I have an idea I'd like to try out. I current have large piles of snow in front of my house from the recent winter unpleasantness. Because of the surface area to mass ratio, these six foot tall piles are going to take forever to melt. I'd like to speed that up using smarts.
My first thought was to sprinkle them liberally with rock salt. The problem is they're big enough that putting enough salt in place might be troublesome. My second thought is that the biggest piles are on my lawn and any salt will end up on or under my yard. I'd rather not salt my own fields as Rome did to Carthage.
My second thought is to stab some aluminum strips into the heart of the larger piles. Aluminum is an excellent heat conductor and is available in a number of forms at the local hardware store. If I can find some cheap strips (preferably black), I can essentially conduct heat into the heart of the pile. I could put them in in the morning and then pull them when I got home so they wouldn't cool the piles during the night. Not sure if they'd work, but it might be neat to try.
Thoughts from my fellow nerds?