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Author Topic: Fuel Cell revolution ?  (Read 445 times)

Col Toda

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Fuel Cell revolution ?
« on: 05 September 2019, 08:29:06 »
Fuel cell engine use has not even come close to what I expected once it became a tournament  legal thing .

Were you expecting  a TRO on upgrading ICE models to fuel cell ones ?
« Last Edit: 05 September 2019, 11:16:31 by Col Toda »

kaliban

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #1 on: 05 September 2019, 13:53:51 »
Fuel cell engine use has not even come close to what I expected once it became a tournament  legal thing .

Were you expecting  a TRO on upgrading ICE models to fuel cell ones ?

I lost something. When did Fuel Cells become part of standard construction rules for combat vehicles?

I believe this affect a lot the balance of BVs between mechs and vehicles.

Sabelkatten

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #2 on: 05 September 2019, 15:04:00 »
No BV effect, but it does change some parameters in vehicle design philosophy.

kaliban

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #3 on: 05 September 2019, 19:23:26 »
No BV effect, but it does change some parameters in vehicle design philosophy.

That is what I mean: using Fuel cells, you have much smaller vehicles with the same BVs. You can also have much faster heavy/assault vehicles that are just impossible with ICEs

Fallen_Raven

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #4 on: 05 September 2019, 19:36:14 »
Have we gotten a TRO since Fuel Cells became Tournament Legal? I don't think we have, so I'm not really surprised that we haven't seen a wave of new vehicles featuring them.
Subtlety is for those who lack a bigger gun.

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VhenRa

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #5 on: 06 September 2019, 05:56:56 »
Have we gotten a TRO since Fuel Cells became Tournament Legal? I don't think we have, so I'm not really surprised that we haven't seen a wave of new vehicles featuring them.

Only the 3145 stuff, I think... oh and prototypes.

Col Toda

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #6 on: 12 September 2019, 07:20:33 »
3072  I think it becomes tournament  legal .

kaliban

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #7 on: 12 September 2019, 13:38:36 »
3072  I think it becomes tournament  legal .

just curious:  what is tournament legal at in Battletech? How can I find it?

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #8 on: 13 September 2019, 02:25:33 »
At about the time Fuel Cell engines became widely accepted in the inner sphere, fusion engines on combat vehicles had been making a serious comeback for decades. That's stiff competition for the fuel cell to overcome.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Hptm. Streiger

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #9 on: 13 September 2019, 03:52:11 »
FuelCells have a shorter range compared to ICE. Also, you might say thats simpler to work on a multi-fuel capable combustion engine compared to a liquid hydrogen engine.
But those are only stats that "count" in the lore.

So as a guideline - is you tank supposed to stay close to the supply lines, or is it a classic tank that does its cavalry tactics in absence of a Mech.

The Demolisher, for example, need to be used near supply lines and can use a fuel cell. The Pike (when you consider that it should be used far off in the periphery might work better by keeping the ICE.

For some APCs and IFVs it's important to choose is it either a battle taxi or is it a transporter. A Goblin as "combat" unit might choose a FuelCell.

For VTOLs the same, short ranged attack crafts - fuel cell, scouts ICE.

kaliban

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #10 on: 19 September 2019, 19:06:41 »
Fuel cells concept should include all-electrical vehicles

Retry

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #11 on: 19 September 2019, 19:55:34 »
FuelCells have a shorter range compared to ICE. Also, you might say thats simpler to work on a multi-fuel capable combustion engine compared to a liquid hydrogen engine.
But those are only stats that "count" in the lore.
If range is the biggest issue with a fuel cell, it should be fairly straightfoward to just divert some of that excess weight you get by switching from ICE to FCE by installing an extra fuel tank.  For light vehicles, you probably wouldn't need any more than a half ton to match or exceed an equivalent ICE vee's range with a fuel cell.

Hptm. Streiger

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #12 on: 27 September 2019, 04:10:02 »
If range is the biggest issue with a fuel cell, it should be fairly straightfoward to just divert some of that excess weight you get by switching from ICE to FCE by installing an extra fuel tank.  For light vehicles, you probably wouldn't need any more than a half ton to match or exceed an equivalent ICE vee's range with a fuel cell.
From a semi realistic point of view the issue with Fuel Cells (based on Hydrogen) is that they have superb energy per mass-unit but are very poor when it comes to energy per volume (maybe future scientist can solve that) but to add a Liquid storrage would add some extra fluff for a chassis.
While playing around with FCE and some heavy designs - Zhukov (drop missiles for more speed) the demolisher was not so handy to improve. You could not add speed without sacrificing to much armor and/or ammunition.
But with 9tons extra it shouted.... AC10s. So why not you have the Shreck you have the Demolisher - why not take the best of both: the Demoshreck proudly presented by your FuelCell Factory:
Code: [Select]
DemoShreck MK 1

Mass: 80 tons
Movement Type: Tracked
Power Plant: 240 Fuel Cell
Cruising Speed: 32.4 kph
Maximum Speed: 54 kph
Armor: Standard
Armament:
     3 AC/10
Manufacturer: Unknown
     Primary Factory: Unknown
Communication System: Unknown
Targeting & Tracking System: Unknown
Introduction Year: 2803
Tech Rating/Availability: E/X-D-D-D
Cost: 3,159,000 C-bills

Type: DemoShreck
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Standard)
Movement Type: Tracked
Tonnage: 80
Battle Value: 944

Equipment                                          Mass
Internal Structure                                    8
Engine                        240 Fuel Cell          14
Cruising MP: 3
Flank MP: 5
Heat Sinks:                   1                       0
Control Equipment:                                  4.0
Power Amplifier:                                    0.0
Turret:                                             4.0
Armor Factor                  152                   9.5

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   8         40   
     R/L Side               8/8      28/28   
     Rear                    8         21   
     Turret                  8         35   


Weapons
and Ammo              Location    Tonnage   
Trailer Hitch           Rear        0.0     
Liquid Storage          Rear        0.5     
3 AC/10s               Turret       36.0   
AC/10 Ammo (40)         Body        4.0     


Smegish

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #13 on: 27 September 2019, 04:49:39 »
Do you think the shorter range on the FCE fuel tank is compensated for by using the same fuel as the dropship it turned up in? No need to carry fuel just for the tanks when the DS, ASFs and Vees all use hydrogen. Unless DS/ASF fuel is something else of course...

Also I considered making Succession War-era Vees with FCEs to represent high-end models that equip the Armour regiments attached to RCTs and such. According to the rulebooks they existed they just weren't used due to the rules not existing at the time. The added complexity of FCEs along with the extra cost is why only the more important armour regiments get hold of em. Planetary militia have to live with the ICE version, unless the world is particularly important, or the Vee factory in question is based there I guess.

Thoughts?

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #14 on: 27 September 2019, 05:03:00 »
They do use the same hydrogen as Dropship and fighter reaction mass.

More important though is that any fusion plant can extract hydrogen fuel from available water sources, so a fuel cell equipped force can always resupply from its dropships as long as there's a convenient and large enough body of water.

So availability of fuel isn't really the issue, but getting it to where it needs to go is. And since fuel cell vehicles burn fuel faster (have a shorter range for the same fuel fraction) then you either need a larger logistical tail supporting you, or you have to advance slower on the strategic scale (since you have to stop for resupply more often).

Alternately, you can mix fusion powered vehicles with your main force to handle fuel production, but that still depends on having enough water on hand, and it raises the total costs to a point where you might start wondering why you didn't spend the extra to go full fusion so you didn't have to worry about moving fuel around.

Seriously, it doesn't come across often due to the scale of the game, but there's a serious advantage to using fusion power and not having to worry about tanker trucks.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

monbvol

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Re: Fuel Cell revolution ?
« Reply #15 on: 27 September 2019, 22:50:35 »
Consider water does seem to be something you need to keep on hand anyway and for ICE vehicles you'd still need tankers filled with fuel as well.

Plus the way war seems to be fought in Battletech I'm not sure the fuel endurance difference is enough to actually matter.