Radiant Heat Panels & Closed Chambers

peridot

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
77
Location (City and/or State)
NC
I currently have two closed chambers sized at 36"x24"x24" and 83"x35"x23.5". I'm currently using Ceramic Heat, but am looking to change to Radiant Heat Panels...As I really want something less drying to the carapace.

I've heard some people say that don't heat up the ambient temperatures and others say they do. What is everyone's opinions on this? Would they work for a closed chamber, and closed chambers at my size? I'm looking to keep the enclosures between 80-85 degrees.

Also, do you mount them on the top or sides? I've seen both and wasn't sure which the best option was!
 

Blackdog1714

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
4,464
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
I have an 11' x 3'x 2' that has a 120 watt RHP on the humid hide end and a 100 watt CHE on the other end with the water dish. It is insulated and in my basement. In summer in a 76 degree basement it comes on once or twice a day to maintain 86 degrees. I am just wondering about the longevity but otherwise I am sold just for the level of safety- for the tort and for starting a fire. CHE's in clamp lights are the major cause when the clamp fails and the CHE comes down- the surface temps are 400 degrees plus
. IMG_2378 (2).jpeg
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,895
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
I currently have two closed chambers sized at 36"x24"x24" and 83"x35"x23.5". I'm currently using Ceramic Heat, but am looking to change to Radiant Heat Panels...As I really want something less drying to the carapace.

I've heard some people say that don't heat up the ambient temperatures and others say they do. What is everyone's opinions on this? Would they work for a closed chamber, and closed chambers at my size? I'm looking to keep the enclosures between 80-85 degrees.

Also, do you mount them on the top or sides? I've seen both and wasn't sure which the best option was!

RHPs and CHEs don't technically heat the air. They emit far IR (IR-C) and that is absorbed by what it comes into contact with and heats it. SO you are basically heating the substrate, walls, tortoise, etc and that directly creates the ambient temperature of the enclosure. There is some heating of the air that does come in close contact with the heated surface of the RHP or CHE, but that is not the main heating mechanism that is at work, especially with the RHP. The CHE does get hot enough to start creating a draft airflow that will also help heat the enclosure, but not to the degree of an incandescent bulb or Mercury vapor bulb.

What wattage you need is dependent upon how well your enclosure is insulated and the amount of degrees above the ambient room temp where it is located. In a 70° room with a moderately insulated closed enclosure that is 8x3, an 80 watt RHP can heat it to 88°. I would probably opt for a 120 watt or 2 80 watt and they would just have to come on for much less time. However, you normally don't have to size the heat source by daytime temperature needs as the lights in a closed chamber enclosures will normally heat the enclosure all you need while they are on. The RHP or CHE is normally only going to come on at night when they are the only heat source in the enclosure. So you really are looking at how much above ambient room temperature the nighttime enclosure temperature needs to be. IN most situations, that's only about a 10° heating needed.

So the question of mounting to ceiling or wall is then also going to boil down to if you are trying to accomplish a heat gradient with night heat. Again, your lighting controls daytime heat. If you want a heat gradient, mounting on the wall will do that better. If you want a simple overall ambient temperature maintained, ceiling mounting works better in my opinion.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
58,697
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I currently have two closed chambers sized at 36"x24"x24" and 83"x35"x23.5". I'm currently using Ceramic Heat, but am looking to change to Radiant Heat Panels...As I really want something less drying to the carapace.

I've heard some people say that don't heat up the ambient temperatures and others say they do. What is everyone's opinions on this? Would they work for a closed chamber, and closed chambers at my size? I'm looking to keep the enclosures between 80-85 degrees.

Also, do you mount them on the top or sides? I've seen both and wasn't sure which the best option was!
I ceiling mount mine. In combination with an 80 watt Kane heat mat, the 78 watt RHPs keep my 4x4' insulated outdoor night boxes in the mid 80s when night temps are in the 30s here. I mention this to say that I think that they will work well for you in an indoor enclosure with a much smaller temperature differential.

Here is one of those boxes for comparison's sake:
 

New Posts

Top