Re: Nuclear heater for Expeditions

Hara Ra (
Tue, 06 Jan 1998 23:35:21 -0800

Hal Finney wrote:
> Some iconoclastic futurist (Esfandiary?) suggested that it is silly to
> heat the air and other objects in our houses, when what we want to heat
> is the people. He suggested turning the house into a giant, low-power
> microwave oven.

It was a fellow in Colorado Springs who had a newsletter on energy which
was in favor of nuke power plants. To do this well, the microwaves
needed to be in the millimeter range to only heat the skin surface. A
concern of mine is that some tissue might be sensitive to such
radiation, for example the cornea.

> Maybe your tent could use a similar idea, positioning a few microwave
> radiators around the interior, aimed at your body, to keep you warm without
> trying to heat air and keep a thermal gradient at the thing tent boundary.

Two problems here:

1. Compact electrical power source & storage with low mass. Perhaps a
fuel cell.

2. Where you lie down on the ground won't get heated. It would take a
thick air mattress, say 10" or more to fix this.

Also, if you have a source of electrical power, just wire a heating
blanket into the sleeping bag... forget the microwaves.

| Hara Ra <> |
| Box 8334 Santa Cruz, CA 95061 |