Adamo wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:56 am
And you said it took *you* a long time to respond...
- I tried to make anything I did there properly prefixed to not cause collisions if you make it 1st party
- Anything you think would be appropriate for your primary mod I think should go there. A single monolithic and consistent entity is generally a better user experience than multiple disjointed products.
- I might try my hand at the electric powered reactor. I don't honestly expect it to work, it's just weird and bothering me that
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I'm a little torn on using CANDU as the template for the small-reactor concept. It's a really cool design for burning... well, anything... but it feels a little too big and advanced. (Like, "a billion dollars of heavy water" as a requirement). I was thinking some kind of equivalent of the boiler thing in terms of sub-critical LEU fuel use.
That said, this has led me down an interesting path of reading: I hadn't realized that the majority of commercial reactors were now on LEU. Meanwhile, small reactors (as in ships, submarines, etc.) are generally HEU-based. So, I'm kinda backwards here.
If starting from "ground zero", I would probably propose something like this to balance gameplay vs realism:
1. Introductory tech: LEU, subcritical reactors (boiler and small heat reactor, low power not super efficient)
2. Initial criticality: critical fast-neutron reactors (more efficient, but requires high enriched uranium)
2a. Small reactors: HEU-based small reactor for running "stuff", and portable reactors for amor
3. Advanced reactors: critical reactors that can run on LEU -- BWR, PWR. (This is what we are primarily running commercially IRL)
4. CANDU: heavy water based (do we force people to push a bunch of water through the centrifuge to get the heavy water required?), capable off burning pretty much anything.
3a. Plutonium or other RTG (equipment sized and building sized). I agree that I prefer "permanently fueled", so that they can be moved around and not worried about.
Note that for the 2a small reactor part, I would consider offering 1/10th sized fuel cells, in order to run mini-sized reactors.
That results in seven types of reactor-like items though, which is... potentially a lot. Conversely, it would allow for some more realism and creativity, transitioning from basic and less efficient reactors, to more efficient ones that can use more easily produced fuel. Maybe if some of these reactors are different sizes from Vanilla, it would be more interesting? CANDU can be 3x3?
Also, I really like the concept of re-purposing a HEU line from running a fast-neutron reactor on HEU fuel to supplying HEU for a LEU REMIX to run a fancier reactor.
Actually, thinking about it a bit more, I'm not sure how I feel about the RTG as a "one building generator". The alternative would be either (or both of) a Peltier or sterling generator, which directly turns heat into electricity (at either like 5% or 30%, respectively). Thus, a basic RTG would be a radioisotope thermal core, with a couple peltiers around it. Figure (very roughly) peltier 500kWt -> 25kWe in 1x1. Stirling 3MWt -> 1MWe in a 3x3. This would have some interesting implications in map locations where water is not conveniently available: the footprint and heat distribution process would be more challenging, but it would be capable of operating without water. Numbers there were chosen such that the 3x12 of a normal boiler+2x steam engines, which produces ~12MWe would significantly outperform (3x it turns out) the Stirling in terms of power density, even before heat routing is considered. I would probably *not* give it heat connections on all sides; the logistic challenge in not being able to just stick heat into a big grid sounds nice. It would also then be 30% (direct Stirling) vs 50% (heat exchanger + boiler) efficient -- 60% as much -- as the more complex version. Hopefully that much balances the simplicity of eliminating water.
Peltier is only (as IRL) useful when you don't need much electricity. My 25kWe output would make a cross with 4 Peltiers around a isotope core be capable of putting out 100kWe. It's a bit more (20kWe/square, vs 6.7kWe) dense than a vanilla solar panel, but significantly moreso than a Physics modified one. I'm not sure it'd be actually useful for anything more than a lamp. Maybe a train station, though it would have a rough time with stack inserters. I'm not even sure if anyone would use it over just putting a Stirling engine on there.
I like that; this might be my next attempted project, if you don't decide you like it and do it first