Author Topic: fusion engine  (Read 7152 times)

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Offline Alexis Kerensky

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fusion engine
« on: November 02, 2012, 01:55:08 AM »
 how does the battltech fusion engine work exactly i've heard that it works with light  hydrogen or water.... ,but  i've never seen a confirmed source on how the fusion engine works.
Ferro-Fibrous armor deflecting insults and protecting from damage since 2571.

  I am The wolf Chosen of Kerensky. As a  Warden clansmen i protect those who cannot fight for themselves and seek only to find peace in humanity. The Wolf's Dragoons were the spies of the clan sent by the clan wolf. It was through them that we  both realized that the inner sphere were people just like us.
Runway is the only one who can make it to Khan rank without ever moving.
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Offline BeforeLife

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 03:17:18 AM »
Ill post it form the techmanual in a bit, currently busy and need to find it, will be in around 10 minutes.

Offline BeforeLife

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 03:26:50 AM »
Sorry for the long post buuut... Here it is.

ENGINE
Ah, the engine. Now this manmade star is one of the components
that give BattleMechs part of their allure. Well, it did
at least during the Succession Wars, when fusion engines
were rare.
Fusion and Fusion Fuels
Fusion reactors generate their vast quantities of power by,
well, fusing light elements like hydrogen together into heavier
elements like helium. Contrast this with nuclear fi ssion, which
splits heavy elements, like uranium, into lighter materials. The
fuel of choice for modern fusion engines is normal hydrogen,
the protium isotope if you want to be fancy.
In the past, other fuels were used by early fusion reactors—
from the heavier hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium, to
the helium-3 isotope and even lithium. But these types gradually
lost ground to protium users. It was almost a century after
the Terran—sorry, the Western Alliance—harnessed fusion that
a reactor capable of burning protium was built. Though other
fuels would’ve allowed simpler reactors, and backwater planets
continued to use such primitive systems for that reason,
militaries are fascinated with the newer reactor technology.
Normal hydrogen is a fairly clean nuclear fuel in terms of
radioactive waste, at least compared to fusion with other fuels
or fi ssion. In fusion reactors today, this normal hydrogen
is easily extracted from any number of sources, especially
water. This is why most military fusion engines include a
small electrolysis unit to extract hydrogen from water. Those
tales you may have heard, of MechWarriors “refueling” their
BattleMechs with urine? They aren’t myths.
Containment and Power Generation
So, you’ve got this super-hot ball of hydrogen plasma being
turned into helium. What keeps it from melting the engine?
Magnetic fi elds. Plasma is electrically charged, so it can
be pushed around by magnetic fi elds. There are fi elds in the
plasma itself and fi elds generated outside the plasma. The
plasma doesn’t touch the wall. In fact, outside the plasma, the
reactor chamber is a vacuum for insulation.
How does the power come out of the plasma? Two ways.
The fi rst way is a tongue twister called “magnetohydrodynamics,”
MHD for short. The short and semi-correct description
is that the plasma is like a dynamo, stirring up electrical currents
in loops of conductors that wrap around the reactor. MHD directly
converts heat from the fuel into electricity—unlike, say, a
gas turbine, which burns fuel to spin a turbine, and the turbine
spins a dynamo. By cutting out the middleman and operating
at extreme temperatures, MHD power generation can exceed
90 percent effi ciency in turning heat into electricity.
The second way of generating power is only a secondary
system, called regenerative cooling. Regenerative cooling
uses some of the waste heat it’s handling to generate power.
The typical format is a closed-cycle gas turbine or even a
steam turbine. Most BattleMech designers and MechWarriors
view this as part of the cooling system, even calling it “heat
sinks hidden in the engine.” In fact, the regenerative cooling
machinery is quite diff erent from real heat sinks, even though
it can benefi t from the same advances in materials that make
the recovered double strength heat sinks possible. This system
adds negligible volume to the engine, as it mostly uses
the existing plumbing of the engine’s cooling system, though
weight starts to add up on larger engines when designers attempt
to scavenge every last scrap of waste heat.

Offline ~SJ~ Blhurr

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 12:33:46 PM »
The instrument I have at work uses argon plasma as the energy source to ionize and atomize elements.  A radio frequency coil Generates the magnetic field surrounding the plasma that serves to keep the chain reaction perpetuating while argon gas is streamed around it to keep "surface of the sun" like temperatures from melting the borosilicate glass torch that houses the reaction.  The reaction is started with a stream of electrons from an igniter much like one that ignites a backyard grill.
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Offline Spooky

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 12:45:09 PM »
@Alex Kerensky: there is dedicated subsection on the forum for topics not directly related to the game, but related to the BattleTech Universe: http://forum.mechlivinglegends.net/index.php/board,9.0.html . You have already neglected that once before.

Offline Terragent

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 02:20:29 PM »
Here's an easy flowchart for future battletech questions.

Step 1: buy the sourcebooks.
(Alternative step 1: pirate the sourcebooks)
Step 2: read the sourcebooks.

Offline Alexis Kerensky

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 02:37:08 PM »
@Alex Kerensky: there is dedicated subsection on the forum for topics not directly related to the game, but related to the BattleTech Universe: http://forum.mechlivinglegends.net/index.php/board,9.0.html . You have already neglected that once before.
I looked for that and didn't see it what section is that in? and you realize the admins/moderators can move topics despite where they are posted?


Ookaay i didn't need to know they peed in their hydrogen tanks... now what about heat outside the engine like weapons and such?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 02:46:29 PM by Alex Kerensky »
Ferro-Fibrous armor deflecting insults and protecting from damage since 2571.

  I am The wolf Chosen of Kerensky. As a  Warden clansmen i protect those who cannot fight for themselves and seek only to find peace in humanity. The Wolf's Dragoons were the spies of the clan sent by the clan wolf. It was through them that we  both realized that the inner sphere were people just like us.
Runway is the only one who can make it to Khan rank without ever moving.
Do not mess with the runway, runway always wins.

Offline Spooky

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 03:03:42 PM »
I looked for that and didn't see it what section is that in?

Public Discussion. Just go to http://forum.mechlivinglegends.net/index.php , press Ctrl-F and type in "Battletech Universe"...



and you realize the admins/moderators can move topics despite where they are posted?

What's your point here? That, because admins/moderators can move topics anywhere they like, you don't need to care about where you post things? ;)

Offline Alexis Kerensky

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 03:08:24 PM »
I looked for that and didn't see it what section is that in?

Public Discussion. Just go to http://forum.mechlivinglegends.net/index.php , press Ctrl-F and type in "Battletech Universe"...



and you realize the admins/moderators can move topics despite where they are posted?
no my point is if i make a mistake and  are 1. too lazy to look 2. no feeling well or my eyes are going nuts and post in the wrong topic it's  a very simple procedure to move it and i even know how as on  Another SMF forum I am an admin and I've used SMF forums before.

What's your point here? That, because admins/moderators can move topics anywhere they like, you don't need to care about where you post things? ;)
Ferro-Fibrous armor deflecting insults and protecting from damage since 2571.

  I am The wolf Chosen of Kerensky. As a  Warden clansmen i protect those who cannot fight for themselves and seek only to find peace in humanity. The Wolf's Dragoons were the spies of the clan sent by the clan wolf. It was through them that we  both realized that the inner sphere were people just like us.
Runway is the only one who can make it to Khan rank without ever moving.
Do not mess with the runway, runway always wins.

Offline [CG]Anastasius Focht

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 11:12:00 PM »
Spooky makes a fair point, Anything battletech thats not directly related to the MWLL mod should go here.

http://forum.mechlivinglegends.net/index.php/board,9.0.html

Finding the correct spot to post a thread can be a little confusing sometimes, i know ive had the same issue on occasion.
If your not sure you can always PM one of the Mods, and if you see one thats in the wrong spot, just use the report button with a suggestion of where it should go.

You have to understand the code of duty and honor that rules those who pilot these engines of destruction. Placing such an awesome weapon in the hands of an individual implies a similar gesture of trust

http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Anastasius_Focht


Offline Alexis Kerensky

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2012, 03:48:14 AM »
though can you report your own topic?



Anyway anybody got why heat is an issue with the fusion engine?
Ferro-Fibrous armor deflecting insults and protecting from damage since 2571.

  I am The wolf Chosen of Kerensky. As a  Warden clansmen i protect those who cannot fight for themselves and seek only to find peace in humanity. The Wolf's Dragoons were the spies of the clan sent by the clan wolf. It was through them that we  both realized that the inner sphere were people just like us.
Runway is the only one who can make it to Khan rank without ever moving.
Do not mess with the runway, runway always wins.

Offline [CG]Anastasius Focht

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2012, 03:53:18 AM »
though can you report your own topic?

You can always PM me or Flow to have a topic moved as well
You have to understand the code of duty and honor that rules those who pilot these engines of destruction. Placing such an awesome weapon in the hands of an individual implies a similar gesture of trust

http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Anastasius_Focht


Offline Tufted Titmouse

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2012, 04:42:17 AM »
So... Anyone else wonder why lasers generate so much bloody heat then? I mean, last time I checked, my military grade laser efficiently converted most of it's heat to PEW BEAMS. Not heat.

Supposedly the excuse is that the Fusion Engine is under more strain while firing energy weapons, but that doesn't make sense, because then it would EXPLODE. Or at least rupture comically.
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Offline Xarg Talasko

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 09:28:31 AM »
Last I remember reading, it wasn't that the fusion engine couldn't handle the load, it was that the rest of the 'Mech around it couldn't. When everything is charged and primed, the reaction is stable at manageable temperature. Since the power from the reaction is powering everything, everything you do requires it to react faster which generates more heat. Firing the laser isn't strictly what generates the heat, it's recharging all the capacitors that it discharges. From what I remember of the Blood of Kerensky novels, the Gauss was a bit of a weird one. Massive discharge that prevented other weapons firing or interfered with it, I'm assuming that was to prevent the reactor trying to refill both the capacitor banks for the Gauss and recharging lasers/powering feed mechanisms for ballistics/missiles.

Disclaimer, I haven't read the source books, that's just what I've gathered from the novels.


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Offline [IPA] Avatar

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Re: fusion engine
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2012, 10:05:35 AM »
So... Anyone else wonder why lasers generate so much bloody heat then? I mean, last time I checked, my military grade laser efficiently converted most of it's heat to PEW BEAMS. Not heat.

Supposedly the excuse is that the Fusion Engine is under more strain while firing energy weapons, but that doesn't make sense, because then it would EXPLODE. Or at least rupture comically.

I haven't read the sourcebook either, but from an engineering point of view it would make sense, that the reactor only goes slightly over its nominal load while the mech fires its energy weapons.

Depending on the configuration this can mean that the reactor for energy boat configs (like the Nova Cat) is either specifically designed for them or for these configs the same reactors operate way under their nominal power output compared to when built into a non-lazorboat config, which probably reduces their efficiency.

Saying all this without knowing anything about the energy conversion in mechs. That's another interesting topic, because nowadays we imagine the nuclear fusion power plants to convert energy the same way nuclear fission power plants do: via a steam turbine (Rankine cycle). And the steam turbine is one f***ing delicate piece of machinery. There is a good reason why there are no steam/gas turbine powered cars, both are very sensitive to varying loads. But i digress...