Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
The Factory - Hydrogen Fuel Refinery
Industrial Enterprise on The Factory
The production of refined fuel in space has three distinct steps from start to finish; gathering unrefined fuel, refining, then storing and distributing it . Each of these requires specific machinery which performs their functions efficiently. A station with such a facility requires ready access to water or hydrogen gas as a baseline to function.
The gathering of unrefined materials is performed by six (6) streamlined RF-A Roughnecks, effectively flying wings with bulbous fuel bays. They fill their tanks by flitting through the upper atmospheres of gas giants or oceans of worlds before returning to their berths in the facility, delivering their cargo of unrefined fuels or gasses each day.
The fuel refinery aboard “The Factory” provides the second step in this chain, and is a collection of high-end processing machinery which turns water and hydrogen gas into starship fuel. Located behind the industrial main controls, hangar bay and cargo storage area of The Factory – The Foundry, lies the 1000-ton Hydrogen Fuel Refinery. Capable of processing up to 500 tons of unrefined water or gases every day, the facility could be further automated to improve production, however such machinery tends to be quite expensive.
Storage and distribution of the refined fuel is dealt with through the station’s several hundred-ton (100-ton) demountable fuel storage tanks, as well as an additional 160 tons of internal polymer storage tanks. The external tanks have allowed the facility to ramp its production up and provide a needed refueling service for all visiting shuttles and DropShips. Each tank can be detached and moved independently of the others, and has an independent and integral pumping system. There is still ample room for more tanks, with the only restriction being cost.
Master Tech Boden Thrace operates this facility on behalf of the Iron Dingoes, reporting his production and profits to the station’s management. He has proven effective and skilled in his tasks so far.
First installed in late September 3020, the facility was a mix of industrial production equipment modified to employ waste products from the Factory’s hydroponics facility and further use a unique technology in the unit’s control, their “Hydride Fuel” additive. Although production was somewhat small scale, it provided enough to distribute to the unit’s military ICE vehicles and produce a small amount for sale off-station.
In late February 3021, the facility received some experienced technical staff, and a large cache of parts and components were salvaged from a hidden pirate facility on System – Rolling Thunder. This boosted productivity, and made the facility self-sufficient for several years time from outside parts or repairs.
In early-3023, negotiations began with Solaro Oil Company to ramp-up production and begin supplying the company with more fuel. As plans included moving the Factory into the orbit of Terramatrix itself, supply problems were limited only to shipping and supply for more bio resources.
By mid-3023, expansion of the facility was begun, with plans to use the modified “Elektra” as a fuel transfer ship from orbit to the planet’s surface (and hauling extra bio resources from the planet itself), as well as installing several hundred-ton (100 ton) demountable fuel storage tanks on the outside of the The Factory – The Foundry hull to allow for greater production of fuel. Although expensive, the long-term benefits were seen as worth the effort. It was acknowledged, however, that should the station be moved from its position in orbit, these expensive tanks (1-Million C-Bills per 100-ton tank) would have to be abandoned. Completion of the development was slated for early-3024.
Two months into the project, the operator of the facility, Senior Tech Thrace managed to locate an ancient hydrogen fuel refinery (salvaged from the hulk of an abandoned station) some jumps away in Davion space. He was able to effect shipment rather quickly, paying 15-million C-Bills for the equipment, and once he was given the okay, went about planning how to modify the facility on the station. The project to improve the existing fuel refinery was scrapped, and its machinery was promptly mothballed, and dismantled for shipment down to a new home at * Landhold : Miguel, and the Elektra was reassigned. Reassembly of the new facility was expected to be completed in early-3024.
In early-3024, the facility fell under the aegis of The Fuel Rats, as its operations were formally incorporated along with the construction of the new ground-based ICE refinery. At present Master Tech Boden Thrace is the organization’s CEO. This company is now under the umbrella of the Dingo Brand Corporation, though it largely answers to no one regarding the hydrogen fuel operations, as they are fairly independent in staffing and revenue steams.