Sustainable Solar Powered Solutions

 In Construction, Education, Mobile Medical facilities, Modify, Shipping containers

To offset our nation’s increasing reliance on electricity, evidenced in rising energy consumption and costs, some innovative off-the-grid solutions are gaining recognition and momentum. Solar panels are one option for autonomous living – an eco-friendly alternative to powering utilities that saves money and decreases your carbon footprint.

Combine these self-sufficient solar panels with a shipping container and voilà! A sustainable, portable and durable refuge is created

Some Solar-Powered Shipping Container Uses Can Include

  • Safety Shelter

  • Personal Home

  • Education Facility

  • Medical Facility

  • Office Building

A container outfitted with solar panels offers an alternative to the current energy infrastructure by becoming completely self-sustaining. Containers can function autonomously with the ability to be transported to almost any location.

The following are just a few current initiatives using this model to get your gears turning about what is possible when combining shipping containers and off-the-grid technologies.



The Coca Cola Company alongside DEKA R&D launched EKOCENTER in 2014 with 25 modular kiosks in seven countries that provide essential goods and services to communities in need. The idea was to combine the best of business and philanthropy to help communities grow – take an adaptable shipping container into both rural and urban settings to provide power and light, basic goods, safe drinking water, electricity, education and health services.

Solar panel awnings provide a constant power supply to the 20-foot containers designed to improve the holistic well being of developing communities around the world. EKOCENTER also utilizes the ‘slingshot’ water purification system, a distillation technology that turns any source of dirty water into clean drinking water.

ekocenter coca cola solar panels

Photo courtesy of


The DigiTruck is a fully equipped mobile classroom bridging the digital divide. It is outfitted with solar-powered panels that allow its shipping container to operate off grid in rural locations. The solar panels are reportedly capable of powering the shipping container for several days at a time.

The project began in January 2014 and is currently sitting at an orphanage in the rural village of Rau in the Killimanjaro Region of Africa. The container can accommodate up to 18 students at a time and includes refurbished IT equipment including laptops, an LED screen and a printer with two routers. A community that had no connection to grid electricity now has access to unlimited communication and information.

The DigiTruck will move locations in 2016.


Photo Courtesy of


This aptly named self-sustainable cabin / vacation home is constructed from two 40-foot-by-16-foot containers that have been welded together. The owner wanted to create a repurposed structure equipped with all of the comforts that he would need for a year or more.

Powered by an innovative solar panel system partially comprised of – believe it or not – aluminum cans, the panels are capable of powering everything in the cabin including, heat, air conditioning, washer and dryer. The total cost to build and outfit these containers was roughly $35,000.

shipping container cabin

Photo courtesy of

Whether on the personal, local or national level, shipping containers are being repurposed for a variety of projects and combined with sustainable technologies to create off-the-grid structures. Got an idea for what to create next? Give us a call and let’s get customizing.


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