Supermatter Engine Eclipse

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The supermatter is the core of power generation aboard the Northern Light. Don't touch, or even look at it unprotected.

Beginner Setup Guide

If you're new to engineering, or if you've been conscripted by someone to set up the power, follow this guide.

Main Coolant Pipes and SMES's.
Heat Exchanger and Waste.


1. Attach gas canisters in the ports marked with ORANGE (1) squares using a wrench. For this guide, use phoron canisters as the vastly higher specific heat (10x that of nitrogen) makes it ideal for generating lots of power while minimizing risk of delamination. You'll need 8 canisters in total for this step.


2. Max out and turn on the pumps marked in LIGHT BLUE (2) so that the gas flows freely through the loops.


3. Set up omni-filters, shown in DARK BLUE(3) squares. These filters will filter gases OUT of the coolant loop and into waste canisters, because we use phoron turn off phoron filter (furthest left filter, by default). How you do this is largely up to you just keep in mind gas you want to keep goes in the blue pipe gas you don't want to keep goes in the black pipe.


4. Wrench either a Nitrogen or Phoron canister to the port in the RED (4) square. Which gas you use is up to you. Phoron is a better gas to use, but as this line is only cooling the waste gasses anyway, it's not vital that it be optimized completely and keeping the extra phoron around could be useful.

5. Set the Waste to Wasting pressure regulator in the YELLOW (5) square. Recommended settings are to set the Pressure Regulation to "Input," and the target pressure to 3500 kPa. This will allow the waste gasses to stay in the line and benefit from the waste cooling before being sent to the wasting port.


Above Floor.


6. Be sure to use the RCON console (found in the control room near the Main Coolant Pipes) to turn on substations that are off back on and allocate more or less power to substations that need it. Most substations can run optimally with 250KW input power without having power failures. (Optional) Double check everything.


7. Turn on the emitter using the switch upstairs. Located south of the consoles, on the table. It is also recommended to close the "Engine Monitoring Room Blast Doors" by using the button on the same table. This will help prevent unauthorized entry into the reactor chamber below.


Basic Principles

The Generators

A TEG at work.

The core power generation is done by the Thermo-Electric Generators (TEGs). There are four in the engine, and they are powered by the flow of two gasses of differing temperature through their two sides. The larger the temperature difference, the more power generated. Note that they are less efficient when generating more than 500kW, but are not harmed by doing so, despite the intermittent sparks generated.

Gas Loops

There are two gas loops in the engine, the cold loop and the hot loop. By mixing in the generator, the temperature of the gasses are equalized somewhat, so the hotter gas should be reheated, and the cooler gas should be cooled. This is where the supermatter comes in. The cold loop flows from red pipe, to generators, to the green pipe, then out to radiators in space to cool back down. The hot loop flows from yellow pipe, to blue pipe, then into the supermatter chamber to be reheated. The supermatter, when excited, produces a large amount of heat, and will probably burn some of the plasma in the hot loop. In order to remove the products of this combustion, everything except plasma is filtered from the hot loop. Oxygen in the hot loop is a very bad idea - it leads to fires, which can rapidly raise the core temperature to dangerous levels.

Notes

The phoron setup can withstand EER up to 1500+. You can simply just leave emitter on since it's bottlenecks at ~1400. Setups with other gases aren't as safe - you'll want to do a few shots, maybe 6-12 depending on the gas.

TEG power output depends on the difference between the temperature of the loops, and the heat capacity of the gas mix in the loops. While the hot loop doesn't get particularly hot with a pure phoron setup, it still generates vastly more power due to the high heat capacity, meaning it's bother safer and outputs more energy.

It's also a good idea to upgrade the two SMES units (the ones side by side in the computer picture) using the parts in one of the crates south of them. Otherwise tinkering with shield input power could prevent needed substations from getting proper power applied. To upgrade them, follow the small guide below.SMES.png

  • Turn off the charge mode for both SMES units and wait for it to hit zero.
  • Power off the SMES unit completely and open the maintenance hatch with a screwdriver
  • Stuff one of each of the given SMES coils into both units
  • Close the maintenance hatch
  • Power on both SMES and max out both the charge and output levels

Remember to download the shield modification program to turn on the shields and explore the extra options as well as tinkering with the input cap. Enabling the engineering section bypass allows the SMES units to charge the shields much faster, and is recommended - but it might be best left till later, as it can be a bit of a power hog while it charges to maximum capacity.

Entering the lower floor once the engine has started should be avoided unless absolutely necessary - the supermatter emits an EXTREME amount of radiation, and it's even been seen to penetrate full protection.

The Shields

The Shield Generator

Located on Deck 1, near the Long Range Scanner and Gravity Generator, the shield generator is the primary defensive system the NEV Northern Light. you can alter the shield configuration from the console in the room, or by interacting directly with the generator itself. You can also download the Shield modification program on a laptop, tablet, or modular console.

The Shield Generator Menu

The shield configuration menu provides a bunch of useful information about the shields and their status. Important to a basic setup is the following:

  • Generator Status: This will tell you whether the generator is online or not.
  • Shield Integrity: This is a percentage value that will tell you what state the shield is in. The shield requires power to charge to 100%, if this number is dropping, you will need to investigate why.
  • Upkeep Energy Use: This value is how much energy the shield requires to run. It is altered by the shield options you've selected in Field Calibration.
  • Total Energy Use: This shows you how much energy the shield is receiving, versus how much it is requesting. Alter this by setting the input cap, If the shield is receiving less energy than it requires in Upkeep Energy Use, it will start to drain, eventually powering down completely.

Basic Setup

Follow these steps to set up the shield for shift startup:

  • 1. Select "Turn on" to power up the shield.
  • 2. Select "Set Input Cap" and set the value to 4000 kW
  • 3 Under Field Calibration, find the following option and enable them:
    • Multidimensional Field Warp: This allows the shield to work across multiple Z-Levels
    • Hyperkinetic Projectiles: This stops fast moving solid objects from passing through the shield, like meteors and bullets.
    • Hull Shielding: This warps the shield to hug the hull of the ship, rather than being a circular barrier.

Heat Management

The Shield Generator is an extremely high-power piece of equipment that, during normal operation, generates a significant amount of heat. You will need to set up the cooler just outside the shield generator room to manage that heat and prevent the shields from overheating. You may also wish to assemble a second cooler to assist with this, band a machine frame has been provided, but this is not strictly necessary.

Heat generation is biased more towards upkeep power draw than total power draw. Heat calculation formulas come out as follows:

When the "internal temperature" of the shield generator reaches certain thresholds, the following warnings will occur, visible in the shield management menu:

  • >10 degrees (Celsius) - Temperature no longer plays a factor in upkeep power usage. Below this, upkeep power usage scales based on the room temperature, at a maximum of 4× upkeep power occurring at about -202.4 degrees (70.8 Kelvin)
  • 90 degrees - Temperature warning annunciator turns on.
  • 110 degrees - Overheat warning annunciator turns on. Generator broadcasts a message on Engineering and Command channels (Engineering doesn't work on live but does on dev) that it's overheating.
  • 125 degrees - High temperature cutoff. Also the point where the exhaust temp warning annunciator comes on.

When an emergency shutdown occurs, the shield generator sets the input cap to 1 kW to prevent a condition where the generator enters an unrecoverable overheat loop.

To prevent this, set the cooler to 0 degrees and the power to "5" (maximum) This will ensure that the coolers run continuously, though it will create a significant power draw, so be sure the grid can handle it.

The Thrusters

The NEV "Northern Light" is a space ship. It may not look like it, but it is. To fly through space it obviously needs thrusters, these thrusters are maintained by the Engineers aboard. There are two thruster rooms for both sets of thrusters aboard the ship. For the inevitable Captain who may fly the ship without understanding his ship, your job will be to maintain them.

Towards Thruster One.
Towards Thruster Two (Pink Square Indicates Shield and AntiGrav Room.


Refueling

When the time comes of NEV "Northern Light" drifting through space, you will need to refuel the thrusters immediately, lest you hear the ominous announcements of Meteor's incoming forever. Before getting started, know the color coding for the following images.

  • Red: Your fuel
  • Light Blue: Main Pump
  • Dark Blue: Vent Pump
  • Pink: Fuel Valve
Thruster One
Thruster Two

Each Thruster room is the same, just switched depending on which side of the ship you are on. To refuel the ship, you simply need to flood plasma into the borosilicate rooms as seen in the images.

Select your fuel, nominally it is plasma, and wrench the canister to connector port. Then Open the valve (Light Blue) to begin pumping plasma into the mixing chamber.

You have just refueled the ship. However, always remember to keep the Fuel Valve OPEN (Pink) and it will be indicated as so if there is a green or red light.

Things to Note: You can ignite the fuel for more thrust, and even mix O2 into it, essentially the hotter it is, the more thrust you will obtain. However it is quite unsafe as doing so without knowing how fire works can lead to a plasma leak or worse, the detonation of the Thrusters.

Refuelling Plasma Canisters

Whenever you have expended the plasma canisters located in the Thrusters room, you may need to refuel them. To refuel the canisters wrench an empty canister to the Connector Port (Yellow Square). Afterwards, open the valve (Light Red). Then just wait for the canister to be refuelled.

Remember to connect the canister before filling!

Note: Do not open the canister if it is not wrenched to a connector port unless you want to release plasma into the air

Tips

  • Should you accidentally unwrench the Emitter, simply wrench it back in place and weld it onto the platform. It should work again.