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The Banana Torpedo

A (workable?) solution to the world's energy problems
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First of all, you take a military surplus torpedo. This is modified to run on banana peels and various other fruits in an engine akin to a garbage incinerator. The energy to run the steering fins is supplied by encasing the torpedo in solar panels and having it skim along just under the surface of the water. The torpedo has a small propeller connected to a generator mounted in the nose, which spins as it travels through the water and produces energy. This energy is beamed by microwave to a slower moving robot ship that travels behind the torpedo and is filled with batteries. Now and then, the ship blasts a high-energy beam to shore, where it is converted to electrical energy and is used to power stuff.
echoboom, Feb 13 2002

Rube Goldberg http://www.rube-goldberg.com/
The site for the idea. [reensure, Feb 13 2002]

[link]






       Umm... I'm confused. This product description hurt my brain. From what I CAN understand... it would never work. Too impractical.
pogoman59, Feb 13 2002
  

       Yay.
phoenix, Feb 14 2002
  

       how would this be better than incinerating the skin in a power station and floating solar panels about the place?
mind you topedoes and energy beams are cool...
edski, Feb 14 2002
  

       I think echoboom forgot the stage where the microwave beam is used to boil water, which in turn rouses mice from a lethargic state, and encourages them to run on treadmills, connected to electricity generators, used for lighting signs with encouraging messages for people in gyms on bigger treadmills to run faster, effort which drives waterwheels lifting a viscous mixture of molasses and cherry brandy up a height of 4 inches, to fall down into the turbines of a miniature hydro-electric plant which provides the energy for the factory that manufactures the machine that is used to load the banana peels into the torpedo. Or was that implied?
pottedstu, Feb 14 2002
  

       I don't get it..how would this device sink Bananas?
Zircon, Feb 14 2002
  

       I can't figure out which is more technologically challenged - the idea or the creator of it.
georgie, Feb 14 2002
  

       One thing about Rube Goldberg machines, they sure might help the economy.   

       But fishboned for the lack of understanding of basic energy principles...
RayfordSteele, Feb 14 2002
  

       Or why not use the banana peels as fuel in a fusion reactor?
pottedstu, Feb 15 2002
  

       'stu: I see it all, something like this:   

       Line the corridor with banana peels. Strip those hydrogen atoms, make them protons and shove in. They will slip, fall against each other, and having lost their inhibitions with a stiff shot of banana brandy, fuse. We can extract the resulting energy.   

       Suddenly the banana republics are going to get much more powerful. Just ya wait!
neelandan, Feb 16 2002
  

       I agree with Zircon. Mind you, I hadn't realised that bananas had become such a problem. Are there zillions of them blocking the sea lanes? Or are great, predatory herds of bananas (in the pay of the whaling companies) stalking the oceans in search of torpedo-armed whales?
DrBob, Feb 16 2002
  

       I think it's a great idea. Also sign me up for a state of the art orbital missile defense system.
BeastMaster, Feb 25 2002
  

       Hate to spoil the party, but you can't beam microwaves through very much water (maybe a foot or two) Only the very lowest radio frequencies can penetrate water to any great distance (for example, submerged submarines use ELF waves from a few hz to 20,000 hz for communication 'cause thats all that will work) At this frequency you would need an antennas many miles long on both the sub and the torpedo to transfer any appreciable power.
waynegnarlie, Mar 09 2002
  

       hello wayne, did you perchance notice the quantity of dead fish atop this page?
po, Mar 09 2002
  

       Silly, you're supposed to use the microwave beam to heat vegetable oil so it can be converted into biodiesel to power the trucks that ship these torpedos across country.   

       I don't understand why this torpedo isn't just refitted with a special ramjet to... Umm, OK, I just got an idea.
ye_river_xiv, Jan 23 2007
  

       Wow. This is the worst bun-to-bone ratio have seen yet. Lemmme add to it.
MoreCowbell, Jan 24 2007
  

       I take it the autoboner bunned this one, just to be different...
Wrongfellow, Feb 21 2010
  
      
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