At the push of a button, this shipping container instantly transforms into a pop-up solar power station.

Hidden solar panels slide out of drawers on each side and start immediately start generating energy wherever they’re needed, whether for disaster relief or in a remote village far off the grid.

Because the PowerCube is completely self-contained and designed to match the sizes of three standard shipping containers, it can travel quickly and easily.

2014-06-20

Co.Exist

This Pop-Up Solar Power Station Can Be Installed Instantly Anywhere In The World

Push a button, and poof, you have electricity.

At the push of a button, this shipping container instantly transforms into a pop-up solar power station: Hidden solar panels slide out of drawers on each side and start immediately start generating energy wherever they’re needed, whether for disaster relief or in a remote village far off the grid.

Because the PowerCube is completely self-contained and designed to match the sizes of three standard shipping containers, it can travel quickly and easily. “It can ship anywhere in the world, whether it’s carried in by air or train or boat, and immediately be providing and storing energy,” says Corey McGuire, director of marketing for Ecosphere Technologies, the company that developed the device.

The company spent seven years refining the design to maximize the amount of power that could be generated in a given footprint. Since the device has pop-out solar panels, it can produce as much as 400% more electricity than would be possible just by sticking solar panels on the roof--up to a maximum of 15 kilowatts.

“If you just used a normal given footprint of a shipping container, you won’t have enough solar power to provide major systems,” says McGuire. “There’s just not enough square footage of solar. What we’re able to do is provide life-sustaining systems, whether it’s telecommunications, electricity, Internet, or water treatment systems.”

The first model, released this month, includes onboard atmospheric water generators that pull water from the air. “We’re able to provide water without a water source,” says McGuire.

Inside the device, there’s extra space that can be used in various ways. “A school could be placed underneath it, a hospital, sleeping quarters, whatever you can come up with,” McGuire explains.

Because of the pop-up design, the power station can also easily be moved after it’s installed, or if bad weather is approaching, the solar panels can be popped back inside for protection. The systems can also be monitored and controlled from anywhere.

The design was inspired by a suggestion from Jean-Michel Cousteau, who serves on the company's board. "He asked us to figure out ways to bring energy, water, and communications to remote places--like a school in a village in the developing world--without the use of fossil fuels," says McGuire.

"We're limited to the current efficiencies of solar cells," he explains. "What we believe is that in order to bring much better systems to the developing world … you have to have more solar in a given footprint."

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5 Comments

  • shamrockstar1251

    I used to work for this company. Bunch of good-intentioned workers with no clue what they're doing. The company did NOT spend seven years on this design. They were too busy smiling for the cameras during the BP Oil Spill, saying, "We can fix this." That never happened. And neither will this.

  • David Goldman

    Actually they spent at least 7 years SHAM, b/c I invested in the older version of this product b/4 the net Power Cube patent was issued for the improved version. It was called the LifeLink System as you likely remember having worked there. But your memory seemed a bit jaded-and you spewing of venom on this amazing company wreaks of a personal vendetta perhaps? Bottom line pal, the company tried really hard to be selected for the gulf cleanup and was relegated to coastal cleanup only for a short period of time. The reason Drew Bledsoe/Troy Aikman/Jean Michel Cousteau and a host of other mainstream people are behind this company is b/c its founder is a genius. Something you obviously cannot relate to. The people that work there are likely good hard working women and men-the kind Springsteen sings about, and beer companies emulate on commercials-to put them down as clueless shows how you are one not to be believed on any level. www.ecospheretech.com learn for your self - ignore this bozo!

  • vonskippy

    I'm going to write a article about a new engine, I won't tell what the engine uses for fuel, or how much energy the engine outputs, or how long the engine can run on a given amount of fuel, no, I'll just rave on and on how great this new engine is without giving any real world details what-so-ever.

    Please go back to tree-hugging, as a technical writer, you leave a lot to be desired.

    //go bears//

  • Affordable/Sustainable Pop Ups and Prefabs; quick solutions for a lasting future. Think smarter and harder,quicker and cheaper!There's no time to waste. History? Paxton's Crystal Palace(1851) was a prefab "pop up",with climate control features!