2022 - The UK Parliament reported that in 2020, 14.5 million people lived in relative poverty after housing costs in the UK. Considering the rising cost of living, this project aims to support people to keep warm by alleviating some of the strains of soaring energy prices.
'Solar Blanket' is a heated blanket that is powered by the sun. It uses solar power to generate electricity and saves energy by directing heat toward the user. It isolates the warmth in their immediate space and avoids wasting energy on heating up an entire area.
The blanket is most effective when used as a warming layer to sit or to lay on. The pleating allows the blanket to be modular by concentrating heat. It fits one person when folded and multiple people when expanded. Furthermore, it benefits from being off-grid, giving the user the option to be self-sufficient.
The solar panel, designed to be placed in front of a window, works in most weather conditions. It can charge a portable power bank which powers the blanket and any other objects in the home. This portability means the blanket is not location bound.
The project also aims to emphasize the need for increased accessibility to sustainable choices by providing an inclusive way to create comfortable homes for all.
‘… when home isn’t a home, but a place that you avoid as long as possible, lingering in shopping centres or libraries, where you can stay warm for a little longer.’
K. Hudson, The Guardian, 2022
Special thanks to the Community of Jaywick.
© Mireille Steinhage 2023