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Atmospheric Lifting vs Hydrogen

Discussion in 'General' started by AirplaneFood, Apr 3, 2019.

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

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    Why does one climb a mountain? Because it's there.
     
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  2. Darkheyr Trainee Engineer

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    My point is that its impractical.

    If somebody wants to do it anyway just for kicks, go for it.
     
  3. AirplaneFood Apprentice Engineer

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    Every ship I build is designed with role-play in mind, I imagine a ship with 400 containers would be quite useful in carrying multiple clients cargo at one time. But true, such a ship as her shouldn't get near a planet. Perhaps some sort of shuttle to haul from ship to surface? I don't know, I'll find a suitable solution at some point.
     
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  4. Darkheyr Trainee Engineer

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    There really isn't much of a solution except ludicrous amounts of thrusters using up equally ludicrous amounts of fuel or power. But at those amounts a space elevator might very well turn viable.
     
  5. AirplaneFood Apprentice Engineer

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    While a space elevator would be good for transporting cargo from ship to surface and vise versa, it would also mean I'd have to manage a ground shipping service on not just one, but any and all planets. Unless its not just me, it would be a lot of work and a lot of delay for other customers. :p
     
  6. Darkheyr Trainee Engineer

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    Go calculate your fuel or resource requirements. Thats why I said it might turn viable. :p
     
  7. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    Yes you can. If you stick to standard blocks you will need a lot of them. That's on purpose so that you will use hydrogen.

    Here's the ship I was talking about. This is BP (Before Planets) when she was a pure spacecraft:
    [​IMG]
    Hydrogen engine was not even a thing yet. When planets came out I believe I wrote in a post here that if I had cargo destined for the surface of a planet I'd just chuck it overboard and hope I didn't hit anyone. I later decided I should at least try landing and see what happens. This was shortly after we got hydrogen engines, and I just tacked them on:
    [​IMG]
    I learned two things. One was that if I was going to use hydrogen, storage was an issue. The other was that twelve hydrogen engines was not enough to get this ship back to space empty, much less with a load. I could land without crashing, I could cruise around at will, but I couldn't go back to space.

    I thought of using a removable system that had hydrogen and atmospheric engines. I called it a "skirt" and told my girls they could only go to planets if they wore one.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It still wasn't enough, even with no cargo. I then got the idea to build a separate ship specifically for lifting heavy loads off of planets. I could use it to get my cargo ships back, and I could use it to lug the OreMaster 9000 around since it was built to walk, not fly. What I came up with I called the "Dragonfly"
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This actually worked, and since I was paranoid about running out of fuel I had a lot of gas generators and storage tanks, so it also doubled as a gas refinery. Trouble was I used a lot of mods and when 1.186 dropped it became impossible to load it in one piece. I still wanna rebuild it, but I moved on.

    While developing the Dragonfly I stumbled across some modded hydrogen engines that produce significantly more thrust than standard engines. I found one that did the trick, and now my cargo ships can safely land and return to space.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So my old ship retains its original dimensions and can operate in or out of a gravity well. This is not possible with standard engines. Given Keen's desire to not have us build large ships, it's not likely it will ever be possible. I can fly this ship around using only atmospheric thrust, which also comes from mods, but leaving the planet requires hydrogen.

    So, that's why I say you need hydrogen. You can do it with only ion, but it was not practical to do so with an old ship that I did not want to significantly alter.
     
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  8. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    Here's a couple ion-only designs that I built for proof-of-concept. They'll get you there and back again without any problem. And, no, they don't carry massive quantities of material, but they don't have to fly empty either.

    Small-Grid Ion Jumper: 1 cockpit, 1 battery, 2 small reactors, 1 gyroscope, 1 landing gear, 1 O2/H2 generator, 1 medium cargo container, 14 small ion thrusters, and 2 large ion thrusters.
    [​IMG]

    Large-Grid Ion Jumper: 1 cockpit, 1 battery, 4 small reactors, 1 gyroscope, 1 O2/H2 generator, 1 small cargo container, 1 jump drive, 3 cameras, 1 spotlight, 11 small ion thrusters, and 4 large ion thrusters.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. dispair Apprentice Engineer

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    I only play vanilla, and I love planets because engineering. The lift you want means hydrogen, tanks and generators. Then all the thrusters on an override button on the hot bar. The amount this would add to the ship to lift that much makes the whole project insaine, but interesting.

    My solution is just to build a dedicated shuttle with a connector and a sorter block to auto load itself when it docks.
    Then have a refueling station on the planet sitting on a lakebed. I do this in My current survival game with a small grid ship, but you will want to build a large grid, maybe 4 large containers. That will still be a good challenge to balance.

    My playthrough last year I had a hydrogen shuttle with a bay. I docked a small 2 drill miner to gather ice so it could operate with a base. It could carry 2 large containers and make orbit. It was hydrogen and ion hybrid. I think more specialized ships do the job better than a giant " does everything" monster.
     
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  10. SirConnery Apprentice Engineer

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    I have a question about Hydrogen thrusters. If you're flying without hydrogen tanks but just straight up convert ice for the thrusters to use with 02/H2 generators, then can the thrust be limited by having too few 02/H2 generators?

    I know it's kind of silly because why would you not have hydrogen tanks, but I'm interested in the game mechanics.
     
  11. Roxette Senior Engineer

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    Yes, the thruster force will be proportionally limited if the gas production rate does not meet demand.
     
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  12. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    That's a big 10-4, good buddy! Power is power, whether electrical or gaseous. Not enough and your thrusters' efficiency drops accordingly.
     
  13. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    Seems like a lot for just moving one person around. But then, everything in the game tends be be oversized no matter how hard you try ;)

    Here are pretty much all my landing craft. The big one on the right is ion with some atmospheric maneuvering thrust. On the left is my cargo shuttle, and sitting atop it is one of my crew transfer vessels.
    [​IMG]
    Main thing is, the game has been configured to more or less require hydrogen engines to get to space.
     
  14. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    The only real reason the large-grid ion jumper ended up with 4 large ion thrusters was to carry the mass of the jump drive (those suckers are heavy!). Why did I put a jump drive on it? Well...because I could, and I wanted to see if it was possible to do what I did, i.e., land the silly thing on a planet. Ayup! She'll do it, but pretty it ain't! (The small-grid ion jumper has nicer lines, though.)
     
  15. J-Cataclism Apprentice Engineer

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    ...by the way (way too late, I´d say :D ), you CAN lift from ground to space using atmospheric AND ion thrusters (the larger ones). At least, I guess, depending on your max speed settings. I have been having successful attempts using them on small grids, but... with the maxspeed sert to 242 m/s - so there will be enough momentum between the total failure of the atmospheric and the true hauling of the ionic ones.

    And this combination might work quite all right coming back down, as well.
     
  16. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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  17. AirplaneFood Apprentice Engineer

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    The problem I have with increasing thruster power is that while its good when your ship is full, when your ship is empty, its waaay too fast. I wish there was a way to make it so the weight of cargo made minimal effect on your overall weight. Doesn't have to be no effect, but certainly less than what it is now.

    Edit: Also, what's dumb is that block weight is tied to the weight of its components, so, if you reduce the weight of the components you also reduce your ship weight... no way to win :l
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  18. Darkheyr Trainee Engineer

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    If you did that, unassembled ships carried in cargo containers would mass less than carrying the actual ship. Not a fan. If you really, really think you need that kind of performance, the thruster mod really is the only way to go. Just deactivate part of the thrusters depending on how much cargo you carry.

    @J-Cataclism : You do not need speed mods. Small grid ion/atmo hybrids work fine in vanilla if done right. Just mass to payload isn't exactly stellar. Large grid works too, but its even worse. I linked two working small grid transports further up.
     
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  19. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    1,413
    Hey, I thought a lot about your problem and wondered myself if it was possible to design a planetary-to-space-and-back ship that could carry 100 full large cargo containers. The term "full" is relative, however. For a ship design, I chose to define "full" as completely filled with ore. Ingots, on the other hand, are significantly more dense and can increase the cargo mass by as much as 7x for uranium ingots (about 3x for iron and other types of ingots). So, I've chosen ore as a reasonable mass for the cargo containers; at realistic settings, we're talking about 1,140,203 kg per large cargo container, or 1,140,203,000 kg (1,140 kT) for 100 large cargo containers. Of course, at 10x settings we're talking about 10x that amount. Yeah, that's a lot.

    But, the bottom line is that I have a working ship. When I'm done running it through its paces and determine exactly what it can handle in the way of a working load, I'll post it under the new creations place and blueprint it.
    --- Automerge ---
    And here's the ship: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1707562416

    [​IMG]

    The design is weight-optimized by utilizing mostly functional blocks and eliminating everything that's not necessary to make it work.
     
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  20. odizzido Junior Engineer

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    As spiff says cutting weight by making your ship out of only the blocks you need is the most efficient thing. Also hydrogen tanks are the way to go by far. Lifting off with ice is a complete waste of hydrogen.

    edit---------
    You could even chop off a ton of stuff from spiff's ship.
     
  21. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    1,413
    I had a bit of extra lift with that configuration, so I added four more large cargo containers (the blue ones) as ice storage. When I hit zero-g's in space during testing under full load, I had 51% of hydrogen left in the tanks (that's a comfortable margin). When whatever ice that was left in those four large cargo containers had been all converted to hydrogen a few minutes later, the tanks were 61% full. It takes a LOT of ice to refill those tanks. The use of ion engines was intentional to give the ship the ability to move around in space without being dependent on hydrogen. Yeah, as you would expect, it handles like a pig when it's fully loaded, too. It ain't pretty, but it'll move a huge amount of material.
     
  22. Theurgist Trainee Engineer

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    Ref: Transferrable cargo containers: I've used them multiple times with no issues in MP. You just need to use a connector AND landing gear locks. That way when your connector (*inevitably) gets fail-disconnected you don't get to experience internal explosions.

    This would require a bit of effort to load/unload containers though. Mine were designed for use in space so a set of small ion is plenty to get them on board. You'd either have to make each cargo module with atmos thrusters, or set up a set of cranes that could do the work. Or even a crane vehicle.

    Most of this is just excuses to make something else that's just silly, impractical, but cool as all hell.
     
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  23. odizzido Junior Engineer

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    669
    What I mean is it would be better to build another tank or two, and convert that ice into hydrogen before lifting.

    edit--------
    better still, have the hydrogen production on a station and refill the tanks at stations instead of hauling around 100 o2 generators.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  24. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    1,413
    Yup, that would be the most "cost-effective", in terms of resulting overall mass and required lift. I based my design on self-sufficiency...well...to a degree. Someone still has to mine the ice. But, yes, I concede that having an ice plant and 50+ filled hydrogen tanks would be the best way to fuel a ship of this size. Then it wouldn't be this size.
     
  25. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    @Spaceman Spiff with all that cargo may as well strap thrusters on an Asteroid and fly it!! LOL...

    Good build though.
     
  26. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    Thanks. @AirplaneFood started this thread by saying that his 100-cargo-container ship wouldn't fly. So I said, "Why not?" and tried it myself. I learned a lot in the process and just got through revising one of my existing freighter designs that required a 10X thruster mod to fly fully loaded. Not anymore, baby! I'll publish the revised design blueprint soon.
     
  27. AirplaneFood Apprentice Engineer

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    I look forward to seeing how you managed it :)
     
  28. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    OK, here's the build: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1708476054

    [​IMG]

    As I said in the blueprint's description, this is a complete overhaul of the original design that had rotating refinery modules, a small-grid conference table and medical workstation, and a small-grid elevator in the stern (engineering section). Although all that was pretty cool to design and make work, it was highly unstable and, worse yet, was incomplete when trying to build from a projection. I completely eliminated all rotors and pistons, so the new design has no subgrids to worry about.

    I found that by using large atmospheric thrusters much fuel efficiency can be gained. I know it seems counterintuitive, but the large atmospheric thrusters, which only work for the first 6-7 km of elevation during climb-out, take a lot of load off the hydrogen thrusters thereby extending hydrogen reserves. I had to add a lot more hydrogen thrusters as well as 20 large atmospheric thrusters to handle the high capacity of fully loaded large cargo containers.

    I revised the engineering section to add a third jump drive, a couple extra gyroscopes, some additional O2/H2 generators, and four additional small reactors to boost available power a bit to handle the large atmospheric thrusters. I also added ladder access through an airlock in the engineering section so players do not need a jetpack to enable them to get into and out of the ship. Finally, I revised the bow to include captain's quarter's (with a great view).

    I did not use any of the new DLC components in this design.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  29. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    2,990
    My Kina ship :tu:
     
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