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Steam Propellers

#1
Steam Props are here boys. Basically steam props take the rotational power of a steam shaft that would otherwise power like six or ten Huge Propellers and focus it all on one point.

There's a couple issues immediately - I don't see a reasonable way to put an entire steam assembly on spin blocks to achieve vectored thrust, so you'll still need JBGs with regular propellers for gentle turns. Since you're dumping all your power in one or maybe two propellers on the same horizontal plane, offsetting pitch bias is going to be a hassle, but you can still use huge props in parallel with a steam assembly, obvs.

It took me maybe 20 minutes to replace an existing prop system with a steam one. Most of the difficulty comes from having to build a shaft parallel to the hull instead of perpendicular; I don't often build ships with more than 7m interior room, and a centered parallel shaft with large pistons on either side requires a minimum 11m interior room. There is a block that shifts the shaft axis over by 1 block, so you could feasibly make due with a 9m interior and pistons on only one side, but that would create a static load imbalance that I don't like for purely neurotic reasons.

Once I got the thing working, I realized that the propeller adds *a lot* of shaft mass. For those unfamiliar, shaft mass increases the amount of steam power required to get your shaft up to full speed; it also increases the potential energy of the assembly. With two boilers/controls pushing four large pistons and two cranks on a single shaft (admittedly a poor steam:mass ratio) I was able to get a max speed of 9.5 m/s at 100% steam. This boat normally gets about 18 m/s on four huge props. When I deleted the propeller to try the smaller 5m version, my assembly immediately raced and would've taken damage if I hadn't immediately replaced the propeller. 

This is a problem if you ever lose your propeller to damage. Normally I design steam engines with a "dump" that opens a bunch of pressure release valves and adds an arbitrary load (e.g. a shield projector) in case a major crankshaft load suddenly drops, but the steam propeller is such a disproportionate load that I'd have to either 1) make sure the assembly mass is so heavy that the propeller loss could reasonably be compensated for in real time or 2) create an equally massive dump load to allow my engine time to blow off steam pressure. Neither of these options are attractive.

I'm still playing with it and I'm sure there's more to optimize, but my takeaway is that small (sub-100 length) boats won't see any net benefit for the cost over simple propellers, but everything seems to be working and I haven't found any bugs *yet*.

E: Full takeaway: To get maximum power out of a Medium steam prop, you need about ten Large Boilers running near 100% steam. Because Steam Props don't "use" engine power generated by the crankshaft/gearbox assembly, this creates an excess of about 27,000 power, which is convenient if you need a rather tremendous pool for shield projectors/lasers/etc, but also sucks about 15 material per second/900 per minute. I haven't experimented with the new "stable crankshaft" blocks yet, so this might change things? Anyway, you get the idea - it's an incredibly expensive, but scalable, thrust alternative.

E2: I just discovered the "small" versions of the steam propeller assembly parts - the Small propeller seems like it's bugged (it tells me there's something directly behind the prop so it gets 0 efficiency) but the Medium (small version) propeller is a lot more economical. It's still expensive and heavy - the propeller alone costs 1500 material and adds 10 to your shaft mass - but the thrust output seems to be much better.
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Messages In This Thread
Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-20, 06:35 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-20, 07:05 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-21, 12:27 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-21, 01:22 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Gladyon - 2018-10-21, 01:34 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-21, 08:33 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-22, 01:42 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Gladyon - 2018-10-22, 02:21 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Skyer - 2018-10-22, 02:32 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Gladyon - 2018-10-22, 07:31 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by elexier909 - 2018-10-22, 09:59 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Gladyon - 2018-10-24, 07:38 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by elexier909 - 2018-10-24, 02:42 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-23, 05:46 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by elexier909 - 2018-10-23, 06:00 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by WhoopAss_McGue - 2018-10-23, 07:04 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Skyer - 2018-10-23, 06:14 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by BioPhoenix - 2018-10-23, 06:17 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by elexier909 - 2018-10-23, 08:02 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Fernir - 2018-10-23, 10:20 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by BioPhoenix - 2018-10-24, 04:20 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-24, 04:46 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Skyer - 2018-10-24, 08:50 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-24, 03:23 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-24, 04:41 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-24, 11:02 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Zijkhal - 2018-10-25, 10:31 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by BKCXb7 - 2018-10-26, 01:21 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Individualsplit - 2018-10-26, 04:08 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by elexier909 - 2018-10-27, 04:59 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Individualsplit - 2018-10-27, 05:22 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by elexier909 - 2018-10-28, 09:39 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-28, 08:01 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-29, 03:02 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-29, 11:34 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-30, 12:03 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-30, 01:53 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-30, 02:06 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-10-30, 03:24 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-30, 04:29 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Gladyon - 2018-10-30, 12:46 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-30, 02:48 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Gladyon - 2018-10-30, 02:56 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-10-30, 03:45 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Skyer - 2018-10-30, 04:35 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-30, 05:12 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-31, 03:56 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Gladyon - 2018-10-31, 09:30 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by SynthTwo - 2018-10-31, 08:04 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-10-31, 11:02 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-01, 06:08 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by sveno - 2018-11-01, 09:03 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-01, 10:24 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-11-04, 02:14 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-11-04, 02:49 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-04, 08:02 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-04, 08:25 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-04, 08:44 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by WhoopAss_McGue - 2018-11-05, 02:26 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-11-05, 03:23 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-06, 11:37 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-07, 12:42 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-07, 01:42 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-07, 02:44 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-07, 04:25 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-07, 04:55 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by PualWall - 2018-11-07, 04:58 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-07, 03:09 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-07, 06:23 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-07, 10:49 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by nobake - 2018-11-08, 02:55 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by angdrambor - 2018-11-08, 05:47 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-08, 08:59 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-19, 06:05 AM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-19, 02:52 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by angdrambor - 2018-11-19, 07:29 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Pastor of Muppets - 2018-11-19, 09:48 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by DraWay - 2018-11-19, 11:42 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by angdrambor - 2018-11-20, 04:47 PM
RE: Steam Propellers - by Archimedes - 2019-01-28, 11:16 AM

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