Portable heat-generating methods generally fall into two broad classifications; (1) exothermic chemical reactions and (2) electrical resistance heating. Applications utilizing exothermic chemical reactions can be further classified as (a) open flame heating and (b) catalytic heating.
Catalytic heating, in a variety of forms, has been utilized for some time. Until now, the lack of innovation in this technology has prevented it from reaching its full potential. In fact, the conventional approach to catalytic heating has many of the same issues as flame-based heating.
By comparison, portable electrical resistance heating products have lagged far behind combustion-based heating technologies (both flame and catalytic). Although modern battery technology is excellent for a wide variety of product applications, it currently lacks certain critical properties needed to successfully address personal portable heating applications. For example they are severely hampered by the very low energy density, compared to chemical energy storage. Batteries in general, including top performing lithium based chemistries, also bring a host of other performance limiting issues (self-discharge, weight, max power delivery, cost, etc.). Because of this, portable electric heating products have been relegated to a very small part of the marketplace and are unable to meet many of the basic user requirements demanded of the larger market.
The following comparison between Coolfire® catalytic heating technology and battery powered heating, illustrates why battery technologies are not likely to successfully address these shortcomings in the foreseeable future.