Submarine Waste Heat Disposal?

How do nuclear submarines (and also newer technologies such as air independent propulsion submarines) get rid of the waste heat generated by their power plants given the high pressure environment they work in and their need for stealth?
 
403
182
How do nuclear submarines (and also newer technologies such as air independent propulsion submarines) get rid of the waste heat generated by their power plants given the high pressure environment they work in and their need for stealth?
A condenser and service water systems. The heat gets discharged to the water around them.
 

jim hardy

Science Advisor
Gold Member
2018 Award
Dearly Missed
9,813
4,870
....via heat exchangers that can handle the pressure.
 

berkeman

Mentor
55,557
5,659
How do nuclear submarines (and also newer technologies such as air independent propulsion submarines) get rid of the waste heat generated by their power plants given the high pressure environment they work in and their need for stealth?
With respect to stealth, what is the absorption of IR in seawater like? :smile: How does that affect your question?

ftp://misclab.umeoce.maine.edu/users/optics/classFTP2015/Labs/Lab2_resources/Pegauetal1997.pdf
 

mheslep

Gold Member
254
727
With respect to stealth, what is the absorption of IR in seawater like? :smile: How does that affect your question?

ftp://misclab.umeoce.maine.edu/users/optics/classFTP2015/Labs/Lab2_resources/Pegauetal1997.pdf
My guess: sound reflection off temperature gradients in the water set up by heat released from a sub is the stealth problem.
 

berkeman

Mentor
55,557
5,659
My guess: sound reflection off temperature gradients in the water set up by heat released from a sub is the stealth problem.
Interesting thought. Are you talking about normal ocean sounds having their propagation modified by the thermal trail behind the sub? Or a return change for active sonar pings? But if active sonar pings, those should pick up the sub unless they have some amazing sound absorbing coating, no?

Plus, I would guess that most of the movements of stealthy subs are below the natural thermocline layer, so that's wny I assumed the OP was asking about optical IR detection...

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/thermocline.html
 

mheslep

Gold Member
254
727
Passive listening, not active.
 

jim hardy

Science Advisor
Gold Member
2018 Award
Dearly Missed
9,813
4,870
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/LE13Ad01.html

Detecting submarines via satellite is a form of Non-Acoustic Anti-Submarine Warfare (NAASW). Lasers, infrared and other detectors and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) in space may be used as part of this NAASW activity. Satellites might see subtle undersea disturbances caused by submarines, watch wave patterns on or beneath the sea surface, or detect subtle variations in ocean temperature.
 
....via heat exchangers that can handle the pressure.
Oh wait, the secondary coolant loop is already pressurized. Since water is a good heat exchanger and since the ocean is applying more external pressure than a land based unit using the atmosphere as a heat sink doesn't that mean the design is in some respects easier?
 
Might the Soviet US-A (Western designation Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite/RORSAT) series satellites and the TOPAZ reactor powered Kosmos 1818 and Kosmos 1867 satellites have been used in that role, at least with the later units? The US-A series orbited Earth very closely and getting any useful information from a high altitude naval radar would have required development of look-down capability to eliminate clutter.

The United States didn't deploy synthetic aperture radar satellites until many years after the Soviets put theirs up, but the United States and NATO could far more easily ring the ocean with sound detection equipment and early Soviet submarines were notoriously noisy. The Soviets were at a disadvantage in lacking friendly areas to base sound detection equipment out of and having to hunt submarines that were far quieter.

This is getting more into radar physics than nuclear power, but I'm wondering if this is something that the Soviets might have been trying for with their naval reconnaissance satellites.
 

berkeman

Mentor
55,557
5,659
Might the Soviet US-A (Western designation Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite/RORSAT) series satellites and the TOPAZ reactor powered Kosmos 1818 and Kosmos 1867 satellites have been used in that role, at least with the later units? The US-A series orbited Earth very closely and getting any useful information from a high altitude naval radar would have required development of look-down capability to eliminate clutter.

The United States didn't deploy synthetic aperture radar satellites until many years after the Soviets put theirs up, but the United States and NATO could far more easily ring the ocean with sound detection equipment and early Soviet submarines were notoriously noisy. The Soviets were at a disadvantage in lacking friendly areas to base sound detection equipment out of and having to hunt submarines that were far quieter.

This is getting more into radar physics than nuclear power, but I'm wondering if this is something that the Soviets might have been trying for with their naval reconnaissance satellites.
Why the fascination with trying to tap other smart folks for ideas about military tactics? Are you thinking of writing a book? We have a different sub-forum for that...
 
Why the fascination with trying to tap other smart folks for ideas about military tactics? Are you thinking of writing a book? We have a different sub-forum for that...
I have thought of writing something about the United States Atomic Energy Commission, especially its work on environmental studies and alternative energy. This question is really more of personal interest because I didn't know synthetic aperture radar could be used to detect submarines.

I'm interested in alternate history/counterfactual history (leaning closer to the "hard" side of things and counterfactual history) and want to make sure that I get the details right. I respect that this is a physics forum and not a politics or history forum, but I suppose without context some of my questions must seem a bit strange.
 

jim hardy

Science Advisor
Gold Member
2018 Award
Dearly Missed
9,813
4,870
Well i'm sure no expert just a curious amateur.

Tom Clancy fascinates me and sometimes i check him against Jane's just out of curiosity.
I just finished "Cardinal of the Kremlin" . When i checked Google Maps , Clancy's Russian 'satellite killer lasers' were exactly where he described them in 1988 .
DushanbeLasers.jpg


I know, it's a thirty year old book .. i really enjoyed it.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Submarine Waste Heat Disposal?" You must log in or register to reply here.

Related Threads for: Submarine Waste Heat Disposal?

Replies
13
Views
6K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
4K
  • Posted
Replies
17
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
7
Views
1K
  • Posted
Replies
20
Views
8K
Replies
12
Views
4K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top