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Cooling a convert o tron, just how much do you need?


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I've been trying to make a fuel depot on mun, (for the chuckle value) but I can't seem to cool a convert o tron jr, using 8 tons of cooling system hardware.

Is there some trick to what kind of cooling? placement? My "try really hard" version was 30 tons, half of that was thermal control systems, how do you keep the temperature stable? Is this just not possible under any circumstances?

 

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Posted (edited)

It is not possible under any circumstances. 

The Convert-o-tron Jr was designed for intermittent use only.  The only clue you see in-game is that 'max cooling' is less than 'cooling required'.

When this came up before (link, link) people uncovered the reasons it was made this way.  There is a patch (link) to change the rules if you want to.

Edited by OHara
corrected the link to the MM patch
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Looks like I'll just be scrapping that whole idea, the setup is just a troll by the devs, they should just remove the parts, if they're gonna make it useless, they should just leave it out completely.

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It’s not useless, for crafts using isru and want to save mass it’s not awful. I will admit it’s underpowered as it needs a certain ore concentration, can’t be left on forever due to the heating problem, and has a lower conversion rate so usually it’s better to just use the larger one.

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Also make sure to get a leveled up engineer on board the craft.  It will help production a lot, not sure about heat efficiency cooling though.  But ISRU is not a scam  Just skip Mun and go straight to Minmus.  The lower gravity makes the cost of ore/fuel to orbit far less and you can launch interplanetary craft from Kerbin with mostly empty tanks far easier, then stop by your orbital Minmus fuel depot to tank up before going into solar orbit.  Yuge savings

Edited by darthgently
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On 4/5/2021 at 1:05 AM, OHara said:

It is not possible under any circumstances. 

The Convert-o-tron Jr was designed for intermittent use only.  The only clue you see in-game is that 'max cooling' is less than 'cooling required'.

When this came up before (link, link) people uncovered the reasons it was made this way.  There is a patch (link) to change the rules if you want to.

I know this agrees with the in-game description (and I know it's been nearly a week), but I have to disagree. I've used the Convert-o-tron 125 continuously, unmanned, without serious problems. However, it is extremely slow if unmanned, and producing liquid fuel and oxidizer together isn't workable. (I forget why.) When producing a single liquid at a time, it will trickle along at about 96% efficiency. (This is with ambient temperatures of Kerbin or Minmus.) As for speed when unmanned, it takes somewhere in the region of a whole Kerbin year to fill two Rockomax Jumbo-64 fuel tanks. Those are the largest 2.5m tanks. When controlled by a maximum-level engineer, it took about 2 weeks if I remember right. (I can't find my notes.) I can't remember if it can produce lf+ox together when manned.

A note on cooling: Radiators don't have to be physically near the part to be cooled. They do have to be attached to the part itself or the part which it is attached to. In 1.8, I found ore tanks wouldn't pass heat, but this seems to have been fixed by 1.11. For my vehicle on Minmus, 2 small radiators attached directly to the converter are quite enough. The only time the radiators heat up is if I time-warp while 'flying' the vehicle. That must be a bug because they don't heat up at any other time. The bug is with the radiators themselves; the drill's radiators heat up too.

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22 minutes ago, eekee said:

I've used the Convert-o-tron 125 continuously, unmanned, without serious problems.

Well, the original question was about cooling, but I see your point.  It is not necessary to fully cool the converter in order to use it.

And the "Thermal Efficiency" in the right-click menu actually indicates the percentage of full conversion rate.  When the converter gets hot, and the "Thermal Efficiency" goes down to 50%, the rate of electrical use is also 50%.   Once I discovered that I could turn off some the the radiators to slow the process and avoid the converter shutting off due to lack of electricity.  For me, though, playing a game where I don't know the rules was more frustrating than fun.

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