Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Microwave powered glass steam engine

Tiny toy train runs in microwave.
  (+15, -1)(+15, -1)
(+15, -1)
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I'd like to see a glass steam engine powered by microwaves. Fill with water, put in microwave oven. As water boils it drives piston or turbine. Use it for toy train or car, or to power a turntable or stirrer.
tolly3, Mar 03 2002

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       This would work, as a micro engine, train and rails, all placed inside the microwave.
neelandan, Mar 04 2002
  

       I intended it to run only while inside the microwave. The point is simplicity - a pure glass (or Pyrex or plastic) toy that moves.
tolly3, Mar 04 2002
  

       Tremendous idea. Award your elf a flaky baked comestible.
angel, Mar 04 2002
  

       No no no - the microwave generator would be fixed, bouncing the stream of microwaves off a dish antenna, which would track the moving train as it went round the track, focussing the beam of microwaves on the train's glass boiler.
Small children are advised not to get between the dish and the train.
hippo, Mar 04 2002
  

       There are some UAVs/MAVs that are powered this way already.
dag, Mar 04 2002
  

       Would a steam engine work if all the water is heated at the same time?
RobertKidney, Mar 04 2002
  

       [RK]: Sure it would. That's what happens in a "real" steam engine. The water is all heated in the boiler, but it doesn't all boil at once. As the steam's created, it passes through the pipework to the inlet valve where it does its work.
angel, Mar 05 2002
  

       [UB] Hmm - yes, all that's mising is the Evil Mocking Laugh™.
hippo, Mar 05 2002
  

       With liquid nitrogen instead of water it wouldn't need the microwave.
tolly3, Mar 05 2002
  

       I've experienced boiler scale, and I can tell you you'll need distilled water for your flyver.
reensure, Mar 05 2002
  

       Re-circulating the boiler water would decrease the amount of scale. This wasn't done on early steam locomotives because James Watt held the patent on the condenser, which would be a requirement for such a system. On his locomotives, Richard Trevithick did away with the condenser, thereby losing efficiency to the extent of one atmosphere, and gaining to the extent of not paying Watt.
angel, Mar 05 2002
  

       how about a microwave powered steam engine that gets its electricity to run the magnetrons from wind power?
texan, Dec 30 2003
  
      
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