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ISO or Bespoke Containers

For the containment of generator sets or other powered equipment.

Colchester Engineering Systems Container conversion

Bespoke containers


Designed to precise customer requirements, of whatever size is required to meet the requirement.

These containers can be made to suit any application. Their advantage over the simpler acoustic canopy or acoustic enclosure is that, with the inbuilt floor, the generator set (or whatever plant is to be housed) can be pre-installed and tested at the point of manufacture and then taken to site in one piece, making site installation much easier and safer. The inbuilt base can be bunded for protection against fluid spillage and pollution.

ISO Containers


Taking a standard ISO container, as used in the road haulage/overseas shipping industry, and converting it for use as a housing for a generator set, pump system, chillers, UPS, etc. 

The concept of adapting the standard shipping containers (or ISO containers) for use in housing noisy equipment such as diesel generator sets, is one that is now well established. This product can be applied to a variety of requirements where robustness, ease of transportation as a one-piece system, good weather protection and a neat external appearance are required. They are especially suited for a low cost solution to sending generators overseas as they can take advantage of the international freight handling facilities at all major worldwide ports.

Where special sized ISO containers are required, it is possible to stretch or shrink the container dimensions to meet exact requirements, although the ISO standardisation is not then applicable.

Only 20 foot or 40 foot, standard or hi-cube containers fit the ISO standard.

We have built these containers to suit up to 1500kVA generator sets, whilst achieving 85dBA at one metre distance. It is possible to achieve as low as 65dBA at one metre with smaller generators, details on application.

(The principal difference between a canopy and a container is the presence of the load bearing floor in the container.)

Acoustic Treatment


The chart shows three typical ranges of acoustic performance which can be attained with an acoustic container.

In general, a 500kW engine will produce a noise level of 110dBA at one metre distance, without any acoustic treatment. This could drop to 95dBA for small engines or up to 115dBA for large engines. (Petrol or gas powered engines tend to be quieter.) This is generally too noisy for comfortable use and acoustic treatment is normally necessary.

Noise levels reduce with increasing distance and the chart shows the reductions that can be expected. The end customer will either expect you to suggest a suitable noise level, dependant on the actual site conditions, how close the neighbours are (who have every legal right to sue the operator for nuisance if they choose) and the best orientation to direct hot air and exhaust fumes away from sensitive areas - or will set his own limits required.

As a guide, where business or residential neighbours are likely to be affected by noise from the generator set, a local authority would suggest a limit of 45dBA at the boundary of the property for daytime - or 35dBA for nightime operation. This can be extremely difficult to achieve, especially when you have no distance to assist with the attenuation.

Where precise noise limits are set, the equipment must be designed correctly. Our engineers will be pleased to assist with individual requirements.​​​​​​​​​

Colchester Engineering Systems chart

Ventilation Requirements


The cooling air requirements for each generator set must be determined before accurate sizing can take place. This mostly involves obtaining information from the engine's radiator manufacturer, where they will be able to advise airflow volume and additional fan pressure (ie pressure available over and above the requirements of the radiator alone), with regard to the operating ambient temperatures. This additional pressure is what enables the radiator fan to overcome the resistance caused by the attenuation equipment, dampers, weatherlouvres, mesh guards, etc.

The selection of attenuation must be designed correctly to avoid any possibility of overheating.

Constructional Specification


The standard ISO container comprises a box section steel framework with specially designed and positioned integral corner castings to enable both lifting and fixing to a skeletal vehicle or trailer.

The standard ISO double leaf cargo doors are often deleted to facilitate the location of attenuation equipment. The walls and roof comprise a 1.6mm thick profiled steel skin fully welded into position between the frame members and, where required, an internal acoustic lining is applied which has a perforated steel facing over the heavy density acoustic infill.

Colchester Engineering Systems container conv

The steel floor is supported from steel cross-members which are designed to suit the load to be carried. Apertures are cut into the wall, roof or floor panels to accommodate access doors, cable or pipe penetrations, weatherlouvres, etc. These can be fully treated for weather protection, and a range of IP standards can be achieved.

When the ISO container is not suited to the application, alternative sized containers can be offered, where the ISO corner castings become unnecessary due to the non-standard sizes.

Container Dimensions


The following three sizes of ISO container are generally used:

20ft Standard - 6058mm long

(30ft Standard - 9100mm long - non-standard)

40ft Standard - 12100mm long

all by 2438mm wide

The standard overall height is 2590mm with the hi-cube option of 2890mm.



Portable Generator Set Installations - Mobile Workshops - Control Rooms - Offices - Stores - Mobile Recording Studios - Telecommunications

We also welcome enquiries for container conversions for all applications, some examples of which are shown here:

For further information please contact CES at



Unit 5 Chancers Farm, Fossetts Lane, Fordham,

Colchester, Essex, CO6 3NY


Tel 01206 240788


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