This seems an awful lot like big reactors + a conglomeration of other mod ideas. make sure to set yourself apart.
It's a hell of a lot more complex than "build a reactor and stick some yellorium ingots in it" big reactors. The multiple types of fuel adds depth to it that big reactors just doesn't have. It's kind of like IC2's nuclear plant minus the ghastly "IC2" part of it.
If it is possible for you to add an alarm(s) and or flashing lights such as green, yellow and red for for a visual that shows if the reactor(s) are good on fuel or running low on fuel and on its last few mins of fuel.
I'm short on time at the moment, due to exams, but I've decided to get a basic version of the fusion reactor released, without the more advanced features, so that people can start to play around with it - it's still a short while until this is done, however, as I need to get a way to get the gases implemented as well.
The RTG is working just fine and outputting power after placed. But after reloading (exit minecraft and load savegame) thr RTG no longer outputs any power. I have to break the RTG and place it down again in order for it to output any power again. This makes it very annoying to use the RTF right now.
New version! 0.0.1.2 - The fusion reactor is far from complete, but at least it works in a very basic way. Changelog:
+ Basic Fusion Reactor functionality
+ Temporary recipes for the fusion gases
* The Fusion Reactor is still not finished, but can at least be used
* Properly fixed Ore Dictionary not working
* Fixed ores not working in the machines
* Fixed Nuke rendering bug
* Fixed Energy and Heat per tick not updating correctly
* Inverted Fission Reactors' redstone behaviour
* Gave the paxel the additional ability of a hoe
* A few more recipe tweaks
below are some comments+ideas on that early-fusiongen
Thanks for the feedback - yes, there are plans in place to make it far less OP, and there are going to be more features added over time which make it more advanced and intricate.
1. I'll think about this - it may be a good idea since, as you say, it may be very powerful compared to other power sources, but hopefully that will be balanced by a huge amount of energy and resources needed to be put into its use.
2. The current recipes are placeholders - there will be a set of new, power hungry machines for collecting and refining the gases. It will hopefully be realistic - hydrogen will be much easier to obtain than deuterium, which will in turn be much easier to obtain than tritium. As well as this, there will be some machines to make oxide nuclear fuels, which will be more efficient fission fuels.
3. I have just finished allowing items to be inserted and power to be extracted from any of the blocks which make up the reactor, rather than just the bottom middle one. Now I am working out the products that the reactor makes, and will also allow the products to be extracted from any of the blocks. Once this is done I will then begin work on the full multiblock features, where many fusion reactor 'chunks' will be stacked on top of each other to make taller and more powerful reactors. There will be other parts of the big multiblocks added also, which will make the reactor run better in different ways also, such as additional electromagnets and coolers, once things like energy extraction efficiency and heat are implemented into the fusion reactor. The recipe will also be appropriately expensive, but there is a placeholder recipe at the moment.
4. This is certainly planned. It will, just like in real life, require different amounts of starting heat depending on the fusion reaction being carried out - some reactions, such as the D-T reaction, are much easier to get going than others.
There will be a lot of realistic, physicsy maths behind the operation of the reactor, and will hopefully be both useful to have, but somewhat challenging to operate efficiently enough for it to be worth using
As a guide, how much more 'powerful' or how many times 'better' do you think fusiongen should be than fissiongen, if better at all?
There are no "real-life" values available (yet, its freaking fusion-power after all), but for sake of balance in the game it should output at least 33-50% more power with "more or less equal fuel" I think. Of course the max should be 20k/tick (best EnderIO-conduits), unless you will allow multiple output-sockets somehow. But it should NOT be totally OP. Balancing will certainly be an issue here. I would recommend adding more to the configfile (like fuel-efficieny multiplier, fuel-burntime multiplier etc) - to allow users to find/set their personal balance.
Well hopefully working out real life values won't be a problem - I can just look at the temperature fusion occurs at, the binding energies of the usable isotopes and use that alongside some pressure value to work out the power output roughly, but my current estimates suggest, in tune with all of the hype surrounding fusion power, that the power output would be huge, so the power output will perhaps have to be a little more made up so that it isnt OP. I will definitely have some configs, and 33-50% sounds like a good amount better. Luckily I am not really limited by the 20kRF/t as energy conduits can be attached from all sides and all blocks of what is now a multi-multiblock (fusion reactors can be stacked on top of each other to make bigger reactors). Item conduits can also now be attached to all sides of all blocks of the structure too.
As with all fusion reactions (perfect example - the sun) the potential energy output is literally unlimited with the correct fuel available.
I know you want to keep is different from other mods but a perfect example would be the Fusion reactor with Mekanism that can output with injection rate of 2 (max 99) of ~250k RF/t.
I cannot remember the output of ReactorCraft but from memory with just one plasma injector can output something like 6,000B/t of steam which goes into the millions RF/t
Personally I see the usage of any sort of Fusion reactor to be at/near endgame so the user would have plenty of resources, plenty of collected RF before hand when needed to create the required materials for a fusion reactor.
It is certainly a difficult one. Another fusion reactor which I usually think of is the old Atomic Science one - that used to be able to procuce up to 2-3 MRF/t also. I always thought, however, that 2 MRF/t was ridiculously overpowered, and Mekanism is rather OP in general. For me, there seems to be two general options:
1. Keep the power generation as it currently is (160 kRF/t at max)
2. Up the power generation to a max of 3.2 MRF/t (20 times more), and make them much more expensive, harder to start up and harder to keep fueled.
I have always been leaning towards (2) as I would like the reactor to be used to power a very power-hungry particle accelerator. Also, with EnderIO, which I don't use too much anyway, but which is a very popular energy transfer mod, the maximum energy output possible would be 4.2 MRF/t, as there are 210 places to attach energy cables to (on the maximum sized reactor), and ender conduits can transfer 20 kRF/t, so 3.2MRF/t would be okay even for those using Ender Conduits instead of Cryo-Stabilized Fluxducts.
Well as you know with both there is a massive amount of RF needed to kick start the initial reaction with Mekanism, and a constant amount of power required to power the laser for the Pre-heater chamber within ReactorCraft so each way power output requires some form of commitment to start the reactions needed.
The RF cost to get everything that's needed isn't small in either Mekanism or ReactorCraft - it goes into the 3 - 5 Million RF range of already stored energy just to kickstart. Let alone creating needed components etc. I think RF wise that's another 3 odd million RF
Power wise this goes outside EnderIO and towards Thermal Dynamics (Cryo-Stabilized Fluxduct) or Thermal Expansion (Tesseract) for transmitting the RF needed. Unless you create your own transfer conduits.....
Yes I do like the idea that a smaller fission reactor is needed to start the reactants but in a round about way that is more or less (indirectly) just RF energy that isn't stored but piped direct to the fusion reactor - that's until I see something else that you create :-)
That initial energy requirement is definitely something which I need to think about a lot. In reality, not much energy will be needed at all - you just need to have a few atoms with enough energy, which fuse and create enough energy to keep the reaction going. A deuterium-tritium fusion requires the atoms to have a kinetic energy of roughly 75 keV at the maximum reactivity level (efficiency), but the fusion itself releases 17.6 MeV of energy - enough energy for 200 more fusions to occur. I will have to look deeper into how the energy from the initial reactions are transferred to the other particles, as the only diagrams I have ever seen of D-T fusion show that the energy is spread between the resulting neutron and He-4 nucleus, and there is no energy released in the form of radiation (I find that very hard to believe). I want this to be realistic as well as balanced from the game's point of view, so knowing the fundamental details and putting the pieces together is important.
Either way, the functionality of the fusion reactor will still not be complete by the next update, which should be coming soon, but there is now an electrolyser, which takes water cells and gives out oxygen and the isotopes of hydrogen, and so far some bug fixes and a couple of small but useful items too. Full changelog when the version comes out, which will hopefully be some time this week.