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Re: starship-design: Genuine STR question


> Even AIMSTAR has more waste heat than that.
> One of the Reason I like the Bussard reactor designs.

Although not currently practicable, I prefer the Bussard design myself.

> KW!  A house takes KW.  These engines would be at least pumping around K
> megawatts.

I think you mistook what I was saying. Current designs all rely on some
fusion or antimatter based engine, the particular engine is irrelevant. All
of these engines require some sort of massive energy hog system to either
initiate or contain the reaction, in many cases both. So the engine requires
we have gigawatts of power already available just to light the fire so to
speak. My point was:

a) recovery of waste heat is probably an insignificant factor at these power
levels, and

b) any generator capable of providing us with gigawatts to start and run the
engines, can spare a few kW or even mW to run shipboard systems such as
electronics, heat, air conditioning, etc.

>From a purely engineering point of view, the better the engine, the less
waste heat we would have, therefore even less would be available for
recovery to provide shipboard power. At the moment though, this isn't the
case. Current systems are so inefficient that there is actually quite a bit
left over as waste heat.

Lee Parker