Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Thermal Moat

Home defense and lower heating costs
  [vote for,

Due to its bipolar molecular nature, water has a high specific heat. In the summer it is generally cooler than the air around it, and the opposite is true in winter. As I understand it, a number of homes and buildings are heated geothermally using water as a heat-transfer medium by burying water pipes deep beneath the surface where the temperature doesn't drop precipitously due to seasonal atmospheric variations.

Why not run an extra warm-water loop up at the surface, open to the air? If it was geothermally heated via deeply buried pipes then the moat wouldn't ever freeze over, which would help the survival rate of the gi-normous crocodiles and/or quasi- mythical sea monsters that would be used to make it a truly inhospitable place for home invaders and British secret agents to repose.

Ultra-wealthy megalomaniacal misanthropes in Canada's vast tundra know that the permafrost is only able to penetrate to a relatively shallow depth, because even in Arctic (and Antarctic) regions the earth is still basically warmed from within. Superman's Fortress of Solitude couldn't have used this (because it was built over water), but Alaskan would-be power-mongers could utilize the concept readily.

This would of course be a cornerstone feature of the new "21st Century 'Green' Castle Building" guidelines for environmentally savvy evil geniuses.

justibone, Mar 27 2005


       //Ultra-wealthy megalomaniacal misanthropes in Canada's vast tundra // Unfortunantly, I'm not Canadian, or American (well, minus the unfortunantly for the American bit), so I'll have to stick to squatting on some tiny Indonesian island, so that those meddlesome secret agents don't mess with my plans. The ocean is one big moat! Why not boil the sea?   

       //This would of course be a cornerstone feature of the new "21st Century 'Green' Castle Building" guidelines for environmentally savvy evil geniuses.// Is this in reference to me and my bf Cam?
froglet, Mar 27 2005

       could you get the water hot enough to fill the sucker up with the tropical pirhana fish....? there very usefull in defensive, home security type situations...
Mikeynyuk, Mar 28 2005

       Geothermal heating systems for pools are very baked so a moat shouldn’t be too hard. It takes electricity to run geothermal heating equipment and a large cost is involved in the installation of these systems. I could swear that I read about a closed loop system years ago that used ammonia which would go from liquid to gas brining heat with it and then re-condense as it cooled, but I've been looking for some mention of it off and on since I first anno-ed about it and I can't find anything.
Maybe I dreamt it.

       I was expecting a lava moat. Or maybe a fusion plasma moat. But...tepid water?
ldischler, Mar 28 2005

       Croissant for finding a practical update to moat technology, and just being generally all-around entertaining in writing style.
RayfordSteele, Mar 29 2005

       >>a large tank of water under the floor of your house as a heatsink will allow you to control the internal climate of your home, all year around<<   

       My PHSY218 Prof. suggested much the same thing for Indianapolis, though he mentioned some detail about differentiating between open vs. closed systems. :-)   

       >>It takes electricity to run...<<   

       Drat. Hadn't thought that part through... I'll have to keep baking.   

       >>maybe a fusion plasma moat<<   

       That'd be nice, because it would generate its own electricity...   

       >>could you get the water hot enough to fill the sucker up with the tropical pirhana fish<<   

       The problem with pirrhanas is that they are essentially keystone-esque predators in the waters they inhabit. While not being true keystone types, they essentially fill the same function ecologically in many ways, and therefore any sizable number of them would require a large amount of territory. If you artificially sustained them instead with, say, a herd of captive sheep - then the pirrhanas would either not be sufficiently hungry to aggressively attack invasive humans or they would consume one another in underwater orgies of cannibalistic gore. To summarize: they are not nice fish, and sadly unsuited to "moat duty", more's the pity.   

       I believe that neurologically enhanced crocodiles or super-smart marine dinosaurs (like Nessie) would be much better guardians of one's "Borders Aquatic".
justibone, Mar 29 2005


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