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Heated Clothing Heat Output and Coverage is Dictated by Voltage

July 11, 2017

Heated Clothing is still a relatively new concept and there is very little information available to help consumers figure out which is best.  In this blog we are going to talk about how voltage affects heat coverage and output.  We will also try to explain why most rechargeable heated clothing is 7 Volts.  We are going to try to keep this simple and look at this from 30,000 feet.  If you have further questions after reading this article, please feel free to contact a product specialist at voltheat.com by calling 888 518 6871 or email info@voltheat.com

As a rule of thumb when evaluating heated clothing, the higher the voltage, the hotter the heat output and the greater the coverage area.  This also means increased cost of the battery as well as size and weight.  If you take a heat pad that has a size of X and power it with a 7 volts and 12 volts, the 12 volts will make it hotter.  If you did the same experiment with the same heat system and powered it with a 7-volt battery and a 5V battery, the 7 Volt version will be warmer.  As a consumer, your first question might be, “Why not make all rechargeable heated clothing 12 Volt if we know that it is the best heat producer?”.  Two main reasons why you wouldn’t do this are due to the battery size/weight and cost. 

Extreme Heat and Coverage

12 Volt rechargeable batteries are very expensive so this type of product usually is out of the average consumer’s price range if a battery is going to be included.  Most people don’t even like spending $150 on their car battery let alone $150 battery to power their heated jacket.  The other factor is size and weight.  12 Volt Rechargeable batteries are usually large and heavy as they harness a lot of energy.  This tends to rule them out for most consumers as bulk is definitely a turn off.  So we can agree that 12 Volts is extremely good heat and coverage but the downside is expensive batteries and large bulky batteries.

The Best Pound for Pound Heat Coverage and Heat Output

7 Volt rechargeable heated clothing tends to be the current standard.  This is due to a good mixture of power, size and cost when it relates to heated clothing.  A typical 7 Volt product will draw roughly 1-2 amps per hour of 7 Volt power to energize the heat system.  Most clothing systems will be made up of 3 to 4 zones or pads.  The typical 7 Volt battery will be rated from anywhere between 2000 mAh to 3200 mAh.  If you find a battery that holds more energy than that at 7.4 Volts it is usually bigger in size and here is why.  Volt Heated Clothing does make a 5900mAh 7.4 Volt battery but it is two 2950mAh 7.4 Volt batteries wired in parallel.  Wiring cells in parallel doubles the mAh rating while keeping the voltage the same.  (Are you confused yet?)  All in all 7 Volt batteries pack a good punch when it comes to heat output and duration while keeping the cost of the batteries easier to stomach than that of a 12 Volt origin.

Heat coverage does start to decline but soothing temperatures are still obtained

5 Volt power is the new face in the game.  Within the last 2 years there has been a surge of 5V power banks which are being coined as USB batteries or powerbanks.  The reason people call them USB batteries is due to the mini USB port to charge the battery and the regular USB port for using a cell phone charging cord to charge your cell phone.  You can produce a good amount of heat with 5 Volt power but in order to do this it usually takes a fairly good size mAh rating to get prolonged results.  Volt Heated Clothing has come out with two Thermal Half Zips, a men’s and women’s model.  This features a 2 pad heat system that gets extremely warm and relaxing.  You do lose heat coverage though as the two heat pads are 2 less than the typical Volt 7V Heated Jacket or Heated Vest.  You can increase the coverage by increasing the pad size which will lower the heat output or by adding more of the same sized pads which would require more Amps to heat.  This in turn requires a larger 5 Volt battery to power.

Know your role

3Volt Heat Systems are usually reserved for heating very specific or smaller areas.  This is perfect for footwear or headwear.  3 Volt heat systems just don’t have the overall heat output or coverage to outplay its big brother 7V.  The benefit to 3 Volt Heat is small lightweight batteries and good heat that can be focused easily

I understand that this can be a little confusing but I hope we have shed enough light on this subject to at least give you the basics.  Ultimately what we want is to educate the consumer so the best choice can be made.  The next time you are looking at purchasing heated clothing you will hopefully have a better understanding of how heat coverage is affected by the power source (voltage).

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