Heat Rejection and Exchange

Hey Folks! News is a bit earlier today, as we have a school potluck to attend in a few minutes.

After stumbling over the "louvered" radiator style idea yesterday, I couldn't get it out of my head. Instead of massive, flat panels sticking out like sails, I could use louvers like you see in today's screenshot, on the right. Basically, they're small radiators, they still direct heat away from the ship and each other, without departing from the ship styles we see in our favorite sci-fi. The numbers won't add-up in reality, but they're about as "hard" as the idea of having a TW fusion torch on your ship that doesn't instantly vaporize the entire ship's mass.

So in other words, we're being consistently hard-ish with our science.

Under the hood, I just added a bit more code to my heater so that it could optionally pump heat out the other side. Whatever it does to heat on one side, it does the opposite to the other. In this new system, the heater just has an ignored output, as you'd expect from an electric heating element.

The cooler, on the other hand, applies its effect on the interior side (the white box with green LED and blue snowflake label), and the opposite effect on the exterior (louvered) side. And for now, I'm treating it like an ammonia coolant loop that's run between the interior cold plates/heat exchangers and the exterior louvers/radiators. It sits at 200K, just above ammonia's freezing point. And in practice, basically works like the AC in Rimworld (with a minimum operating temperature of approximately -70C).

I still have a bit of tweaking to do on the numbers, as it has a much slower effect than the heater right now. This is mainly due to the fact that the heater has a temperature of 1000K, and the cooler 200K. This means the difference between air temperature and heater is ~700K, while the cooler is more like ~100K. I think I can get around this by fudging the surface area and volume stats on the cooler to make up the difference.

It's working, though. Even hooks up to the thermostat if I want it to. So we're nearly done with regulating cabin temperature on our ship! Might be worth trying to yank the overheating/hypothermia conditions from NEO Scavenger and slap those into this system, as it shouldn't take long. It might not matter yet, but I could see crew hypothermic/overheating via their stats if it works.

Tags: Ostranauts