Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Portable stirling engines for wildfires

Seems a shame to let that energy go up in smoke
  [vote for,

California is going through their perennial fires again. I propose we mount some basic stirling or steam engines on tank tracks near the front edge of the fire. Add some heat-protected brains to robotically find the location with the greatest heat differential, and charge up some ginormous batteries or capacitors for emergency shelter use.
RayfordSteele, May 22 2008


       "Oh help, one of those giant robot thingies is advancing on us. Run, before it electrocutes us with that giant capacitor!"   

       [+] Can it look like a sandcrawler?
david_scothern, May 22 2008

       Oh, dear... You should know that the intense heat of forest fires could easily bring the unburned portions into their flash point, such that it would spread fast, faster than the human sprinter. Do you mean you can device a tank that can slither fast in the rugged terrain? It will lose enormous energy too by moving fast just to capture the ever-advancing source of intense heat.
rotary, May 22 2008

       Could we fix it so that the tank was just a base unit for a fire-proof kite, which (the kite) would be over the fire, not beside it, and would use convection currents to keep its distance from the fire itself? With a long enough string, the tank itself might not have to get too close to the danger. It could also pack a small windmill on the side away from the fire, so as to harness the ground-level air currents which can (I'm told) be found rushing towards the fire.
pertinax, May 23 2008

       ohhhh.. I get it.. its a joke. *removes fishbone*
afinehowdoyoudo, May 23 2008


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