TMCnet Feature
October 04, 2022

How to Stay Warm With Technology: The Science Behind Heated Clothing

If you're looking for a way to stay warm this winter without having to bundle up in a lot of layers, heated clothing may be the perfect choice for you! 

Heated clothing uses battery-powered heating elements to provide warmth, and it can be a great way to stay comfortable in cold weather. While there are many types of heated clothing, most of them use 12, 7.4, and 5-volt power banks.

This article will analyze the differences in technology behind various types of heated clothing.

What is the technology behind heated clothing?

Heated clothing is a type of apparel that uses battery-operated heating elements to generate heat. The heating elements are usually located in key areas of the clothing, such as the chest, back, and neck. 

Heated clothing works by using a series of conductive wires or carbon fiber elements to generate heat. The wires are connected to a power source, typically a battery pack. When the power is turned on, an electric current flows through the wires and heats up the element. The heat is then transferred to the surrounding area, providing warmth to the wearer.

Heated clothing can be made from a variety of materials, with the type of material dictating how much heat is generated and how long the garment will retain its warmth.

Electrical vs. chemical options

Electrical heated clothing typically uses a 12-volt electric current, the standard voltage used for clothing designed for use on vehicles such as motorbikes or snowmobiling. These garments are usually attached directly to the bike's battery, while others have cigarette lighter plugs.

Other electrical garments come with their own power bank, which adds smartphone-charging functionality but has a limited volume of energy. Additionally, some electrical garments come with a 3/5/7-volt rechargeable battery.

On the other hand, chemical reaction-based garments have cloth pouches or pockets, where single-use packages of chemical hand warmers can be inserted.

Energy efficiency and heated clothing technology

Since heated clothing require a portable power source, many of them include a portable power bank. The portable power bank has a limited volume of energy that can be used, so it needs to be efficient.

Since heated garments need to be lightweight and provide comfort, there has to be a balance between power storage capabilities, and the size and weight of the power bank. This is why most heating jackets use a 5V or 7V power bank.

While the future of heated clothing technology is unknown, it is sure to adapt to modern standards of energy efficiency.

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