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Surface Refuelling - another solution


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Surface refuelling has always been a bit 'fiddly', the recently added ability for engineers to attach fuel lines has made it easier, but it can still be a finicky process.  The 'obvious' procedure is to have a mining station that harvests, converts and stores fuel, which is then transferred to the vessels needing fuel, either directly or via 'tanker rovers'.  This requires  accurate landing and/or several docking (or claw and fuel line connecting) procedures  to transfer the fuel.

Here is a slightly different method that I just tried and seems to work ok, and is less fiddly...

 The 'mining station' is itself a moderately large rover that has a drill, a small ore tank, power generation (i use fuel cells) and a little fuel storage (sufficient  to run the fuel cells while starting up), cooling radiators etc.  And a small claw for connecting to the target vessel.  The whole thing uses a large Mk3 cargo bay as a chassis.  As long as the vessel needing fuel lands somewhere near the refuelling rover all is good.

Essentially, I drive the refueller up to the target vessel and connect using the claw, that way docking ports don't need to line up.  Start the fuel cells, deploy the drill, start the converter and leave to simmer until done.  The tanks on the target fill up, once done I disconnect and can drive to the next 'customer'.

I don't need fuel storage on the surface, as I mine and convert 'on demand'.  So therefore I don't  need multiple fuel truck runs to and from the storage  facilities to the target.  And I can 'drop' my refuelling rovers wherever I need them without thinking about needing additional supporting infrastructures.

 

 

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That's a great idea! I like the idea of having it be a 'just in time' system, so it's less hassle overall. The lack of large fuel tanks should help with mobility as well! Got any pictures?

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7 minutes ago, SpaceFace545 said:

Wait, you can connect two vehicles with fuel lines now? I thougt they couldn't d othat yet

You need to 'dock' them with a claw first, then attach two fuel lines - one each way.   But using the method above doesn't require fuel lines (until they decude to 'fix it' of course), as you aren't using the 'fuel transfer' function.

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2 minutes ago, pandaman said:

You need to 'dock' them with a claw first, then attach two fuel lines - one each way.   But using the method above doesn't require fuel lines (until they decude to 'fix it' of course), as you aren't using the 'fuel transfer' function.

Ah darn

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5 hours ago, CalculusWarrior said:

...Got any pictures?

Sorry no, but I will take screenshots (if I remember) and try to post them.

Not very exciting to look at though.

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Posted (edited)

Unless you want (or have to) stay of mods then DMagic's EVA Transfer is golden for this.

With this you don't have to actually connect, just get close enough and j.random engineer can grab a fuel hose and hike over to the target.

(I've even MM-hacked it for further range, because I'm lazy).

As a matter of fact, I basically add a EVA Transfer knob to every design, regardless, since it means that you can refuel anything anywhere, with the need for docking ports.

And I find it far more realistic than using the OP Claw(s) for such things.

Edited by Curveball Anders
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Posted (edited)

I'd also like to recommend the Telemagic mod, recently released for 1.11.2.

Two vehicles parked on the surface within 30 meters of each other may transfer fuel, supply ship to client ship, in which the focus is on the client and the supply ship is its target.

The mod also allows refueling of craft at certain designated "fuel aprons": at KSC, Island Airport, Dessert Strip and Baikerbanur.  Single click of the button and ten seconds to transfer fuel, repack chutes, clean the windshields and empty the ashtrays.  (Spark plugs and oil changes remain your own responsibility.)

There's a rumor it can also teleport runway and launchpad vehicles at the KSC immediately to the equivalent location at Baikerbanur, making the latter location finally a first-class spaceport again, but that capability is probably still a "work in progress".

                                                                                 
The history is that, after 1.2.1 and 1.3.1 completely torpedoed existing mining with breaking changes ((extra) radiators and other nonsense), and after spending the following years looking for "claw" solutions (see my Pegasus line of fuel tankers and also the pitifully desperate Bowser attachment; as well as the Goblin & Gremlin line of lunar miners), I finally got "jack" of it and made Telemagic.  No parts involved; just a little imagination.  If your pilot can walk or swim to the other craft and back then the "hose" is a given.

A certain co-collaborator of mine has just manufactured a tanker capable of delivering 22 megakallons of fuel to anywhere on Kerbin in 35m to act as a base fuel supply ship to all visiting craft and will be publishing it very shortly (@swjr-swis: HELP!).  Think about it.  Regional airports/operating bases.  Telemagic works on any celestial body (other than asteroids)...  No fuss; no muss.

Edited by Hotel26
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On 5/13/2021 at 12:05 PM, Hotel26 said:

A certain co-collaborator of mine has just manufactured a tanker capable of delivering 22 megakallons of fuel to anywhere on Kerbin in 35m to act as a base fuel supply ship to all visiting craft and will be publishing it very shortly (@swjr-swis: HELP!).

Message noticed, and it is coming, but I'm not quite pleased with it just yet. Real Soon Now (tm).

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