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Old 09-16-2021, 02:45 PM   #1
swordtart
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Electric plants

I one of my frequent deep dives into neglected parts of the rules, I notice something that hadn't occurred to me before.

On P68 of CWC2.5 we have a statement that electric plants are multiple-fuel-cell. I think I first took notice of this in GURPS Autoduel but the implications never hit me fully before.

The game talks about recharging plants and I managed to forget the fuel cell part and my mind fixed on the electric part. So recharging in my head was battery charging by plugging in an electric cord. Now in this day and age we know that recharging a vehicle so it has 200 miles range isn't going to take the 10 minutes quoted. But of course if the recharging is actually refilling fuel cells with fuel (hydrogen most probably), then 10 minutes is fine.

But I think the game designers also forgot along the way. Hydrogen is far more flammable than gasoline, yet gas engine fires are worse. Solar panels were allowed to recharge power plants, but that would only be any use recharging a battery.

Are solar cells the only victim of this misunderstanding.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:00 PM   #2
svawter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Default Re: Electric plants

lolz, I think you're over thinking this :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
I one of my frequent deep dives into neglected parts of the rules, I notice something that hadn't occurred to me before.

On P68 of CWC2.5 we have a statement that electric plants are multiple-fuel-cell. I think I first took notice of this in GURPS Autoduel but the implications never hit me fully before.

The game talks about recharging plants and I managed to forget the fuel cell part and my mind fixed on the electric part. So recharging in my head was battery charging by plugging in an electric cord. Now in this day and age we know that recharging a vehicle so it has 200 miles range isn't going to take the 10 minutes quoted. But of course if the recharging is actually refilling fuel cells with fuel (hydrogen most probably), then 10 minutes is fine.

But I think the game designers also forgot along the way. Hydrogen is far more flammable than gasoline, yet gas engine fires are worse. Solar panels were allowed to recharge power plants, but that would only be any use recharging a battery.

Are solar cells the only victim of this misunderstanding.
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Old 09-17-2021, 11:47 AM   #3
HeatDeath
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Electric plants

Quote:
Originally Posted by swordtart View Post
I one of my frequent deep dives into neglected parts of the rules, I notice something that hadn't occurred to me before.

On P68 of CWC2.5 we have a statement that electric plants are multiple-fuel-cell. I think I first took notice of this in GURPS Autoduel but the implications never hit me fully before.

The game talks about recharging plants and I managed to forget the fuel cell part and my mind fixed on the electric part. So recharging in my head was battery charging by plugging in an electric cord. Now in this day and age we know that recharging a vehicle so it has 200 miles range isn't going to take the 10 minutes quoted. But of course if the recharging is actually refilling fuel cells with fuel (hydrogen most probably), then 10 minutes is fine.

But I think the game designers also forgot along the way. Hydrogen is far more flammable than gasoline, yet gas engine fires are worse. Solar panels were allowed to recharge power plants, but that would only be any use recharging a battery.

Are solar cells the only victim of this misunderstanding.
Remember, we're talking about the same gas engines that somehow get /way/ better acceleration per unit-weight than hub-mounted electric motors, in stark contradiction to reality-as-it-played-out. So maybe they're more flammable than raw liquid hydrogen too, somehow.
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:47 PM   #4
43Supporter
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Electric plants

My thinking on this has been:

The "fuel cells" are also algae-based. The algae is engineered to produce hydrogen, which is burned in a small turbine to produce electricity for the wheel motors. "Recharging" is relatively fast, and safe, as all one is doing is pouring water into the algae tanks for the algae to live off. Power plant explosions result from the hydrogen escaping, and being touched off by something flammable.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:48 AM   #5
juris
 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: CA
Default Re: Electric plants

It was pretty forward thinking for SJG to anticipate electric engines being the norm in the 1980s. I wouldn't expect them to know as much about electric engines as Elon Musk

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Originally Posted by 43Supporter View Post
My thinking on this has been:

The "fuel cells" are also algae-based. The algae is engineered to produce hydrogen, which is burned in a small turbine to produce electricity for the wheel motors. "Recharging" is relatively fast, and safe, as all one is doing is pouring water into the algae tanks for the algae to live off. Power plant explosions result from the hydrogen escaping, and being touched off by something flammable.
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Old 09-21-2021, 03:30 PM   #6
43Supporter
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Electric plants

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Originally Posted by juris View Post
It was pretty forward thinking for SJG to anticipate electric engines being the norm in the 1980s. I wouldn't expect them to know as much about electric engines as Elon Musk
Well, folks were going on about "running out of oil" back in the 1970s; such predictions proved to be incorrect. And there's folks out there who are making oil from plants and algae....
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