Designing a new incubator... Any input and advice will be greatly appreciated!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BoereMeisie, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    I am designing a new incubator that I want to build, and need advice on the placement of the light bulbs and fans to ensure good circulation. I will be using 2 light bulbs for heating and pc fans for air circulation.

    I hope the below sketch is large enough...

    [​IMG]

    The incubator will be made out of 2 inch foam panels, with a thin layer of metal on both sides of the foam (cold storage room panels)
    Length from back to front: 23 inches (575 mm)
    Width: 22 inches (550 mm)
    Height: 23 inches (575 mm)

    There will be a divider about 5 inches (125 mm) from the back, I'm thinking constructed from wood and wire netting? But the fans need to be in this divider to provide circulation from the light bulbs in the back... (2x 100watt light bulbs, or 4 if 2 is not enough?)

    The front door will have double glass viewing panes, and there will be a funnel attached to the side, with a pipe going into the humidity well for filling without opening any doors.

    What I need advice on:
    Best placement of light bulbs?
    Best placement of fans, and how many?
    Best placement on air vents, how many, what size?
    Any other general advice?

    Thermostat:
    STC 1000 digital temperature controller

    Other equipment:
    One digital thermometer/hygrometer
    One digital thermometer with in/out reading

    I will be putting up pictures as we go along, and any advice will be greatly appreciated [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  2. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    make sure you have the same temp all around. i would set up several thermometers to tell. other than that, looks nice![​IMG]
     
  3. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    Thank you [​IMG] Let's hope the actual incubator looks as nice as the design... [​IMG]
     
  4. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    Atlantis, South Africa
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  5. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great sketch. I Think I understand the design and believe two 100 watt bulb should be more than enough heat. I would mount the heat source near the fans where it will receive max air flow. Most people when using light bulbs place them so the light won't shine directly on the egg or use a shield. The vent location will be determined by the fan placement . For example if you are mounting the fans to the divider one vent opening through the cabinet will be forward of the divider and one behind. The inlet should be close to the suction side of the fan to actively pull in the air , the exhaust can be anywhere forward of the direction of air flow. I think you will find it takes very small vent holes . I suggest 2 - 1/2" holes max to start with . You can enlarge the holes latter if need. I think most people tend to over ventilate which will cause problems stabilizing temperature and humidity.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Curious to watch this go along. Are you going to use turners?

    Only advice...get 3 thermometers and test at least one in boiling water (212 degrees F), note any difference in the reading so you know as close as possible the temps you need when you test your incubator. I used a glass candy thermometer in boiling water then compared my other thermometers against that one in the incubator. They all varied.

    Same with hygrometers. mix 1/2 cup of salt in 1/4 cup of water in a cup. Place cup and hygrometer in a large sealed plastic bag for 8-12 hours, should read 75% RH.

    Maybe you know all that, if so I apologize.

    Good luck with your build, looking forward to watching it happen.
     
  7. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see that no one actually answered your question. I have built several incubators like the one you are designing and have found that if you place the light bulbs 2/3's the way up in the back with a fan just above them it works really well to draw the heat from the lights and force it in somewhat a circular motion. Up across the lights over and across the eggs to be drawn up again past the light bulbs. I would use no more than 2 75 watt bulbs though and would, if it were mine 2 65 watt bulbs. Placement of the thermostat is crucial as well. I wound place it between the two bulbs and just slightly above them. I would also do a test run on it just to make sure the temps stay within parameters. (99.5 +- 1 deg F) as you might need to move the thermostat to get it placed just right to maintain temp. Good luck and I look forward to seeing the finished results. Hopefully you will post them (pics).
     
  8. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing I forgot to mention is vent holes for fresh air i would place three 1" holes evenly spaced along each the top and bottom of the back. you can tape them to get the right mixture of fresh air and still maintain temp and humidity.
     
  9. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    Thanks for this advice :) I did read it somewhere, but it's nice to have it here so I can refer back to it when I calibrate everything... I will be purchasing some additional thermometers this week. I will be using turners, but at first they will be connected to a manual turning handle on the outside so I can turn all at once by hand... I will be connecting an auto-turning device a little bit later, I have someone who will help me with that, just not sure when he's available to help.
     
  10. BoereMeisie

    BoereMeisie Cape Town Farm Girl

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    Oct 21, 2012
    Atlantis, South Africa
    [​IMG]
    Above is a sketch of how I understood Jessshan8's suggestions... Did I understand correctly? The bulbs would be behind the divider, and the fan placed in the divider. Vent holes in the back cover... However, I want to ask if I should rather put the 3 bottom vent holes in the divider? Since that will be solid... OR make the divider out of wire mesh and wood? The red x is the placement of the thermostat wire... And then several thermometers will be placed inside the machine... Looking okay? I really want to do this right [​IMG] Tomorrow I will start building the box [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013

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