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Geology/Regarding convection currents


Is there a source of heat other than a candle that can be used to create the strongest natural convection current (not forced convection) on a small scale?  In context, I want the convection current to be strong enough to propel a small boat at the highest speed possible.  Or is creating a design that includes forced convection the only way to increase the force?

Thank you,

What you need is something that will generate a lot of heat.  Sterno gelled alcohol fuel would probably work since it burns hotter than a candle or match.  If you could design a container that would channel the flame a bit more, but not build up too much pressure it would increase the applied heat.

Are you trying to turn a turbine?  Sterno is pretty light, and probably has a higher fuel energy density for the weight, than anything else I can think of.


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Keith Patton


I can answer questions concerning physical and historical geology, environmental geology/hydrology, environmental consulting, remote sensing/aerial photo interpretation, G&G computer applications, petroleum exploration, drilling, geochemistry, geochemical and microbiological prospecting, 3D reservoir modeling, computer mapping and drilling.I am not a geophysicist.


I have 24 years experience split between the petroleum and environmental industries. I have served as an expert witness in remote sensing, developmental geologist, exploration geologist, enviromental project manager, and subject matter expert in geology and geophysical software development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Photogrammetrists and Remote Sensing

Bachelor and Master of Science
Registered Geologist in State of Texas

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