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How are thermal mechanics modified by engineer level? (Trying to pin it down for wiki, particularly drill's asteroid harvesting.)


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Hi, sorry to ask even more awkward questions again, but I've not been able to search up any definitive answers, or yet figure out for myself (even from the copious thermal debug info) what exactly is happening under all circumstances, here.

This Reddit thread did a great job of fathoming the equations and figures for drill's surface harvesting mode (with different level engineers on board). I've confirmed them myself, experimentally, and re-arranged the relevant wiki page a little.

I've also expanded the information on the wiki about radiators, regarding their core cooling stats, adding a table of the core cooling requirements of the 4 ore processing parts.

I've observed (experimentally, in game) the differences in the time it takes to warm up a drill core, quicker with higher level engineer, when surface harvesting. E.g., using the setup shown below, for a good little demo, with table showing results:


Engineer Level Drill Junior Warm up time (s)
None 156
0 70
1 41
2 30
3 24
4 20
5 17

I was originally thinking that the drill cores produce additional heating, in line with their additional charge usage, and so there must be additional cooling bonus provided too, since the number of radiators required stays the same, but I couldn't make anything out in the debug stats to support this.

(1) Does heat produced by drills in surface harvest mode vary by engineer level? (Or is there only some kind of warm up bonus added...?)

Further, with the asteroid harvesting mode:

I found that the ore production rate scales up with the engineer level, as expected, but the electric charge used remains a flat rate (0.3EC/s for Drill Junior).

(2) This flat EC useage is a deliberate decision on mechanics, yes?

Further, with engineers of level 3 or below, it wasn't possible to cool the drills to optimal level with any amount of radiators. So I'm thinking that the drill's "max cooling" stat is being modified by engineer level (although, again, I can't see any read-out that confirms this directly). Or, the drill's heat produced is being scaled *up* for lower level engineers (I think I observed the drills warming up quicker for lower level engineers, which would support this)...

(3) What's happening with drill's thermal stats during asteroid harvesting (by engineer level)?

(4) Some other nuances I've observed that it would be nice to clarify (if all desired behaviour):

  • Drills will not detect insertion into asteroids, if already extended, when moving the whole craft into position and grabbing asteroid. (And can not drill asteroids not part of the same craft?)
  • Drills report "100% load", only with level 5 engineer (otherwise "operational"). Does this indicate load scaling from engineer bonus?
  • Minor bug: drill status continues to show "no storage space" after the ore tank(s) have been re-enabled for fuel transfer (and ore is in fact flowing in). And continues showing "100% load" after EVA-ing level 5 engineer. Until stopped and started again.

My expectation, from last time, is that @RoverDude would be the best member/dev to talk to here, given these mechanics stem from his work. So I'd be much gratified of any input again (thanks). :)

P.S. I also plotted a graph of drill's thermal efficiency verses core temperature...


... But there's no way to embed this in the wiki (with "migration issues", still).

(5) Any chance this wiki situation will change, or any way around embedding images (editing templates, etc)?

Edited by Z3R0Gravitas
Extra question about wiki, and showing off my graph.
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Well, from the common issues thread...

* Drills on asteroids are overheating

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Drills on asteroids are overheating.



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