Really excited after this weekend’s work. If you read the last entry, I was getting the temperature management system, and the electrical system integrated. I finished a good chunk of that work this weekend–enough to test it and see the results.
So, as I said, there are two electrical buses, and you can set a battery to feed either (yes, you can tie more than one battery to the same bus in an emergency). As the battery operates, like any piece of electrical equipment, it generates heat energy–a certain amount of which can be rejected to the cooling system each second. How much depends on many factors which can dynamically change based on typical operation, player input, and damage. Once in the cooling system this energy needs to somehow be rejected.
The primary method handles it quite nicely. The secondary active backup uses radiators, such as you’d find on the space shuttle or ISS. How much energy that gets rejected again depends on several factors, including if the radiators are in direct light or shadow. In either case, you NEED coolant to transfer the energy from the equipment to the source of rejection. A coolant leak can quickly become disastrous. And, “coolant” is a bit of a misnomer, as there are times where you need the coolant to actually retain heat and move it to different areas to keep equipment warm.
Now, under control of the SOI (ship’s computer) it will manage which cooling sub-system to use, how much heat needs to be rejected, where to divert heated coolant, etc. But, if the SOI is inoperative, or you have the system set to manual, YOU will need to manage all of this.
From what I’ve seen just this weekend, TMS faults will be a REALLY good reason to egress from a combat area. Without the primary cooling sub-system it will be difficult to remain combat effective while staying within operational temp limits.
The best part is, as with the Orbital Mechanics code changes, this new functionality is not tabled, nor hard-coded. The required values are fed in and the results returned–everything just works. Let’s say that later on you own a ship and it overheats under normal operation. Chances are you are simply overtaxing the ability of your cooling system. What this means is that I’ll have to provide some method of giving you an alert if you try to add something that may cause the system to go “out of bounds”. But, for the Core Module, the ships you fly will be pre-designed, so that’s a non-issue for the near term.
Again, there’s a lot I’m not discussing just yet because it actually opens up a lot of unique gameplay elements and combat tactics. I’m not willing to give all those away. But, gone are the days where you can just get in your ship and do whatever without worrying about the results…
Next is to start adding to this foundation–implementing other sources of power and TMS sub-systems. From there, I move on to the Reactant Core, Life Support and Engine systems.