Question regarding principles of Nuclear reactor configuration

    • Official Post

    It has to do with how the reactor calculates what each component does each tick or second, which starts from the items in the top left and moves right and then down to the bottom right slot.

    From how I understand it, in your first setup none of the vents and exchangers have anything to do because there is no heat. And then at the end of each cycle the uranium quad rods add their heat. Now the next cycle that heat should be dealt with, but why I don't know.

    In your second setup the uranium quad rods generate power and heat and then subsequently the heat vents and exchangers deal with the heat.

    This is also why most designs found here have the uranium in the top left corner in the reactor.

    It just works that way.

  • I understand but at the same time I'm still a little confused.

    If every tick or second or (whatever counts as a cycle), the algorithm starts from the top left and moves right and down and so on until it gets to the bottom right slot. Then the consequence would be that for the very first cycle the vents and heat exchangers would have nothing to do. But after that cycle there is now heat stored within the vents/hull that the vents can deal with on the second cycle and so on.
    The only downside according to this would be that throughout the entire process the reactor would hold a cycle's worth of heat extra than it would otherwise. But I don't see why it would compound and blow up?

    I assume that by "Now the next cycle that heat should be dealt with, but why I don't know." you're expressing the same confusion that I am.

    This shit hard :(

  • Even more confusing, if I switch the Advanced heat exchanger with a component heat exchanger, the same phenomenon does not happen. In fact, it's kind of the opposite-ish.
    It's mostly symmetrical, and this is probably an irrelevant detail but placing the uranium quad rods in the top left now ends the simulation with the component heat exchanger having a bit more heat compared to when you place the uranium quad rods in the bottom right.

    I think I got it. It is indeed because of the algorithm going from top left to top right. And it does indeed compound.
    The uranium quad rod outputs 96 hu/t. I assume (I still don't know exactly how the heat is outputted) that this heat is evenly distributed between the 2 heat vents that are touching it.
    - Thus 48 hu/t is going to each vent.
    - The vents themselves can dissipate - 20 hu/t. They can also exchange - 24 hu/t with the heat exchanger, they also get -4 hu/t worth of cooling from nearby component heat vents. That is exactly 48hu/t worth of cooling on the vents.
    Now if the very first cycle introduces the tiniest bit of heat into the hull of the reactor, which it will through the heat exchanger, then the reactor can now add more heat to the vents.
    So there is 48 hu/t + whatever infinitesimal amount coming from the reactor hull now going to each vent
    The vents can still only disipate 48 hu/t. So now they are accumulating heat and they are not able to cool down the reactor hull at all, since all their cooling is spent on their own durability. The vents would break down eventually even if this wouldn't drastically compound, but it does, as the hull gets hotter, the vents get more and more hot as well.

    • Official Post

    Even more confusing, if I switch the Advanced heat exchanger with a component heat exchanger, the same phenomenon does not happen. In fact, it's kind of the opposite-ish.

    The component heat exchanger has much greater heat exchange rates between components compared to the advanced heat exchanger, at the cost (or benefit actually) of not being able to transfer heat with the hull. The overclocked heat vents already draw heat from the hull anyway, so the advanced heat exchanger is somewhat irrelevant in this case. You just need much greater component heat exchanging rates when you want to even out the heat between overclocked heat vents. I THINK I GET IT.

    I think I got it. ... hot as well.

    Nice that you figured out many of the mechanics of the reactor on your own.
    Indeed, the fuel rods either dump their heat into adjecent components if they can accept it (ie heat vents, exchangers, coolant cells) or dump it straight into the reactor hull.

    Now, when you have a setup where your rods create immense amounts of heat, it could easily destroy a heat vent because it takes all of the generated heat directly before your heat exchangers can balance the heat generation between other components. That is when you could either use coolant cells as a heat buffer or depend on hull cooling through overclocked heat vents.

    Whether this still works in the latest versions I don't know, but some players used these high capacity coolant cells and created a high efficiency and highly powerful reactor setup where coolant cells cooled the main reactor, then swapped nearly depleted coolant cells to specialized 'cooling reactors' where heat vents or component heat vents would cool down the coolant cells and subsequently move those back into the main reactor.

    Get creative with it.

  • Thanks for the extra ideas and the input man, really helped. I'll play around with it.

    also I'm prob wrong lol I just looked at the csv data and did more tests..

    Edit: To be clear, if anyone's reading this and trying to learn from it, disregard my previous message explaining the phenomenon, that is not the reason why the bottom right configuration blows up and the top left doesn't.

    Even if the first cycle brings a certain amount of heat to the hull, and that heat is an extra load on the vents, that small amount of heat will quickly simply move to the vents. Even if the vents have a 20hu/t dissipation value, they still can move 36 hu/t from the hull. The hull then quickly cools down and there no longer is an extra load on the vents.

    The real reason has to do with certain vents having no heat to dissipate when it comes their turn to do something (the turn is dictated from top left to bottom right, identical to reading for example). I haven't figured out the specifics of it, but I think that's where it lies. This somehow accumulates for hundreds of reactor pulses, not just the first one.


    Update on this:

    You just need much greater component heat exchanging rates when you want to even out the heat between overclocked heat vents

    Edit: You are right! That is the 50% of the problem. It is not entirely obvious though why the advanced heat exchanger's exchanging rate is not enough in this case though. It turns out it is because of a combination of: "Heat exchangers work intelligently, seeking to make every component they interact be equally far from disintegration." This is taken from the wiki page on nuclear reactors. And secondly because the heat exchanger also exchanges 8 hu/s with the hull (this will make sense in a minute).
    It turns out that in this configuration, the heat exchanger eventually balances out at 400 hu.
    In comparison with the northern vent and the western vent's maximum durability and the heat exchanger's maximum durability, the heat exchanger 'intelligently' calculates that sending 20 hu/s to each of the Northern and western vent is what it should do. That is in spite of it being capable of sending 24hu/s.
    This slowly accumulates heat into the system because the N and W vent don't have enough heat to use their cooling capabilities (resulting in a continuous increase of 8hu/s). But eventually this heat would go to the heat exchanger, and the heat exchanger would surpass 400 hu. Thus making the 'intelligent' algorithm send more than 20 hu/s to the northern and western vent and eventually the reactor would stabilise.
    The problem is, that that doesn't happen.. Because of the fact that the exchanger sends 8 hu/s to the hull as well. Because of the way components are activated from top left to bottom right, that 8 hu will go to the vent that is just right of the heat exchanger.

    So the extra 8 hu/s that is accumulated thoroughout the system just happens to all get sent to this one vent, thus it never gets to the heat exchanger for it to pass 400 hu and 'intelligently' send more heat to the N and W vents.

    Thus eventually the vent that is right of the heat exchanger (Easter vent) blows up and the system does too, not far from it.

    Also in the configuration where this works, with the quad uranium cell in the top left, the heat exchanger stabilizes at around 480-520 hu(somehow, I haven't looked into it and to be honest, I don't understand the heat exchanger algorithm. I have made 2 algorithms that try to simulate it, but neither quite works the same as the one in IC2). This allows the exchanger to transmit the full 24hu to every vent, thus making use of every vent's cooling.