Rifugio: A solar-powered refuge for Alpine conditions


The Rifugio concept by Johannes Jaehrig, looks to provide a self-sufficient, solar-powered multi-use housing unit that is compatible with the weather conditions in the Alpine sector. The refuge is a minimal housing concept that would provide alpinists, conservationists, scientists or aid workers with a no-fuss short-term housing solution that does not interfere with the environment they are in but also provides a more comfortable alternative to living in tents.

Mimicking the dimensions of a standard ISO container, the refuge can also serve as a rescue station or a lookout post for people who have to live in alpine conditions for prolonged periods without setting up a permanent station. The Refugio is powered by a modular solar device that can be installed along the sides of the main unit. The module comprises of eight self-adjusting solar panels that cover an area of 3.6 square meters, and are capable of generating around 1500W every day. This power can be used to illuminate the housing on the inside and also power the lights positioned outside the post to allow others to be able to locate it with ease during the night. The power is also sufficient to charge small electronic gadgets as well as emergency heating systems.

The panels are fixed to the container’s roof to be able to withstand high-speed winds at high altitudes but can also be easily adjusted to minimize damage during transportation as well as provide maximum sunlight capture area when in use. When opened, the module allows sunlight to peer through the glazing of the panels and into the living space of the container allowing the inhabitants to make full use of daylight. The same panels can also be adjusted to provide shade during warmer days to prevent the inside of the container from becoming too hot.

The lightweight aluminum interior allows easy modification to suit different needs and uses. The 2.1m X 2m X 2.30 M spaces can be adjusted to provide sleeping, living and working space for up to four people. The container is mounted on four height adjustable telescope legs that can be manipulated even after the installation to achieve a level interior space even on the most uneven terrain. The lightweight aluminum container weighs less than 900 kgs overall and can easily be transported by road or even by air with the help of medium-sized chopper that can airlift the Refugio to precise locations.

Via: Cargo Collective

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