Container heating and cooling

Input appreciated on how to heat and cool oceangoing containers.
I think the biggest deal is going to be shading them. I have them 16'
between, and want to put a metal truss roof on it for weather protection and
With the corrugations, what's the best for the inside? Glue on Styrofoam?
Fur out and frame with glass insulation?
I have one whirlygig roof ventilator, and will get at least another. Should
I put two on each, or is one enough? And during the winter, I'm going to
want to plug it so the warm air doesn't go out.
I may compartmentalize this with a couple of small rooms for fine work, and
so that I don't have to heat a large area. I'm thinking that small electric
heaters will make it livable.
And how about cooling? I live in a dry place, so think swampers is going to
be the way to go. I also think that taking the sun load off the surface is
important. I have a industrial sewing machine, so can get some 75%
shadecloth and cut a lot of the sun load. Maybe even run water on it so as
to have a giant evaporative cooler all around.
How about underneath? I have it on piers about a foot high. Do I need to
skirt it?
Help appreciated.
PS: Going to pipe it for music, too.
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On Sat, 12 Sep 2009 11:14:59 -0600, the infamous "SteveB" scrawled the following:
I'd go exterior. Frame and foam, then siding/shed roof or truss overhead.
Fur and OSB or drywall.
A 5kBTU air conditioner with heater ought to do nicely once it's insulated. A friend had a 20' (uninsulated) in SoCal, and the 5k worked like a charm up to 95F but it got warm over that temp. A 1.5kw cube warmed it in the mild winters. He kept his printing press in there.
Shade is good, but swampwater is almost always a bad idea.
Can you say "quicker to rust"? I knew you could.
Spray foam underneath, too.
-- Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. --Ronald Reagan
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I think the biggest bang for the buck will be to _insulate_ them, with shading them coming in a close second in the summer (but if you get light in the winter you want it on the inside of your insulation).
I can see a dilemma: for strength, you want the insulation on the inside; for room you want the insulation on the inside.
So either put 4" or so of insulation on the inside and paint the outsides white, or put the insulation on the outside, put a wall on the insulation to protect it, and put a roof over to keep it dry (this is getting to be a lot of work).
An itty bitty wood stove would be a cool way to heat it, but electric would keep the inside cleaner.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
I would build a flat wall outside and insulate in-between. The metal will conduct a lot of the heat and cold, so if the heat and cold can not get to the metal, less insulation required.
Reply to
Calif Bill
Do you plan to ever move the containers by truck again, or ship them overseas as true intermodal containers? If you do, you'll have to do all your insulation on the inside. I would furr out inner walls with wood studs, fiberglass batts ore spray foam (because of the skin corrugations) and plywood or OSB paneling. If you will do any grinding or welding inside, put a layer of drywall over the plywood.
And do any other modifications so you don't wreck the integrity. If you want to cut in a side door or window you need to engineer a welded reinforcement for the door frame, and mount the roll-up door on the inside to stay inside the clearance envelope.
Any ventilators or air conditioning units will have to be recessed or removable.
Skirts with insulation will keep the heat out from underneath. A lot easier than insulating the floor.
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
To be done right they need to be insulated on the outside. Put insulation on the inside and water will condense on the inside of the steel wall under the new insulation. I have 7 seacans at work and find that condensation is a serious problem. One I added a 10KBTU window unit through a hole in the side. Water ends up in pools on the floors. I've lost a fair amount of paper(books, files and the like) simply due to the super high humidity inside. Everything has a layer of mold or mildew. Keep in mind, I am in south Louisiana where humidity seldom drops below 70%. Ventilation is the key to keeping stuff dry here
Reply to
If you do anything on the outside it has to be removable, or you can't ship it as a container anymore.
Check that window AC unit mounting to make sure it's tilted to the outside slightly - they will act as a dehumidifier, but the condensate has to drain to the rear of the unit so it will leave. Either by the overflow drain or the slinger ring on the condenser fan tossing it into the condenser coils for better efficiency...
Gerry: Forget Swamp Coolers in a high humidity area, or if you will have tools and expensive machinery inside - that's a recipe for rampant rust. You want to keep the moisture down, not up.
Dropping metal trusses on top would be easy to span the gap between two cans - the only trick is how to anchor them to the container edge. I would NOT weld them to the can, they need to be removable and movable if something shifts.
Unistrut would be my first thought, a section mounted channel up on each edge. Tie the trusses down with spring nuts and tabs, and the tab will slide in an earthquake to relieve stress if not over-torqued. Don't forget diagonal X braces on the trusses - house of cards...
Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman
I live in the high desert, with normal humitity around 9-15%
Swamp coolers are the normal cooling device, but they, unlike air conditioners, require that air pass THROUGH the cooled area. In one end..and out the other. So vents must be made at the far end of the cooled area..vents big enough to allow a clear and full air transfer
Else they simply load up the area and no cooling occurs.
The current Democratic party has lost its ideological basis for existence. - It is NOT fiscally responsible. - It is NOT ethically honorable. - It has started wars based on lies. - It does not support the well-being of americans - only billionaires. - It has suppresed constitutional guaranteed liberties. - It has foisted a liar as president upon America. - It has violated US national sovereignty in trade treaties. - It has refused to enforce the national borders.
...It no longer has valid reasons to exist. Lorad474
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Hmph! And I always thought giganews had a reputation for long retention times. Well, there's always the google thingy. You could either put that message-id in the advanced search, or you could just search on Subject: "Update on the Containerized shop"
Reply to
Steve Ackman
Here it is Steve.
I've posted a few questions off and on about things like putting Machine tools on a wood floor and on insulating a shop. I figured i would post an interim update on how my shop upgrade is going.
I decided AGAINST erecting a structure and went the shipping container route instead. I made that realization wen i figured out i would not likely be staying at this house forever. If 9 of the 10 heaviest items i own (Excluding my CAR) are already in the shipping container it will make future moves EXTREMELY easy. So i'm now the Proud owner of a 20 foot shipping container.
I started by getting a bed delivered of "granular A" gravel material, And i wound up getting about 4 tons too much.
I got it and spread it and then tamped it down (14 tons of gravel with a guy using a shovel took longer than i thought)
i bought a used container that was WAY older than i thought it was (Close inspection revels it was built in 1971) but has no structural rust to speak of so i'm essentially happy BUT i need to find out where i can buy container hardware to redo one of the locking tabs
The container is delivered and resting on eight pads made up of a pair of 4 inch solid concrete blocks. For the most part not all are touching but if there is any settling the open ones will start taking the load
I've ground and primed all the surface rust spots and i'm in the process of respraying the exterior to white
Should i replace the numbers and identifiers? it said NICU 87214 as an ID and i think that might be significant enough to return to the box possibly?
Electrical will hopefully get resolved this week
I'm planning on running 100A of 240V 1Ph to it and i'm tryig to figure out whether thats best done with four Camlock Connectors or with a pin in sleeve connector and finding 4 conductor 4 gauge cable
Since i'm in canada i know i will need to run Heat and AC to it along with lights
I figure i need 100A since as a single user the worst sustained use i can hit is WELDER + Compressor + heat + lights. which t me works out to in the ballpark of 80A at 240V
3 phase if and when required will be done via VFD for machine tools liek the mill and i will install an RPC
my only OTHER concern was insulation and so far i think my best option is to frame the inside with 2x2's and insulate with the pink styrofoam stuff then drywall over that with the best fire resistant drywall i can afford.
I've decided to delay adding windows and a human access door to the side until next year for budget reasons. It means a little more rework next year but getting the shop ready to go is more important. than making it pretty and if i have to live with a closed box with all electric lighting it wont kill me for the winter
Just figured i'd post on how it was doing and look for some feedback on the insulation and electrical issue
Reply to
John R. Carroll
"John R. Carroll" wrote
Where I bought mine, they will install roll up doors for you. Sometimes, they install them in the sides, sometimes in the ends. When they install them in the ends, they just toss the hardware on a pile. My guy has lots of pieces and parts. What do you need?
They also sell the 6.5' x 7' cutouts for $5 each. Great for making a fence, using a couple or three of them welded together, then a telephone pole stub in the ground.
Reply to
My google fu sucks this morning, but I know there are some web sites of companies that make everything from portable offices to multi-level housing out of those. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I'd try to pick their brains.
Reply to
If it's just busted dogs, send me an e mail pic, and I'll go see if he has any. He has handles and bars and the whole nine yards, but we may be limited by length and shipping costs. Handles and dogs will go the under 70# weight limit on Priority Mail flat rate.
Reply to
What I posted was the old material you couldn't recover from your news server Steve. I know diddly about this subject although I've considered something like this a couple of times.
Reply to
John R. Carroll
I wouldn't bother. It sounds like a manufacturer's or shipper's serial number. I googled "NICU" and it resolves to "Neonatal Intensive Care Unit". ;-)
Maybe check with your local Inspector, and if there's a cert number, (and you've passed) I'd think it'd be cool to stencil that on the side. Maybe one for electrical and one for structural, if that's relevant - structural would probably be relevant, if you intend to move it in the future.
Cheers! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise
What's your hourly rate? Wouldn't it have been cheaper/easier to rent a power tamper?
How long _did_ it take?
Cheers! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise

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