Simple idea, I don’t know how simple it would be to implement.
Vehicle part “Winter-proof tank 60L”. Recipe: Vehicle tank 60L + Electric blanket x 2 + Blanket x 4 + Copper wire x 4 + Electronic Scraps x 5. When installed, and turned on by vehicle electronics, it heats the tank when the tank contents fall below 5 deg. Centigrade.
I have one large vehicle space heater, but they take up a lot of space and it seems actually do sod all. Throwing more at the problem would presumably fix it, but my bus is already jam packed to the gills with full cargo carriers and a whole bunch of various vehicle stations.
I made insulated tanks for testing (with recipes and such), but the problem is even with good insulation eventually water freezes in winter, and because they are insulated, they never (read: from the point they are frozen until one month into summer) unfreeze again.
So I never submitted the patch because I don’t think people would find it useful.
I am looking at the vehicle code, as I have a long list of things I would like to implement time permitting (like transformable items - like a real foldable seat, and a foldable workbench-) but I’m having trouble wrapping my head around all the things I need to do to set up a testing environment - I’m sorry, I’m tainted by script languages, and it’s been like 12 years since I had to properly debug something.
I would still find that useful because what I do with frozen tanks is uninstall them, heat them on the hot plate, then pour the water back to a newly installed empty tank. If it would keep the newly melted water unfrozen for substantially longer that would be very cool (sic.).
Simply having the engine run should provide enough heat to melt the ice acceptably quickly. At first I thought this was the case, but that turned out to be a coincidence.
Realistically speaking, for a more effective solution you could just stick a spare radiator or heater core to the side of a tank and loop it into the engine coolant system. Radiator, couple of hoses, and some duct tape.
Shard’s Additions had tanks you could put inside the vehicle, and those did a great job, but I highly doubt that mod works anymore. I had a barrel for clean water and a barrel for rain water.
If I remember correctly, tanks need to be empty to be removed, so you couldn’t actually do that without unfreezing the water first. Maybe, by driving near a lava fissure?
Regardless, insulation works both ways: Hot stuff stays hot, cold stuff stays cold, frozen stuff stays frozen. Effectiveness of insulation depends on materials being selected and arranged in ways to mitigate thermal equilibrium between the internals and externals of a given container.
So, more simply, the same reason that the water is kept unfrozen in the cold would also be helping it retain its extra heat after boiling and recontaining.
Assuming thermal exchange is at least a sort of functional thing in-game, then the test case Abraham_Limpo mentioned would probably work as you hope.
Not that it would have much of a use unless gasoline or diesel had the potential to freeze… Not that New England winters could freeze gasoline in most cases. It could very well ruin diesel though. Protection for that would be good.
Recipes are autolearned, and for mainlining the recipes should be changed from rags to neoprene, in my opinion, but should be okay for testing. I’m also planning to add something like “strip the insulation” so you can revert the insulated deposit back to a normal one.