Building on its existing eco-friendly credentials (which include using local suppliers to furnish its huts with Somerset wool for insulation, applying predominantly water-based paints, fitting the exterior of the huts with British steel for wriggly tin, and employing skilled local craftsmen to create these intricate huts) Blackdown Shepherd Huts has turned its hand to the creation of greener, eco solar huts that have a significantly lower impact on the environment.
Will Vickery, who owns Blackdown Shepherd Huts, says: ‘We’ve had an increase in demand for huts that customers want situated in remote, unspoiled locations, Alongside this, people want to feel good about having a low impact on the environment. We’ve also had requests for huts to be located where it is not possible or feasible to run mains power, so we’ve come up with a solution with our Eco Solar Huts.’
The Blackdown Eco Solar Huts allow customers to be in the middle of a field and still have all the ‘glamping’ creature comforts of the regular Blackdown Turnkey Shepherd Hut, e.g. lights on, charging phone etc.
Will explains how the huts function: ‘Our huts work by harvesting the power of the sun. This eco-friendly method means that everything in the hut is powered without any mains electricity. It even has a 12v fridge running off the solar. Our huts have been designed to use as minimal power as possible so there will still be power even on grey days.’
The Eco Solar hut is wired for 12V, so it has USB sockets which will delight those who still want to stay connected. Will is delighted with the environmentally-friendly design, which is proving popular for both residential and commercial uses: ”Our design means that even as a holiday let there’s no chance of someone plugging in something that will drain the batteries in a flash, e.g. kettle, hair straighteners etc!
‘There is an inverter that steps up the 12v to 240v to run the gas hot water boiler fan, ignition and the gas hob ignition. Inverters themselves use a small amount of energy when on. To this end, we have mounted a little remote ‘light’ switch so the inverter only needs to be flicked on when the water or hob is needed to help people reduce the power being used.’
The Eco Solar huts can be powered with either semi-flexible Mono-crystalline solar panels curved over the roof or with rigid ground mounted panels, Wills says: ‘This can be useful if the hut is located in a shady spot, such as a wood, as the panels can be mounted a little distance away to get the full sun.’
Blackdown Eco Solar huts start at £18,500 with additional costs for solar lighting packs.