The Social Open-Source Heater


The SOS Heater project is a social impact initiative that aims to make heating more accessible and sustainable by developing and sharing low-energy heating technology.

Energy poverty is a pressing social issue that affects people’s health and well-being globally. Only in the EU, 40 million people can’t afford to heat their homes. With the rise in energy prices and living costs, the numbers are growing.

Cold indoor temperatures are associated with excess winter morbidity and mortality, especially in countries with milder winters, where buildings typically lack central heating and proper thermal insulation.

In addition to the health impacts, the lack of proper heating can affect people’s ability to rest, work, and study, leading to lower productivity and poor academic performance. This can exacerbate existing inequalities and create new ones.

The ecological impact of heating is another concern. The production of energy often involves the emission of pollutants into the environment and the depletion of natural resources.

Saving energy goes hand in hand with taking better care of our planet.

Affordable and energy-saving heating solutions are needed to reduce pollution and promote health, well-being, and equality.


SOS Heater is the open-source heater that saves energy and fights energy poverty.

We are developing a portable heater that consumes only 250W of electric power. Thanks to its low wattage, the device is affordable to use even for those with a tight budget, and it can be run in small-scale and off-the-grid renewable energy installations.

The SOS Heater is fume-free, operates silently, and provides a spot of warm comfort in indoor spaces. As a spot heater, it is recommended for static activities in the proximity of the device, such as using a computer, reading, watching TV, or sleeping.

We partner with Maker spaces and alternative-tech events to host workshops where people build their own SOS heaters. The new users join the community of testers and contribute with their feedback to improving the open-source technology.

Our model for development is based on the idea that cooperation can be more powerful than competition.

Bringing together a diverse group of people to work towards a common goal, enables a greater level of creativity, expertise, and perspective.

Using resources and materials locally while sharing the designs and knowledge globally, encourages a more sustainable, inclusive, and collaborative approach.

All SOS Heater content is published under Creative Commons for open research.


We are looking to develop a version of the heater that can be replicated in hubs around the globe.

Enabling independent makers, designers, and ceramic artists to produce their own SOS Heater devices locally, reduces the footprint of manufacturing and transport, and can accelerate the arrival of the solution to homes where it is needed.

What we have done so far:

• Product concept

• Design and production of first heater prototype

• Testing the technology in controlled environments

• Project development planning, based on open-source and distributed design principles

• Branding, website, and social media

• Growing the community of early users and testers through project presentations and DIY workshops at Maker spaces and alternative tech events

• Testing the technology in real-life scenarios and collecting feedback

• Improvements on the prototype based on testers’ feedback

Currently at:

• Incubation of the project in a program for social impact

• Challenge for impact-driven students, designers, and makers, to design an SOS Heater model that can be replicated in hubs

Where we would like to go:

 Incorporation of biomaterials and recycled plastic to increase the sustainability and circularity of the device

 Certification of the solution for domestic use

 Distributed design and manufacturing through independent maker hubs and ceramic studios

• Distribution of subsidized/free SOS heaters where most needed

 Online Marketplace to find locally produced SOS heaters

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