Construction giant CCC unveils 100% solar-powered cabin for site staff

The world's first fully solar-powered off-grid mobile cabin serves as an office and accommodation facility for Consolidated Contractors Co's onsite workforce

CCC has developed the world's first fully solar-powered off-grid mobile cabin to be used as an office and workers accommodation [representational image].
CCC has developed the world's first fully solar-powered off-grid mobile cabin to be used as an office and workers accommodation [representational image].

Middle East construction giant, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), has piloted the world’s first fully solar-powered off-grid mobile cabin for its onsite workforce.

The 100% solar-powered off-grid mobile cabin was shortlisted under the sustainability category at the Construction Week Oman Awards 2018, held in Muscat earlier this year.

READ: CCC green projects portfolio crosses $5bn mark

CCC has now revealed that it worked with Germany’s Tesvolt, in line with the agenda set by the UN General Assembly, to develop the 24-hour solar-powered office and accommodation cabin. The facility meets “day and night energy demands”, according to the contractor. Its room temperature is maintained at 25oC considering ambient outdoor temperatures of 50oC, assuming it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Aref Boualwan, manager for MIS and business processes re-engineering at CCC, said a group of engineers with diversified technical backgrounds and skills came together from across the world to develop the cabin.

“With declining costs and increasing performance of solar photovoltaics (PV), as well as declining costs and technological improvements in battery storage and control systems, off-grid renewable energy systems could become an important growth market for the future deployment of renewables,” he continued.

During the day, the cabin is used as an office, while it serves as a worker accommodation zone at night. Photovoltaic (PV) panels supply power to the CCC facility during daytime, and the excess power is fed into battery storage to support the evening’s energy demand. In a statement, CCC said the system “can be constantly monitored, analysed, and adjusted at any time online [and] from anywhere in the world”. Boualwan said this allows “minor deviations [to be] detected and resolved quickly”.

READ: Deloitte estimates solar retrofits 'quite a while' away in the Mideast

CCC confirmed that the energy system was designed, engineered, constructed, tested, and commissioned following the latest industry codes and International Electrotechnical Commission standards. A prototype created of the cabin used solar PV modules, inverters, and lithium ion batteries to provide a consistent energy ecosystem that includes LED lights and appliances.

Boualwan said the facility meets the contractor’s ambition of providing “efficient and reliable methods of cooling for workers” on site, adding: “The majority of our personnel are positioned on sites across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where average temperatures are always high. As a company, we have consistently made use of the high solar energy potential in the region – and for this project, we wanted to focus on off-grid renewable energy systems for our workers [to use during the] day and night, [since they] are most appropriate due to geographical constraints and costs for grid extension.

“Considering the remote project areas we work within, this successful pilot is strategic and of the utmost importance – not only for the construction industry, but for society as a whole.”

Energy expert Tesvolt specialises in developing high-performance lithium-ion battery storage systems for commercial and industry applications. It also uses battery cells from Samsung SDI for the automotive industry.  

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