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Radiant Heat Panel in incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by flgardengirl, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am making an incubator from a wine cooler. I am wondering if I could put a radiant heat panel (the ones for reptile cages) in for the heat source? Has anyone done this?
    I have a reptile thermostat that is compatible with the radiant heat panels. The dimensions of the inside of the wine cooler are 30" tall by 17'' wide x 17'' deep. If you did use a heat panel, what wattage would you use? My thermostat can take up to 700 but of course I wouldn't use one with that many watts lol. The thermostat is not recommended for incandescent bulbs so those are out.
    Thanks
     
  2. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen people do this and get excellent results. I do not know the wattage however. The wattage would probably vary person to person depending on the insulation and ventilation of the wine cooler. Do some test runs.
     
  3. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, thank you for your reply. I read that for a reptile enclosure under 2 ft tall you should use 40 watts. That seems pretty low to me but maybe they are different heat producing wise than, say, a light bulb?? If it is over 2 ft tall, then they say you should use 80 watts. These recommendations are for open cages and not closed insulated wine cooler incubators lol. That is why I am not sure which wattage panel to get.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  4. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    40 watts seems very low. But I'm thinking of wattage as in light bulbs. Wattage is the amount of power needed to turn on the light bulb. The purpose of a light bulb is to create light, not heat, thus 40 watts may be okay for a heating panel since it doesn't have to produce light as well. Im totally guessing here so don't rely on any of this lol. But it makes sense if you think about it right? Ill try to find this website i was looking at awhile ago that used a refrigerator to hatch chicken eggs. In this website they used heating panels.
     
  5. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get yourself a 25 watt light bulb put it in your wine cooler, if it heats it up to 100 then your 40 watt radiant heat panel will work.
    Otherwise keep trying other bulbs until you get one that does bring it to temp, then you will know the wattage you need to bring it to temp.
    Then get one just a little higher wattage and you should be good to go.
     
  6. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ....You sir, are a genius! I will have to remember that whenever I get to playing around with larger incubators.
     
  7. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you I will try that and see how it works. So a 25 watt light bulb equals a 40 watt RHP? That's good to know and just the kind of information I was looking for.
     
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm Premium Member

    Light becomes heat. There is a efficiency verable but you can assume a 40 watt incandescent bulb in a inclosed incubator will heat it up almost exactly the same as a heat pad of the same wattage.

    Something like 90% off the energy used by a incandescent bulb is turned in to pure heat that threw conduction an convection fill the incubator. What we see as light is actually radiant heat energy. This radiant energy is bounced around inside the incubator till it all get absorbed as radiant heat. So almost 100% eventually becomes heat. The only real loss is what light goes out the viewing window.
     
  9. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    no they are not equal, but if a 25 watt bulb will get it to temp, then the 40 watt RHP should get it to temp faster and keep a more constant temp, which is better when hatching eggs.
     

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