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Hydrogen rebalance

Discussion in 'Balancing' started by Ithica, Nov 23, 2016.

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

    I absolutely love hydrogen! Having to use fuel to operate in space just feels right. Needing to turn off my inertial dampeners and drift to save fuel helps make space feel spacey. I love hydrogen so much that I banned myself from using ion thrusters altogether. Having to work around my hydrogen fuel needs has become a major source of enjoyment for me.

    Having said this, hydrogen still needs some love.

    At present, producing hydrogen uses a laughably small amount of power and can be produce quickly enough for ships to potentially meet their needs completely in house, even during operation. This problem is further exasperated by the capacity of small ship hydrogen tanks, which is far too low for small ships to reasonably rely on without adding an unrealistic amount of tanks. Because of this poor balance, some engineers are even choosing to forgo hydrogen tanks completely and simply produce 100% of their hydrogen needs in real time.

    This feels wrong.

    I envision hydrogen as a fuel you need to outsource to a dedicated refinery complex, rather then simply producing it right in the ship that uses it. I love the idea of engineers needing to make fuel depots scattered around the star system for ships to use like gas stations. To achieve this, ice refining should take too much time and too much power for small ships to realistically be able to meet 100% of their needs during operation. Hydrogen tank capacity should be increased to compensate for this.

    Here are some numbers I feel would help fix this issue:
    Triple the storage capacity of small ship Hydrogen tanks.
    Reduce small ship hydrogen production to 1/4 the current rate.
    Increase small ship hydrogen production energy cost by 5x.
    Increase large ship hydrogen tank capacity by 1/2.
    Reduce large ship hydrogen production to 1/2 the current rate.
    Increase large ship hydrogen production energy cost by 5x.

    These are just some preliminary numbers, and would of course need field testing once implemented.

    I understand not everyone likes hydrogen as much as me, and not everyone wants the game to be as realistic as I'd like, but I still
    feel these changes would be much more appropriate then current balance.

    Tell me what you think!
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 8
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  2. System Error Message Trainee Engineer

    I have a much better idea, Rebuff hydrogen thrusters for the same fuel usage. Hydrogen thrusters were nerfed and this is a big problem when trying to make a useful ship in survival that is decent at everything.

    When i design a ship i always set a goal on its task, how heavy it will weigh and how much weight it can carry. Since the stats were changed i cant design things well enough. I usually make ships with enough hydrogen thrusters to take off with twice its weight at 1G, enough atmospheric thrusters to handle at least 1.5x its weight, and some ion thrusters to give it at least a decent acceleration. I also set the goal of having at least 2x the number of hydrogen tanks to upwards hydrogen thrusters. Now i just cant seem to get that combination anymore. A decent or good large ship type for survival weighs around 4000 tonnes, it needs to be able to carry 8000 tonnes because of the small ship types it will carry and the cargo it will need to stow.

    it takes a long time to produce hydrogen on a large ship so dont reduce it, do you even play survival? As for storage capacity they should take a look at real life in that it is stored in a compressed form. They're called solid/liquid fuel for a reason and its because the hydrogen and oxygen is compressed to the point where they become either liquid or solid. Solid hydrogen oxygen thrusters in real life cant be controlled, once they're open they just combust till empty. Space shuttle has both and if you put the size into perspective, each booster on a space shuttle in size is like 1 large hydrogen thruster with 4 hydrogen tanks on it. Although planets are much smaller you still need to fly 40KM away to escape from gravity but in real life the you need more than 100KM just to get post the atmosphere whereas gravity is theoratically infinite.

    below 10000 tonnes is literally the weight of a destroyer class ship, so you can try to imagine what it'd be like to send one of those ships into space. Space engineers is far from realistic, whats realistic about the game is how it abides by the known laws of physics only to be broken by networking.
  3. odizzido Junior Engineer

    In the game I was/am playing I actually do refill my hydrogen tanks at my station and don't produce any on the ship itself. They can't fly around very long, but they're certainly able to do their jobs.

    I try to keep weight down as much as possible which really helps with fuel consumption. Also keep in mind that hydrogen drains because of bugs as well. If you turn your ship off and on when drifting around it doesn't hurt too much.
  4. System Error Message Trainee Engineer

    The problem with having such is to do with the size of the station. Imagine stocking 30 hydrogen tanks just to refill a ship like mine as i do make good capital ships but they do have a 2 to 1 ratio of hydrogen tanks to thrusters. Now imagine your station as a hub where space craft repeatedly come back, you're just going to run out of hydrogen from the tanks refilling ships.

    I also noticed that since the patch multiple generators work at the same time rather than just one (they all pull ice till full rather than just 1 generator pulling), so its better to have the generators on your main ships and long range vessels so that they can refill themselves even while exploring. I make capital ships in survival well and they only weigh around 4000 tonnes, not only do they have lots of hydrogen tanks for their own thrusters but also to refuel smaller craft too and when connected to a station or other ships they can help refine the resources too. This is the reason for not reducing what components you use as multiple ships with generators and refineries when connected help pull their components to refuel and refine ores quicker rather than 1 platform only having the ability to do it.
  5. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    The tonnage of ice you need to collect to fill up the tanks to give your ships decent legs is also phenomenal so not only do you need an insane amount of storage space and generator count to keep ships operational, but you need a large mining operation to support the rest of your operations. And that means mining at specific ice-rich locations.

    Hydrogen infrastructure demands really just make them a poor choice for fleet wide use - they are especially terrible for ships that do a lot of routine acceleration like ore miners, construction and scrapper ships, and tugs.

    Oxygen generators are cheap, light and function as very effective conveyors. They should be present on all hydrogen ships in number - replacing the conveyors where appropriate.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. ViroMan Senior Engineer

    Producing hydrogen IS fast IRL. 100 watts will give you a good flow of hydrogen. More watts = faster production although the need to keep the water cool while you are doing this. Ohh look just add more ice. :)

    from another site...

    so.... you know what... thank god I don't gota do math like this... You do it.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. System Error Message Trainee Engineer

    depends how the hydrogen is produced. It can be produced through hydrolysis of water or even chemical reactions that release hydrogen. while more amps does make the gasses faster there is a limit based on the device itself such as the cable size for instance. the amount of watts used in the game by the oxygen generator is quite a lot, we're talking kilowatts, many times more than what a home can support (7KW).
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    You can design cabling harnesses to deliver Gigwatts/MegaAmps in pulse power applications. That's hardly a limiting factor for titanic scale hydrogen production like you need in SE.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. System Error Message Trainee Engineer

    hydrolysis of water needs constant power not pulsed but thats not the point. Its a question of how much hydrogen is actually produced as its not mentioned (hydrogen is usually compressed when stored) so perhaps some of the power is also used for compression. If we compare how much thrust liquid fuel (hydrogen + oxygen) gives it should help to give an idea by comparing to the hydrogen thruster's own output in the game to how much fuel irl thrusters actually use. The space shuttle has 2 types of main thrusters, the solid booster (cant be controlled, once activated the thrust cant be adjusted) and liquid thrusters (using liquid hydrogen + oxygen) which can be adjusted and is what the space shuttle uses after leaving the atmosphere as the main thruster.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    Dude, you can scale most industrial processes to almost arbitrary size. It's not remotely an issue. There is no technical barrier to large scale hydrogen production via electrolysis if someone wanted to do that. The only barrier is that it is energetically (and thus monetarily) more expensive than other methods. Electroylsis is very expensive IRL. Hydrogen is almost never produced in the real world via electrolysis, it is produced via steam reformation during the processing of fossil fuels.

    However, quite simply put, it doesn't matter AT ALL from a gameplay perspective. SE is only vaguely based on real world concepts and none of the power consumptions are based around anything realistic. The ion thruster power costs versus outputs are totally out of whack versus reality - ions simply aren't remotely as powerful IRL, nor will they ever be. Jump drives are relatively cheap to operate as well compared to moving around with ions.

    Gameplay trumps realism.

    For SE, all that matters from a gameplay perspective is that the energetic cost of producing hydrogen balances out so that it costs much less energy to output a Newton of thrust for a given amount of time using an H2 thruster than it costs to run an ion thruster for the same amount of thrust.

    Hydrogen needs constant fueling, which means it needs a large, dedicated mining apparatus and a huge H2 reserve. Its advantages are great specific thrust and cheaper thrusters. If H2 was also overly expensive to produce in terms of uranium usage it would be totally non-viable in game except for specialized things like missiles. The logistics costs are already pretty high as it is.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  11. System Error Message Trainee Engineer

    I know its about gameplay, i only mentioned a few things compared to real life as thats what this thread is about. You also need to remember that the oxygen generator isnt that big and that realistically hydrolysis is used by it as it takes power and ice/water and converts it to hydrogen and oxygen. A lot of people like to compare SE to real life, its one of the attractions of SE about how humans might live in space in the not so distant future so people tend to compare elements from SE to real life. In KSP you cant have thrusters all over the place like in space engineers and the only other game that comes close to SE's ship design is actually nexus the jupiter incident as ships in that game can rotate on its axis (like as if it has gyros), it has many thrusters in all direction, mostly facing backwards and forwards and uses quite a familiar shape. It would be nice to be able to replicate the hulls from nexus in SE as some of them rotate for artificial gravity but SE wont let you use rotors and make it airtight at the same time. KSP shouldnt be compared to SE as their design principles are very different, nexus has a much better idea with future ship design

    In the game it takes 2 solar panels and 1 battery to power an oxygen generator continuously at least. However i wish they didnt nerf the hydrogen thrusters as such thrusters are capable of great thrust even irl as it just a simple chemical reaction that produces motion and at the same time ejecting mass out of the back. Its now very difficult to properly design capital ships with all 3 sets of thrusters with decent thrust from all 3 (2x it's weight at 1G for hydrogen thrusters and atm thrusters when used seperately) but also decent thrust from ion in space as well.

    A lot of ships in the workshop can barely lift more than their own weight as you would need 10x inventory just for them to be viable, especially the popular ones, they're just there to look good.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. Robotnik V Apprentice Engineer

    Alright, I'm going to post this here instead of making a new thread. First I want to say that large grid hydrogen stats are okay, they are moderately balanced(excluding generators) and are useful for a large range of applications. Small ship hydrogen isn't, it sucks all around, and it's applications are very limited. To compare here's a list of small ship hydrogen stats vs large ship hydrogen stats.

    {Hydrogen tank}
    (Mass: 8,161kg)
    (Storage:2,500,000L) Assuming liters.
    (Max input or output: 125,000L/s) How much hydrogen can flow in or out of the tank at any given time.
    (storage/mass: 306.335L/kg)
    (Input or output/mass: 15.3167504L/s/kg)
    (mass: 3,161kg) slightly above half the weight for a container that's 27 times smaller.
    (Storage: 80,000L) multiplying this number by 27 gives you 2,160,000, which is 340,000 less than the large h tank.
    (Max input, output 4,000L/s)
    (storage/mass: 25.30844669L/kg) Compared to 306...
    (Input, output/mass 1.265422335L/s/kg)

    {Hydrogen thruster}


    (thrust: 6mn) For those that don't know the metric system 1 mega newton =1,000 kilo newton = 1,000,000 newton's.
    (fuel consumption: 6,426.7h/s) assuming liters.
    (thrust/mass, or acceleration: 864.5533141m/s^2) converted mn into n.
    (thrust to fuel: 933.6041162n/L) 933.6 newtons of force per liter.
    (hydrogen tank storage/fuel consumption, IE fuel time: 389.0021317 seconds or 6.483368862 minutes.) One hydrogen thruster+ one h tank.

    (Mass: 1420kg)
    (thrust: 900kn)
    (fuel consumption: 1,092.5h/s)
    (acceleration: 633.802816m/s^2)
    (thrust/fuel: 823.798627n/L)
    (h tank/ consumption: 2288.329519 seconds or 38.13882532 minutes.


    (Mass: 1222kg)
    (thrust: 400kn) Half the thrust and 200 kg less when compared to large grid small h thruster.
    (fuel consumption: 514.1h/s)
    (acceleration: 327.3322422m/s^2) :whatever:
    (thrust/fuel: 778.0587434n/L)
    (h tank/ consumption) 155.6117487 seconds, or 2.593529145 minutes:eek: :mad:

    (Mass: 334kg)
    (Thrust: 82kn)
    (fuel consumption: 109.2h/s)
    (acceleration: 245.508982m/s^2):munch:
    (thrust/fuel: 750.9157509n/L)
    (h tank consumption: 732.6007326 seconds 12.21001221) Proceeds to never touch small grid hydrogen ever again.

    Oxygen generators: I'm not going to go get the values for these, as they all need a buff. However, here's some facts about small grid hydrogen. All hydrogen refined from an oxygen generator is in a 1L of ice to two L of hydrogen ratio. Large grid oxy generators are in a 1 to 3 ratio. A fully loaded small grid oxygen generator is heavier than one small grid hydrogen tank, and you get less hydrogen from the generator.
    So, in conclusion large grid hydrogen is useful, while small grid hydrogen is near useless. Please keen post where you got the values for hydrogen from, so that we can go through and see how close the values are to RL, and what needs to be changed so it mimics RL, or changed for gameplay needs.

    EDIT: Made this easier to read.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. Cotcan Trainee Engineer

    I feel like the devs designed hydrogen only for leaving a planet's atmosphere, and entering one. Even then the amount of hydrogen you need to produce or store to make that possible is insane. Let's not even talk about how much ice you need to even replace the hydrogen you've used. It takes like 300 kg of ice at least, to fill one large grid hydrogen tank. That's 300,000 extra weight you have lug around to replenish your hydrogen tanks. A proper hydrogen processing facility would have to have tons of inventory space for just holding the tons and tons of ice you'll need. Plus the tons of oxygen generators you'll need to produce hydrogen in any reasonable time. Then if you want to store it on site (already processed), you need tons of hydrogen tanks. Long story short, hydrogen is only usable for short periods of time, and requires tons of resources to replenish any lost hydrogen.
  14. odizzido Junior Engineer

    I really don't see the problem people have with hydrogen. It does take a huge amount of ice to refill tanks but you can fly around for a long time once they are. Since ice is pretty easy to get the large quantities aren't much of an issue.
  15. System Error Message Trainee Engineer

    not true, you only need 1 hydrogen tank per large hydrogen thruster to leave the atmosphere of a planet with more gravity, you just adjust the thrusters yourself or use a script to do it efficiently. Another way is to move forwards at max speed so the game cant accelerate you downwards much, this uses very little hydrogen.

    if you just mash the up key you will need 2 hydrogen tanks for every large thruster.
  16. Thales M. Junior Engineer

    I like realism and I don't think increasing tank capacity is realistic. On the contrary they're already higher than normal.
    I suggest fuel mass for sake of realism.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Robotnik V Apprentice Engineer

    Did small grid hydrogen ever get rebalanced? I've been away for a while, and will probably continue to be away.
  18. odizzido Junior Engineer

    Don't know. Power doesn't work properly ATM either so best to be away a while longer.
  19. Robotnik V Apprentice Engineer

    Bump, small grid hydrogen still needs to be fixed.
  20. odizzido Junior Engineer

    power almost works now but it still needs work, check back again later.
  21. Robotnik V Apprentice Engineer

    Bump, did SG hydrogen get fixed yet?
  22. Thales M. Junior Engineer

    Fuel mass must be included.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  23. odizzido Junior Engineer

    SG hydrogen seems okay to me /shrug.....at least last time I tried it.


    I'd be pretty happy with significant increases to the amount of power required to create hydrogen as well.
  24. Robotnik V Apprentice Engineer

    I haven't checked the mass or the fuel consumption, but all the other values are the same. So, its probable safe to assume no, the small grid hydrogen didn't get buffed. I recommend avoiding small grid hydrogen until I can post my balance mod to the workshop. As it is now, it's more efficient to use atmospheric/ion thruster for interplanetary small ships, and or large grid hydrogen.
  25. Jas Apprentice Engineer

    small grids oxygen generator produce H2 and O2 at half rate (doubled ice consumption) than Large Grid one while Small tank has around 10% of teh Large tank capacity while occuping 1/27 of the volume
  26. odizzido Junior Engineer

    The oxygen generator thing I noticed and I think it's silly. They should produce the same amount of total hydrogen...otherwise what are you doing? Dumping water out just because?

    As to the tank size I did not notice that. Are you sure that they are so much more efficient than the large ones? holding 10% in 3.7% of the space is pretty good. I always thought people were complaining that they held nothing.

    Anyways if I were to go through everything I would make sure that all of the thrusters produced the same amount of thrust relative to hydrogen consumption. Then I would look at a propane tank that you would use for a portable gas cooker and then look at a propane tank that is typically on a semi/lori and make an educated guess on how much more efficient large grid tanks would be.
  27. Robotnik V Apprentice Engineer

    10% is incorrect, the current small grid hydrogen tanks have 3.2% the large tank capacity, and yet their 1/27 the size or about 3.7% the size. That doesn't sound like a big difference, but that along with lower gas production, and crap tier flight time and propulsion means that any other form of flight with small grid is better. I'm currently in the middle of finals, once I'm done I'll see about getting the ratios fixed. Remind me in the event I forget.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  28. odizzido Junior Engineer

    3.2% capacity for 3.7% of the space sounds pretty much what it should be to me. You're going to have more material costs relative to the amount you can hold with smaller containers.

    I've not looked into this much myself as you may have guessed.....so just looking at the files it seems....

    Large grid large hydro:
    fuel use: 10
    force:6 000 000
    force per 1 fuel = 600 000

    large grid small:
    fuel use: 1.7
    force:900 000
    force per 1 fuel = 529 411

    Small grid large:
    fuel use:0.8
    force:400 000
    force per 1 fuel = 500 000

    small grid small:
    fuel use:0.17
    force:82 000
    force per 1 fuel = 482 352

    So if you made it so that fuel produces the same energy regardless of the thruster it's coming out of then the small grid large would be around 0.6666667 instead of .8 for a 20% increase in flight time. Small grid small would be 0.1366664 fuel consumption for around a 24.4% increase in efficiency. Pretty significant.

    Large oxy gen has an ice:gas ratio of 3 compared to 2 for the small grid because of no reason. Bump that to 3 on small grid and that makes a pretty massive difference, assuming you use a small grid oxy gen at all. I never do personally.

    Anyways a ~20-25% efficiency boost to small grid hydrogen would, IMO, not only make sense but also make them significantly better. Large thrusters should still be more efficient in their mass/thrust ratio hopefully but I haven't looked it that.

    Of course I'd be interested in trying the game out using more realistic power consumption for producing hydrogen from water. So because SE can only produce one or the other, we will assume 1kg of ice = 1kg of hydrogen

    From this site, http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/3157/hydrogen-production-from-renewables/ , A 100% efficient electrolyser requires 39 kWh of electricity to produce 1 kg of hydrogen.

    A large grid hydrogen tank has a capacity of 2 500 000 somethings. I am not going to go through everything right now but if we figure out how many kg of ice it takes to fill a tank up as well as how long it takes we could get some proper numbers going. We could figure out some proper numbers for thrusters if we find out how long a full burn thruster will run for on a full tank too. All I know now is that it large grid large takes 10 somethings per something at most. Anyways that's it for me. I might do a full realism mod at some point when the game is done but not until then.
    --- Automerge ---
    k so apparently I am crazy..

    large grid small hydro = 1420kg
    large grid large = 6940

    small grid small = 334
    small grid large = 1222

    so yeah, large thrusters are better weight/thrust than small by a good amount for both large and small grid. Small grid thrusters are really heavy for how much thrust they provide though.....like three times heavier. That might be something to balance with hydrogen as well because it makes a big difference.
    --- Automerge ---
    k so I just did a quick test....switched mat costs...

    new number came out to be
    small grid small = 130kg
    small grid large = 530kg

    large is still more efficient, small large is still less efficient than large large, but not by an insane amount.

    So my balance test would be to:

    Change fuel consumption of small grid large to 0.6666667 from 0.8
    Change fuel consumption of small grid small to 0.1366664 from 0.17

    Change small grid large mat costs to
    <Component Subtype="SteelPlate" Count="10" />
    <Component Subtype="Construction" Count="10" />
    <Component Subtype="MetalGrid" Count="5" />
    <Component Subtype="SmallTube" Count="10" />
    <Component Subtype="Construction" Count="10" />
    <Component Subtype="SteelPlate" Count="5" />

    Change small grid small mat costs to
    <Component Subtype="SteelPlate" Count="1" />
    <Component Subtype="Construction" Count="5" />
    <Component Subtype="MetalGrid" Count="1" />
    <Component Subtype="SmallTube" Count="2" />
    <Component Subtype="Construction" Count="2" />
    <Component Subtype="SteelPlate" Count="2" />

    That would normalize fuel thrust across the engines and make small grid thrusters much closer to large grid thrust/weight wise.
    --- Automerge ---
    okay, so turns out I went as far as making a quick mod....


    Does exactly what I posted as what I would try for a balance change. In addition the small grid oxy gen produces as much hydrogen as the large version per kg of ice.....or should, I didn't test that.

    What is doesn't do is increase hydrogen tank capacity or make small grid hydrogen overpowered. Small grid is actually still worse than large grid, I just made it much closer instead of being completely terrible(which I agree with now that I've looked at it, it is)

    See how that feels. I tried it in game and it seemed pretty good to me.

    Changed small grid tank to be more sane as well, weight/capacity wise compared to large grid. It's still not as good, but not completely terrible now.
    --- Automerge ---
    did a quick launch test with the mod using a small grid hydrogen ship I have, no cargo. Before the mod it took 11% of my hydrogen to get to 20km altitude. With the mod it only took 6%. That's just having fuel give the same energy regardless of grid size and reducing weight to make it only a little worse than large grid. That's pretty nuts that it takes half the fuel but it's still slightly worse than large.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  29. Robotnik V Apprentice Engineer

    That explains why I couldn't find the fuel consumption rate before, it was listed as <MaxPowerConsumption>, well that's useful to know. For small grid large hydrogen thrusters the fuel consumption would be about 428.45, before it was about 514.139, So, it's pretty close to a 20% decrease in fuel consumption. Small grid hydrogen tanks store 80,000 L of hydrogen, so the flight time has been increased to about 186.72 seconds, or about three minutes and 6 seconds. Large grid hydrogen is currently at 6 minutes and 29 seconds, so LG large hydrogen is still at double the fuel time of SG large hydrogen thrusters. So it still needs some balancing.

    Thanks for the rebalance of the components. Currently the small grid large hydrogen thruster has an acceleration of about 754.72m/s^2, which is a massive increase, it's still less than the large grid equivalent, but it's where it needs to be.

    In case you need it, the energy density of hydrogen in the game is 0.001556, if you divide the <MaxPowerConsumption> value by this number you will get the exact fuel consumption, which you can then divide the hydrogen tanks storage capacity by the fuel consumption rate to get the flight time.
  30. Soup Toaster Apprentice Engineer

    I really love using hydrogen as it adds a fair bit more engineering to this wonderful engineering game, but it feels like all that needs to be modified is the efficiency of small oxygen generators so they don't waste any more ice than the large ones do, and the storage capacity of the hydrogen tanks. The tanks feel like they should have 33% to 50% more capacity than they do. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how accurate the math or the realism is if small block hydrogen is still borderline useless.
    • Like Like x 1
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