Power Cells - Bottles of Energy

Duncan McEwen shared this feedback 13 months ago
Under Consideration

Hey gang,

I know this has come up before, but why are power cells lost when you deconstruct a battery? Why not have powers cells be a transferable device like the bottles of hydrogen and oxygen? Then you would potentially have a method of recharging your suit without a medical station as well. I think this change to the power cells and batteries would be great. Not sure if the game's infrastructure would support it, but it would be worth looking into I think.

Comments (36)

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If the batteries start with whatever power the cells have when they are constructed, it would fix the issue of batteries needing to magically be constricted with starting energy in them.


I like this

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I liked the idea. But a good logic for power cell memory should be found. If so many power cells have different charges, they may cost more PCU's.

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In modern vehicles that contain multiple batteries, the vehicle or the batteries themselves typically spread the charge between the individual cells. That way they are all at the same level and power is pulled evenly across them. From a programming perspective this makes things super easy since after installing them in the battery block, every cell will just contain the average. Any calculation will only be needed on construction or deconstruction.

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I actually know it(from electric potential in physics). The things can get more complicated when cells came from different sources, though I don't know how much complicated it can get(I didn't think about it so much when I told the idea).


Maybe cells can share charges when put in the same container.

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From a gameplay perspective we should be able to pull a few cells from places and give another player a full power cell. I'd only consider balancing them in places like batteries or reactors. And I'd think that keeping it a simple average should be good for most everyone.


From an electrical perspective, if similar cells (like 2 AA batteries) are connected in parallel (positives connected together, and negatives connected) they will balance themselves. If placed in series (one positive to negative), then they require a separate balancing module. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_balancing

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The thing I'm trying to say, if you take some partially filled cells from a battery, from a charging station, from a player etc. they will all have different charges. I wonder if there can be so many power cells in a world that may affect performance. Balancing them when put in the same container may reduce differently charged cells. Actually, I'm not sure if they can be more performance heavy than batteries.

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Oh I get it. I feel like that shouldn't be an issue because that's already how hydrogen and oxygen bottles work.

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Well, you could make it so that a small ship battery holds only one power cell (right now 360 KWh in the game), while large ship batteries hold max 3 of them (right now 1MWh, which is around 3 times the small ones). This would reduce the eventual performance hit. I don't think battery charge calculations right now have a huge impact on performance as batteries just cost 15 PCU... dunno if they'll have to increase that to 45 for big batteries with this idea though...

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Just to link the original suggestion, given how many votes it got.

https://feedback.keenswh.com/idea/batteries-and-removable-power-cells5980a73245842

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I don't think this problem is that complex. Batteries don't need to start with energy in the first place, it doesn't make any sense. If the driving force is to be more realistic, batteries shouldn't start with a random amount of power that didn't exist in the first place.


Problem solved - you can now get your power cells back without being to exploit welding/grinding to get infinite power.

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if each cell has an individual charge then it would have to be treated like current gas bottles and stored in an idividual slot. While this isn't an issue for liters used or inventory capacity, this presents a new problem:

Most people will have 2-3 bottles on them

batteries take 120 powercells.

imagine 120 individual items in your inventory and you need to know if you have enough steel plate to place the block to begin with.

scroll down...keep scrolling...

granted that is a huge exaggeration as the inventory cannot fit that many powercells but still though.

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Hi guys, thank you for the suggestion.

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If power cells came in two flavours, charged and not charged, then when you grind down the battery to the point of hacking/functionality it can simply use the charge level percentage and break down the batteries into a percentage of charged and not charged cells (With some rounding down, adds a little balance and will prevent people gaining charge).


The cell just needs to remember this break down of charged and not charged until you have either ground them all out or replaced them. When replacing them it should prioritize using your charged cells when welding.


This could also allow you to use a charged cell for your suit, though this would mean the cell would be instant discharge into your suit in order to leave you with a not charged cells. You could just think of this as swapping the battery out though..


I feel this would be the least intensive way to have our cake and eat it. The extra load on servers, and our single player games, should be minimal, just an extra item, a calculation when grinding batteries and an extra stored number on the battery (a whole number of charged cells as opposed to the battery charge percentage).

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I like this idea.

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This idea is better than having each cell holding a value as when you are wanting to build a battery from inventory and you have (at x10) about 88 batteries each with a charge they will take up 2 inventory spaces if there are 2 types of charge. If it were used like the bottle scenario, it would be an absolute scrollfest. imagine having each cell with a value attributed to it. the only issue is the recipe system which is XML simply states what it takes to make it, there would have to be logic involved at another step to detect what you have and then make a choice based on that.


Personally i just made a quick mod that allows the cells to be regained but batteries start out with nothing.

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You can at most have 1 bottle of oxygen and 1 bottle of hydrogen on you. How will you fit this bottle of energy on your character along with your grinder, welder, and/or drill? Will these bottles be lighter from now on so that you can carry more? Why were these bottles so heavy to begin with?

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The most complicated (and interesting) of ways to do this would to be to add an avatar menu in the inventory screen to add it to a single slot that won't affect your inventory size and could even be expanded to building different suits or other components, but you've most likely heard about this suit customization idea so I'll leave the rest too what's already been said.


But if we start to go this route we would eventually turn the game into "survival engineers" although...

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I'm all for any solution to the extremely annoying battery block issue. Everything else on a ship can be moved without destroying its components. Ironically, batteries are one of the easiest things to transfer in real life.

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I think "bottle of energy" would be a great addition to the game, even if only for the suit use like Hydrogen and Oxygen bottle already work.

Grinding batteries power cell should give "scrap power cell" instead of "scrap metal", so it could be refine into the basic material it need to be produce them. Probably with some lose of the initial quantity to prevent infinite welding/grinding/refining/assembling cycle to create new energy.

I think battery just start with too much energy, I would not mind have this drop to 5% or even less and offline, so you would have to put them online to get the power out, this prevent losing it to default system while building a new ship.

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Wow, I am really glad to see so much feedback. Thank you all for supporting this idea. As a small update, I would suggest that they new small battery on a small grid hold something like just one power cell (energy bottle). Then the old battery could hold something like 8 (the block is 1x2x3 right) to show the added efficiency of a larger battery.

Being able to build a battery frame on a structure and move charged power cells into it would be great for powering up small grids while under construction. It certainly makes more sense than adding a small reactor to it. :)


Thanks everyone!

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the current small grid battery is 2x3x3, this is 18 times bigger than a single 1x1x1 block, if i undertand you correctly are you saying that should hold for example 20 times the power to show the efficiency of the larger block?


the more i think about it the more i think of the bottles idea as a hinderence but i also cant think of a better, alternative idea.

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Yesterday I was prospecting in Space. As usually I took a bottle of oxygene and Hydrogen along to cover more asteroids till I have to return. But with the new mechanics, it's not the oxygene that forces me to return, it's the suit energy level. In respect to this I would like a way to extend the lifetime of the suit's energy. If Energy cells could be used like bottles, that would solve it.

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I, too, have noticed that the suit’s energy level burns much more quickly now so, like you, I find that carrying extra oxygen and/or hydrogen bottles (unless on a planet) is useless; suit energy is the time-limiting variable now. This new mechanic forces the player to rethink everything.

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So it's not just me. They did lower the energy capacity of the suit/increase energy usage.

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I'm pretty sure the only reason it burns more quickly is because of the new temperature system implemented into your suit.

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I think as part of the new temperature mechanic they increased power usage when not "warm",it stimulates you to build pressurized stuff to lower energy consumption. They have lots of systems to balance, so they have to be careful.


For example to balance the need for power when exploring without rendering pressurization not worth it (again) they could make power cells occupy a big volume so that when you have a bottle and a power cell you're full. This however would make building batteries by hand (with 120 power cells if I'm not wrong) a pain in the ass. To counter this they could make a battery require less power cells (3-4),but then they'd increase the capacity of each power cell to 1/3-1/4 of a battery, meaning you would have days of power for your suit with just a single power cell. Then oxygen will be again the limiting factor and someone will come here to ask for bigger bottles, etc.


As I said, these are very delicately balanced systems. So if they plan to implement anything like this I'd hope they thoroughly design something that doesn't alter this equilibrium in unplanned or unwanted ways.. 😅

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I think some medkits would be helpful too, I use a mod that adds both power packs and medkits and I have to say I never leave home without them.

https://support.keenswh.com/spaceengineers/general/topic/craftable-medkits

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I think the fact is that this is programmaticly very hard to do without creating exploits.

When you build a battery, it is charged to 30%, without anything against it you could destroy a battery whitch is depleted and rebuilt it and you have 30% of the Energy again.

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I think you've missed the point. With this change that would also change, as the cells you pulled wouldn't get new charge. They would retain the actual charge. So you could build a new battery, alright, but it would have the same charge as the old battery. That's the entire point. Or - at least it was in the original suggestion ;)

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I had a similar thought to this but instead of using power cells (which are a component) they could add a new bottle-like tool "Rechargeable Suit Batteries" and a new block "Suit Battery Charger".

The Rechargeable Suit Batteries would add their charge to your suit, extending the time until depletion.

The Suit Battery Charger would be a container that depleted Rechargeable Suit Batteries could be placed in to slowly recharge them.

This would leave existing mechanics alone and introduce a new one. Engineers could have multiple chargers placed strategically around the ship with spare suit batteries in them so they can drop off the empty one and pick up a new one (or more than one).

You could even have a lower tier of these batteries that are "disposable" and just turn into scrap once depleted.

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Bonus thoughts:

  • Could small vehicles/drones be powered by these batteries?
  • Could we get weapons that use them as ammo?
  • Could our tools use them as ammo instead of feeding off the suit?

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As proof of concept, you should take a look at this mod which allows the engineers suit to consume one power cell when energy drops below 25%, rechargoing it to 100%:


https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1719124377

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I could suguest using my mod 'Fluid Battery', it uses the concept of energy fluid, that could store energy. The fluid has to be charged to store the energy and delivers energy while uncharging. Charging/Uncharging is done inside a battery.

If the concept finds some fans I could extend it, to also charge the suit battery.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1677937818

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it fits in well with the clothes locker

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How about the battery have 1 powercell as functional part, and the remaining as optional parts. But the total amount of powercells in the block counts up to a proportion of maximum charge. When grinding down the battery you get back powercells to the amount of proportional to the last state of charge. And the remaining as either scrap (to balance battery looting from NPC grids/factions) or newly introduced "discharged powercells (same ingot return, but no energy value). In order to use the "discharged powercells" the player has to disassemble them in the assembler, and rebuild them as charged powercells requiring additional power from the grid. Potentially slowing down the assembly-rate if there is insufficient power available in the grid of the assembler.

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H2 is your fluid battery, Keen would adjust consumption and generation to work as in real life.

So your base power generator -> H2 generator -> less Liquid H2 -> H2 keg(power cell) -> H2 tank -> H2 engine greatly better consumption.

Some batteries cannot be dismantled for get more than ore and explosions