Generators in a container

elib

Sponsor
Braintrust:

I've got a couple generators to permenantly install at a few facilities but I'm concerned about security and noise. I'd like to install them inside a 20' shipping containers. Has anyone done this before? Two would be diesel and a third would be NG, 80kw diesel Cummins, 25kw diesel Cummins and a 45kw Onan NG.

Anyone done something like this before? I've had a few recommendations already but wanted to see if you guys had any brilliant ideas. I've read about using a bellows to pipe external air in for the radiator and putting large vents on the sides, possibly making large louvers in the wall for ventilation.

It doesn't get much below freezing up here but both diesels have coolant heaters already.

I've had the suggestion to build a stand of some sort to keep the whole thing off the floor of the container and to use secondary containment under whatever diesel tanks I use inside.

How much ventilation do I need? Where do I find the rubber bellows?

Thanks in advance!
 

len k

Subscriber
No experience , but might be tight in there. I'ld be concerned about being able to get at sides of gens for maintenance/repair work. Suppose you could cut sides of container so they swing open for access.

Would want them raised in case of flood waters.
 

Birken Vogt

Email NOT Working
Braintrust:

I've got a couple generators to permenantly install at a few facilities but I'm concerned about security and noise. I'd like to install them inside a 20' shipping containers. Has anyone done this before? Two would be diesel and a third would be NG, 80kw diesel Cummins, 25kw diesel Cummins and a 45kw Onan NG.

Anyone done something like this before? I've had a few recommendations already but wanted to see if you guys had any brilliant ideas. I've read about using a bellows to pipe external air in for the radiator and putting large vents on the sides, possibly making large louvers in the wall for ventilation.

It doesn't get much below freezing up here but both diesels have coolant heaters already.

I've had the suggestion to build a stand of some sort to keep the whole thing off the floor of the container and to use secondary containment under whatever diesel tanks I use inside.

How much ventilation do I need? Where do I find the rubber bellows?

Thanks in advance!
Eli, I have the answers to all these, but you can get answers here if you want to also.

(I thought this project sounded familiar, but after I stared at the username a minute I figured it out) ;)
 

slip knot

Subscriber
The few container gensets I've used all had intake air and exhaust air out the top of the container. where ever you have louvers you will have noise.
 

Zephyr7

Active member
If you’re thinking of using the usual steel intermodal shopping containers, they are much bigger than needed for gensets of this size.

The usual sound enclosures are lined with rigid mineral wool panels. Air typically comes in one end with a baffle (usually looks like a big scoop) pointed down, and exits out the radiator through another baffle pointed up. Exhaust is typically sent out above the radiator into that same upward facing baffle, but sometimes the muffler is on top of, or even inside of, the enclosure.

Now if you want to put all those little guys into one container, that’s doable, but a bit tight. You want at least 3 feet between the units and between the side of a unit and the side of the enclosure for easy access. You’d have to install them sideways, which will mess up ducting a little but it’s still doable. You want to position intake loggers so that they don’t suck in hot exhaust air. I would try to put intakes on the opposite side from the radiator exhaust. In buildings, I use the corners for generator rooms to help with this. Engine exhaust can go out the top. Line the inside of the container with rigid mineral wool panels to dampen the sound. Everything needs to fit tightly to avoid rattles.

You’ll need Day tanks for the diesel gensets. Usually code won’t allow you to share a tank between multiple gensets too, so you need one Day tank for each genset and a common stock tank to feed all the daytanks.

Personally, I’d try building a small concrete block on a slab building for this purpose, maybe with a perimeter stem wall depending on your climate zone and needs. You’ll get a MUCH better generator structure this way, and you can make the dimensions exactly what you need

Bill
 

elib

Sponsor
Lol folks I am lucky enough to have Birken in the same town as me. I didn't realize you were even on here. Lets talk in real life tomorrow, was just dreaming and wanted to see what people had to say. Still want you to see the 45EM as well!

Eli, I have the answers to all these, but you can get answers here if you want to also.

(I thought this project sounded familiar, but after I stared at the username a minute I figured it out) ;)
 

elib

Sponsor
I guess I didn't word that quite right. It's three seperate places I want to do it at, not three generators in one container. I just want to make it vandal/theft proof and allow the generator to run at the same time.

If you’re thinking of using the usual steel intermodal shopping containers, they are much bigger than needed for gensets of this size.

The usual sound enclosures are lined with rigid mineral wool panels. Air typically comes in one end with a baffle (usually looks like a big scoop) pointed down, and exits out the radiator through another baffle pointed up. Exhaust is typically sent out above the radiator into that same upward facing baffle, but sometimes the muffler is on top of, or even inside of, the enclosure.

Now if you want to put all those little guys into one container, that’s doable, but a bit tight. You want at least 3 feet between the units and between the side of a unit and the side of the enclosure for easy access. You’d have to install them sideways, which will mess up ducting a little but it’s still doable. You want to position intake loggers so that they don’t suck in hot exhaust air. I would try to put intakes on the opposite side from the radiator exhaust. In buildings, I use the corners for generator rooms to help with this. Engine exhaust can go out the top. Line the inside of the container with rigid mineral wool panels to dampen the sound. Everything needs to fit tightly to avoid rattles.

You’ll need Day tanks for the diesel gensets. Usually code won’t allow you to share a tank between multiple gensets too, so you need one Day tank for each genset and a common stock tank to feed all the daytanks.

Personally, I’d try building a small concrete block on a slab building for this purpose, maybe with a perimeter stem wall depending on your climate zone and needs. You’ll get a MUCH better generator structure this way, and you can make the dimensions exactly what you need

Bill
 

elib

Sponsor
The few container gensets I've used all had intake air and exhaust air out the top of the container. where ever you have louvers you will have noise.
Were they all passive systems or did they have to use extra fans for cooling? Did they just duct in to the air intake and of course exhaust thru the top with a flapper. Doesn't it get too hot inside without some sort of cooling? Leaving the doors open during operation isn't an option at night. Security is top concern along side functionality.
 

pegasuspinto

Active member
In most cases gens are just run with factory enclosure on a base tank and people don't normally mess with them.

You'll have tons of room. I've worked on 2 megawatt units slid into a 40 foot container, THAT is no fun.

Most times the exhaust is run out the top with a flap (aim the flap so when it's transported the wind keeps the flap SHUT) and the gen has the radiator pushed against the wall and minimal ducting is used to exhaust the hot air. Intake louvers let air into the container and flows through the fan, radiator, and out, and the action of the cooling fan is what ventilates the container.
 

Zephyr7

Active member
I guess I didn't word that quite right. It's three seperate places I want to do it at, not three generators in one container. I just want to make it vandal/theft proof and allow the generator to run at the same time.
Yeah, I wasn't entirely clear on if you were making three separate packaged units, or all three gensets were going into one container.

I wouldn't bother with a masonry building for just one of those little gensets. Usually I spec generator buildings for large plants of 3+ gensets. A typical intermodal shipping container is going to be a LOT bigger than you need for one of the small gensets you're talking about, so I'd look into having an enclosure fabricated, or maybe seeing if a used enclosure was available that would work.

You could use a shipping container if you have access to them cheaply, you'll just end up with lot of extra room inside. If you go that route, I'd still do the louvers the way everyone is describing, but maybe I'd put the radiator out vent on the top of the enclosure and keep the "scoop" inside to save some exterior space around the unit. You'll need to provide a drain for water if you do that though.

BE SURE to do a GOOD paint job on the enclosure too! Those things always seem to rust. Maybe try contracting JohnnyC :D
Anyone with an airless sprayer could do it, just make sure you get a good solid coat of outdoor paint and proper primer since you want it to last. You'll want something under the container too so that the bottom doesn't rust out after a while.

Bill
 

YellowLister

Subscriber
I thought about getting a 20 footer for my 30 dda onan but after being told any permitly installed generator has to be 6 foot above flood levels which is 4 feet.. I'd have it 10 foot above ground! And having pylons set would of cost me about 15k.. that ended that idea..
 

Motorhead

Subscriber
Put a couple of These, Billy Shafers' favorites, and drive EVERYONE out of the valley! :hitfan:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Onan-35-KW-Generator-LP-Or-NG-/223746841032?&_trksid=p2056016.l4276 The "COVETED" TECH-STAR! :hide:

On a SERIOUS note, Are you going to put all three in ONE container? Even with good ventilation, with all three running aren't you going to have trouble getting rid of heat? What about the Heat Soak that a metal container will have just by itself, sitting in the sun? You are going to have to figure in that effect on cooling your generators and having ample air flow.
The engine radiator cooling fans are going to really create a bunch of noise
 

Zephyr7

Active member
I thought about getting a 20 footer for my 30 dda onan but after being told any permitly installed generator has to be 6 foot above flood levels which is 4 feet.. I'd have it 10 foot above ground! And having pylons set would of cost me about 15k.. that ended that idea..
You might be able to get some screw piles set for only a few thousand.

$15k sounds high for what I'm assuming are four concrete piers. All you need is a crew with a rathole rig and some sonotubes, drop in some rerod cages and fill with concrete. Why so spendy for your particular quote? I've designed plenty of concrete piers to hold up cooling towers, which usually need several feet of clearance underneath for piping and airflow, and it's usually not very expensive and only takes about a day to complete. I've seen entire cell phone tower foundations go in in only a few hours, and those are DEEP.

Bill
 

YellowLister

Subscriber
You might be able to get some screw piles set for only a few thousand.

$15k sounds high for what I'm assuming are four concrete piers. All you need is a crew with a rathole rig and some sonotubes, drop in some rerod cages and fill with concrete. Why so spendy for your particular quote? I've designed plenty of concrete piers to hold up cooling towers, which usually need several feet of clearance underneath for piping and airflow, and it's usually not very expensive and only takes about a day to complete. I've seen entire cell phone tower foundations go in in only a few hours, and those are DEEP.

Bill
Because they have to be to hurricane force code.. and that means sitting on bedrock and anchored to it.. which is 15 to 25 feet deep here.. and most of this place was filled with rock and sand, so drilling through that take awhile and eats drill bits.. i talked to 3 local different pylon drillers and they all said the same thing
 

len k

Subscriber
I heard putting stuff ( houses and gens) up on pilling 6 foot above flood levels was an requirement insurance companies made cities do after they got a LOT of hurricane insurance claims. They got tired of paying claims on regular installations.

Seem if you put gen on a road trailer it's "portable" , thus exempt from "permanently" installed codes. Can always put trailer frame up on cement block to "temporarily protect" the tires. :O Or I suppose gen could be just "stored" in a trailer, plug and cable connection ready to go.
 

Motorhead

Subscriber
To be honest, I like the idea of keeping it portable but I would sure hate to lose that 30DDA to high water. Maybe a sacrificial OLD beat up CCK but not the DDA.
Having a CCK on a floating dock with an anchor chain and or a concrete ballast on a 5 foot chain to keep the floating dock up right.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Back to the original post, 1 genset to a container, we are told, Seperate locations for each. I believe he wants to use a 20 foot container so it just cannot be walked away with or put on a flat bed and hauled away. As for security, most of these containers can be accessed with just a set of bolt cutters, unless you use some kind of titanium lock. A cut off saw will cut just about any lock out there, and there are battery operated ones so no engine noise when cutting the lock off. If these are installed where thay can be heard.observed, a LOUD alarm system, powered internally would be an answer to un-authorized entry. You would have to install some kind of grate around the intake and exhaust air so theives cannot just push their way in thru the ductwork. As others have noted, air in at one end (side) exhaust out the top, and 'used cooling air vented out the other end (side). If this is meant to be a permanant installation, I would also drill a hole thru the center of the container and drive a 2" pipe into the ground, as deep as you can get it. Put it in in 3 fot sections and couplings. If you can get 9 feet, use a floor flange on the last section and bolt it to the floor. That wil prevent someone from just putting the container on a flat bed and hauling it away. The deper you can drive the pipe, the better.
 
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