Introduction: DIY Carbon Tape Heated Vest

diy heated clothing kit

The pattern made from some factory vest.
6 meters of carbon heating flex tape (www.carbonheater.us) placed on back and both sides. By touch carbon is a little bit like a loose weave silk. It's very soft but strong enough. Because of big length it provides uniform heating of body.

Step 1:

Back.

Step 2:

Front.

Step 3:

Tape connected in parallel 6x1m. It takes about 3A under 12V (36W).

Step 4:

You can sew wire to carbon tape to make a good and flexible connection. The contact place shouldn't be hotter than the tape itself. If not you must increase the contact area. The best idea to place wire between two layers of carbon tape.

Step 5:

Contacts may be sewed by sewing machine or just wraped with a wire.
But as you can see sewed contact is colder than the tape itself (left contact).
Wraped contact (on the right) is more hotter than tape.

Step 6:

Carbon tape can be extended. Place two pieces of carbon tape together on each other with little overlap and sew it on. As you can see the connection place is not hotter than the tape itself.

Step 7:

Sewed contact very flexible.

Step 8:

It's powered by 6x18650 connected in parallel (2x3).
I use it with an adjustable controller.

Step 9:

With a half power. I use it with my heated gloves and insoles.

Comments

author
NWBrewer (author)2013-10-06

I like this. Have you tried snap buttons instead? That way you can disconnect the connections.

author
Shenzhen (author)NWBrewer2013-10-07

You can see the battery connector and a power button the same as placed inside right there.

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author
NWBrewer (author)NWBrewer2013-10-06

Can you wash it?

author
Shenzhen (author)NWBrewer2013-10-07

Yes, I can wash it without any problem.

author
Maintiss99 (author)2017-02-20

I have been working on this. I connected the wire to the tape with a seen connection, and with a carbon based conductive glue, as I bought it thinking it was the same thing. I am getting over 112 degrees near the connection site, but only 92-93 at the middle of the tape. Do you think it could be the use of the carbon based glue over the silver glue, or should i look at another area to identify the problem?

author
Shenzhen (author)Maintiss992017-02-20

Carbon fiber allways have a good connection with a wire. But all of wires will oxidize very quickly and connection becames bad. We have to cover the connection point with something and here the problem is. Every glues we used will get between the contacts and electric current will go through glue too, so a glue must: 1. prevent oxidization; 2. to have a low resistance. Cabron glues have very high resistance (~100 Ohm/mm) and becames very hot under current as you have already saw. It cannot be used for a heated clothing at all. Silver glue has low resistance (~0.1-0.01 Ohm/mm) and glued connection point never get hot.

author
Maintiss99 (author)2017-02-20

That was supposed to be a sewn connection

author
RobertF238 (author)2017-01-14

Can this be wrapped around a steering wheel? A regular heated steering wheel cover is too bulky for my wife's small hands.

author
AngelaP101 (author)2017-01-10

hi! I'm super new to this. I'm fairly good with regular sewing, but this all confuses me. I was asked to make a vest that is heated. They want adjustable heat, to be able to charge using a USB port, and something that will last like 10 hours. Also, they would like accessories such as socks, hat, scarf, and pants. Is this doable? The less wires the better. What materials would I need? And can I incorporate all pieces with one controller, with multiple on/off switches for the different items? Please help! Thank you!

author
Shenzhen (author)AngelaP1012017-01-10

We can help you with design and calculations. Where will you use it? What will be surroud temperature, air speed, your activity? Can you cover your heated clothing with a good quality and thick thermo insulator?

USB can 10 watts only. It is enough for socks, hat, scarf or gloves but not enough for a heated vest, I think, but of course it depends on many factors.

Even if you made it just 10 watts you need 10 Watts x 10 hours = 100 Watts battery. It is a big and bulky battery...

Anyway we know how to make it and ready to help you. Please, write to our email sale@carbonheater.us

author
ElectricFuzz (author)2016-12-15

Hi,
I was looking to improve on a commercial heated jacket that I bought. Can this carbon tape be integrated into the heat system of the jacket?

author
Shenzhen (author)ElectricFuzz2016-12-15

I think it should be depends on our diy knowledge. My friend did it perfect with his branded heated vest. He replaced broken nihrome to carbon rope 3mm.

author
DanP60 (author)2016-12-07

Question if OP is still active. Why the ZigZag pattern? Can I cover the entire surface in the tape or will it draw too much power? I am a recent BSEE graduate and understand the concept, but am wondering what exact materials I need in addition to the tape?

What gauge wire is used?

Is it possible to use a larger batter to last long or to have multiple battery packs you can interchange every couple of hours?

author
Shenzhen (author)DanP602016-12-07

Well you could place it any pattern you would like I just tried to heat more area.

Yes you should cover it with a cloth fabric because the carbon is an open wire.

You also should cover it because any heater regures a thermo insulator on outside. The best for now is Thinsilate, the second Polartec.

I recommend you a soft silicone multystranded wires 18 AWG.

We used a larger battery, battery packs, bikes, cars, boats battery and any one we have.

author
ninazz (author)2016-12-03

$10/m is an interesting business for you but it's quite a fortune for us. Anyone found a cheapest carbon tape? Heating carbon is dead cheap look here http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=Heating+Film&_osacat=20613&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XHeating+Film+carbon.TRS0&_nkw=Heating+Film+carbon&_sacat=20613

author
SianA9 (author)2016-11-26

I really like the concept. I will make a similar vest but thinking of ways to use flexible solar panels on my backpack / coat instead of batteries. Since It doesn't get "THAT" cold in The Netherlands and I'm not always cold while riding my back and I'm simply just a fan of solar panels and green energy, I would appreciate it very much if any of you had tips and tricks on how to realize this project. I know I would first have to start by simply making the basic jacket with tape and wires. But how do I connect the solar panels, they don't have to provide on demand power I just want as much power/warmth as the sun provides. Thanks in advance.

author
Shenzhen (author)SianA92016-11-26

What is the voltage and maximum current your panel rated?

author
SianA9 (author)Shenzhen2016-11-28

I'm considering buying a couple of these:

3W solar panel
• Typical voltage: 5.5V
• Typical current: 540mA
• Open-circuit voltage: 8.2 V
• Maximum load voltage: 6.4V

(how much of these panels is advisable and what's the best way to connect them?)

author
Shenzhen (author)SianA92016-11-28

Well, the most of branded heated clothing have 50-75 watts of heat even chinese heated clothing have 10 watts at least. So with that 3 watts you could heat only mouse. I recomend you 5 or 10 the same solar panel.

author
Davemon (author)2016-05-02

The tape is so much better than the wire for vest #3 that I've made. The wiring just seems so wrong but by using your wiring schematic I just need to add connections to the tape to increase tape length. I ended up with 8 meters of tape sewn in so 8ea 1 meter energized sections of circuits to the 6 in your project.

author
b171204 (author)2016-04-18

Hi Shenzhen,

I finally managed to build my own heating vest with your perfect support :-) Love the heating vest - thanks for your brilliant instructions.

One last question: To with percentage do you unload your bpack? I bought a battery voltage tester (here) to monitor my batteries.

Again, thanks a lot.
cheers
-b

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author
Shenzhen (author)b1712042016-04-19

Make an instructable about your vest and we send you 10 meters carbon for free!

And you get our prize of $50 if it became Featured!

author
b171204 made it! (author)Shenzhen2016-04-22

send you a private message. Yes, will do it for a heating vest and heating socks


BTW: Here are some pictures showing my heating vest in action.

IR_16.JPGIR_20.JPG
author
Shenzhen (author)b1712042016-04-22

Excellent!

author
Shenzhen (author)b1712042016-04-18

Yes, we used the same tester.

author
b171204 (author)Shenzhen2016-04-18

And? To with percentage to you unload your battery pack? I read this "Never completely discharge li-ion battery ( below 2.5V under load )". What about you?

Nominal Voltage: 3.6 V
Charging Voltage: 4.2 V
Minimum Voltage: 2.5 V

What about your experiences with this batteries? I mean, having an actuall working range between 3.6V and max 2.5V is not much, or?

author
b171204 (author)b1712042016-04-22

Found the answer to my own question.
The final discharging voltage with is 2.5 V (also called as Minimum Voltage) ;-)
Thanks anywhy

author
b171204 (author)2016-03-28

Hi,

I build a battery back based on 12 6x18650 connected in parallel and serial to get 13.600 mAh and 14,8V and I'm using only ~4m carbon tap (15 mm).

Now, my first test (only a beta test to get a feeling of (a) continues heat, (b) last long, (c) get family with what I'm doing) was a kind of OK but I burned the 12V RF Wireless Remote Switch probably because of peak output current 12A.

Q: Do you have any idea how I can still use my BPack but with a different switch or can/should I sill use the recommended 12V RF Wireless Remote Switch? Actually, any switch to control the heat is welcome.

Thanks in advanced
-b

beta_test.JPG
author
Shenzhen (author)b1712042016-03-28

1. How do you connect the tape?

2. What is the current for now?

author
b171204 (author)Shenzhen2016-03-29

Hi Shenzhen,

the connection was the issue. I connected the tape in parallel with just 55cm in between which was to much for the Remote Control. I tried it first with a distance of 1m (as you did) and it worked perfect but it got colder and colder as closer it get to my neck.

So, I decided to short the tape/connection to just 55cm (instead of 1m) and that burned my Remote Control (max power output: 5A),

I ordered 5 new and now am trying to find the optimal distance for a 3,50 m long (15mm) tape. Can you recommend a optimal distance for me?

Thanks in advanced
-b

author
Shenzhen (author)b1712042016-03-29

Well at first those 12A RF dimmer maybe arent comfortable but the most powerfull on the market. They even do not hot at 10A. I think it was an accident it died.

1. We recommend you to make your vest 30-50W of total heat power for that battery pack you made.

2. If I were you I would make it ~50W.

But with tape you have it could be 5 pieces x 70cm.

(0,93A x 5 = 4,65A; 4,65 x 12V = 55,8W)

author
Shinichi0831 (author)2016-03-19

How do you decide what battery to use? Is there a rule to follow when choosing them? Thanks!

author
Shenzhen (author)Shinichi08312016-03-19

The best you can find for now is Panasonic 18650 3400 mAh. You could use the most of rc toy li-ion batteries. Anyway you should use a protection board.

The rule is:

battery capasity you should to buy = your heated clothing power consumption x run time you need.

Example: 50 W x 2 hours = 100 W

If you will use a 12v battery 100W / 12V = ~8,5Ah

So if you like your 50W heated vest lasts 2 hours you need a 12V 8,5Ah battery.

author
Shinichi0831 (author)Shenzhen2016-03-21

All carbon fiber weaves can be used to do this right?

author
Shenzhen (author)Shinichi08312016-03-21

Well, yes and no...

Yes, because all of carbon fibers are conductors and can heat.

No, because the most of them have thick fiber, does not have constant resistivity, too tough to be used for clothing.

author
b171204 (author)2016-02-17

Hi Shenzhen,

I'm looking for such a heating vest since month but they are all incredible expensive and than I found you / your heating vest - amassing!!! I already bought 10m of tap and the recommended WiFi controller. It's already at home but now I'm struggling with the right power supply.

I'm looking for exact the same setup what you have done (6m of tap in a vest). I have searched for your suggested batteries but I don't know if they last long enough. I need a power supply which heats the vest for, let's say, 3h to 4h+ with "not that much of continues heating" (whatever this means ;-) ).

May I ask you why you are not using RC battery packs like http://www.ebay.de/itm/1-Stueck-Lipo-Akku-3-7V-7700mAh-1S-JST-SYP-2P-Stecker-Schutzschaltung-/351193214708 or http://www.ebay.de/itm/12v-5000mAh-SubC-NiMH-akkupack-Vapextech-/222002879989 Is it because of the voltage?

How many batteries do you recommend for my purpose (vest with 5m to 6m tap; up to 4h using by mind head)?

Thanks for your perfect manual, it's fantastic

cheers

-F

author
Shenzhen (author)b1712042016-02-17

The battery you linked 3-7V-7700mAh is good enough just connect them 3 in series.

The second one is 12v 5000 mAh only but I used 6 pieces of 18650 3400 mAh connected 3x2 so 12v 6800 mAh.

The run time at wull power you can canculate this way:

Your battery power capasity / heated clothing power consumption = run time in hours.

For example:

this instructable battery pack is 75w and the heated vest is 36W

75/36=2 hours (approximately)

author
Bülentİ (author)2015-11-28

Can you give some details about your battery pack and charger? And how about a pwm controller for heat level control?

author
Shenzhen (author)Bülentİ2015-11-28

I've used Panaconic 18650 3400 mAh batteries connected 3 in series and 2x3 in parallel. That pack connected with charge/discharge protection board:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1PC-3S-6A-Li-ion-Lithium-B...

You can use it as a good charger but that one is one of the best:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/iMAX-B6-Lipo-NiMh-Li-ion-N...

As a pwm controller I recommend an RF LED dimmer:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-RF-Wireless-Remote-Swi...

But you can use a special heated clothing controllers:

http://carbonheater.us/accessories.htm

Battery-PCB-diagram.jpg
author
edz880 (author)Shenzhen2016-01-12

Hi I tried this pwm controller from ebay but it doesnt work? are there any circuit modifications needed or?

The remote has no effect for dimming or on/of

author
Shenzhen (author)edz8802016-01-12

Could you send a link to that controller?

author
edz880 (author)Shenzhen2016-01-13

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/12V-RF-Wireless
-Remote-Switch-Controller-Dimmer-for-Mini-LED
-Strip-Light-New-Newest/1838937549.html?spm=2114.031010208.3.2.5lxCuy&ws_ab_test
=searchweb201556_3,searchweb201644_3_10001
_10002_10005_10006_10003_10004_
62,searchweb201560_1,searchweb1451318400_6151

author
Shenzhen (author)edz8802016-01-13

We used hundreds of them without any modification and problem. You should check your connection. I could help you if you send your connection diagram and a photo of heater you made.

author
edz880 (author)Shenzhen2016-01-13

I ran a test using 12v mains switched DC power supply 240vac to 12v dc to led rf module and the output to a 12v car interior light and tried a 12v halogen bulb both of which just light up but the remote has no effect with any of the buttons not even on/off.

Tried 2 new battery but one thing I notice is that small lamp on the remote will flicker when pushing buttons but very faint and not visible in daylight but in the dark its very low light.

Maybe remote is faulty and or the module?

author
Shenzhen (author)edz8802016-01-13

"but very faint and not visible in daylight but in the dark its very low light" - that is OK.

1. You have used a very powerful power supply. If you ever short circuited just for a second the dimmer maybe died, always on and cannot be off.

2. Maybe they are wrong pair receiver-transmitter. You should buy another one.

3. How many Ampere is that halogen?

4. Of course they maybe faulty but we use it very often and nether sow any fault.

author
edz880 (author)Shenzhen2016-01-13

never shorted thats for sure.

halogen 12v 36w

ineterior car bulb 12v 7w

author
Shenzhen (author)edz8802016-01-14

Yes your lamps are not so big for this dimmer.

Could you test the transmitter battery voltage.

author
edz880 (author)Shenzhen2016-01-14

battery new tried 2 both 3.3 volts

author
Shenzhen (author)edz8802016-01-14

The last we can try is match them.

1. Press and hold transmitter on/off button

2. Connect receiver to a power supply

3. Release the on/off button

Transmitter and receiver paired.