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Snowmelt Crane

Modify those big electromagnet cranes used in junkyards.
 
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This idea was contrived to solve a big problem currently being faced in Ft. Collins, Colorado. One of my employer's call centers is so heavily covered in snow, they can't find the vehicles buried there. They know there are exactly fifteen vehicles buried in the parking lot, but they cannot send in a plow or backhoe (which was proposed as a means of clearing the deep snow) because of the risk of causing severe damage to the vehicles (there are two brand-new Corvettes in there).

My proposed solution is to modify a crane with a huge heating element on the end, where the electromagnet goes on those junkyard cranes. Sweep the heating element slowly over the parking lot, melting the snow. As soon as the snow is melted, drive or lift the vehicles out then dump a shit-load of rock salt or de-icer or whatever you want to use to keep the meltwater from refreezing and turning the parking lot into a solid sheet of ice.

Ok, maybe it won't be possible to keep that much meltwater from refreezing, but this'll at least make it possible to get the vehicles out.

I imagine something like this could also be helpful in searching for survivors buried under avalanches.

21 Quest, Dec 23 2006

Electromagnetic Crane http://www.school-f...agnetic_devices.htm
[21 Quest, Dec 23 2006]

[link]






       Sounds like a good idea... I'd just hope that once the snow does melt it doesn't flood the vehicles. Why would someone ever drive a brand new Corvette in the winter anyway?
acurafan07, Dec 23 2006
  

       I dunno, showing off, I guess. The owners sound to me like a couple of dumbasses for driving Corvettes, but that's the situation.
21 Quest, Dec 23 2006
  

       Autoboner be damned!!!
21 Quest, Dec 23 2006
  

       A possible option would be for the car to be retro fitted with a device that runs off a seperate battery that would engage a heating wire that runs the form of the car.
  

       Temp could be the cause for this device to turn on and would melt the snow around the car for easy findablity.
Chefboyrbored, Dec 24 2006
  

       //A possible option would be for the car to be retro fitted with a device that runs off a seperate battery that would engage a heating wire that runs the form of the car.// Wow that would have to a pretty huge battery.
acurafan07, Dec 24 2006
  

       *If* feasible, that would be a nice solution, Chef, except it would only help if every buried vehicle had such a system equipped.
21 Quest, Dec 24 2006
  

       Oh man, it would take so much energy to melt those quantities of snow. Not only that, but transfering that energy via radiation is a very very inefficient way to do it since most of the energy will be reflected off the (very white) snow.
JackyD, Dec 24 2006
  

       Shouldn't take much (if any) more energy that the electromagnet.
21 Quest, Dec 26 2006
  

       Why not just use the electromagnet to find the vehicles? Even if there's too much intervening snow to get a good enough grip to lift the vehicle out, the downward pull on the crane should be enough to pinpoint their location.
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2006
  

       Not a bad idea... but it still doesn't provide a means to get the vehicles out of the snow. There might not be enough space between the vehicles to get a plow through.
21 Quest, Dec 30 2006
  
      
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