Princeton’s shipping container disaster relief wind and solar power generators.
The prototype system was a winner of an EPA-sponsored sustainable design competition. The entry in the competition was for a “rapidly deployable renewable energy system”. Its primary role to be used in disaster hit areas which lose infrastructure and power.
Image by Frank Wojciechowski, courtesy of Princeton University
The solar and wind turbine is 40 foot tall and capable of providing 10kW of wind and solar power. Within the container also capable of storing the batteries and mechanical systems required to make the unit functional. There is a hope the unit will actually take off and replace diesel-powered generators in relief camps in disaster zones. Which can often be hazardous due to air pollution, ground pollution and the issue of a constant supply of fuel.
For the contest the shipping container and its equipment were taken on a flatbed truck from Princeton to Washington DC. The unit was erected and tested with the first day seeing no wind but a sunny day allowing good solar energy. While on the second day it was windy and rainy it put its wind turbine into action and was capable of providing power on both days. A grant of $90,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency, will see the project being developed further and the team hope to take the finished model on a tour of Africa.
The contest has highlighted the need for new solutions and developments and seen students from 165 academic institutions submit proposals to the competition. 15 of those were given awards for pursuing sustainable design solutions to issues ranging from erosion control to a seeking out a biodegradable alternative to plastics.
For me I support a lot of these ideas but things do come back to some basic issues, a lot of disaster areas and problems are preventable. Haiti seems to be a big favourite in U.S. circles to mention for aid yet has anyone even started looking at common sense things like reforestation? Land can protect itself but it needs people to stop destroying it.
May seem a waste of energy at first but then again if this type of building is utilized for other buildings off it or back to the grid it may actually pay itself off over time for its generator use or payment from the grid.
Portability is also something people overlook when thinking shipping container buildings as well as “solar power is too expensive”. Well for a friend of mine who’s moving to a remote island he doesn’t have electricity there and generally the buildings are traditional bamboo or concrete. Either way building a home will take time, shipping something like this in however would give him a base of operations until things got underway. As well as a place to charge his power tools. Now this shipping container building by Adaptive Container’s SPACE buildings also has the ease of loading and unloading which many other shipping container building manufacturers are still trying to work round the problem. Add to that the solar rack can be loaded and unloaded in around 30 minutes the whole system is practical as well as thought out.
The name of the type of building is called SPACE which stands for Solar Powered Adaptive Containers for Everyone. Which in reality is a 140sqm of workspace with 20 solar panels on the roof that give out 350 kWh of power a month. Air conditioning is also installed as standard so the “its too hot in a shipping container” defeatists will find they are happy at home inside a shipping container that isn’t racking up the electric bill.
I’m pretty impressed with the layout and the Swiss army approach to design with a basic shipping container attached to one of these would make it a more viable option as the “powered” one would give its excess energy to run the other low cost shipping container unit.
Shipping container homes have existed in other forms besides the yuppies wanting to do something positive and the fanatical greens. Its a practical home for hunters and fishermen due to the price and characteristics of having a shipping container as a home. Location is always an issue but the thing with the container when being sited it can transport most of the materials with it inside for whatever purpose its required. This home is made from two 40ft shipping containers and designed for its off grid location with a composting toilet solar photovoltaic power supply, a solar water heater as well as a biomass heater. From the outside it doesn’t look too exciting but inside its gone down the route of a traditional hunting lodge. I would advise dropping by The Chive for more photos and information as they have various parts of the construction going on so you can see the project being developed over a time frame.
The construction of the shipping container home involved stud partitioning using 2×4 batons that was then insulated and panelled over with wood. Double glazed windows were also used on three sides of the home.
The home offers two nice bedrooms and a bathroom with a composting toilet. The back of the container home is also partly buried to help with insulation helping to create an ambient temperature. A wood burner stove takes care of those cold winter nights.
Utilization of a shipping container for a wood burning sauna. The sauna box is completely self contained with solar power and a traditional wood burner stove. Sold complete with an iPod plugin,guitar hook up, castor stool, bronze antlers and magnetic truck light. For more details take a look at Sauna Box
Amongst a dense pine forest near Uruguayan beaches is Container Design Loft, a luxurious bright red hotel made from stacked shipping containers.The entrepreneur and Alejandra Dellepiane created this high class accommodation complete with nouvelle cuisine. The shipping container lofts offer eco tourism offers up relaxation as well as sports facilities in a localised environment. On top of that organic food much of which is grown on site in surroundings that are in keeping with this amazing South American country which offers up dunes and deep blue sea to wind the hours away.
A bit of information on the owner is that she moved to Los Angeles at the spring age of 18 and after working at some top restaurants began cooking privately for TV stars including Steven Spielberg, Blake Edwards, Julie Andrews, Danni de Vito, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Barbara Streisand.
When she fell pregnant she decided to make the move back home to South America relocating to Punta del Este an area famous for its expensive luxury living. She quickly found opening a restaurant for the jet set was an instant success. Drawing on her experiences and knowledge instead of managing her own business she decided to create a concept for Philippe Stark’s luxurious Yoo Tower, which opened in Punta del Este two years ago.
Building on the experience of that she has now moved to the next town along which is an isolated fishing town called Jose Ignacio where herself another chef Emmanuel Romano and architect father came up with the Container Design Loft.
I came across this video today covering using a 12v lighting system with Solar power to supply its energy and its broken down to make a basic system easy to understand so wanted to share it. Obviously the rig could just as easily be setup with a wind turbine over solar if need be or even combine the two. The system is fairly easy to understand and in most locations you can no doubt buy the system as a kit.