Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ultra-Tech Quickie: Liquid Cooling System For Beam Weapons

Just like this, only more future!

Back in February I took a more detailed look at an highly optional  way to handle sustained fire with beams weapons that brought Ultra-Tech a bit closer to High-Tech in that regard.

Of course for that post, the whole reason for taking that deeper look was pretty much just to give justification for a more detailed look at stating up gatling beam weapons.

Well given that I came up with a more detailed sustained fire system, I figured I might as well look into other ways weapons get around overheating.

So in today's post I go over a somewhat more practical cooling system and give you a super optional system for designing Liquid Cooling systems for your beam weapons.

So follow me after that jump off if you’re in the mood for some liquid cool!

Liquid Cooling Design System
For this design system you have two options, a Passive Liquid Cooling System that is cheap and easy and a more complicated Active Liquid Cooling System that increases how effective your cooling system is many time but needs power and is more costly and heavy.

To build a Passive System just use the rules below.

To build a Active System, first you need to build a Passive System and then build the Active System components afterwards.

Passive Liquid Cooling
Passive cooling is a very simple concept. Wrap a container of some kind of liquid, usually water, around the barrel of the weapon. As it fires the water will conduct the heat the weapons generates from the barrel and into the water where it will boil off, carrying that heat with it. This lets you keep on firing your weapons safely, at least until the water all boils away.  

Now to a degree this boil off can be countered. By adding a condenser, the boil off water now has somewhere to go, condense back into water and cycle back into the main coolant container. While this does add extra weight and cost to the design and the coolant will still eventually boil off completely, it lets a given amount of water last roughly ten times as long so is more than worth it and condensers are assume to be including with the Liquid Cooling Systems this design system covers.  

To design a Passive Liquid Cooling System look up the weapons type (including which TL version it is)  your are adding the system to on the Beam Type Table below. Some beam types are more efficient than others, which will determine how much coolant you will need. Less efficient weapons will generate more waste heat which will reduce how many shot you can get off before the coolant boils away.

Beam Type                                       Shots/lbs
TL9 Laser                                          20,000
TL10+ Laser                                     40,000
TL11 Rainbow Laser                        10,000
TL12 Rainbow Laser                        20,000
TL11 X-Ray Laser                            10,000
TL12 X-Ray Laser                            20,000
TL10 Blaster                                     3,000
TL11+ Blaster                                   6,000
TL10 Force                                       24,000
TL11+ Force                                     48,000
TL10 Neutral Particle                        1,500
TL11+ Neutral Particle                      3,000
TL10 Plasma Gun                            150,000
TL11+ Plasma Gun                          300,000
TL11 Pulsar                                      12,000                                           
TL12 Pulsar                                      24,000
TL12 Gaser                                       2,500
TL11 Graviton                                   1,250
TL12 Graviton                                   1,250

The Shots/lbs column  shows how many shots 1 lbs of water can cool before needing to be replace assuming 1d worth of damage for a given weapon type. Multiply this value by how many pounds of water the cooling system will use. For more powerful weapons divide shots/lbs by dice of damage cubed. Divide Shots/lbs by the weapon's ROF to get how many seconds of fire the given amount of coolant will give you.

Example: A 5d TL10 laser  will get 400,000/5^3 or 3,200 shots out of 1 lbs or water. If the weapons used 0.5 lbs then it will be able to substan 3,200×0.5 or 1,600 shots before the water needs to be replaced. If the laser had an ROF of 16, it could fire for 100 straight seconds before the coolant is depleted.

While water is an excellent  coolant, especially for its price, the ultra technology available at TL9 and beyond gives access to superior, but far more expensive,  coolant choices. Possible future coolants are an oxygen free perfluorohexane-based coolant at TL9, liquid nano-daimondoid fluid at TL11, or a super dense hyper fluid at TL12. Multiply shots/lbs by 1.5 at TL9, by 2 at TL10, 3 at TL11, and by 5 at TL12.

Cost: For water, unless you live on Arrakis, cost is free (or maybe $1/lbs if you have to raid a grocery  store in a pinch) but for Ultra-Tech coolants the costs is $10/bs.

More advanced coolants are available at each TL for a higher cost, advanced coolant that increases the amount of shots/lbs by 1.5× costs $50/lbs and coolant that increases the amount of shots/lbs by 2× costs $200/lbs.  

Coolant containment system and condenser unit: Once you have figured how many pounds of coolant you need, it is time to figure how much the coolant containment system and condenser unit weighs and costs.

Wt= Cw×TL.

Cw is the coolant weight in pounds.
TL is 1.3 at TL9, 1.2 at TL10, 1.15 at TL11 and 1.1 at TL12.

Cost= Cw×TL.

Cw is the coolant weight in pounds.
TL is $60 at TL9, $40 at TL10, $30 at TL11 and $20 at TL12.

An energy weapon with an Liquid Cooling System can safely fire its full ROF for as many shots as its coolant gives it. After this many shots have been fired, the weapons can still fire but the normal sustained fire rules are in effect (see this post here for the more detailed sustained fire rules for beam weapons).

Active Liquid  Cooling
While passive cooling can be very effective on it’s own, by adding powered pumps to increase the circulation rate, heatsink and fans (Or a more powerful pump and a larger heatsink with radiators if being designed for space use) you can increase the cooling to an even greater effect but with the downside of increased weight, cost and a need for a power source.

Before designing an Active Liquid Cooling System, design a Passive Liquid Cooling system as normal first. Just keep in mind that it will not need to be as massive if this system is added.

Weight: The weight of an active liquid cooling system is based on how much coolant it needs to move.

Wt= Cw×TL.

Cw is the weight of the coolant in pounds. 
TL is 1.5 at TL9, 1 at TL10, 0.7 at TL11, and 0.5 at TL12. 

Cost: This based on the weight of the active liquid cooling system in pounds.

Cost= Uw×$80.

Uw is the weight of the active cooling system in pounds.

Duration:  The more coolant that the system needs to move, the power you are going to need to move it. The formula below will determine how many seconds a C cell for a given TL will run the active liquid cooling system.

Duration= TL/Cw

TL is 9,000 at TL9, 36,000 at TL10, 144,000 at TL11, and 576,000 at TL12.

Cw is the weight of the coolant in pounds.

To increase duration add more or larger power cells.  

Increased Effect: How much of a boost to your liquid cooling system an active system gives depends on the systems TL. It boosts it by 3× at TL9, 5× at TL10, 7× at TL11 and 10× at TL12.

Add the cost and weight of the Active Liquid Cooling System  and the weight of power cells needs to run it to the weight and cost of the base Passive Cooling System it is attached to.

Detached Cooling System
There may be cases where you don’t want the whole cooling system entirely mounted to the weapon.

If the weapon has a Passive Liquid Cooling System then half of the empty Coolant System weight needs to be attached the weapon, the other half acts as the Condenser Unit. The full weight of the coolant is still added to the weapons however.

If using an Active Liquid Cooling System less of the Coolant System and water needs to be attached to the weapon since the water is going to be cycling at a faster rate. With an Active Cooling system, only a quarter of the empty Coolant System and half of the coolants weight needs to be attached the weapon. The remainder of the Coolant System acts as both the Condenser Unit and a secondary coolant reservoir.  The other half of coolant is stored here as well as the weight of the Active Liquid Coolant System.

In either case there needs to be cord that runs between both parts of the system. This cords weighs 0.4lbs and cost $4 per yards of length.

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