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Solar Powered Pod as Prototype for Tiny House, Mobile Office, and More

The solar powered pod called the Innovation Pod is a modular structure that can be configured to different shapes, sizes, and purposes: Like a tiny house, coach house, mobile office, art gallery, food truck, and more.

This pod prototype was built and designed by Ottawa’s prototypeD, and is currently operated by MadeMill as a mobile digital media lab.

It’s unique curved roof was built with corrugated metal and the pod is powered with 3kW of solar power feeding into an 11kWh battery bank.

Related: Dutch Hotel Pod for Tiny Vacationing

Solar Powered Pod as Prototype for Tiny House, Mobile Office & More! 

Solar Powered Pod

Image © MadeMill and Justin Holness

Innovation Pod - Tiny House - Exploring Alternatives - 1 Solar Powered Pod

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Solar Powered Pod

Image © Exploring Alternatives

Related: SOL POD Mobile Studio

VIDEO: Solar Powered Pod as Prototype for Tiny House, Mobile Office & More! 


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Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Bob
    May 10, 2017, 10:26 am

    I like anything solar. Perhaps some thin film mounted right on the curved roof would look and transport better?

  • jerry
    May 10, 2017, 2:14 pm

    I generally like these but as far as putting them together, the roof keeps it just 8′ wide, a bad size.
    At least if the roof didn’t return downward you could face them together.
    As a attention getting office it works but still needs work.
    Far better is a shed roof where you start with one module then add either sideways or face to face, L, etc from say 10′ wide x16′ modules.
    If you put 2 say 16′ apart just enclosing that space give 2.5x the add space for the cost.
    And can be done as the family grows or caring for an aging parent, etc.
    Also you can go tiny by planning the full unit to start with to get by size rules and just build the first stage as a TH, not build the rest for yrs.
    That it doesn’t even have a toilet and enough water to wash with makes it not even viable as an office.

    • Bigfoot
      May 10, 2017, 5:46 pm

      Jerry, the video claims this is 12′ wide but it doesn’t look like it to me either. It is a prototype & they are making provisions for adding sections together, functioning bathrooms, & things like that. I think it’s a great concept, just in the infancy stage of it’s lifecycle. It will be interesting to see where they can take this down the road!
      I agree with your views regarding designs that can readily accommodate an additional unit or offer expandability & I’m surprised that more of the tiny market haven’t targeted the concept. Not only practical but IMO, a huge selling point if done right.

      • James D.
        May 10, 2017, 10:39 pm

        Problem is doing it right… There are a lot of hurdles from concept to commercial application…

        Do they go with proprietary standards or develop a universal open source standard for the design, how the module interconnect and operate, technology used, etc.

        Many of these are intended for specific purposes but market may require it to be more flexible and the logistics involved may be beyond the original developers intent and capability…

        Costs overruns are common as is normal with developing something new, but also because modular isn’t necessarily cheaper because you’re designing for redundancy and additional options that may or may not be used, which complicates the construction process and adds to costs…

        Then finally, it’s the issue of getting enough funding to bring it to market… Modular design has great potential but it’s still a alien concept to many people and not being able to be necessarily the cheapest solution means its potential benefits are often overlooked or considered insufficient to justify the costs… Especially at the start as until parts get mass produced and the design and technology involved become standard then initial applications will be more cost prohibitive as is the case with most early adopter products…

        Along with getting through bureaucracy for building permits, etc. and general resistance all alternative housing solutions get these days…

        So it’s little wonder that historically few of these have ever gotten past the concept stage, let alone come to market…

        But this and many other options are becoming more prevalent now and advocacy for alternative housing is helping pave the way as public opinion and social pressures are starting to demand solutions that the existing system can’t provide…

        So, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of these over the next few years…

  • May 10, 2017, 2:38 pm

    Love the artistic decor on the wall. Also good to know that the next construct would include a toilet

  • Mr. Lonnie
    May 10, 2017, 6:38 pm

    interesting, innovating idea! hope they are able to keep at it!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      May 11, 2017, 9:39 am

      Me too!

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