Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Half-a-cup Kettle

Use a conical base to allow boiling of very small amounts of water.
  (+13)(+13)
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As power hungry devices go, the traditional electric kettle has come in for a lot of criticism. One of the major problems with it is you always end up boiling more water than you need - most people fill up the kettle to half-full or more, even if they only want one cup of tea. Why do we do this? In these days of environmental awareness, it's a shocking waste of energy.

Personally, I think it is because of the alarming noise and behaviour of a kettle with only one cups-worth of water in it. Most kettles have wide, flat bases (the better to boil water for lots of people quickly). Thus, a single cups-worth barely covers the base, and has a tendency to boil off rather quickly while the kettle makes alarming roaring noises. The result is rather uncertain - will so much water boil away that you only have enough for an eggcup of tea? Or will the kettle simply melt?

Let us, therefore, make a kettle with a conical base so that the water naturally runs down into the centre. Several heating elements are embedded in the cone in a concentric pattern, so that each one can be turned on and off separately. With wondrous sensor technology the kettle could determine how much water it has in it, and if 'tis only a little, then lo! The kettle only activates the small heating ring in the middle, thus preventing vast amounts of boiling-dryness and producing a reassuring kettle-like noise, rather than the current rather scary jet engine noise.

One nice side-effect would be that it would always take the same amount of time to boil the kettle, thus allowing you time to go watch the adverts on TV.

moomintroll, Mar 22 2007

Eco-Kettle http://www.windtrap...ucts/Eco-Kettle.htm
Being 3kW, this would still sound like a rather sick jet engine. [TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 22 2007]

Possible styling http://g.courtial.f...fr/fusee_Tintin.jpg
[calum, Mar 22 2007]

[link]






       Trying to find a link to a kettle design I saw once which was like a glass egg which boiled the water using light, but no luck.
moomintroll, Mar 22 2007
  

       If it is conical, how does it stand up?
Conventional kettles have a flat bottom for a very good reason.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Mar 22 2007
  

       It could have an internal conical base with an external flat bottom for stability...
theleopard, Mar 22 2007
  

       Legs, like a cool space probe.
shapu, Mar 22 2007
  

       Maybe like the Phillipe Starck lemon-squeezer
coprocephalous, Mar 22 2007
  

       One cup of water boils quite fast when put in the microwave...
xandram, Mar 22 2007
  

       //If it is conical, how does it stand up?//   

       Initially I imagined an outer base, as [theleopard] suggests. But I like [shapu]'s idea better...
moomintroll, Mar 22 2007
  

       Me too. As long as the kettle doesn't get too violent and fall over.
theleopard, Mar 22 2007
  

       I've got a feeling the narrow base would encourage large bubbles to form, which might then erupt boiling water right out of the kettle.
coprocephalous, Mar 22 2007
  

       The kettle should be conical without any legs, so that it can only be placed down into its stable conical base. This prevents the kettle from accidentally being placed somewhere unsafe.   

       My concern with legs or a large base (like a wine glass) is that the kettle will be top-heavy.
IJK, Mar 22 2007
  

       I think this is a more elegant solution than the linked Eco-kettle. Especially with [shapu]'s mod.
wagster, Mar 22 2007
  

       [+] I would buy one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 22 2007
  

       For those with stability concerns that outweigh the seriously stylish design described, The kettle could be normally shaped with a banded, cone shaped element inside...
TheLightsAreOnBut, Mar 23 2007
  

       Making a cup of tea I presume...
theleopard, Jul 04 2007
  

       Hah!
skinflaps, Jul 04 2007
  

       get a Brun(tm) with a hot faucet
evilpenguin, Jul 04 2007
  
      
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