Make Your Own Wind Turbine

Ted Baer has created a series of small windmills designed for third world use over a period of three decades. This first in the series has evolved in simplicity and power. The aluminium vanes are constructed from a building flashing roll utilizing the pre-existing bend of the roll in construction. Two 16 " sections are rivet together to make one vane. The vanes clip on the spokes of the bicycle wheel using a "bent nail" and a bend in the vane. Detailed pictures will be provided shortly. The generator is a surplus permanent magnet motor and the endless belting is purchased to length from online sources.

Output is a respectable 2 amps at 12 mph providing a cost effective alternative to a solar photovoltaic panels (if wind is available). The total cost of the windmill is less than $80 purchasing most items new (off-the-shelf).

Now the interesting thing here is that not only are there enough details on how to build the wind turbine but also its simple enough for most people to follow. The parts list also fits into use for developing nations and not only off grid living for shipping container homes and buildings. I am tempted to build one here but need to do a wind test to see if I have enough airflow to justify the construction (as I will need to place it on my water tower for it to work). At the same time this wind turbine is a good starting point for many people due to its low cost (free if you can salvage bits from places) to assess its viability for bigger projects and also to get a better understanding of how wind turbines work. I could imagine a similar turbine setup being used for pumping water from wells for example which for most in the Western world isn’t an issue but here in the Philippines I still see people wandering along the road to collect water every day the further you get up the mountain.

Natural cooling the cheap and beautification way of cooling a shipping container home

Natural cooling the cheap and beautification way of cooling a shipping container home if you take a look at these photos below which are actually a medical housing centre  called Salam Center located in Soba,Khartoum. Using natural materials to form partitions and a roof structure between container units you can get an idea from the photos below how much shade is being given. In the second photo you can see the partitions have created a walkway at the same time keeping the suns heat away from the container units but also allows airflow along the new partition corridor to aid in natural cooling.




Shipping container for smoking

Although this shipping container isn’t a home I thought its design was a bit interesting in the use of trellis work to hide the metal side at the same time still allowing air to grow through no doubt once the plants develop it will give the building a bit of shade similar in the way I was talking before about building trellis slightly away from the sides of containers to allow airflow as well along the gap formed between trellis and container side. But also looking at the container more closely it becomes pretty obvious a simple restaurant or canteen can be formed without too much work with the ability to add extension roof canopies off the shipping container to extend the seating area etc. Which many people may assume isn’t ideal at the same time like here in the Philippines most people are concerned about the quality of the food and a bit of shade over most other things. So for a budget restaurant could easily see it working here.Shipping container for smoking

2 x 20ft container home Bangkok Thailand by BlueBrown

Container homes don’t have to be ugly homes and here is a design and built home in Bangkok in an area that suffers with high heat.


imageA roof was added for heat reflection as well as a gap underneath to allow airflow, adding the porch canopy also assists in removing heat from the main building. The added deck area also gives a large open space to sit and enjoy the surroundings especially if this type of building gets used in a vacation home type scenario were your escaping the city for the weekend. 


Not big, not overbearing simply compact and functional. Something that would suit many beach,resort locations with a more scattered approach to buildings instead of one main block. At the same time size wise ideal for even the smallest of lots.


Shipping Container Office Buildings – Philippines

Gothong Southern - Shipping containers 

Shipping container modular buildings may not be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of filling a companies needs in a tropical climate. At the same time anywhere near the ports it makes a lot of sense as its in keeping with the local area as well as easy to have delivered. Here in Cebu, Philippines I spent a day looking for shipping container modular buildings around the city and port area. A couple of reasons in doing so the first one being most people can’t believe people would use a shipping container to live or work inside because they are “too hot” and secondly I am very interested in cargotecture and shipping container modular buildings.

shipping container office and seating

This one I noticed when I first came to Cebu and it makes a lot of sense during the day to have seating so high up. Road dust off the main road is bad as well as the surrounding area being built up restricting airflow but also concrete density increases heat. Sitting up above three shipping containers your literally getting the best the local area has to offer with airflow and arguably cleaner air.

Shipping Container Office - Cebu, Philippines

Another Shipping container office one of the better developed ones but also its located in a shipping container yard so no issue in getting shipping containers for the project!JAJ Aggregates - Shipping container offices Cebu, PhilippinesJAJ Aggregates - Shipping container offices Cebu, Philippines

JAJ Aggregates is one of the most interesting cargotecture designs I have come across in the local area as its suspended one side of the building in air sat on two concrete pillars (you can’t see its Sunday which is obviously wash day). The two concrete pillars are sat behind the laundry.Shipping container building - Cebu,Philippines

 A shipping container office still in development. Something to do with a local truck haulier, often people live in the trucks and its likely this is either going to be an office for the vehicle owners or a rest place on route for the drivers. That extra bit of paint will make a huge difference to the left side!

Shipping container home – Prefab Drop House by D3 architects

What I love about this design is firstly its not obvious its a shipping container home and secondly it has that very French flair and feel to the property. Not big but practical having sliding glass doors/windows allows airflow through the property which here in the Philippines is an important point when trying to keep cool at the same time in Europe the fresh air, the sounds of nature are all reasons to use the natural environment and bring it into your home. Great design love it!shipping container home - Prefab drop house by D3 Architects

shipping container home - Prefab drop house by D3 Architects

shipping container home - Prefab drop house by D3 Architects

shipping container home - Prefab drop house by D3 Architects

shipping container home - Prefab drop house by D3 Architects


Natural lighting tubes for shipping container homes

natural lighting tubesAlthough many shipping container housing designs are based round flat roofs those that are pitched can take advantage of the natural light sources available from the sun by inserting lighting tubes through the pitched roof and into the container home. Advantages of this is natural light being healthier for people as well as the fact its free. There are different types and shapes of the roof lights some being flat and others being dome type but either way they are a good idea for adding light into a home.

How it works is the light inlet (dome or flat roof window) gathers rays of light which beam down onto a tube that reflects light. You will have to check manufacturers for the types of tube available as some do have flexibility in bending to allow movement of the tubes to other areas besides directly below the inlet.

Another option I haven’t seen as well though looking at square designed inlet is using skylights for the same purpose but with the added benefit of adding hydraulic sides so that it can be raised to allow airflow as well as being able to close in bad weather. Those types of Skylight can be fitted on flat surfaces such as a shipping container home roof.


natural lighting tubes natural lighting tubes