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Old 09-29-2010, 04:14 PM   #8
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Seaplanes & Submarines

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
The IJN had a few. I-400 class.


the third thing is a power source better than the diesel-electric subs had.

A nuclear plant is probably your best bet. They could have been done with WWI era tech, if the theory had been known; no new devices were needed to do it.
Well, other than all the ones connected with getting the nuclear reaction to run and pulling the heat out of the reactor vessel.... It is true once you get on the far side of the first heat exchanger you don't need anything you didn't for a TL5 steam plant. Note that even naval reactors are fairly large, heavy pieces of technology. Using them will result in quite large submarines by TL6 standards.

But actually the diesel part isn't all that bad as a primary source, surface ships use the same technology after all and it works fine. It's the electric part - for powering the sub underwater - that's severely lacking. A lot of otherwise quite plausible technologies from jet packs to portable televisions stumble over the problem of compact energy storage, so you need to be careful of side effects when introducing magic batteries, but they'll work too.

Another alternative might be fuel cells, which historically were demonstrated before internal combustion, and are concievable enough more efficient that you could store both the fuel and oxygen to burn it with in a similar amount of tankage you'd need for just the fuel of an air burning diesel.
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