Author Topic: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff  (Read 2322 times)

sacarasc

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[edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« on: September 13, 2011, 05:16:17 AM »
First of all: Hi to everyone, i just bought this wonderfull game and i cant stop playing it!

But there is something that keeps bothering me:

Why is there no really energy management?
Everything that has on/off cycles, for example weapons, should take the energy from the energy pools/stores and not direct from the energy feed from the generator.
Laser for example, should have a low energy need when not active, and a high need when active.
Like some basis energy need for the module to fit and energy need for activating the module.
Shields should use also more power when recharging and less power maintaining the current level.

This would then result in relativ small reactor designs with some buffer capacitor for the high power need.
Hopefully i could state my point, sorry for the bad englisch :-)

edit:
This buffer concept could be applied to fuel harvesting via bussard collectors und engines to.
collect fuel, burn fuel for engines, if engines not on, store it in fuel cell.

Also it would be cool if the engines would not be firing all the time, be, for example setting a max speed value in the ai settings tab in the blueprint editor.
The force of momentum would keep the ship going, because there is close to none friction in space, which would result in fuel saving.

edit2:
to not throw the total game balancing and dynamics out of the window, it may be easier to integrate some new technologies and some new items in the process to implementing this concepts  :D
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 07:49:20 AM by sacarasc »

spyre2000

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 11:31:56 AM »
Why is there no really energy management?
Everything that has on/off cycles, for example weapons, should take the energy from the energy pools/stores and not direct from the energy feed from the generator.
They do take their energy from "pools/stores" it's call the charge on the ship. A common bug is if you turn the game up to 10x on a ship with high energy use and low charge the ship will "die" because it ran out of power. This is due to power needs processing and using all the ships energy before the gens can put power back into them.

The problem your seeing is probably more along the lines of Capacitors suck. There is a module already called capacitors which only add about 50% more then a generator of the same size would. This means long term battery ships are not really viable in core game. In GA mod however there is a Quantum battery added late tech and it makes battery powered ships viable.

The ship design is also misleading as it tells you the power requirements of the ship at full operating status. You have to calculate the minimal power requirements yourself. Then figure out how long it will last with all system going, such as weapons firing, and that's how long the ship will last. However given how terrible capacitors are it's not worth the effort.

I remember one of the Devs popping in on a similar topic and they said it was intented that way. Though I don't really agree with that as I think a heavy battery design should be a viable ship design choice. As it stands now it's not really viable because any ship designed that way would barely last 5-10 seconds and be mostly capacitors. As a rule of thumb Gens tend to add 2.5x their power gen to charge. While capacitor hads a flat amount that depending on the gen can be 4-5 times the charge of that gen. Which means 4-5 seconds of reserve power for an equal sized gen. 


XTRMNTR2K

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 12:03:28 PM »
In GA mod however there is a Quantum battery added late tech and it makes battery powered ships viable.

Small correction: It's a vanilla tech; I've only created a custom icon for it.


As for the suggestions made in this thread, I generally agree;
EDIT: Never said anything else about this. Nuh-huh. Nope.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 12:21:40 PM by XTRMNTR2K »

Azalrion

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 12:18:52 PM »
Everyone feel free to pretend XT never said that. If we all believe hard enough, he'll believe it never happened as well. I have enough crazy plans  ;D.

Edit: Lol! XT, I wasn't serious you know I want to go crazy with the release after next, I just dread if we have to update the AI again with power changes.

It already is split into two types. You have the Consumes to Run power stat, and then you have the pow cost certain sub systems use when they go active. The only thing is that the hint combines the two of them into one stat.

Quote
Shields should use also more power when recharging and less power maintaining the current level.

They already work like that, they consume a base amount of the power just to be active, and when recharging they consume more.

Quote
This would then result in relativ small reactor designs with some buffer capacitor for the high power need.

Thats already possible its just the hint doesn't show the information separated out from the constant consumption and whats required for systems that need power just to run.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 12:24:55 PM by Azalrion »
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sacarasc

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 02:18:02 AM »
Okay, so i missed the energy topic ingame then.
But how do i calculate the "real" power needs in terms of:
 - idle
 - everything active

I dont see any infos ingame, or i am missing something here?

ps: maybe i should start a realism mod :D

spyre2000

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 09:56:54 AM »
Okay, so i missed the energy topic ingame then.
But how do i calculate the "real" power needs in terms of:
 - idle
 - everything active

I dont see any infos ingame, or i am missing something here?

ps: maybe i should start a realism mod :D
There are a couple ways. You can mouse over Net Power figure on the ship stats and it will highlight each subsystem that uses/gens power and you can manually work out which ones are constant ones and which ones will be only "use" driven, such as weapons.

Though that view is probably hard to read and I would recommend instead the Details tab and look for Power display. This one you can see which systems use/gen power on a bar graph. And again you have to manually work out which systems are using power constantly vs those that aren't.

There is also a subsystem called emergency power gen when when attached to a system can provide all it's power needs. The system requires no fuel and thus is used in a lot of early game self sufficient designs which will never need refueling since they get their power from fuelless source.

Not sure how power on subsystem modifiers work though. Quantum compressor is the only one I know for sure that uses power and I assume it's constant. I'm not sure if any of the weapon mods use power though and if they do, does the system only use that power when the ship is firing or does it constantly consume it?

I've never really tried to make a battery powered ship though so not sure how successful it will be. The biggest problem is when the ship runs out of power since a lot of ships die when that happens. In case of crewed ships life support goes off and crew dies, In case of CPU controlled ships it goes offline so does the ship, and In the case of Antimatter Gen ships the generator loses power to containment field and ship blows up.

So you might want to test how well the engine handles such designs. The Quantum Battery is a must have so I recommend starting new games at whatever tech level unlocks it. As for testing what happens when ships weapons drain all the power a few simple designs with regular power capacitors that only last seconds should do the trick.

If you do make a mod you might have to rework some of those important systems so they never go offline. I know it's not ideal but might be the only way to make it work in the engine.

sacarasc

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 03:01:10 AM »
well, ive tried to read the detailed design page and i dont get it....

for example, there is a railgun, with 10 net power, does it use 10 net power all the time or only when it shoots?
so, i could scale the powergen down by 10, install a cap and the ship would still work, providing the power needed to shoot out of the cap?

spyre2000

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 10:23:53 AM »
well, ive tried to read the detailed design page and i dont get it....

for example, there is a railgun, with 10 net power, does it use 10 net power all the time or only when it shoots?
so, i could scale the powergen down by 10, install a cap and the ship would still work, providing the power needed to shoot out of the cap?
I'm pretty sure all power is displayed in a per second basis. Thus you would have to figure out how much power it uses with each shoot. But it still only uses power when it fires.

So if you did design a ship with a railgun that had -10 power usage and somehow manage to make an exact power requirements of all other systems so the total power income on the ship is -10 then the ships capacitor would be at full until the gun starts firing. Next let's say that the ship's capacitor is 1K so the ship can fire for 100 seconds before it runs out power, reload speed will effect how many shoots it gets in that 100 seconds but still be 100 seconds. Since the net power income of the ship is exactly that of the gun it means the ship will also never recharge.


On the recharge what I mean is that if you don't have some extra power left over after powering the normal systems then the ship can not recharge. The easiest way to calculate this is look at which items use power while in use, like railgun. You see it has a -10 power usage so you need to have a total net income of more then -10. If it's -9 then it will take 10 seconds to recharge the power it used in 1 second (1 power extra incoming). Also since power is recharging during firing that example above now goes from 100 seconds to 111 seconds of firing time.




sacarasc

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2011, 12:41:55 AM »
Ok, got that. Thanks for explaining.

I build a tech demonstrator to test this settings, with the energie incoma slightly below 0 (-1.0) and the turret output of +3.0, so there would be a energy difference by +2.0 when not firing.
But the Ship died, soon after the cap run dry, why? It was not shooting, maybe i still got something wrong...?

will post the settings later, im currently at work (thank god its friday ;-) )

spyre2000

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2011, 01:51:08 AM »
Ok, got that. Thanks for explaining.

I build a tech demonstrator to test this settings, with the energie incoma slightly below 0 (-1.0) and the turret output of +3.0, so there would be a energy difference by +2.0 when not firing.
But the Ship died, soon after the cap run dry, why? It was not shooting, maybe i still got something wrong...?
+3 output of turret? I don't know of which component you speak and weapons always USE power they do not generate it. Thus they will always have negative numbers.

It should not die if the basic systems power requirements are met since it really only has a negative net power when the weapons are active. When sitting idle in system the ships power should remain at full.

Also when the ship died were you running that game at 10x speed? There is a bug in which ships that barely met the power requirements and have low capacitors get all their power drained and die before the power gen component can cycle through to add power back into the capacitor.

If your still having trouble post the exact design with the size of each component and attached subsystem modifiers if any. And the tech level your working at.


sacarasc

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2011, 05:00:07 AM »
no, i meant that the energy level would stable at +2 when not firing and -1 when firing (3.0 difference by gun[but unstable ernegy shown in fitting window by -1])
hm, i ran the game at 0.13 speed, maybe there is a bug too? :)

Mr. Yar

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2011, 03:01:58 AM »
Looks like you made a ship without enough sustainable power. Or it might have run out of fuel.

Quantum Compressor is a constant power drain subsystem modifier, Coolant Systems may be an activation one, I haven't experimented with them too much. I love Anti-Matter Generators w/ Emergency power attached which tends to keep most of my combat ships afloat.

spyre2000

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2011, 07:56:22 AM »
no, i meant that the energy level would stable at +2 when not firing and -1 when firing (3.0 difference by gun[but unstable ernegy shown in fitting window by -1])
hm, i ran the game at 0.13 speed, maybe there is a bug too? :)
I don't know of any bug when running it at a slower speed. In fact I know of some potential exploits caused by the slower speeds but nothing to do with ship power, only running at fast speeds give ship power bug.

You should really post your redesign because can't really see what the problem my be with the description. Also what scale are you building at?!? I mean a power use of 3 when active I don't recall seeing weapons use that little power.

sacarasc

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2011, 04:38:56 AM »
im using the following setup:



details:

« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 04:41:27 AM by sacarasc »

Mr. Yar

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2011, 05:53:13 AM »
Yeah, Net Energy is in the negative, which means that power constantly drains until there is no power, which means Life Support goes offline, crew dies, ship lacks control and proceeds to explode out of neglect.

Always strive for positive Net Energy with or without a capacitor.

Ynglaur

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2011, 01:42:49 PM »
Would cap-only ships designed to board be viable?  Likewise, would a swarm of cap-only, size 0.001 drones be useful?

spyre2000

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2011, 01:46:50 PM »
Yeah, Net Energy is in the negative, which means that power constantly drains until there is no power, which means Life Support goes offline, crew dies, ship lacks control and proceeds to explode out of neglect.

Always strive for positive Net Energy with or without a capacitor.
That's not really true. The Net Energy is with ALL systems active. It is including the energy from the weapon systems in the details so if they are not active the ship can have a positive power flow. After this thread I actually tested some designs that to advantage of that making sure their power would hold out for 5 mins with weapons firing but recharge when not firing.

The designs flew around with 100% capacitors until they got into combat and began slowly lossing power. They just need to finish combat before 5mins hits are yes they will end up a drift. Of course I did this with mostly disposiable combat ship designs to squeeze ever last bit of performance of them since they were cannon fodder ships. But it's still viable for most ship designs cause continous combat rarely last 5 mins. There is often down time as the ship flies between targets giving it a chance to recharge.

In the case of his design though the cap will only last 33 seconds in combat. It should still have no power loss while the ship is just flying around though since that power drain comes from the weapon.

Would cap-only ships designed to board be viable?  Likewise, would a swarm of cap-only, size 0.001 drones be useful?
The real problem with cap only is that they are not large enough. Most ships will last seconds with cap only and it's not until quantium batteries that cap only even becomes viable.

The real question is would a swarm of size .001 drones be useful period? Answer: Probably not unless they have piercing weapons and you have a LOT of them against a target without flak or anti swarm weapons.

Delwack

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2011, 11:02:07 PM »
Quantum cap only may be useful on carrier-deployed fighter-style ships using special non-fuel equipment at a high-enough capacitor tech.  It may potentially more efficient than using fuel if you know how long you will need the fighter to last.   I'll have to try a few designs. 

Edit:  yup.  These work beautifully. 

Here's a very quickly thrown together basic design:

Note all techs (except general and the 2 needed for quant battery, energy sciences and spacial dynamics) are at Level 15.  Energy is obviously at 18 and spacial is at 16.  General is at 22.

A few notes on the design:
Fight time is significant when the guns are not firing (the computer control module here draws a grand total of 150 power per second, and is the only power-drawing system other than the weapons.  The weapons draw 3.06k per second when both are firing, which is 200 times more).  Since it is unlikely the fighter/bombers will be firing constantly, realistic flight times are probably more likely to be ~10-15 minutes.   Flight time without using weapons at all is a grand total of 2.6 hours.

Rack mounts are preferred to coolant systems if going with an energy weapons based design.  Coolant systems simply eat up too much energy too fast.   

Used stealth hulls, fighter hulls are useless anyway, especially at this point. 

Carrier Design (this can really be anything):


Seeing it all in action:


They definitely last long enough to put up a good fight, especially since power requirements are so low without the guns firing.  If you are heavily into microing your fighters, you can use stricter energy tuning and then return to carrier before they run out.  I'm guessing you really only need 3-4 minutes, especially since they aren't always firing and will likely last for ~7-10 minutes.  Kinda sad you can't have the fighters return to the carrier to retrieve energy (as you can with fuel).  That's probably the only downside.  You save a lot of space using this type of design, no fuel cell, no reactor, no chance of nasty antimatter explosion.  This type of design actually allows more energy consumption in a given design than an equivalent reactor.  (cap size here is 1.75.  Equiv would be AM gen @ 1.5 + .25 fuel cell, which gives you 3.05k power gen, which is short by 165.84 power for this design, and has potential for catastrophic chain reaction.  Other generators are even smaller, fusion is short by 938 energy, power generator by 1.94k.)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 12:14:39 AM by Delwack »

spyre2000

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Re: [edited] Use of Capacitors and Energymanagement and stuff
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2011, 11:57:02 PM »
Quantum cap only may be useful on carrier-deployed fighter-style ships using special non-fuel equipment at a high-enough capacitor tech.  It may potentially more efficient than using fuel if you know how long you will need the fighter to last.   I'll have to try a few designs.
It doesn't have to just be carriers. If you are going to rely on docking to save energy you could basically do the same thing with other ships as well.

You can set your ships to dock when no enemies in system. Then they will dock at local planets, stations, or ships. Then they should launch again when the system comes under attack.