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Submission + - Fighting fires with beams of electricity (gizmag.com) 2

cylonlover writes: It's certainly an established fact that electricity can cause fires, but a group of Harvard scientists have presented their research on the use of electricity for fighting fires. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Ludovico Cademartiri told of how they used a unique device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame over one foot tall. Almost immediately, he said, the flame was extinguished. On a larger scale, such a system would minimize the amount of water that needed to be sprayed into burning buildings, both saving water and limiting water damage to those buildings.
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Fighting fires with beams of electricity

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  • Two things about this:
    1) What ever you do, don't cross the streams.
    2) Is it a good idea to be shooting electricity and water onto a fire at the same time? That's not going to end well for someone.
    • Both excellent points!

      Back in tech school, the chemical engineering types had a great demo of a blowtorch tweeter (hifi speaker). They seeded the flame with sodium, I think, and stuck a couple of electrodes into the resulting charged ion envelope, spaced about 15 cm apart.

      The electrodes were driven by a high voltage supply modulated with an audio signal.

      Absolutely terrific high end but the background hiss was terrible.

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