Ecos PowerCube is the world’s biggest, mobile, solar-powered generator. It runs on high power photovoltaic panels that widen from its container combined with an easy to set up wind turbine. Energy is stored in involved batteries. In June 2014, Ecosphere Technologies came into attention when they announced the completion of world’s biggest portable solar powered generator. This mobile solar generator was named as “Ecosphere PowerCube”. Ecosphere Technologies focus in producing technologies that are used widely used for military purposes to calamity relief and particularly for humanitarian efforts.
Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. is a U.S. technology licensing and pioneering manufacturing company that develops ecological solutions for global markets. We help industry enlarge production, decrease costs, and shield the atmosphere through a portfolio of unique, patented clean water and energy technologies: Technologies like Ozonix and our Ecos PowerCube, which are licensable across a wide range of industries and applications throughout the world.
Ecosphere PowerCube: A Portable Solar Generator
This Powercube portable solar generator is obtainable in three sizes and can be transported by truck, train, boat or plane. It can be installed in any workspace with adequate space to contain a 10’, 20’ or 30’ standard ISO shipping container.
The generator is capable of generating 15 kw of electricity. Once the solar generator is reached its objective, with a push of a single button, the system is ready to go. The generator can be used for communications base, shelters as well as water treatment plant.
The rollers in the container have hydraulic actuators to support, which means they can be placed without difficulty. The photovoltaic solar panels have the batteries in built which store the energy on board.
The energy stored can be used to power up internet, satellites and wireless connectivity up to a range of 30 miles. The excess power can be used for external uses such as hospitals and schools.
The unit comes with on-board atmospheric water generators, which can take water from the air. It means unit doesn’t need a nearby water source as it is self sufficient with water regardless of its destination.
In 2012, leading energy firm HHV Solar Technologies from Bangalore developed a portable solar power generator that could produce 600 watt capacity of energy. This portable generator weighed 415 kg and could be deployed through air even to the remote locations.
In a tropical country like ours where we have sunlight all year round, this generator is an ideal substitute to the smoke emitting generators.
From military and disaster relief, to humanitarian efforts, residential, retail and off-grid cell towers for the developing world, the Ecos PowerCube can provide self-sustaining energy and clean water to remote, off-grid locations.
Uses of PowerCube
One of the challenges of humanitarian relief efforts to disaster sites is that whatever event has necessitated the relief (hurricane, tsunami, rain of toads) tends to play merry hell with local power generation and local infrastructure. One company, Ecosphere Technologies, believes it’s designed a solution to that problem. The company’s new Ecos PowerCube is designed to deliver solar power to off-grid areas, along with water purification facilities and WiFi base stations — all in a single shipping container package.
The Ecos PowerCube will be available in three sizes and is designed to fit into 10-foot, 20-foot, and 40-foot shipping containers. The largest models can generate up to 15kW of power, though the implication is that the PowerCube will also use that energy for wireless communications or a mobile water treatment (an energy intensive task). The entire system is designed to be flexible; the PowerCube is listed as being capable of supporting multiple missions, from hospitals and sleeping quarters, to providing water treatment or internet. It’s worth noting that Ecosphere, the company, appears to have previously focused on mobile water treatment, implying that these other features have been integrated into the PowerCube to provide a bit of helpful manufacturing synergy.
The other problem is that a diesel engine in a shipping container can kick out between 600kW and 1.7MW depending on size (the Ecos PowerCube, by comparison, outputs just 15kW. That’s a rather steep difference — and while it’s absolutely fair to point out that the diesel generator requires fuel (whereas the PowerCube doesn’t), the flip side is needing to move 20+ PowerCubes to equal the output of one diesel generator.
Ultimately, this comes down to a question of need and capability. For small scale installations that require both WiFi and water reclamation, and can provide independent nighttime power generation, the Ecos PowerCube might be a great niche product. Unfortunately the limited power generation and apparent lack of integrated Li-ion batteries are going to make it a difficult sell for most of its intended markets. While the company claims military installations and third-world nations might also benefit from its hardware, both of those groups will be interested in nighttime power capability as well.