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Rockets: Deleting Heat with Refrigerators


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Some of you thought that I went too far with the Deep Freeze, and you were right - Meep didn't enjoy a trip with constant hypothermia and making a mess, although I was careful to use an ugly crier Duplicant and not a destructive Meep like Brothgar. For the actual colonization trip, I decided to make it a little more hospitable, but was limited to just a solo spacefarer module to make room. Heat, as usual, is an omnipresent enemy in such cramped quarters.

A common refrain from experienced players is "It is not worth the heat and power to plug in fridges, just put them in a sterile atmosphere instead". When looking up refrigerator heat output in the code I noticed that it is bugged and puts out its heat as exhaust heat, not self heat. Therefore, if in vacuum, the refrigerator cannot heat up, leading to another crazy design idea:

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After filling up the fridge to at least halfway with any eligible item (it can be food for the journey!), this build cycles the fridge in vacuum on and off with a timer and power shutoff. When the fridge is on, it consumes power and connects the contents with a virtual fixed temperature source of 4 C, which cools the food down (it will never rot in vacuum anyways, so any food type can be used). The heat that the refrigerator is supposed to generate is voided, as there is no atmosphere to exhaust the heat.

When the fridge is off, it does not cool the food, but rather allows the food to exchange heat with the surroundings. As items in containers are treated as hidden debris resting on the foundation tile, it can exchange heat with the floor at a 75% penalty, which is not too bad given that the rocket is made of Steel. Genetic Ooze (the primary element of food) has a very high SHC, which means that the 4 C food actually can soak up decent amounts of heat from the highly conductive Rocket exterior. After priming, the rocket actually appeared to be cooling down in total, although I did not run it for long periods to see if the battery heat outpaced the refrigerator's cooling.

Add in a basic outhouse, oxylite on rails to provide Oxygen, and the basics of a colony rocket are complete!

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