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Powerplants - Cold Startup Times


Hi All,

(This one has got me miffed. I did see something written about this in the MegaTraveller ruleset but have not seen anything for TNE. Also don't know if an old thread has already covered this issue.)

How long would it take to start up a Fusion Powerplant from dead cold? I'd take it that the time would vary depending on numerous different factors. Some would be as follows:
- Size of plant
- TL of the plant
- Number of crew operators overlooking the process
- Current service level with wear and tear on the plant

I can think of others.

Had a situation (scenario) a little while back where a Fusion powerplant had to be crash started due to an impending emergency situation.

Can a craft with a Fusion Powerplant start operations as the powerplant is still in the process of powering up to full output capacity?

What about other types of power plants? eg: Fission and MHDs (or is it HMDs?). (I would assume an Internal Combustion Engine startup time would be a matter of seconds: Jump into the driver's seat, turn the key to crank the engine, floor the accelerator as soon as the engine fires.)

What are your thoughts on this for your universes?

Regards, Dave
First off Merry Christmas to you.

Secondly, flipping open the little booklet that came with the TNE Refs screen, and turning to page 6...

"2. Power Up
Normally a ship must be powered up gradually (taking 1d6x10minutes). Successful startup is an average task using Ship's Engineering. In an emergency the engineer may attempt to cold start the power plant. Task difficulty increases to Formidable while time decreases to 1d6 minutes.

In the event of failure, the task may be re-attempted in 1d6 minutes. Catastrophic Failure indicates damage which prevents additional cold start attempts and increases normal startup time to 1d6x20 minutes. In addition the power plant is treated as past due for annual maintenance (until maintained/repaired)."

So, thats what the rules say. I guess you could modify and adapt/extrapolate from there. The four points you raised seem reasonable to me with the possible exception of the first one-size of plant-. I'm guessing that whatever controls the initiation of the reaction would be similar in standardised ships powerplants like the Imperium would have, or any major polity for that matter.

For some life perspective badger Bill about it, as, if memory serves me, he has been a Reactor Technician in the Navy.
I think MT had it in the back of the Imperial Encyclopedia book. Maybe it was in the Starship Operator's Manual. Not sure here on XMas Eve...
What Andrew doesn't include: multiply that time increment by 3d6-(Engineering+(edu/5)) as well; MT and 2300 time increments are always thusly modified, but this isn't a system specific thread...
US Naval ships (nuclear and conventional steam powered) are limited by the steam plant's heat up rates. If memory from the 1970's serves me correctly, from cold to operating temp takes about 12 hours in order to prevent thermally stressing the steam lines. The gas turbine jobs could be at operating temp in 1 hour or less (again if my memory is correct.) I was in the nuclear segment of the Navy. The nuclear power plant itself could be ready a lot faster than the steam plant it powered, but how fast is clasified. If I told you, I'd just have to shoot you, so why bother?