Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Parking Lot Heliostat

Go Home in a warm car
  (+5, -2)
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The parking lot heliostat would be a sun-tracking mirror, mounted on a tower, on the northeast corner of the parking lot.

Over the course of the day, it would slowly, continuously, move to keep it's reflected light constantly aimed at one particular parking spot.

Whoever parks there would be almost guaranteed that his/her car will be warm and free of ice or snow at the end of the day.

goldbb, Dec 06 2009

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       Is there a danger of the car exploding?
pocmloc, Dec 06 2009
  

       We hope so.
8th of 7, Dec 06 2009
  

       And similarly guaranteed of faded upholstery and cracked dash panel.
rocdoc, Dec 07 2009
  

       If the mirror is concave, rather than flat, the light will be focused, there might indeed be a danger of the car exploding. Buyers have the choice of which kind of mirror to get.   

       If faded upholstery is a concern, then the mirror could either be given a UV absorbing coating, or be a dielectric mirror, reflecting only infrared and visible light, but not ultraviolet.
goldbb, Dec 07 2009
  

       //there might indeed be a danger of the car exploding// From the horse's mouth. [+]
pocmloc, Dec 07 2009
  

       I'm curious... how easy would it be to explode (not merely ignite) a car, using focused sunlight?   

       After all, the fuel tank is generally centrally located, and on the underside of the vehicle.   

       On the other hand, trucks do typically have their fuel tanks in easily accessible locations, so heating one of those up to explode it might be easier.
goldbb, Dec 08 2009
  
      
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