here).

I think I'd make it fully detachable from outside cabling. (And then get a stand-alone COC).

 

MC4 glands.JPG

Edited by phil.g00
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