Register Register

Author Topic: Fuel Cell vs ICE  (Read 2905 times)

AdmiralObvious

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 210
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #60 on: 01 February 2019, 19:13:21 »
The trouble is that they presume fossil fuels exist on the planet.  You need to start with a lot of life, which many planets will never have had.  Then you need lots of it to die all at once and pile, then it needs to get buried before it decomposes.  Add time heat and pressure over geologic time and you've got oil, but the earlier steps are less reliable. 

Some worlds never had dense enough biospheres.  Others haven't had a mass extinction.  Or just haven't had one that produced oil fields.  Not all of Earth's seem to have.  Carbon sequestration reduces the potential density of the biosphere because life is made of carbon (or at least any life that can produce fossil fuels is).  Hesperus seems to be about as dense with life as possible so it probably can't have had a mass extinction that produced oil.  That means you can probably go for biofuels, but it still not going to be as economical as other methods. 

Most of the time these no oil planets are going to be the poor ones.  Not only is it a handy bootstrapping fuel but it's used in chemical industries.  Tharkad's going to have oil but be prosperous enough to not need to burn it while poor Trellwan desperately needs cheap power but doesn't have oil.

The term Internal Combustion Engine doesn't neccesarily mean fossil fuel powered. You can use basically anything that burns, even low grade alcohol like hydrogen peroxide to fuel an engine. They aren't very efficient compared to high grade gas, but you can definitely use low grade fuel to fuel and run an engine that doesn't require "oil" to produce.

Even then, you can probably import fuel if you really needed to.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16579
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #61 on: 01 February 2019, 20:04:28 »
ICE engines don't need petroleum.  Other chemicals, like ethanol, can be used instead.

If the planet can support life, you can probably grow something that can be converted into ethanol.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1956
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #62 on: 02 February 2019, 12:34:19 »
The term Internal Combustion Engine doesn't neccesarily mean fossil fuel powered. You can use basically anything that burns, even low grade alcohol like hydrogen peroxide to fuel an engine. They aren't very efficient compared to high grade gas, but you can definitely use low grade fuel to fuel and run an engine that doesn't require "oil" to produce.

Even then, you can probably import fuel if you really needed to.

This could be a useful secondary source of income for any unit with a fusion reactor.  As long as they are provided with enough hydrogen, they can provide electrical energy for the locals to produce various ICE fuel with.  Ammonia might be a good one for the locals to make, using an advanced version of the Haber Process.  You won't get the same energy per weight of fuel (ammonia is only ~40% as much as gasoline), but ammonia only needs Nitrogen and hydrogen, while gasoline needs fossil fuels.  Ammonia only has ~60% the fuel density of ethanol.

Atarlost

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 191
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #63 on: 02 February 2019, 14:53:43 »
The term Internal Combustion Engine doesn't neccesarily mean fossil fuel powered. You can use basically anything that burns, even low grade alcohol like hydrogen peroxide to fuel an engine. They aren't very efficient compared to high grade gas, but you can definitely use low grade fuel to fuel and run an engine that doesn't require "oil" to produce.

Not for power production you can't.  Alcohol and biodiesel work for energy transport, though you're going to suffer the same range penalties as fuel cells if you try to use the former.  They don't work for energy production, though.  They're just staggeringly inefficient methods of solar collection.  If you use the same land you were using to grow fuel crops to build mirror array and heat engine style solar plants you get more power out. 

Also, hydrogen peroxide is not alcohol or even fuel.  It's an oxidizer completely redundant if you have a breathable atmosphere. 

Sabelkatten

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5144
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #64 on: 02 February 2019, 17:59:05 »
Not for power production you can't.  Alcohol and biodiesel work for energy transport, though you're going to suffer the same range penalties as fuel cells if you try to use the former.  They don't work for energy production, though.  They're just staggeringly inefficient methods of solar collection.  If you use the same land you were using to grow fuel crops to build mirror array and heat engine style solar plants you get more power out. 

Also, hydrogen peroxide is not alcohol or even fuel.  It's an oxidizer completely redundant if you have a breathable atmosphere.
Err... Humanity's been using biofuel for energy production for millennia before we figured out fossil fuels. It most certainly works for a high-tech society as long as the population density is low enough (because otherwise you won't have enough space to grow fuel - which is the problem IRL).

Elmoth

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1168
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #65 on: 03 February 2019, 16:06:33 »
In general, I assume non-fission energy sources are plentiful and easy to access. IIRC thee is no mention of energy problems anywhere in the background... Only when someone comes and disrupts your supply via a raid, but then, that is what the raid was about after all. Or as cover for something else

tomaddamz

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 268
  • EVERYBODY NEEDS AN EVIL PLAN
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #66 on: 03 February 2019, 23:12:54 »
ICE engines don't need petroleum.  Other chemicals, like ethanol, can be used instead.

If the planet can support life, you can probably grow something that can be converted into ethanol.

Wouldn't waste my time, grow an oil crop and get it running in a Diesel Type application, less loss due to conversion and processing.
Saying that because the equipment isn't up-to-the-minute, bleeding-edge tech therefore not a threat is like saying an M2 Browning isn't dangerous to modern infantry because it is 100 years old.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16579
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #67 on: 03 February 2019, 23:32:18 »
Wouldn't waste my time, grow an oil crop and get it running in a Diesel Type application, less loss due to conversion and processing.

Sure, I was just using an example.  Biodiesel would be more efficient but it depends on what grows best.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

Col Toda

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2051
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #68 on: 08 March 2019, 10:16:54 »
Battletech was written in the 80s as such military deuce and a halfs had multi fuel ICE engines . So in battletech I always thought any non aviation chassis used whatever fuel was most available in a motar pool . The ICE engine was configured to use that fuel be it Gasoline , Desil , Alcohol , or Natural Gas . Aviation gas normally is used to propell units in the air Alcohol my not have enough BTU to get the lift needed to fly . Since I am normally doing the defence the operational radius of fuel cell helpas mostly

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6324
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #69 on: 09 March 2019, 01:49:12 »
Also a question re fuel cells.

Can you put a gauss rifle on a fuel celled vehicle or do you need a fusion engine for them?
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 16579
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #70 on: 09 March 2019, 02:08:15 »
Standard Gauss Rifles work with Fuel Cell engines.  Fusion is only required for HGRs and iHGRs.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

AdmiralObvious

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 210
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #71 on: 09 March 2019, 03:55:52 »
The standard gauss rifle comes with what's essentially a power amplifier already built in. The difference between it and the HGR series is that you need a pretty big series of capacitors to charge a heavy gauss.

You probably could still fire one without a fusion engine, you'd just have to wait a few minutes to hours for the capacitor to charge enough to actually fire again. Unlike the current ten second refire time.

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6324
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #72 on: 09 March 2019, 04:46:06 »
Cheers :) Thanks for the clarification :)
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Talen5000

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 461
    • Handbook: Smoke Jaguar
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #73 on: 09 March 2019, 07:59:37 »
Personally when I first started designing with FCs they struck me as Clantech ICEs.

More advanced tech. Lighter. Less range.

Of course they haven't been used that way but I feel that you can make an argument that FCs should replace most of the ICEs in Clan service right down to the very low civilian end. You could say the same for the Star League given what they have been fluffed to have been running in civilian vehicles.

No Clan vehicle should be using ICE. They don't like waste and don't even do much extraction of oil. Unfortunately l, I don't think rules for fuel cells were written when Clan vehicles were added.
"So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane?" -- Uncle Arnie

Terrace

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1037
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #74 on: 09 March 2019, 11:26:08 »
No Clan vehicle should be using ICE. They don't like waste and don't even do much extraction of oil. Unfortunately l, I don't think rules for fuel cells were written when Clan vehicles were added.

That's probably why so many Clan vehicles use fusion engines.

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6324
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #75 on: 10 March 2019, 04:52:00 »
I doubt Clan ICE engines would use oil, they'd probably be a multi-fuel engine and would burn something like alcholo or something.
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

AdmiralObvious

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 210
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #76 on: 10 March 2019, 05:33:14 »
The ICE in general is pretty wasteful compared to most other engine types. As said earlier, what's going for them is their simplicity to maintain.

The difference I guess, and reason they aren't totally phased out in the clans is because you can burn almost anything in them. That makes them extremely useful for utility purposes like support vehicles and industrial mechs. I can see why they'd use a few on combat vehicles too, but I think the overwhelming majority of Clan combat vehicles use fusion, except for maybe the Hells Horses. They actually went out of their way to make chemical lasers relevant because they didn't want to use fusion engines, and didnt want to have to add capacitor banks to every tank they make.

marauder648

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 6324
Re: Fuel Cell vs ICE
« Reply #77 on: 10 March 2019, 06:24:36 »
I see it the other way round with Chemical lasers.  They are almost uniformly seen on very much second line or defensive units and were designed at a time when resources were tight.  Better to pull out those fusion engines from the tanks, slap an Fuel cell into it and use Chemical lasers instead of normal lasers and the like on those 2nd line vehicles and put their energy weapons and fusion engines to better use elsewhere.
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

 

Register