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Old 03-26-2016, 02:04 PM   #1
The_Ryujin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default [Spaceships Hack] Power Cell Storage

One thing I see pop up time to time on this forum are attempts to figure out ways to add power cells or battery storage systems to the spaceships line.

Well while doing some noodlings for a Robotech campaign I'd like to do some time in the future I'd realize that it would be useful to be able to use left over spaces for to store extra power points. So I came up with this. The numbers I have here are about as good as it's going to get with the information I have (The power cells energy densities are based on the figures David gave me that he used for power cells in 4th ed but I had to guess about how much wattage is in a power point for a given sized craft) and the numbers are a bit rounded for ease of use.

Once again, questions, feed back and corrections are welcomed.

Power Cell Storage (TL9) [Any]
This system provides a bank of power cells that can be used to power a short ranged vessel in place of a traditional power plant, provide storage for excess power points for ships that do have one and or provide additional power points to supplement an under powered reactor (or over gunned ship).

Each space can store 30 power points (TL9), 120 power points (TL10), 480 power points (TL11) or 1920 power points (TL12). Each space can discharge all its power points at once if need be or recharge all its power points at once if hooked up to a powerful enough power source. A -1SM power plant can be used to recharge a Power Cell Storage space but it takes 3 divided by the number power points the power plant can generate seconds for it to provide one usable power point. For example, a -1SM antimatter reactor would take 3/4 or 0.75 seconds to charge one power point to a full sized storage system.

Power Cell Storage can come in half and -1SM sizes. A half size system can store 15 power points (TL9), 60 power points (TL 10), 240 power points (TL11) and 960 power points (TL12). A -1SM Storage can store 10 power points (TL9), 40 power points (TL10), 160 power points (TL11) and 640 power points (TL12).

SM    +4    +5    +6    +7    +8    +9    +10    +11    +12    +13    +14    +15
WS:   0      0     0      0     0     0     1       3  10       30    100    300
Cost: 10k   30k  100k  300k   1M  3M   10M     30M    100M    300M   1B     3B
Repair skill:Mechanic (Power Cell)
Design Switches
Non-Rechargeable Power Cells
These hold twice the power of a normal power cells but can not be recharged. Not suitable for ships with long term power needs but can be a useful way to cram extra power into short range craft such as mecha, fighters or AKVs.

Power Slugs
A step up from non-rechargeable power cells, power slugs use explosive pulse generators to store extremely high energy densities. The down side to them outside of their one use capability is that they release all of their power at once no matter how little you need. If you use this design switch each power slug stores 1 power point and each space of them holds a magazine of slugs equal to the number of power points the power cell storage normally holds times four. Power slugs, as well as the support equipment needed to move them, costs more then normal power cells as well and has double the normal cost.

Pessimistic Storage
While great strides have been made in power storage over the past decade there are experts who think we will be hitting walls in power storage again soon as well as fact that some fictional settings are based on the idea that future power storage devices will not be as advanced as GURPS assumes to keep energy weapons rare. If you use this switch then power cells only store half as much power as listed.

Advance Power Cells
While GURPS strikes somewhat of a middle ground in how advanced it thinks future power cells will be, there is a chance that breakthroughs keeps going a bit longer and the cells of tech level 9 and higher will be even more advanced then RAW states. If you use this switch power cells hold twice as much power as listed. This switch makes power cells about as powerful as power packs were in the third edition version of Transhuman Space.

Optimistic Power Cells
This option ups power cell density to the brink of what is plausible and starts to tip its toes into the cinematic. If you use this switch power cells hold four times as much power as listed. This switch is borderline super science.

Super Science Power Cells

Exactly what is says on the tin. These cells outright have energy densities greater then what real world chemical bounds can hold and would require future science to find a to either create super dense matter or strengthen the bounds between atoms. If you use this switch then power cells hold 5 times as much power as listed. This just about brings them in line with how much power cells could hold in Vehicles 2nd edition.

Rather then banks of rapid discharge power cells you can have banks of batteries. Batteries hold more energy then power cells but can only release a relatively small amount of power per second. If you use this switch then each system holds ten times as many power points but can only discharge 1 power point per second (TL9) or 4 power points per second (TL10+). This switch is compatible with all the other switch options for this system except for the power slug design switch.
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:00 PM   #2
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Location: near London, UK
Default Re: [Spaceships Hack] Power Cell Storage

Hmm. I think this may break timing in combat, because its effectiveness varies with turn length.

Say I have a major battery. I need to be able to supply one power point to fire it. I have a PCS. I'm building at TL10. For how many space combat turns, or seconds, can I fire that weapon in combat?
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:05 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: [Spaceships Hack] Power Cell Storage

Yeah, batteries don't store power, they store power*time...
I don't know any 3e, so there is no chance that I am talking about 3e rules by accident.
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Spaceships Hack] Power Cell Storage

Also, we basically have this in Fuel Cells and MHD Turbines, though I never mind having more granularity (come on and finish the VDS already!)
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:27 AM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: [Spaceships Hack] Power Cell Storage

Some work I did in integrating 3e Vehicles and 4e Spaceships suggests that UT power cells have comparable output to fusion reactors of the same TL for about an hour, then are drained. There are some different scaling between the two (all my fusion reactors last the same amount of time, with output increasing at higher TL, while SS maintains the same output but increases endurance), but overall you're looking at something like 2 PPh (TL9), 3 PPh (TL10), 5 PPh (TL11), and 7 PPh (TL12). Discharge rate is arbitrary - a fully-charged TL12 could theoretically burn all its energy in one second, producing 25,200 PP.
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