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What new parts could the game realistically use?


Frostiken
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Part of the confusion is that what are normally called "radiators" for cars or computers are actually convectors. They use airflow through a high surface area device to carry heat away through convection; very little is lost as actual radiation. We should take a note from the Germans, who just call them coolers.

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It would be nice if a few of the specialty engines (ion, nuclear, jet, jet/rocket hybrid) had larger versions available. And as others have said, some form of heat radiator would also be handy. Might be nice to eventually have a simple winch system ala Kerbal Attachment System as well, but that's a bit of a stretch goal really. Other than that, I'm good.

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Smaller/Larger versions of a LOT of the parts, mostly to avoid part spam caused by having the wrong size of the "right" engine.

LFO RCS quads of similar thrust to the Vernor, larger than the monoprop quad thruster

Larger/smaller versions of these engines:

O-10 "puff" (stack 0.625m, 1.25m, 2.5m, 3.75m)

LV-N (0.625m and 2.5m, and a radial mount)

Ion engines (1.25m, possibly 2.5m with 2.5m xenon tank, and a radial mount)

Jet engines (0.625m, 2.5m, Mk3) - both basic and turbo-ramjet

Radial mount basic jet engine pods (0.625m and 1.25m)

Rapier engine (0.625m, 2.5m, Mk3)

SRBS: Lots of room for more parts here

0.625m half, standard, and double long (standard is as long as RT-5 Flea)

2.5m half, standard, double, and quadruple long (standard is similar size as Jumbo-64 LFO tank)

3.75m half, standard, and double long (standard is as long as S3-14400)

Larger/smaller versions of tanks for certain resources:

Monopropellant - 3.75m and half height 2.5m

Liquid fuel - Same sizes as the 2.5 and 3.75m tanks, with identical mass ratios to LFO tanks, (for use with LV-Ns of various sizes (ex. 6400 Liquid Fuel in a Jumbo-64 size tank))

Ore - half and double length 2.5m, 3.75m half, standard, double length

Electrical parts:

Larger/smaller lights (both spot and flood)

omnidirectional light

Double/quadruple length versions of stack batteries (400/800u 0.625m stack, 2000/4000u 1.25m stack, 8000/16000u 2.5m stack)

Larger static panel (double size OX-STAT)

ISRU Parts:

Half-size drills (uses less electricity, but is less efficient than the larger drill)

Half size converter (uses less electricity, less energy efficient, wastes 5% of ore mined, can't do Monopropellant)

3.75m converter (uses more electricity, more energy efficient, can do xenon at 4x energy of LFO and 5% efficiency (1t ore = 0.05t Xenon))

I think that's all I can come up with at the moment.

Edited by SciMan
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- 2.5M LV-N, Ion, and Xenon tanks

In real life this would suck as thrust scales linerally but electricy consumption scales exponentally.

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For those of you saying 'radiators' for the nuclear reactor. How do radiators work in space if there is no atmosphere to transfer the heat away?

Radiation, not conduction or convection

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For those of you saying 'radiators' for the nuclear reactor. How do radiators work in space if there is no atmosphere to transfer the heat away?

Radiation, not conduction or convection

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Perhaps a smaller radial drill for resource-gathering landers, to allow a small taste of the mining component of the game before the relatively pricey nodes for ISRU are unlocked. Furthermore a smaller probe-sized ore tank would allow very basic resource collection without enabling it as a core refueling mechanic.

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If its any consolation, the in game lights do have a tweakable to change their color.
Change the RBG values of stock lights

Muchas Gracias for pointing that out, somehow I never noticed this! That's a good start to workaround with, but I thought more of "Navigation lights", small light bulbs (like that one on the Z100 Battery) or flat(ish) circles/squares, with strobo-functions, maybe.

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A 2.5m ion engine ? really ? That's not the point of an ion engine... W.H.Y?

I stand corrected. I think the existing ion engine is too large actually. We should have it scaled down to 1mm and only use it for orbital corrections on a single blinking LED. Seriously though, I'd like to have a larger ion engine to do exactly the kind of stuff I do with the existing ion engine, but scaled up. Mainly, I'd like it to be useful for sending larger probes to distant places.... or smaller probes to the same places quicker... or more simply, reduce the part count for missions where I normally use 4 ion engines. You can only get so far scaling down payloads. The scientific instruments have a fixed mass.

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In real life this would suck as thrust scales linerally but electricy consumption scales exponentally.

I have a breakthrough design to solve this. It is a larger ion engine composed of multiple smaller ion engines. Take 2 normal ion engines and mount them in parallel. You get double the thrust and double the power consumption! Alert the presses! What you're talking about is holding the reaction mass (Xenon) use constant and ramping up power. I'm talking about using more reaction mass along with the additional power. In that case, thrust, power consumption, and reaction mass use all scale linearly.

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Part of the confusion is that what are normally called "radiators" for cars or computers are actually convectors. They use airflow through a high surface area device to carry heat away through convection; very little is lost as actual radiation. We should take a note from the Germans, who just call them coolers.

Depends on airflow. Granted, even with still air, you are probably convecting 80% of the heat from the radiator as convection and conduction in to the bits of the vehicle touching the radiator, but a measurable and reasonable amount is still being radiated (by my math, using .20 as the emissivity of heavily oxidized aluminum, about 200W). This would of course be at idle. Spray paint that thing black and you'd up that significantly to 900w or so. Of course you'd also reduce convection...which would be a bad thing, since that is the primary way it removed heat (since your radiator is probably dumping 10% of the energy produced by combustion, with only about 30% of it utilized as workable energy by the engine and the rest out the tailpipe or in to outer bits, like radiated/convected from the engine itself, the engine oil, pumping air, etc.). Engine cranking 150hp means it is probably dumping something like 9-10kw in to the coolant. That is a lot of heat to move.

As everyone else mentioned, radiation is how they work. Which takes a great deal of surface area and/or a very high temperature. I haven't looked at cooling systems for space vehicles in AGES, but my guess is a lot of the manned ones use heat pumps to make this more efficient. If you are only trying to cool something like 80F coolant a few degrees, it is going to take a HUGE surface area, even in space. However, if you utilize a heat pump and can heat that coolant up to 200F on the hotside, you just doubled your radiative losses. Heat it up to 400F and you've nearly doubled it again. So what might have been a 10m^2 radiator, you can bump down to 5m^2 or even 2.5m^2.

This is a big issue with generating and utilizing power in space. You have a 1000w electrical system in a space ship, you are going to need to radiate 1000w of heat. Give or take of course. The shell of the ship will radiate heat. Then again, in sunlight it'll absorb heat. In orbit, the balance is generally on losing more heat than gaining (because half your ship is in sunlight on the daylight side and at night the entire ship is radiating heat). At least from "room temperature". Hence why "shut down" space stations stablize at something like 0F or so.

However, start generating electricity and using it on the station and you can quickly "bake" the ship if your radiators are not working. A few kw of power can seriously heat up a station if you cannot dump some of that heat. Space shuttle had radiators in the shuttle bay doors and the shuttle would orient itself so that the radiators were generally facing away from the sun to dump heat. If they bay doors failed for some reason, the shuttle would have limited time in orbit before it would have to return to Earth, because it would have no way to dump the dozens of kws of heat being generated.

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