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

Use a supercapacitor to get serious water-boiling current
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Electric kettles are great. Really great. If you need boiling water, they've pretty much got the market cornered. Here in the US however, they're not so good. The Fisher-Price my-first-electricity-system that they've got means you can't get the full-bore 3000W that you can from the 230V system in the UK. Even if you could, boiling water in a kettle still takes precious time... attempts to solve this by plugging into multiple outlets have been made (tip of the cap to Loris).

I propose a seriously over-engineered solution.

1. A large transformer-rectifier is plugged into the wall socket. Drawing a fairly constant current.

2. This is fed into a HUGE capacitor I'm thinking about 800 Farads, which should give 100kW for 40s at 100V.

3. An unfeasibly robust relay should dump this charge into a very chunky electric element.

4. Et voila! boiling water, fast! and perhaps wiped credit cards from the huge current.

As far as the grid is concerned this will smooth out power use. As far as the user is concerned an irresponsibly large amount of power will be stored in their kitchen, and then dumped into some water periodically. I literally can't see a single down side. Apart from the danger, and cost.

bs0u0155, Feb 09 2012

Brown's gas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyhydrogen
[normzone, Feb 09 2012]

[link]






       Why not simply discharge the capacitor through the water itself?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 09 2012
  

       Wouldn't that just make bucket loads of Brown's gas? I mean I'm for large-scale gung-ho home-brew electrolysis as much as the next guy. But will it boil the water as effectively?
bs0u0155, Feb 09 2012
  

       Will it be able to generate paragraph breaks? (link)
normzone, Feb 09 2012
  

       There is no such thing as Brown's gas. In case that wasn't clear, there is no such thing as Brown's gas.
spidermother, Feb 09 2012
  

       Ah, I thought that Brown's gas was just the name for a Stoich mix of H2 and O2....
bs0u0155, Feb 09 2012
  

       In case anyone thinks [normzone]'s link contradicts my statement: "Brown's gas is a mythical 2:1 mixture of oxyhydrogen that could be used as car fuel.". Note the word "mythical". Brown's gas is a scam based on a lie. For those familiar with "Corner Gas", the term should only ever be uttered in the same manner as "Wullerton".
spidermother, Feb 09 2012
  

       My point was, that dumping 100's of Volts and much much current through water directly, may result in hydrolysis... I think that point's valid.
bs0u0155, Feb 09 2012
  

       //Stoich mix of H2 and O2// No; if that's all it meant, it would be fine.   

       Discharging electric current through water is a valid way of heating it; if the voltage is fairly high, most of the energy goes into heating rather than electrolysis. There exist kettles that operate on that principle; they simply apply mains voltage to a pair of parallel metal plates immersed in the water.   

       The proportion of the applied electric power that is used for electrolysis is approximately 1.7V divided by the applied voltage; 1.7V / 230V = 0.007. So some oxyhydrogen is released, but not very much.
spidermother, Feb 09 2012
  

       Then direct discharge into water it is! (although now I wonder why they go to all the trouble with elements in normal kettles...).
bs0u0155, Feb 10 2012
  

       I guess there is a (percieved, if not real) risk of electric shock. Similarly, the old uninsulated, replaceable elements that used to be standard seem to have disappeared. Both types had a physical interlock, such that you couldn't open the top without unplugging the cord; the newer types don't, as the element is insulated.   

       You now have to work out how much power you can dump into a kettle of water without an explosion. It's probably more than 3000W, but it is limited.
spidermother, Feb 10 2012
  

       I believe the main reason for the modern design of kettle elements is to reduce the build up of limescale. Eh... what a dull world we live in.   

       Instead of a capacitor bank, the 'practical' option is to store your energy in the water to begin with, i.e. have an instant-hot-water tap with an inline, constantly heated tank to act as a buffer. These are commercially available.
mitxela, Feb 10 2012
  

       Arcflash-activated home kettle. I like it.
Custardguts, Feb 10 2012
  

       I was thinking what mitxela was thinking, but mitxela beat me to saying it.   

       When I worked at a local fast food factory we called it Bunn water, because it was boiling hot water poured out of a spout on a machine from a company called Bunn. But anyway, it was basically a small hot water heater that was set far hotter than standard home water heaters. 2nd degree burn setting.
Psalm_97, Feb 10 2012
  

       There should be some sort of X-Prize competition to make the fastest cup of tea.
Alterother, Feb 10 2012
  

       I'd love to see the size of this capacitor.
wagster, Feb 10 2012
  
      
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