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Proposed Hydrogen Power Generator Block - Fuel Choices

Discussion in 'General' started by kcjunkbox, May 25, 2017.

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What should be the fuel choices for the new hydrogen power generator?

  1. Hydrogen and Oxygen (O2 either from environment or O2 tank) "Realistic"

    73.3%
  2. Hydrogen ONLY "not realistic"

    10.0%
  3. Hydrogen or Ice (understood to be the current choices for the block) "not realistic"

    16.7%
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. kcjunkbox Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,131
    There have been a few exceptions to physics in SE but almost all of them have been due to game/engine limitations. SE is designed to be reasonably accurate with regard to physics were possible and it does not really dampen game play. My bias is for keeping as close to realistic physics as possible.

    So as the title says, fuel choices for the proposed new hydrogen power generator block are the issue. The teasers and some discussions by the Devs have suggested that the new block will have a switch that will generate power from either hydrogen or ice. The block model suggests that it is a hydrogen combustion engine and not a hydrogen fuel cell which look completely different. It today's techonology a fuel cell is much more efficient and must more costly as they need a catalyst like platinum, which is not available on SE planets so this may explain why it looks like a combustion engine. I'm ok with this choice by the devs as it is still reasonable. I would suggest a fuel cell requiring platinum for a higher efficiency/tier option but I can live with out it as well.

    In either case both need hydrogn and oxygen to either combust or combine depending on which method you use which produces electricity and water. This water can then be reused by splitting it into O2 and H2 again and then recombine so you would never need more water, which makes consuming more and more ice kind of strange. However, you will always use more energy separating them then you will get when combusting or recombining them. This is simple science. So why do this in the first place? Well that is a very good question and one that we in the real world are arguing about right now. The answer is that hydrogen stored in a tank makes a pretty good energy storage system or "battery." And since current battery technology has it's own issues, it is an alternative to batteries. There is lots of debate right now on which is more practical and which technology will win and become the standard.

    All of that is great, but the real question and problem with the new block is the option to run it on ice. This breaks the laws of physics. Melting ice into water requires x amount of energy, splitting that water in to hydrogen and oxygen requires y amount of energy and finally combusting or recombining they hydrogen and oxygen produces z amount of energy. The probelm is that x + y equals more energy than z and so it could never run on ice and produce more energy than it consumes. Physics says this is impossible.

    So I believe they Devs should not allow this new block to run on ice as it makes no scientific sense what so ever.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  2. noname42 Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    95
  3. GrindyGears Senior Engineer

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    1,787
    So, im not super into thermodynamics, so i really can't say if this will make any sense or not:

    Today we have a closed system steam engine that is able to run to some degree on waste heat, I wonder if the ice could be used in conjunction with the radiator to cool the steam back down, ideally melting additional ice in the process.... Im pretty sure it violates some laws of physics, but for an early game power source I don't think its the worst thing they could do.

    We really have no idea exactly how much power is even being outputted by the system in either mode. In ice mode it could be incredibly negligible amounts, but just enough to give things a kick start. whereas in hydrogen mode it gives a little more.

    I personally would like to see the addition of something like coal to the game, so we can have either a solid or liquid fuel option for that fancy switch, Or alternately i'd also be fine with adding something like crude oil that can be refined (or just burn it like bunker C...)

    Either way, sometimes gameplay > science, othertimes not so much. I'm just happy to see they are trying new things, and working towards more features (for better or for worse to some)
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Late Late x 1
  4. TwoHedWlf Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    65
    The steam engine you're talking about, and using the ice etc at best will just increase efficiency a little bit. Hydrogen from ice is fine as power storage, but is not a power source. That would have to be wind, solar or nuclear to run the electrolysis. Only in magical 100% efficient physics thought experiment land could you run a generator on hydrogen to produce power to split water to produce hydrogen to run the generator.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  5. Spets Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,214
    I still don't get the point of why so many power sources. Windmill when there is not even wind, so it can just run everywhere anytime. Solar Panels when there is not even clouds or storms, so it can just run anywhere at daytime. Reactors, you find one uranium deposit and you are done for thousand years. Batteries, they should be portable too, or at least a variation 1x1 for small grids. and now Hydrogen generators.
    Not going to rage because adding things is good, but Im a little unhappy(?), because they could just work on adding other things "we" always wanted that could enrich survival much more imo. Like a few environmental effects and hazards that could also affect the gameplay like visibility, mobility, clouds or storms blocking the sun power but boosting the windmills.. and so on, not gonna start a wishlist here
    so, I'm gonna wait and see why "we" need hydrogen generators and how it will improve the survival experience, maybe I just don't see it right now...
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  6. The Churrosaur Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    744
    Totally with you Spets. I'm cautiously hopeful that the survival rebalance will also bring us features that make us need all these other power sources. It seems like it's going to be not the upcoming, but the next major update- so maybe we'll see more hazards teased soon? I guess we'll see...
     
    • Late Late x 1
  7. Plongo Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    42
    While i agree with you, i think the engine block adds a lot more to the game. I guess power is going to get a massive overhaul, and with that i think more hazards etc should be coming to making survival even better. Maybe reactors themselves are going to cause radiation or some other hazards of there own. New blocks are always welcome, think of the rover designs with these new blocks and ship designs!
    --- Automerge ---
    Also op, I think this engine would have an air intake just like in real life. So it would automatically include O2. Be interesting though if it doesn't work in a vacuum or non O2 environment, that would the deciding factor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Spets Master Engineer

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    3,214
    well, I just read some unofficial leaks... kinda makes the addition of H Generator more sense, like a progression feeling somehow. But still, I would have preferred that they added other requested features/blocks. You know, the most wanted and not "impossible" or complicated ones
     
  9. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    657
    I mean, it is possible to get an engine to run on ice (kinda). But not an internal combustion engine, gotta be a stirling engine where you extract energy from a temperature gradient. Ice cooling one side while the other is heated does provide a temperature gradient, albeit a very small one that would not generate very much power at all.

    Heating the hot side with a hydrogen flame would make even more power!

    So yeah, not entirely unrealisitic that an engine could run off burning hydrogen or ice. Although you are going to get very very little from ice, and that has a lot of assumtions about the temperature of space engineers. Maybe the hulls of the spacecraft are extremely hot due to lack of radiators and it runs off that?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Arcturus Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,649
    I would suggest Hydrogen OR Organic
     
  11. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,227
    i'd just like if wheels worked first of all. :p
    they teased something to do with wheels 6 weeks back.

    broken or ready or not isn't the warcry of space engineers that its in beta?
    I'd prefer the wheels they teased than the ones we've been bloody well stuck with since fancy block update.............ugh lets try something else.... Now watch and learn, here's the deal He'll slip and slide on this banana peel! *rovers fails to break/turn and smashes into a tree* WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?
     
  12. kcjunkbox Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,131
    Timotei brings up a good point, maybe we have missintepreted the ice mode. Maybe it is actually a built in Gas generator that heats and splits the ice into O2 and H2 kind of like the existing O2 generator. This would be a totally acceptable use for the ice mode. So basically it is reversable. In ice mode it consumes energy and produces O2 and H2 and in H2 mode it produces energy by consuming O2 and H2. This would seem to make the O2 generator redundent but maybe the O2 generator would be more efficient? Of course it would only be more efficient if it actually worked like it should and produced O2 and H2 at the same time instead of one or the other like it does now. Hopefully they fix that too.

    Note to Keen Devs: If you had planned to make it consume ice and produce energy and realize the error of your ways after all the backlash, this is a great way to save face. Pretend like you always intended ice mode to actually be the reverse mode that splits ice into O2 and H2 and we will never be the wiser and we can stop jumping up and down and screaming and yelling about breaches in the laws of physics. Thank you!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. SilentShadow Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    286
    On a related but nagging "realism" issue. The current oxygen generators. When they generate h2 are we pretending that the O2 is stored in a subtank within the H2 tank for the thrusters?

    When filling O2 tanks are we pretending the H2 was tossed overboard for safety reasons?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,227
    i do wonder that as well...where does the h2 go when oxygen is being made and vice versa?
    it should make a *hissing* sound and when viewed through a terminal it would say something like

    error!!
    unable to locate suitable hydrogen/oxygen tank
    auto ejecting gas to prevent dangerous build up.
     
  15. SilentShadow Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    286
    What if this is the true reason for Clang's appearances?
     
  16. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

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    468
    I'm not quite sure what kind of power source this new block is.

    Is it ICE (internal combustion engine)?
    Is it fusion?
    Is it fuel cell?

    If its anything but fusion, then O2 should probably be needed. But fusion should really only need hydrogen. Or just ice if they're going magnohydroelectrodynamics (Scifi term).
     
  17. Saberwulfy Apprentice Engineer

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    292
    In-game, we reach the tech level for a 1 cubic meter nuclear reactor, so hydrogen engine is too much?
    It's sci-fi, believable is the frontier, no realism.
    So if isn't gnose, blood, quintenssence, mana, cosmo, KI, chakra, spiritual, pikachu... engine, and we are developing hydrogen-powered cars. Why not?

    This update open a option for mods, because is easier change a block instead create.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  18. Echillion Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,334
    So long as they don't get rid of the small grid reactors as I use them for planetary vehicles and knowing Keen they probably will as they nerfed ions to buggery to make using Hydrogen more attractive when planets came out. As for radiation leaks etc please tell me Keen aren't copying Empyrion's lead as I don't want to play two identical game with only cosmetic differences?
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  19. Saberwulfy Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    292
    Identical? isn't planets and space interation in Empyrion a "space dimension" with fake planets with proximity teleport to "planet dimension"? Empyrion drones are mobs, SE drone is a little ship made of blocks...
    Empyrion is a sci-fi game with mechanics 90% different of SE!
     
  20. Echillion Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,334
    Empyrion posted they were going to have planets so SE had to have bigger planets,Empyrion is now introducing radiation (Alpha 6) and temperature zones on planets so now SE is comtemplating radiation whether background or otherwise? where does it end? where one game is ripping ideas for gameplay off of the other and apart from the glaring differencs they have the same main features. Don't get me wrong I like Empyrion for what it is but I also like SE for what it is as well and having to get food,drink,anti radiation protection in both games does both games a disservice.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  21. gorgofdoom Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    12
    I would say option # 4. Add a fuel source that is only available on certain planets. (IE. fossil fuels) This would add a reason to move from planet surface to space that isn't simply to go there. You would also have to remove Uranium from planets. IMHO nuclear should be end-game power generation since any reasonably sized grid never needs more than one large reactor. (batteries could also be useful again. I find myself just building more small reactors since uranium is so easy to get.)

    I would require refined fossil fuels and O2 to run these engines. This could create a bridge between being planet-dependent and fully independent in space if we made ice much less common in space. (one would either need O2 farms for generator input or a stock of ice/ filled oxygen tank)
     
  22. tmike Apprentice Engineer

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    107
    I wouldnt say compleantly remove uranium, but it should be alot more Rare then it is, if we use earth as a guide there should be plantnum. but its Rare. a point I should add is only aobut 10% of the unrainum found on earth any way is u-235 not the fisanble u-238. so only about we should only get about 10% or less useable uranium form ore.... but uranium is about as common in the earths curst as plantnum
     
  23. halipatsui Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,253
    I dont really think this issue matters that much since SE is already littered with troll physics.

    If ice running engines are good part of (possible) future survival rebalance so be it.

    Maybe we can even power a trolldrive with ice now.

    They might also add more fiel sources later.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  24. tmike Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    107
    I have acutally played with both the wind mill mod, and the shall oil mod, (would probly still be useing it if it wasnt for the purple voxel bug) so I actually would object to a hydgen cobustion engine, or even one that burned hydro carbens......
     
  25. halipatsui Senior Engineer

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    1,253
    What about if smashing enemy ships in mp would litter "salty tears of enemies" around.

    These could be gathered as ulta powerful fuel for the combustion engine.
    Far exceeding even uranium.
    It isnt even troll physics.
    I know i get a lot of energy from salty tears of my opponents.
     
  26. Levits Senior Engineer

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    2,122
    Been hopeful that they'd add hydrogen powered systems to the game but if the thing runs off of ice directly... there's a problem with that concept.

    A new gas tank size and a generator that runs off of hydrogen; simple. Faster to refill/recharge than a battery, can be used at night (unlike the solar panels), and produces enough power to run hydrogen-powered thrusters and wheels/rotors (without having to bother with uranium or other such things that require excessive industry/materials).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  27. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,227
    what this guy said ^
    after all we know for a fact bastion is powered by salty angry tears...and that robot seems to have been in operation for ages!
     
  28. SilentShadow Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    286
    Well, for sanity reasons, if all of this happens then the tanks should
    1) be measured in kg of H2 cause L is vague.
    2) tanks should change weight similar to cargo. Maybe update weights every 15 or 30 ticks to reduce CPU loads.

    Capacity can be Arbitrarily adjusted for game play up to the solid H2 or they could claim inefficiencies in power gen too.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.