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Sunlight reflected off London skyscraper “melts car”
Posted: 03 September 2013 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Never mind the traffic, car owners in London have a new hazard to worry about: A skyscraper whose reflected rays have the power to melt cars.

It may sound like science fiction, but it was no joke for Jaguar XJ owner Martin Lindsay, who parked his pricey ride near the under-construction building, officially called 20 Fenchurch Street, but known by many Londoners as the “Walkie Talkie” for its distinctive shape.

When he returned to the car, he found some panels warped beyond repair by the beam of light reflected down from the curved side of the landmark glass tower.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yeah… there’s been a few buildings like that. I seem to recall one at… Stanford? that killed the grass in a patch in front of it, and another in I think it was Dubai that was melting the chairs at the poolside. The latter was fixed with some large canopies.

But yes - one should not use concave curves covered in glass when designing buildings. Especially on the south side (north for you aussies). It may look nifty, but there are certain logistical issues.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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While in residence at university we set out to do this deliberately. Every room had a fair sized mirror so we got a couple of dozen of us to scatter across the 8 story, wide building. It was hard to aim to make it melt anything, but the ability to almost ‘knock down’ people stepping out of shops on the other side of the road was pretty fun. You couldnt just put your hand up to shield your eyes from that fully operational death star.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think you’re thinking of a poolside at a Vegas hotel, Robin. Though Dubai sounds like it’s reasonable to have happened there, too.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yeah, I know there’s one in Vegas, but I’m almost certain I read about one in Dubai a couple weeks ago, too.

There was also a news article about the university building that killed the grass at its focal point. Single-story building, so not as much concentrated light.

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Posted: 07 September 2013 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m so going to take this to my advantage when I build my home…

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Posted: 07 September 2013 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Can they put a coating on the glass to prevent that from happening?

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Posted: 09 September 2013 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Peter - 07 September 2013 11:40 PM

Can they put a coating on the glass to prevent that from happening?

Well, I used to work for a picture framing company, and I know that the anti-reflective glass we used was A) Very delicate - exposure to the elements, cleaning solutions, and even touching it would destroy it utterly and B) spincter-clenchingly expensive.

Now, you could do it cheaper with some sort of mesh, similar to what they do with the sides of busses or the like, but that limits interior light as well, and is also expensive.

Your best bet is a nice canopy, raised above the focal point so it isn’t damaged. Might be able to even sneak a solar panel array there.

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Posted: 10 September 2013 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Nice of them to aim the focal point of the reflected light right at a parking spot.

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