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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. mastpayne Senior Engineer

    Yup... I remember upgrading from 10Megs to 25Megs and wondering what I would EVER do to fill it all up...
  2. GotLag Senior Engineer

    But I don't need 50% more power. And when I'm grinding the cargo holds fill up in about 5 minutes of heavy work, while the batteries last for a few hours at that workload. For small ships tied to a mothership (like scavenger/builder/miner small ships) the batteries are better than reactors. And I believe that's how it's intended to be.
    Finally, the large reactor doesn't save any space because I have a layer of armour above it for aesthetic reasons, whereas the smooth surface of the batteries can lie flush with the outer surface (and indeed is better when exposed, as it lets me read the charge level indicator without getting in the ship).
  3. mhalpern Senior Engineer

    I was talking about the fission reactor from the first one
  4. v81 Trainee Engineer

    I just happened to be surfing around the web on the subject of the International Space Station recently and that had me thinking about solar power.

    A recent play in SE revealed that batteries had been added and i thought all my dreams had come true!
    Unfortunately they are too much of a hassle to menage.

    Would love to see batteries automatically regulate themselves, rather than having to be manually set to charge.

    Would also love to see a battery in the same shape as an ore detector.
  5. JayCo2013 Apprentice Engineer

    Why is everyone asking for the batteries to be self managing.... Does your battery in your computer self manage, No you have to plug in your computer charge cable to keep it topped up, If you plug a battery charger into the wall does it start charging the batteries no there is a switch, Come on people stop being lazy. Think of it as switching on the battery charger, and switching it off again.
    As for the size, well its ok but to be honest its too big, The Large station or Ship battery is one block, why can't the same be for the small ship, all these stupid 3X3 parts on the small ships are awful, The small ship merge block is nearly the same width as the large ship merge block, yet they dont merge so why was it made so big. The connectors connect between large and small ships, but with the current magnetic attraction once you have it connected its nearly impossible to un connect and takes alot of fidling around, The merge blocks work great.
    Batteries should have been made smaller and less storage capacity, in a space ship you wouldn't have just ONE battery powering the whole thing because it would have to be enormous (as it is) you would have a bank of batteries linked together to generate the neccessary power required. Same goes for your large ships, the idea behind batteries was to give us a more futuristic energy view, since we are stuck on asteroids and most get sunlight its natural that our technology would be sunlight orientated, Nuclear for longterm travel and stations, but battery and solar for short trips and stuff.
    The large ship/station battery is fine, but the small ship battery has turned out too big just like the connector and merge block for small ships did.
  6. Iamus Apprentice Engineer

    Most laptops and phones mange their own power/battery. I dare you to pull your laptop battery out, with it plugged in, and on. Of course, I take no responsibility for what you do to your laptop.

    Look at cars like the Chevy Volt, they manage their own power/batteries too.
  7. Disposadwarf Apprentice Engineer

    To the people who have an issue with the 20%o loss from batteries, why not make large-ship reactors 20% more efficient than small ship reactors. It means that charging from solar stays the same, and typical small ship designs are unchanged, but using batteries has a net loss of 0 for energy per uranium. (if charged from large ship or stations.) It does mean that large ship reactors will run for longer, but it will also prevent people trying to run their base from connected small ship reactors (if they ever wanted to do that for any reason)
  8. Mansen Apprentice Engineer

    I... I don't even comprehend such poor argumentation. You plug the ship into a connector - still doesn't charge.

    *insert internet meme rant image here*

    In all seriousness, batteries should automatically charge while in use. Gameplay mechanics wise it is much too management to have to have a backup battery that charges while the primary one is in use and then manually swap between the two if you've got an active source of recharging.
  9. Newton Trainee Engineer

    I'm currently in a middle of a project which is a cheap, modular utility ship. The ship has to be able to perform at least 3 basic tasks such as: drilling, welding and mining.

    The ship's tools are detachable and the main problem with this concept is that only the ship has power source to minimize the cost of the platform. When I detach the tool and someone accidentally bumps into it, I will be wasting 10 minutes trying to catch it (landing gears are not an option on this ship). This is where I was hoping to use 1x1x1 batteries - as a cheap, low capacity power source that would power my tools' gyroscopes / beacons, even for 5 minutes of active dampening.

    In order to be able to weld and grind, I need large conveyor tubes, but in order to drill cheaply, I need minimal frontal cross-section. These contradictory requirements made the ship so tightly packed that I was barely able to squeeze required thrusters in. Not to mention the tools that are even smaller than the ship, but still need a lot of elements to function. There is absolutely no way that I would be able to slap a 3x3x2 battery onto them and still make them useful.

    A cheap 1x1x1 battery is all I need right now. Capacity? I don't care! All I need is just to power a beacon for a reasonable amount of time (3 hours?) and power my gyroscopes for dampening (they drain power only when they rotate, right?).
  10. Kielm Junior Engineer


    Your tools floating off will be a problem unless you put thrusters and gyros in them, which increases their size anyway. Bite the bullet and stick a landing gear on the bottom of each one, then lock it onto a solid surface before detaching. Aside from fitting another bulky connector or merge block to lock it to something else, it's the simplest way to avoid this.

    If you really need to put a power source on it, the small ship connector has four small ports (one on each side as you face the connector). Welding a small reactor to face one of this means you don't even need to add a conveyor system afterwards :)
  11. Newton Trainee Engineer

    Well, perhaps I should have made my point clearer: small batteries would still be useful, even if they had very small capacity. My project was an example.

    This is actually what I'm doing right now, but it has major disadvantages because of the use of landing gears - they are bugged in multiplayer. They sometimes explode for no reason, and are a pain to manage. Tools drifting off would not be a problem if they weren't spinning. I could catch them very easily if I had a powered gyroscope on them. Adding a reactor on each tool is not feasible because overall, one modular ship with a set of tools should be cheaper than a set of specialized ships with the same functionality.

    In my opinion a perfect solution to the battery size problem would be similar to armor blocks. If we had one 1x1x2 block serving as "battery core" with energy level indicator and could expand its capacity by attaching a new 1x1x1 "battery block" to it. Each "battery block" added would increase its total capacity and perhaps do something more like increase storage efficiency, etc. We already have a mechanism to convert a set of small blocks to one big entity that is used with armor blocks, so it shouldn't be too hard to implement.
  12. Amerikanovich Apprentice Engineer

    But you have a 20% power loss with that system, unless you use 100% solar power...(I'm trying to do this with my asteroid base right now...the array is ridiculously huge and only produces slightly more than a small station reactor...but hey, it's free!)
    The only tradeoff of outfitting every ship with its own reactor right now is that reactors are slightly heavier. That's it.
  13. entspeak Senior Engineer

    The devs do not want solar to replace uranium as a power source in the game. If they made it easier to use batteries than it is to use reactors, that's what would happen. If you want a small sleek design for your small ship, use a reactor. If you don't want to have to mine for uranium, go the more difficult route.

    There are ways to rely primarily on solar and batteries, but they are difficult and expensive. But, doing so can add security to your base and allow you to create bases that were impractical using reactors.

    I'm designing a station that uses a solar array and two 27-battery arrays as the primary power supply and each array is physically isolated from each other and the rest of the station. Power is routed to the rest of the station via power couplers (connectors) using girders for cabling. Charging and solar backup power from that array is handled the same way. Swapping battery arrays without causing a drain on the newly charged batteries or causing a power surge (which, interestingly enough, can "short" a connector) is a bit involved but can be done in one area using 2 small storage containers as control blocks, but since turning on and off power coupling only requires unlocking a connector link, I should be able to automate the procedure when they add programming.

    The batteries are a challenge and push us to innovate. People need to do more of that and less asking for their cake and the ability to eat it, too.

    The only thing that seems incredibly wrong to me is that large ship connectors draw 10x more power than small ship ones (50W, small and 5kW, large) and don't do anything more for that consumption. Collectors, however, have the same power draw (40W) for small and large ships. Connectors should have a 50W draw regardless of whether it's small or large.
  14. SeeJayEmm Apprentice Engineer

    I realized after I posed this I was wrong. My apologies. It is a 3x3x3.
  15. entspeak Senior Engineer

  16. Brenner Junior Engineer

    Eh? You mean the little battery powering the clock when my desktop computer is turned off? Yeah, that one self manages, the only time I ever have to even think about it is when its dead (usually after >3 years of using the same mainboard)

    Or did you mean the battery of a laptop? Yeah, that one self manages too. It is even smart enough to recognize if there is external power and it uses it to power the laptop and recharge the battery at the same time. If there is a blackout, the battery will do the job again. All without the user having to interact with the battery at all. That is pretty much EXACTLY the way I want batterys to work in SE too.

    ???? The last charger for rechargeable AAA batteries I owned only required power and the battery to be inserted in to the right slot and it would reload automatically. And that was like 25 years ago ..
  17. plaYer2k Master Engineer

    ^ Agreed with Brenner and "others" there about the batteries usability. They should be automatic and that is how i actually expected them to be when i came back from vacation 2 days ago. Yet i was a bit sad to read how much of a mad micro management mess they actually are.

    Charging and discharging should be managed with priorities which they already did with solar panels. After the introduction of solar panels, they got bumped up in priority so that no matter how many reactors you got, the solar panels will be used first.

    So the new priority for any electricity consumer should be, Solar Panel -> Battery -> Reactor.
    Batteries should not load from other batteries (obviously) and maybe have a toggle to allow charging from reactors.
    Wouldnt that solve most of the charging/discharging issues?

    As for the size, yes a 1x1x1 small battery totally is needed as many did build minimalistic projectiles (previously with small reactors) and would like to migrate over to batteries. You often dont need a huge battery but just some low output.
    But the demand for such a block is strong so lets see if we get a 1x1x1 small battery and maybe a very big large battery like 3x3x3.

    Performancewise the batteries are quite underpowered in a realistic approach again (considering earth-like tech we got currently) where a (2.4m)³ large block could store 23MWh instead of just 1MWh.
    And the small batteries are yet again better than the large ones, just like thrusters and reactors. A large batterie has a capacity of 64kWh/m³ while a small battery has a capacity of 160kWh/m³ without considering a reduced volume due to casing. If you would consider the volume loss, the small batteries became even more potent due to the higher surface:volume ratio.
    But sure, the gameplay consideration is a "valid" counterargument for the current balance we got right now. It just depends on what way the devs want to go now. While previously we got mostly realistical approaches, it seems to be more gameplay oriented now.

    So overall i welcome the addition, though it needs some weaking as usual :)
  18. entspeak Senior Engineer

    I'm okay with the batteries as they are in terms of function. I do wonder why the small battery requires 1/6th fewer power cells, but it only has 1/3rd the storage capacity of the large battery.
  19. Nogrim Trainee Engineer

    my plan is to approach them as a modular piece of my ships. keeping the similar to the merge block keeps the form factor at least.

    i plan on setting up small ships with at least 2 of these banks just simple battery or two with merge blocks on either side with a small ship to replace them with ones already in the charging station. the changes to solar really make batteries a much better option early on letting you save your uranium to run the refineries etc
  20. malimber Apprentice Engineer

    Ever bothered looking at the modding section lately. Embershard has been looking at building battery "drop pods" there's a smaller large reactor as well 2x2. If they haven't given it to you there are mods that do alot of what people are asking for here
  21. The Churrosaur Junior Engineer

    And nuclear reactors the size of toasters are more feasable?

    Heck, isn't a car battery approximately 0.5m^3?
  22. Gwindalmir Senior Engineer

    I would like to see a 1x1x1 battery as well.
    Not because I just want one, but because I get freedom of placement.

    I may not need all the power of the battery, but what I want is freedom to place them where I want.
    Since the battery is so large, I have to adjust my designs, sometimes significantly, to fit it in.

    I have several interceptors, which have about 4-6 small reactors. One battery would work (maybe with a single reactor as backup), but I can't use it as the single block it is. I have other things in the way which if I move, sacrifices the design.

    I was really hoping to retrofit some of my older designs.

    I was able to remake a multipurpose utility ship with a battery. It ended up being one block longer in the end, which wasn't too bad.

    In the meantime, I'll have to see if I can re-engineer my interceptor design to use a battery.

    At this point the game is so much in flux, I'm not interested in looking at mods. When the game stabilizes and enters beta, then I will.
  23. Ranakastrasz Trainee Engineer

    Solar panels require a battery to be used to their full potential. This is a situation where batteries are the only option.

    That said, Space wise, power generation per size, (also mass) is what determines which is better. Resouce cost matters as well, but that would require too much work both due to lots of conversion and they are not directly comparable anyway.

    A battery must be superior in one or both for it to be even considered. This is because it has far lower total power output while it remains functional.

    Small ship

    Battery 2x3x3, 1,454 kg, 1440Kw
    Small Reactor 1x1x1, 381 kg, 100 kw
    Large Reactor 3x3x3, 2776 kg, 3500 MW

    Large ship

    Battery 1x1x1, 7,275 kg, 4 MW
    Small Reactor 1x1x1, 4,793 kg, 5 MW
    Large Reactor 3x3x3, 72,295 kg, 100 MW

    Going to start with the large ship. It is easier to compare.

    The battery and small reactor are the same size. The reactor weighs less and produces more power. As a result the small reactor is blatently superior.

    Will multiply the battery stats by 27, as a 3x3x3 grid of batteries.
    3x3x3, 196425 kg, 108 MW

    For a large reactor, size wise, power is slightly superior on the battery, and rather horrible mass wise.

    For the small ship, requires a bit more math.

    Small reactor to battery. Small reactor, going to multiply that by 18 to get the same size.
    2x3x3, 6858Kw, 1800Kw
    Small reactor produces more power en-mass, but weighs significantly more.

    To compare to large reactor, increasing battery stats by 50% to match size.

    3x3x3, 2181kg, 2160 MW.

    Weight is somewhat lower, but power generation is far lower.

    As a result, in pretty much all cases, reactors provide power more effectively.

    The way I see it, Batteries must be able to provide more impulse power (that is, more power per second per cost, whether resource, size, or mass, preferably all three) than reactors, to make up for their shortcoming. A reactor can run almost indefinitely, given a trickle of uranium, which can be loaded instantly. Batteries require 15 minutes to charge, and will run out in 15 minutes.

    Batteries are supposed to be able to supply large amounts of power for critical situations (emergency thrust, since we don't have any other energy using combat systems, no lasers or energy shields, etc) and hence should be able to outperform reactors for a short duration. Give them 15 or 30 times as much power transfer rate. You run out in 30 seconds minimum, but have a huge amount of power availabe to play around with for that time.

    The two advantages batteries have are that batteries require no manual access or conveyor connection, and hence can be more armoured, and they are able to store solar power. The second also can let you recover from a situation where you have no uranium remaining.
  24. Zerat_kj Trainee Engineer

    I play on a map with no asteroids and all the power we have is from solar panels + small amount from the cargo ships, all the small ships are converted to batteries and we love them. For the size ... it is as bis as a big engine, amd gives 1.44 MW of power - 14 small reactors or about 1/2 of a large reactor .. I like the size to power ratio
    Break time over .. going back to the 440 battery module construction (station)
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