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Redesigning batteries, recharging

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Grit Breather, Jan 18, 2016.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    I am aware and Keen probably has to do something about that honestly.
     
  2. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    I still don't follow. I think we have differing ideas of what this battery box does.

    In my mind, the battery box will have the output (kW) of one vanilla battery. It'll have a number of cells (let's say six) that define its runtime. The output of the battery box doesn't change based on how many cells you have in it, the only thing that changes is how long the battery lasts.

    Does that make more sense?
     
  3. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    A real battery uses multiple cells to increase its output and its longevity. Even then that doesn't neglect my point. The amount of battery blocks you require for maximum output is based on your ship. As long as you meet the minimum amount of batteries for your output then having packs in a cargo container would increase its longevity much beyond what a single block of battery does.
     
  4. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    A real battery uses multiples cells in a variety of different ways depending on the application, but I personally think we can forgo series/parallel wiring in the settings menu, don't you?

    And yes, you're right. But let's be fair: you keep ignoring my point too. Those extra cells you have in your cargo didn't just magically charge themselves. So, if you've spent three days straight charging your stockpile of batteries in order to have 5 hours of runtime, wouldn't you say you've earned your 5 hours of runtime at that point?

    Even if you did earn it, you're still dumb for doing it that way when you could have spent that three days mining uranium and have several hundred years of runtime as a result.

    You keep acting like the ability to store power in your inventory is somehow this drastically game-breaking mechanic, but it's been here since day one in the form of uranium and reactors.
     
  5. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    I have even mentioned that point several times. The thing is the following: You can have the same function of let us just pull numbers out of our ass a 100 batteries. If your ship only needs 10 batteries to run at full output then you are still having 80 more blocks worth of batteries in 1-2 large containers.

    I am not saying it is game breaking to be able to store power in the inventory in the form of uranium. This is the point I am making and you keep foregoing. It is about the BLOCK EFFICIENCY. Also would you call people dumb that build 20-50 batteries on their ship that they charge by solar power? That is the EXACT SAME THING as storing it in your cargo container. The difference is still BLOCKS! People building massive amounts of batteries now have to sacrifice space for it, if there was conveyors that could connect this type of battery to the inventory they wouldn't have to sacrifice nearly as much space for something that can run without a consumable ever. You can right now build a 100% self sufficient ship with batteries, solar power and oxygen farms. And even if you had 20-50 batteries there is no way you can via solar power charge all of them at the same time. Not even close to being able to so the difference between having instead 5-10 batteries (and tons of battery packs) and then cycling batteries through them would still take the exact same amount of time to charge as if you had 20-50 batteries instead.

    So yes. This would change how the battery block would work insanely much and allow the battery to be multiple times more space efficient than it is now.

    Having the option to mod conveyors on to this kind of battery, well I wouldn't give two shits. That is all cool to me.
     
  6. discodancepant Trainee Engineer

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    Your entire point here relies on ship design being about block efficiency; for me it is about mass efficiency and ease of use.

    Mass efficiency: per mass, uranium ingots and reactors take the win. Batteries are heavy. The cells works take up inventory space and cause more cargo containers which also means more mass for the ship to move which means more thrusters.

    Ease of use: nuclear reactors can be turned on, or even left on in some cases. Batteries must be set to recharge while not being used, then uncheck recharge when in use. Then you add this setup with a massive solar array to charge battery cells, which you then transfer to a ship to keep switching out the spent cells with fresh ones.

    In both of these categories nuclear reactors take the win. Despite that I would still like batteries.

    How is this unbalanced?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Harrekin Master Engineer

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    You don't need to manually switch to recharging...
     
  8. discodancepant Trainee Engineer

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    When I'm docked via connector I do this so that my ship doesn't power the grid if the base batteries empty :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. ascho078 Trainee Engineer

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    funny story.. battery engineers ARE typically chemical engineers. Batteries in real life are only recycled for their constituent materials (70% of a L.A.B. is lead, and that's recycled).but the acid chemistry changes over the life of a battery.
    its not random that batteries stop charging as well until they hardly hold a charge at all. or that Lead Acid Battery's (very simple in design) can be fixed whereas lithium Ions cannot. but you can't recover power cells from either, because the battery is made of sealed interconnected power cells, you cant disconnect one without exposing another.

    Most basic example:

    In a Lead Acid Battery you have PbO, Pb, and H2SO4(aq).
    the H2SO4 (aq) reacts to form lead Sulfate, it supplies electrons and remains positive. when the battery is charged this reaction is reversed partially. the reaction is never fully reversed, and each charge takes away the availability of some reactants.
    you reach a point in which the chemicals no longer react enough to produce a lot of charge, and the battery needs to be replaced. Inside simple batterys the Cathode and Anode are simple easily replacable metals (like Lead (Pb), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), etc), but after use the electrolyte has still absorbed the metal and been partially reacted - reducing its effectiveness. Although recharging attempts to revrse the reaction by it is not 100% effective in any battery composition currently made.

    TL;DR the ONLY time a battery is 100% recyclable is when it hasn't yet been used. defeating the purpose of recycling power cells, and reinforcing the idea that only the steel plate, etc. is fully recoverable.

    I agree with Keen on this one, No Recyclable Batteries.
     
  10. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

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    Great, I'm with you on that.
    But did you actually read the OP? Your response seems wildly unrelated.
     
  11. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    Recycling a battery is not even remotely related to this.

    We're just talking about disassociating the rechargeable cell from the block it lives in, so that it can be taken elsewhere and recharged without having to bring the whole ship along with it.
     
  12. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

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    Not the cell, the battery. A battery will be made of a few cells in theory.
     
  13. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    Right. Nomenclature. In my mind, the block with cells in its inventory constitutes the "battery," and the removable parts are the "cells." We're saying the same thing using different words I think. =)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    I wonder if the support is there for us to wrangle this idea into a mod?
     
  15. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    Actually that would be wrong though. A battery casing without cells is just that... a battery casing. Cells without battery casing is just that, battery cells (although they can be argued to be batteries since they can still output power and be recharged). The whole is what becomes the battery in general.

    Sorry just a little semantic nit picking :p (All friendly no counter point just getting what is what down :p)
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  16. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    The support is not there considering that any power producing blocks consume the component in question. If they added the mod support for "battery components" having a charge and something to discharge it then it would be perfect. Would also work great for anyone wanting to make energy gun mods. Or if they add support for mod scripts to drain and refill bottle style objects as well as making a moddable block that produces variable power with absolutely no input (but allow it to have inventory as well as modifying its output via mod scripts) then this could be modded in "relatively" easily.
     
  17. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

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    Actually... What if we use the Oxygen Bottle code? Stored power and stored gas wouldn't be that different for a mod.
     
  18. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    The problem (I may be wrong) is that scripts cannot modify the amount of that the bottle contains as well as there is no block that makes variable power with no input.
     
  19. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, Grit Breather, but the way I understand your proposal is this:

    The battery casing block will have the existing battery block kW output regardless of the number of cells it has in it. However, more cells equal more capacity: let's say a battery block holds ten cells maximum. With ten cells installed, it will charge and discharge at a rate equal to current vanilla charge and discharge times. With only one cell in it, it will charge and discharge in 1/10th the time.

    Am I getting that right?

    In that regard, it's like a reactor: it outputs at full power regardless of whether you have .1kg or 1,000kg of uranium in it; all that changes is how long that power will last.
     
  20. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

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    Maybe.
    I purposely didn't dive into any of this deeper technical design in the OP because I knew it would bring up arguments that would derail the idea as a concept. But I don't mind going into that here.

    As stated, I didn't put that much thought into the finer points of this idea on purpose. Those belong at a later stage and would only have derailed the whole discussion. But in spite of that, I think my original thought was for each Battery to add a little bit of both to the Casing.
    Sticking to your (completely made up) value of 10 Batteries to fill up a Casing, perhaps each Battery would contribute 1/10 of today's wattage as well as 1/10 of today's capacity.

    However, I really don't mind how this part is designed as long as it makes sense.

    Depending on how this will actually be designed when and if it ever gets picked up, maybe. :)
     
  21. discodancepant Trainee Engineer

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    I think he missed the part where this idea is not the same as a regular battery, and that we had moved beyond the idea of a recyclable battery anyway.

    As far as how power works for the battery, although it would be more difficult, I think it should increase as you increase the number of battery cells, to a maximum number of cells it can contain. It would be a bit more realistic and add an extra nerf to batteries for all the naysayers out there.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  22. Samulus Trainee Engineer

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    I think this idea is well thought out and could very easily be implemented with the current system. +1 for an intelligent approach to a problem without proposing craziness.

    EDIT: I reread the post and caught up the the discussion. Took out the latter invalid chunk of my post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  23. DivineWrath Junior Engineer

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    I'm a little bit worried that thread is being bogged down by an argument of batteries vs reactors. I do believe that the point of this thread was figure out a way to make batteries better, not what is better than batteries.

    Also if reactors are really that much better than batteries, then why not argue to roll batteries back so you could recycle them once more? It is the problem that we are trying to solve. Its not like the initial charge was ever going to matter to you guys anyways. The energy per kg (of power cells) was terrible.

    I kinda don't care if we take a step forwards or backwards with batteries. The whole initial charge/losing the ability to recycle power cells was a nasty step in a puddle. I would be happy to be not steeping in a puddle anymore. However, the improved behavior of batteries are clearly better though, so don't touch that unless you have something better.
     
  24. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    The thing is you could get infinite power even with the little charge from just batteries that way. You can have a grinder and a welder set up with a projector block and you would quite literally have infinite power. That is the reason why you shouldn't roll them back to be recyclable.
     
  25. DivineWrath Junior Engineer

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    I didn't say keep the initial charge when rolling it back. I think it is part of the problem. Maybe I should have been more explicit about it. The devs felt the need to balance the initial charge by giving it a drawback that removed the ability to recycle batteries. I want the recycle problem fixed because I don't think it is balanced even if you started batteries out with triple the maximum charge as the initial charge. If the initial charge drives people to create drawbacks that strong, then I say get ride of it.
     
  26. sioxernic Senior Engineer

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    The reason why the initial charge is there is quite obvious. If you build a battery powered ship then there is a good chance it will need some initial power. Yes you could build the reactor. Either way I don't see the biggest issue as have already been pointed out that it is just a few resources you lose. It is not even that much.
     
  27. DivineWrath Junior Engineer

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    As someone who uses batteries a lot, I'm telling you you that the initial charge is not that important. What is important is the infrastructure. At some point the initial charge will run out, so you can either use a ship until it crashes or do something to recharge the batteries. If you don't recharge a ship or replace the power source, you will have to write off the ship at some point. What one really needs is a means to get a ship connected to that infrastructure, not an initial charge that creates problems. An initial charge does help, but so does a reactor or solar panels.

    I could go on ranting about how much power I actually need to get started, how I disagree about losing resources not being a big deal, or other stuff. But none of it is as important as infrastructure. An initial charge will only happen once, but infrastructure will be needed for the life time of a ship.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  28. Nosocalypse Trainee Engineer

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    Guys, can I throw in a small thought?

    The problem of batteries is recycle balancing, right? In my opinion, there should be no initial charge, and recycling should be like as with any other block: with full scrap parts returning. Like it was before implementation of initial charge.

    So, if you build a ship with only batteries, you should have a ship with zero power. No systems are working. Of course, you should somehow charge batteries. What if you doesn't want adding a small reactor nor huge solar panel? You have to power a connector to connect to powered ship and recharge from it. How?

    There is a source of power always with you. Your spacesuit. It have a small battery, sufficient to power a connector for a minute or two. You sit into cockpit and power the connector. When two connectors lock, your new ship starting to recharge, so as your spacesuit.

    How about this?
     
  29. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

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    Interesting but why would you take that approach?
    The suggested idea solves a lot more than just recycling. It makes batteries a useful power source rather than today's short stepping stone.

    Also, how would you get that powerless ship to a connector? Would you power thrusters and a gyro with your suit too?
     
  30. Nosocalypse Trainee Engineer

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    To make batteries more useful you may also drastically increase maximum power output limit. Make them like capacitors, not batteries. (I am not sure, if my English is right)

    With today's mechanics, to instantly change empty battery to recharged - use merge blocks. One set of batteries and merge block attached to working ship, another - to recharger station.

    With suit one should power only the connector. Other maneuvers may be done by recharger ship itself or a small tug ship. And then connector "magnetism" works.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
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