Get a Quote

With the right power, a mobile office can be the perfect plug-and-play solution for anyone looking to add some temporary office space to their job site. But just how much electricity is enough electricity? Well, that depends.

Everyone’s needs are different—and there are a variety of shapes and sizes for mobile office space. As a result there, unfortunately, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

At SiteBox Storage, our experience providing fully-functioning, on-site office solutions for customers throughout the Midwest has given us some unique insights and a few rules of thumb we’re happy to pass on. It all starts with HVAC.

Portable offices are made to be tough on the outside and comfortable on the inside. Of course, a big part of comfort is their ability to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That said, while HVAC systems are becoming more and more energy-efficient every day, they still require a significant amount of electricity.

Most of today’s mobile offices use one of two types of HVAC systems: Bard or PTAC.

  • Bard systems are durable HVAC units that are usually mounted to the exterior of a mobile office.
  • PTAC systems (or Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners) are ductless cooling and heating units like those commonly found in hotel rooms.

Each requires a different amount of dedicated power. Bard systems take at least 60 direct amps wired to the panel, while PTAC systems take at least 30 direct amps.

At SiteBox Storage, we use both Bard and PTAC systems. Which one will be utilized in your mobile office depends on its size, configuration, and age.

Here’s a breakdown:

Size of Mobile Office Specifications
20 Foot Office Varies depending on model (newer offices have PTAC units, older offices have Bard systems)
40 Foot Office Bard systems
40 Foot Office/Storage Combo Varies depending on model (newer offices have PTAC units, older offices have Bard systems)

Other mobile office electrical needs

When it comes to electrical needs, this is the point where many people may stop reading and reach for the phone to call up an electrician. Don’t make that mistake.

While 30 or 60 amps may be enough to run the HVAC, turn on the lights and—if you’re lucky—run a computer, chances are you’ll want a little more power.

All of the mobile offices leased by SiteBox come with four electrical outlets, which most of our customers use to run other pieces of office equipment like copiers and printers along with appliances like mini-fridges and coffee makers.

If that sounds like you, or something that could become a possibility down the road, we highly recommend a connection with 100 direct amps.

Recommendations and safety considerations

To get the 100 direct amps recommended above, we suggest renting a 25-kilowatt generator. And when it comes time to get everything connected, we strongly advise contracting with a master electrician—the extra cost is worth it when you’re dealing with your own safety and long-term peace of mind.

Wrapping up

No matter where your work takes you, a mobile office can provide you with everything you need to get the job done—assuming you have the right amount of power.

To know exactly how much electricity you need, look at what kind of HVAC system your building has and consider any additional electrical requirements you have now or could have down the road. Planning ahead will help you avoid frustration and potential setbacks. Figure out what facts you need to know to plan for mobile office space. Your electrical needs are just one of the things you need to consider before your mobile office is delivered. We’ve written about prepping for the mobile office space, and we can help you make plans.

To learn more about the mobile offices available through SiteBox Storage, visit our product page or contact us today.