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Like a Sleeping Dragon...

Remove the offending frost with flame!
 
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Just beneath the windshield, right about where the wipers rest when in the "OFF" position, a pair of flame emitter nozzles, with their own fuel reservoir. Simply push a button inside the vehicle, and the flames engulf your windshield, immediately liquifying the icy frost for your wipers to deal with. Would be especially cool to watch at night.

(Please note, this is a very short-range flamethrower, not well-suited to being weaponized, for those of you with safety concerns)

21 Quest, Feb 21 2009

Gasoline wiper fluid http://www.halfbake...ine_20wiper_20fluid
And you even boned it, 21! [bungston, Feb 23 2009]

(?) Hot Wiper Fluid http://www.windshie...thaw_windshield.htm
It's the third of 3 ideas. And no mention of cracking the frosty windshield. [Canuck, Feb 24 2009]


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       //not well-suited to being weaponized//
Not even a little ?
FlyingToaster, Feb 21 2009
  

       Gotta keep it legal, or we'll lose it. *wink*
21 Quest, Feb 21 2009
  

       replace rubber wipers...
po, Feb 21 2009
  

       Hm... good point, po. Perhaps it would be better to place the nozzles so that they shoot the flames just *over* the wipers, then.
21 Quest, Feb 21 2009
  

       I think a short whooft of flame would leave the wiper blades unscatheless. It might even melt off any little snigs and jags on the rubber and leave them smoother.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2009
  

       You know, that might actually work, Max. Also depends on how hot the flames are. Ice melts much more quickly than rubber.
21 Quest, Feb 21 2009
  

       I'm sorry. If there's a risk it would work, I withdraw my comment.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2009
  

       uh huh... by the way, I think, in your previous anno, you meant to say "unscathed" or "scatheless", unless the double negative was intentional.
21 Quest, Feb 21 2009
  

       Ah yes. "Unscatheless" was undoutbless an error.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2009
  

       I figured as much.
21 Quest, Feb 22 2009
  

       You could attach the nozzles to the wipers, similar to the wash wipe pipes you used to get (before manufacturers realised the fluid was freezing in the tubes). That way you simply have a couple of sweeps with a blade of flame in front of your blade of rubber.
Skrewloose, Feb 23 2009
  

       Hmmm - a square metre of ice on your windscreen 2mm thick weighs 2kg. The Specific heat capacity of ice is 2.108 kJ/kgK and the latent heat of melting is 334 kJ/kg so you need 21.08 kJ to get it to 0°C and another 668kJ to melt it, so about 689kJ in total (This is quite a lot of heat - if you had 2kg of cast iron instead of 2kg of ice, this would be enough to raise its temperature by about 750°C).
hippo, Feb 23 2009
  

       //"Unscatheless" was undoutbless an error//
I think we've misunderestimated you [MB]
coprocephalous, Feb 23 2009
  

       + I'll take one, please. (this morning's ice was so tough, I actually broke the edge of my ice scaper!)
xandram, Feb 23 2009
  

       + I'll take one, please. (this morning's ice was so tough, I actually broke the edge of my ice scaper!)
xandram, Feb 23 2009
  

       Of course, Cloud. As an avid and imaginative Halfbaker, Xandram was clearly working on her own next idea, a device for sculpting ice, the Icecaper, rather like landscaping!
21 Quest, Feb 23 2009
  

       How is that sudden blast of heat going to affect your frozen windshield? Any chance of cracking it?
Noexit, Feb 23 2009
  

       To be honest, I wasn't too sure about that myself. I know the reverse is true, that a blast of cold on hot glass will shatter it. I'll do some research on that, thanks. Maybe make the windshield out of polycarbonate? From what I understand after searching about a bit, only certain types of glass shatter during rapid heat exchange. I'm not sure how that affects car windshields, because I've splashed ice-cold water on my car windows in Florida, when the glass was literally hot enough to cook on, with no negative results. Likewise, friends of mine have said they've defrosted their windshields by pouring extremely hot water on them with no negative results. I think this would work just fine.
21 Quest, Feb 23 2009
  

       Or you could have an electric heater threaded into the glass like most cars have in their back windows. My dad has a car like this. The wires are really fine so you can barely see them. Less showy but more practical
Bad Jim, Feb 23 2009
  

       21_Q: let us know what you find out. I've personal experience with cracking a windshield when driving through an automatic car wash, which if I remember right was on the first warm day after a stretch of many quite cold days; so probably cold water on a warmish windshield. That was about 25 years ago, so maybe they've done something with the glass since then that would affect it.
Noexit, Feb 23 2009
  

       I've cracked a windshield just by blowing the defroster on it on a very cold day when there was ice on the other side. And this was in a '99 Mazda.
RayfordSteele, Feb 23 2009
  

       Any suggestions on where I could go to find that out? I've tried Wikipedia, Howstuffworks.com, and some other search engines, but I can't find an answer to our question anywhere.
21 Quest, Feb 24 2009
  

       Nice idea, but how are you going to keep the nozzles from frosting over as well? No oxygen, no dragonfire.
placid_turmoil, Feb 24 2009
  

       The oxygen would come from under the hood, where the frost doesn't accumulate. The fire would draw the oxygen from a vent under the hood, then be directed up the pipe where it burns away the frost covering the nozzle on its way out.
21 Quest, Feb 24 2009
  

       The new Ford Fiesta has an electric windscreen heater, which it automatically turns on so your car is clear when you come to it (not sure how it decides) I just hope it's got a good battery, because I know for a fact that a cold start is pretty mean thing to do to a battery on a frosty morning. I have an image in my head of a lot of stranded people with clear windscreens!
  

       Many new cars do have a manually operated device similar (aimed mainly at preventing it from steaming up), although you have to be *very* careful not to scratch them, as they're usually a ridiculously fine metal mesh bonded to the inside of the windscreen (you can sometimes see it if you get really close up).
Skrewloose, Feb 24 2009
  

       Also good for char-grilling your sausages on a hot day. How easy would it be to get the flame to burn cleanly enough to avoid sooty windscreen. Perhaps a good feature for next generation hydrogen cars... [+]
  

       By the by 21 Quest, have you ever known MaxwellBuchanan to not use a treble negative when a single negative would suffice?
MadnessInMyMethod, Feb 24 2009
  


 

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