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(Small Ship) Batteries are Too Large

Discussion in 'General' started by Yatakedeze, Jul 18, 2014.

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

    They're 18x the size of a small reactor! I'd use them in my designs if they were the same size.

    I expect Keen made them that size so that they'd fit between the small ship merge block and connector. Of course if they were 1x1x1 we could use 9 of them between a merge block and connector if that were the configuration we wanted, and still be smaller.

    While I'm on the subject, I also think the small ship merge block is 9x too large: it should have been a 1x1x1 cube just like the large ship merge block, only smaller. (Of course, I could see a 5x5x1 for attaching to a large ship merge block, but they've already said they don't make their grids properly for that to work. Frankly that's because they're thinking of merging a small ship grid onto a large ship grid, instead of a large ship grid onto a small ship grid.)
  2. SilverSatin Trainee Engineer

    everybody is entitled to their own opinion so I'll respect yours of course but the fact is that for now the devs seem to have a different opinion than yours.
    Take it as an engineering challenge to not always have your way. The challenge being that you must become an engineer to solve a problem with what you've been given instead of with what you've requested.
    it's part of the game, yea they might be too big maybe thats a reflection with the bottleneck in battery technology of today. being big & heavy if you want it to have a useful capacity.

    Thats how I see it and i'm just sharing a method that might help you get a new perspective in case batteries will not change in size.
  3. Gentry Senior Engineer

    I think they're just fine
  4. Yatakedeze Trainee Engineer

    There's no engineering challenge here, other than them obviously not fitting in the same space as a reactor.

    I can't imagine how a battery could be 18x the size of a reactor. It boggles the mind.

    But specifically, on our servers we rebuilt the spawn ship to be a small ship with 2 medium cargo holds so that it can hold the bare minimum components for a 1x inventory start. The small reactor is nestled in between some thrusters and gyros, it's compact and minimal.

    I had hoped to change out the reactor for a battery to further limit the starting ship. I'm sure I can re-position components, and it's not like the ships built for looks, but the very idea of a battery so large when technology has advanced to the point of 1/8 m^3 reactors is mind-boggling.

    There's just no sense in it.
  5. Vrmithrax Senior Engineer

    I'd be ok with a small and large battery, just as we have small and large reactors. But the power scale would not be fully linear.

    For example, 18 of the 1x1x1 small ship battery blocks would fit into the same profile as the 3x3x2 large battery block. But those 18 batteries would not have the same storage capacity as the single large battery. You have a casing and framing around each battery, so there is an associated loss of storage volume with each one. Maybe 27 small batteries add up to a single large battery. And, even just comparing 18 small versus 1 large, the resource and time cost for the small batteries should be much higher (again, casing and other materials needed for each one).

    Make it about choices. Maybe a 1x1x1 is too small, but a 2x1x1 would be more realistic. Still, nice to have options. If somebody wants to build and integrate a bunch of small batteries, they should be able to. If nothing else, it distributes the power around, so damage won't cripple the ship. But, it should come at a cost and set of limitations that needs to be weighed.
  6. Virakotxa Apprentice Engineer

    Would be more feasible to enlarge reactors.
  7. Davewave Trainee Engineer

    Compare the size of a hybrid Prius battery to its engine size.
  8. Kielm Junior Engineer


    No no no no no.

    They're fine. If anything they're too small. *

    I can live with batteries, even ones that stretch the laws of science and nature a bit, for gameplay reasons, but meet my need for some basic kind of level of realism half-way here.

    They're fine the way they are!

    * Source: Science!
  9. waterlimon Senior Engineer

    But muh 2077
  10. Yatakedeze Trainee Engineer

    Remember, we're talking about a battery that's 1.5m * 1.5m * 1m (2.25 m^3, or 2250 liters). The are absolutely huge, even compared to ones in electric cars, and they're meant for small ships.

    Vrmithrax, I'm fine with the idea that a 18 (1x1x1) batteries would have less capacity than one battery the size we have now.

    Virakotxa, we already have 3x3x3 reactors for small ships. Imagine if they decided to remove the small 1x1x1 reactors and leave us with just those! It would perhaps be more "realistic", but a lot of people would be pretty upset!

    Davewave and Kielm, a futuristic battery would not necessarily be the size of modern batteries. Now, I haven't looked at the specs exactly, so I can't say whether these batteries follow the size/energy ratios of todays batteries or not. In any case today's batteries have a much improved ratio over batteries a decade ago, and certain new technologies look like they could drastically reduce the size requirements for a given number of kWh. I am certain batteries for spacecraft in 50 years won't be lead acid, and they probably won't be lithium ion either. They may be ultracapacitors (not really batteries at all) or something else entirely.

    I'm not really talking about the verisimilitude here though. I'm talking about the fact that the size of new items for small ships appear to be increasing with time for no apparent reason. The fact that the battery should be a reasonable replacement for a small reactor but it's 18 times larger!

    This doesn't mention the fact that if the battery is meant to be hot-swappable you also need a merge block and then you need at least two of them or some other power source so that you can maneuver through the swap procedure.

    And I haven't even gotten to the expense of building the battery - it's only cheaper in that it doesn't require uranium (so long as you only charge from solar cells, otherwise it costs more due to their 80% efficiency). I'm not sure how a battery is more expensive to construct than a reactor.
  11. Kielm Junior Engineer

    No, you haven't looked at the specs exactly.

    I have looked at battery technology now, energy densities, outputs of nuclear reactors vs. typical Li-Ion batteries, and so on.

    I've even used the fastest growing technology ever (the computer industry) to extrapolate what kind of battery tech we might have in 50+ years, at a wild vaguely-science ish guess (No other tech has ever grown that quickly, ever, so this is a very best scenario kind of extrapolation!).

    The batteries we have are not completely unreasonable.

    There has to be a down side to using them, and in this case it's their size. A good compromise in my opinion, they suffer from similar issues to batteries you find in use now.

    That said, I would have no problem with a battery 1/18th the size if it's less than 1/18th the capacity.
  12. Amerikanovich Apprentice Engineer

    Yeah this, thanks.
    Like I've said before, even modern Li-Ion batteries are 90% efficient...that number should be way better by 2077.
  13. Mansen Apprentice Engineer

    I couldn't agree more - Much too big.
  14. SeeJayEmm Apprentice Engineer

    x12. The small battery is 2x2x3 not 2x3x3.

    That's a rather myopic view to for game balance. You need to consider several factors when adding a new element to a game. How it fits visually with other game elements is certainly one of those factors but not the only one.

    The battery needs to be balanced against existing methods of power generation so that both can fit a niche. From a volume perspective the battery pack provides ~ 20% more power than an equivalent # of small reactors. (1.44 MW vs. 1.2 MW.) The trade off for this improved (space) efficiency is the size of the pack and the lifetime (15 min at full output).

    Does this invalidate small reactors? Nope, you still have them for designs that require compact or longer duration power sources.

    If they designed the battery to be a 1x1 block it would likely need to under-perform the reactor on output or be so short lived as to be nearly useless.

    Also consider the UX. Batteries are more hands on and frankly I'd prefer to see 1 object vs 12 when I open the ship's control panel (yes I know you could group them).

    Edit: Also, don't forget with a 2x2x3 battery array you don't have to waste any space with plumbing to move uranium around.
  15. Yatakedeze Trainee Engineer

    Actually, I did just look, and here's what I found:

    Modern best-lithium batteries store .73 kWh per liter. The in-game batteries are 2250 and 15,625 liters in size. I bet that comes as a surprise to many - all the blocks are so big that it's hard to tell exactly how big things are.

    A comparison of these batteries to today's technology:

    Battery . . . . . . . In-Game . . . . . Real Life
    Small (2250 l) . . . 360 kWh . . . . . 1640 kWh
    Large (15625 l) . . 1000 kWh . . . . 11400 kWh

    So the small battery has about 1/5th of the capacity of the same-size lithium ion battery, and the large battery is less than 1/10th of the capacity.

    The in-game batteries are obviously over-sized for their capacity. Also, I still want a 1x1x1 battery that can replace the small reactor in some of my builds. If it were lithium-ion, it would have a capacity of 90 kWh.

    Of course, since this tech is 50+ years in the future, increases to capacity are expected.

    Honestly, I think people are just defending the over-large batteries because they are fans and any criticisms are seen as a slight on the developers. I'd like for people to take a step back and look at things for what they are.
  16. Yatakedeze Trainee Engineer

    No, they're 2x3x3: they fit merge blocks and connectors on their 3x3 faces.

    That view has nothing to do with game balance. But since you're talking about it:

    The niche of the battery is that it does not use uranium, and can store power from solar panels. Their low efficiency means that it's wasteful to use them to store power from reactors.

    They are excessively large and wasteful.

    People keep complaining about how much space they are wasting with conveyors to reactors. I can't imagine why they are designing things this way: mine are always built in a place where this is not an issue, because there are already conveyors there. I mean sure, if you're using the large red ship there's a lot of piping, but that ship is designed poorly on purpose.

    I still don't understand why anyone thinks that a battery should be larger than a reactor. The reactor can produce power far longer than a battery, and should have a higher output than the battery (the fact that it does not is something else). The battery still has an excessively low capacity though, so it's a pretty moot point.
  17. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    aye it seems they follow as the small ship mergeblocks....why do they make things so gaudy and take up so much space for a small ship?

    maybe there should be an option for med ships
  18. SenorZorros Master Engineer

    Yatakedeze, you might want to look into supercapacitors using nanotubes. i'm to lazy to search for the numbers but I believe they would have an even higher energy density.
  19. Skeloton Master Engineer


    This ship has 3 batteries...Im finding nothing wrong with them size wise.
  20. Mansen Apprentice Engineer

    To be fair that IS a pretty large ship - Battery powered ships need to have a low number of power draining components to work in the first place, but because of their size you may as well not bother unless you triple their stats.
  21. Spets Master Engineer

    I thought that batteries will come also in a form of an item, something you can carry around. So you go to a recharge station, recharge the battery, go back to your ship, and insert the energy cells. Also batteries for the tools
  22. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    aye same here...maybe even charge yer suit...or extend yer suits energy a little bit
  23. entspeak Senior Engineer

    It may be that the size is a trade off for mass. Batteries have less mass for the amount of power they put out compared to small reactors on small ships.

    I had a small scout ship using a large reactor. When I swapped it out for two batteries, it was lighter... meaning faster acceleration - which is good for a scout ship. Fully charged it had 10 days of power and, at full thrust, a few hours. More than enough for a scout ship and it charged completely in 15 minutes. True, I only have slightly more than half other power output of a large reactor, but I wasn't using all of that power anyway. I just needed it because small reactors weren't doing it for the two large engines I had on board.

    Cool design, Skeloton I like the squid-like vibe.
  24. Kielm Junior Engineer


    I'd looked into batteries before this discussion but not at the specific sizes of the batteries in-game.

    When I checked it earlier I was surprised to find that the in-game batteries were storing only a fraction of the power that could be achieved with current tech. The science doesn't really add up on this one - even taking into account the in-game efficiency loss, casing, wiring, internal structure and "space-proofing", I'm not sure the power storage should be 1/5th the size.

    On the subject of smaller batteries though - I still think that any smaller battery size would have to suffer in some aspect of performance compared to the larger batteries, just to account for economy of size and keep a solid reason for using the larger ones as well.

    But should all the batteries be able to store more than they currently do... Science says yes! :thumb:
  25. RabidAnubis Trainee Engineer

    Out of curiosity what was your calculations for the number of liters the battery has in it?
  26. Kielm Junior Engineer

    The small one is 1.5x1.5x1m, which is 2.25 m3 or 2250 litres.
  27. Amerikanovich Apprentice Engineer

    Not only capacity but the 80% efficiency thing is really stupid, even that is bad by modern standards.

    Pretty sure these astronauts are using old NiCads from the 90's and just dumping them into a freezerbox to make a battery pack.
  28. AtlantisThief Apprentice Engineer

    I like them how they are right now.
  29. Kielm Junior Engineer

    Why do you think it's stupid?
  30. AtlantisThief Apprentice Engineer

    May someone explain what is meaning of the 80% efficency? I could not translate it for myself from the video.
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