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Old 07-01-03, 09:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Radiant heat panels

I have read the previous threads involving heating with CHE's, bulbs, UTHs and heat panels but am still undecided!

I am in the midst of having a few cages built that will house my BPs and one BCI. It looks like I will go with overhead heating but want general views on whether radiant heat panels would do the job if hooked up to a temp control (likely a helix). Being ground snakes, this is still causing me some concern.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-01-03, 09:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think they are the best, no possibility of causing fire, cannot hurt a person or animal touching it, even heat distribution, cost efficient to run. JMNSHO
 
Old 07-01-03, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Tony,

Radiant Heat Panels (RHP) are safe to the touch and will not burn your snake, and also will not dry out your terrarium. The downside to RHPs is that they lose effectiveness the higher up you place them. It was my initial choice for my terrarium, but due to the height, I scrapped the idea. I think boas n pythons uses RHPs in some of his terrariums, maybe he can give you some insight.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-01-03, 10:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a question about RHPs too. What kind of penetration do they get, ie, will they warm up an entire enclosure, or just a small section of it?
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Old 07-01-03, 11:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edwin
. The downside to RHPs is that they lose effectiveness the higher up you place them. It was my initial choice for my terrarium, but due to the height, I scrapped the idea.
Really? I was always told differently, and it had made sense to me since they are mounted on ceilings to heat the floors in homes, and since many people do use them in their larger enclosures..........
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Old 07-01-03, 01:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Never forgot the basic laws of thermodynamics apply no matter what heat source you use.
Heat tape and radiant heat panels are essentially the same carbon film technology, in slightly different packaging.X Watts in still equals X btu's out no matter what the configuration.
Hot air rises..period.. Unless you use fans to stir the air as is wisely done in incubators, it will always be hotter at the top of an enclosure than it is at the bottom. The taller the enclosure the greater the gradient.
Radiant ceiling panels wont be very effective heating floors that are very far away as they will be fighting natural convection.
Flexwatt heat tape was invented for heating floors underneath ceramic tile in bath and pool rooms.
Considering heat will always go up, in many cases it makes sense to put in heating under the floor, like UTH or flexwatt..If that's were the animals are, thats where the heat is best put and controlled. Similarily this is why hot air registers and baseboard heaters are mounted at floor level and not on the ceiling in human dwellings.
Having the hot spot on the ceiling of cages won't be too useful for most gravid boids.
Radiant panels on the backs or tops of enclosures are however a reasonable choice for Chondros and other arboreals that might gravitate via branches, towards them naturally.
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Old 07-01-03, 01:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the panels may be attached to the wall at ground level
 
Old 07-01-03, 04:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Linds,

That was what I initially believed too, but after speaking to a rep from a RHP supplier, he confirmed that it is good at warming if the animal is close to it, hence its popularity in arboreal setups and in bird cages.

Invictus, here is a brief description on how RHPs work:
http://www.a1solutions.com/WPCat/RadiantInfo.htm
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Old 07-02-03, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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We have a 4x2x2 enclosure for one of our BCI and we have a 1x2 RHP in it. With the RHP not even on full power it heats up the enclosure fine to about an 80 degree ambient temp and a basking spot that ranges between 85 and 90. Here's a couple pics of it











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Old 07-02-03, 01:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great pics, Will. Basically, without a basking shelf or branches, the RHP is not able to generate a hot spot.

Will, how good is the IR thermometer you are using? I have been wanting one for years...

Nice enclosure BTW.
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Old 07-02-03, 04:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The IR thermometer works great . You can get that one at radio shack for around 30 bucks I think. As far as the enclosure goes. If you werent going to provide a shelf or branches for the snake there would be no need to make it 2 feet tall. So the RHP would work great. Also when we first made the enclosure we put the RHP on full power and it got to over 100 degrees on the bottow under the shelf (without the snake in it of course) So even at 2 feet it would still provide more than enough basking spot.




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