Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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(totally unrelated to 'zeppelin')
  [vote for,

It is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and most of the trees and other plants are being sexy. The air is full of pollen, therefore. It gets onto everything. And any automobile that gets washed in the morning will have another dusting of pollen on it before the day ends.

There is a toss-up between driver safety (need to see through windshield!) and the global need for fresh water (don't waste it, please!) We need a better way remove pollen from cars, therefore.

I will suggest a Van de Graaff generator. If you put your hand on one **before** it charges up, then you can safely experience 400,000 volts or so. Each hair on your head (if you have any) will receive an electric charge and will be electrostatically repelled by all its neighbors, and your head will look something like a dandelion about to loose its seeds into the wind.

So, what about attaching your car to a Van de Graaff generator? The solid rubber tires will offer excellent electrical insulation, so that a nice large electrostatic charge can be applied to the vehicle. This charge will be easily conducted throughout the metal body of the car, and some of it will certainly be conducted to the coating of pollen. The pollen will then be electrostatically repelled.

The fun way to do this, of course, is to charge up the Van de Graaff generator **before** running a wire to it from the body of the car.


All the pollen immediately goes something like **spuunnng** away from the car! Well, maybe all of it. I'm not so sure about the windows, unless they are specially coated to conduct electricity. Which makes this Idea Half-Baked, of course.

(Remember, after turning off the VdG generator, you need to run your connecting wire to the ground, to remove the static charge on your car. Also, remember to do that before you yourself touch the car!)

Vernon, Mar 31 2012

bostghusters http://www.youtube....watch?v=ep1r0unWkYc
or something like tha [not_morrison_rm, Mar 31 2012]

Electric cheese nose filter Electric_20nose_20cheese_20filter
[not_morrison_rm, Mar 31 2012]

In action. http://tooplyshy.mu...d._?replies_read=10
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 31 2012]


       [+] But why external ? It'd make a good accessory.
FlyingToaster, Mar 31 2012

       Some kind of proximity detector which picks up large objects could probably automate the earthing. Wouldn't you need to isolate the engine and tank electrically from the rest of the vehicle to prevent fire? What about the electrics in the vehicle? Sorry if these are stupid questions, it's just that electricity is a bit of a dark art to me.
nineteenthly, Mar 31 2012

       It would certainly deter squeegee merchants.   

       I can see nothing at all wrong with this idea.....except you forgot to mention using the VDG generator in the manner of a Tesla coil and amuse yourself (and others) with renditions of the Ghostbusters theme while stuck in traffic.   

       See link
not_morrison_rm, Mar 31 2012

       I like this. But, how non-conductive are rubber tyres? I thought they contained carbon black, and were therefore slightly conductive? (On the other hand, it's possible to get a static shock when stepping out of a car, so maybe they're not very conductive.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 31 2012

       Has anyone suggested moustache-style electrostatic pollen filters for hayfever sufferers?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 31 2012

       1) Strangely, no. But I'm guessing some of that territory might be covered by the electric cheese nose filter TM, pat pending. See link, if you really must.   

       2) I'm thinking a layer of lead to shield out electro-magnetic interference on the electrics...but then of course it'd be a lead zappolen.   

       3) Hmm, just found out you actually can focus x-rays, or was I just the last person to find this out for himself? Admittedly you need a gold mirror and angle of incidence of a 3.5 degrees-ish.
not_morrison_rm, Mar 31 2012

       [nineteenthly], I'm pretty sure the ordinary electrics in the car can handle a sudden zap. The electronics, however, will probably be fried. However, the slow way of charging up the car (connect to VdG before turning it on) probably won't hurt the electronics (you will also need a slow discharge method).
Vernon, Mar 31 2012

       Don't forget that any discharges will also damage the paintwork...
mitxela, Mar 31 2012

       [mitxela], that is not necessarily so. If the conductor-wire is attached to the frame under the car, then the other end of that wire is what you bring to the globe on top of the VdG generator, for a nice static-electric build-up. Then you take that end of the wire and touch a grounding-post, to discharge the car. For a slow discharge, you want an appropriate resistor included in the discharge system (probably attached to the grounding-post).
Vernon, Mar 31 2012

       As far as getting yourself zapped, simply rig the chirpy keyring thing to turn it on/off.
FlyingToaster, Mar 31 2012

       sorry, I was referring to arc discharges like discussed above. The slow discharges should be fine.
mitxela, Mar 31 2012


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