I would like to start by saying I'm not an expert in engineering, steam power or science I'm just a guy who puts too much thought into video games
before I can begin I need to explain the basics of steam power to set the foundation for basically everything else
steam Power works by burning coal to heat a boiler the raising steam fills a pressure tank and in doing so can turn gears, make turbines spin etc and the resulting reaction generates motion and (or) electricity
in the case of our generator, we can clearly see fire coming from the top of the generation which means the entire core is filled with burning coal surrounded by boilers and above them turbines generating power. Here is where things get interesting in a normal steam generator the steam would then be released but in the case of frostpunk its either being shot out or being recycled.
In the case that it's being shot out on a horizontal to heat the air around the homes that would mean that everything around the generator would be soaking wet all the time or covered in frost. Witch while not ideal might be plausible but leave leaves us with the problem of where are they getting the water? The only way I can see is that the generator also has pumps underneath it that bring up water to fill its massive boilers but this would most likely be unsustainable due to the face that if there is a water table there is a good chance it would be frozen and if it's not they may be taking water faster then the table can refill. There is a chance they are merely harvesting snow for there water as the steam would rain back down but there is no indication of this in-game and given the amount of water needed you would need a sizable workforce to transport that much water given the massive size of the generator.
Now I’m wondering where the people get there drinking water? Maybe the same place they get the Order Flags because there doesn't appear to be a single tailor in the city and those flags are huge. Let's say either have wells or boil snow for now.
Back on the topic What I think is more likely is that the generator pumps the steam back down beneath it where it can be brought back up and heated again to spin the turbines (or whatever is in the pressure tanks) once more. Doing so would mean that the only thing you would need to refill would be coal which seems to be the case in the game. This brings me back to the generators main job heating. what if it took in air heated it up then sprayed it back out heating everything around it. This would explain the blasts of air you see around the generator in-game (though you could argue its steam) the generator would literally be breathing heat like a heart pumps blood.
One thing interesting thing to note about both methods is that Cold air and warm air want to equalize this means the hot air moves toward the cold air and vice versa. Knowing this and provided that the heat difference between the heated and the nonheated air is big enough the generator might actually create a wind system along the lines where cold and hot air meet. Most likely nothing crazy but a breeze nonetheless
I don’t have enough evidence to say anything steam cores and there is no way in hell I’m tackling automatons the only other thing I can make a guess about is how the heaters work. The coal is burned to heat a boiler the boiler pumps steam throughout the building heating it. Simple right, in fact, this kind of tech would be old news for the people in the 1886s as the HMS Terror had something very similar to this tech in 1840’s. The only difference real difference is the strength of the heaters
To anyone who actually read all of this thank you for one and please let me know what you think again I am no expert and could easily be wrong on all of this.
© Post "My guess at the science of Frostpunks generator" for game Frostpunk.
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