We recently completed a battery system in the suburbs with solar, batteries, and inverter system to not only protect against blackouts but to store and shift the solar power from the day and use the energy in the afternoon/evening. This system includes dedicated electrical circuits - fridges, freezeers, lights, computers and some power points which are battery backed up in event of a blackout. The batteries are enclosed in a metal cabinet with vents to the outside. The solar arrays are actually east, north and west facing to gain the most solar energy throughout the day.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!