PTC Fan Heaters for Electronic Enclosures

PTC Fan Heaters for Electronic Enclosures

Posted by Adelle Webber on

OTC PTC Fan Heaters for Electronic Enclosures


Positive Temperature Coefficient heaters are becoming increasingly common in the military, industrial, commercial, and home applications.  The unique characteristics of rapid heating and maximum temperature with little or no control circuitry provide efficient heating and built-in safety.  The ceramic disk used for the heating element also provides a longer life than typical resistant heating elements.

There are several different types of heating systems utilizing PTC technology.  

PTC fan heating for rapid heat-up

Electrical enclosure applications requiring internal heating devices can be different based on external environmental conditions.  Some may need a gradual, steady heat source to maintain a minimum temperature due to cold conditions.  

Some applications require direct surface heating to a container or device, which requires a PTC surface heater.  Other applications may need to heat a material or liquid inside a container requiring a PTC immersion heater.

Applications, where the enclosure is not externally vented but subject to rapid temperature or humidity (such as a panel door opening for service), may need a fan heater’s quick response.  

The PTC heater characteristics are ideal for rapid heat-up of an enclosure to offset humidity or freezing temperatures introduced by the panel door opening.  Other applications that just need fast heating for manufacturing processes or military applications find these characteristics efficient.

When current is applied to the heater, the PTC ceramic element has a low resistance at temperatures lower than the set-point temperature.  The characteristic enables maximum current flow and rapid heat rise.  With an enclosed fan, the heat is pushed out into the enclosure rapidly.

Applications that use PTC fan heating

Consider your car heater in the frigid North during winter.  As a passenger, you want the maximum temperature as quickly as possible.  A PTC fan heater solves this problem with the same results in industrial and manufacturing process applications.  It also allows for rapid distribution of the heated air into the passenger compartment.

Electrical enclosures have similar requirements where PTC fan heaters can solve multiple potential problems in these applications.

  • ATM Machines
  • Ticket Machines
  • Traffic & Safety Controls
  • Display panels
  • Outdoor cameras
  • Access control
  • Fuel pumps and electrical charging stations
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

The enclosures used in these applications are typically sealed against adverse weather conditions requiring heating cooling and moisture control.  Some of these applications have thermal printers for tickets and receipts.  Thermal printers and their paper don’t work well at cold temperatures or moist conditions.

Since there is no natural convection within these environments, a fan for distributing or focusing the heated air is required.  Size requirements differ with the size and material used for the enclosures.  Talk to our industrial heating specialists to find the right solution for your application.

Remove moisture from the cabinet rapidly

Even sealed enclosures periodically must be opened for servicing.  Depending on the environmental conditions this may introduce moisture into the panel.  This excess moisture must be removed rapidly.  See video illustrating rapid removal of moisture in a panel utilizing DBK USA fan heater.

Off-the-shelf heating and power ratings for PTC fan heaters

For application and process design engineers, PTC fan heaters are available in many standard sizes and power ratings.  The DBK USA Cirrus Series covers a wide range of fan heaters.

View video on Cirrus Series of PTC Fan Heaters

The smallest OTS heaters available from DBK USA are their Series Cirrus 25, starting at 5W.  This 12/24 V AC.DC heaters have separate fan circuit to aid cooling when the heater is not required.

These small PTC fan heaters have a cross-section of 26x27 mm or 1.02x1.06 inches, making them one of the most miniature off-the-shelf fan heaters.  Length varies from 50mm or 1.97 inches to 72mm or 2.83 inches.  The small size makes them ideal for tiny enclosures where heating is required.

5 watt to 40 watt PTC fan heaters


The manufacturer preinstalls IP20 finger guards for safety.

This off-the-self series comes prewired and easily fit into control panel circuitry with 35mm DIN rail clip mounting.  They are known for their lightweight, high power to size ratio.

Note the cross-section of the heaters are similar, but the length varies with voltage and output.

50 watt to 100 watt PTC fan heaters


DBK USA Cirrus 40 series of heaters range from 50W to 100W with the same features as the lower power series.  The operating temperature ranges are similar, but the volumetric airflow is 2 ½ times the 25 series heaters.  

200 Watt to 400 Watt PTC fan heaters


These heaters are prewired harness for easy connection to your terminal board or contactors.

300 Watt to 800 Watt 115V-230V PTC fan heaters


DBK Cirrus 80 heaters are dual-power units, 300/600 and 450/800 Watt at 115/230V.  These units’ body temperature goes as high as 176 degrees F.  While much larger than the Cirrus 25 series fan heaters, these units are still relatively small for their heat output.

Prebuilt and wired PTC fan heaters OTS when you need them

All of DBK USA products are available with custom options for volume purchases and unique applications.  These off-the-shelf units are ideal for testing and small quantities.  

DBK USA has experts standing by to answer your questions.  Design engineers can utilize the handing power calculator on our website. 

Feel free to call our thermal engineering specialists directly at 1-864-607-9047.  Go to our resources page for more information on PTC fan heaters.



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