Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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"My only concern is that it wouldn't work, which I see as a problem."

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Laminar flow window film

keep windows clean indefinitely
  [vote for,

If a window was coated with a fluid film it could remain clean indefinitely.

To achieve this the window has a fluid outlet extending along the top edge. Fluid runs out of the outlet and down the window. At the bottom of the window a gutter collects the fluid. A pump pumps the fluid back to the top via a filter.

If the fluid remains laminar as it flows down the window then the fluid would be a transparent film. Occasionally losing the laminar flow would be OK (e.g. due to wind), but this could be minimised (e.g. using fluid of higher viscosity).

To ensure laminar flow several parameters would need to be carefully chosen such as: viscosity, speed, outlet cross section.

xaviergisz, Aug 11 2020

Static electricity can keep desert solar panels free of dust https://www.newscie...anels-free-of-dust/
Here's an alternative to my idea [xaviergisz, Mar 14 2022]


       Honey would be viscous enough! But you might end up with too many bees stuck to your window.   

       Also, if "indefinitely" means "for an ... unspecified period of time" or "not certain in amount or length" then I would say that my windows already remain clean indefinitely, just not very long.
pocmloc, Aug 11 2020

       ^ :waiting for [8th] to offer mildly toxic high-pressure fire hose-delivered chemical-laced solution:
whatrock, Aug 11 2020

       If it's any comfort to him, the process of extracting the Ti02 from mineral sands involves some highly toxic fumes.
pertinax, Aug 11 2020

       As usual, I would go one step further:
Use a transparent thermoplastic, extruding quite thick from the top slot/nozzle, which is then collected at the bottom, melted, filtered, pumped to the top again, cooled, rinse & repeat.
No "fixed" pane at all.
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 11 2020

       I never did get around to posting it, but years ago I had an idea for something like this on car windshields, flowing UP and back. Thought it might help reduce damage from rocks and splatter from insects, and MAYBE reduce wind resistance a tad. [+]
21 Quest, Aug 12 2020

       Open to pranks of dyes and soap solutions, depending on the fluid. Such a small cycle open to the environment, I just can't see it staying pristine.
wjt, Aug 12 2020

       The device could have a sensor to detect significant impurities (bird poop, dyes, soap) and could divert the impure fluid to a waste reservoir.   

       The recirculated fluid will eventually become visibly impure (even with the diverter). The sensor could alert the user when it is time to replace the fluid. The fluid would be relatively cheap to replace.   

       I would estimate it costs about $10 per window per year to keep windows clean (i'm thinking multistory office buildings). As long as the running costs of the system is less than that, it should be a viable product.
xaviergisz, Aug 12 2020

       giszy...It's an honor...
blissmiss, Aug 12 2020

       //Honey would be viscous enough!//   

       My honey has turned vicious. Perhaps I should start putting the toilet seat down. Me cleaning the windows might help too.
AusCan531, Aug 13 2020

       ^At least your putting the toilet seat up.
wjt, Aug 13 2020

       Out of all of the things in the world, glass is about the easiest to keep clean. We hold it to high standards because it's totally clear and we have outstanding visual perception. Still, glass has excellent cleanability properties, it's often totally flat, non-porous, chemically inert & temperature stable. It's also super hard and difficult to scratch while being made of one of the cheapest possible materials. Amazing really.   

       To improve upon that, you propose a liquid filtration system open to the elements. My aquarium is a reasonable analog of that. If someone offered to keep that as clean as my windows for $10/year I'd bite their hand off. The hard part is choosing the liquid. It can't evaporate, can't be compatible with life, can't be hygroscopic, must be as clear as glass, cheap, non-toxic, the correct viscosity etc.
bs0u0155, Aug 13 2020

       This could be used on solar panels. It might also be easier since solar panels are usually installed on an incline whereas windows are usually vertical.
xaviergisz, Feb 02 2022


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