Hydrogen Engine Tank needs tank behaviour

Darkheyr shared this feedback 3 months ago

Right now, while the hydrogen engine has a tank, it does not actually have all the features a tank has:

  • It has no stockpile option, making refueling at say, a base, needlessly difficult, especially if that base is using up hydrogen for other things at the same time.
  • It cannot refill hydrogen bottles
  • It only refills while its set to "On", meaning I can't refuel my engine while its not producing power, needed or not.

It also can't supply thrusters with hydrogen, so there is still a need for a smaller hydrogen tank as well. Nor can it otherwise pass its hydrogen to any other block - once its in the engine, its there to stay.

Comments (24)


A simple "start engine" option, different than the "toggle block on/off" would totally make it more user friendly.


You shouldn't be able to refill bottles but yeah not beeing ablt to refuel when turned of is bad.


The Original idea was good untill he wanted it to be a tank & an engine.

I agree with you.

While I think we should be able to pump it's internal capacity I do not think it should function as a tank.


Agreed... I think having it combined might be where the issue is.


I don't want it to be an engine and a tank, Keen wants it to be an engine and a tank. The increased hydrogen engine capacity was stated to be the solution for our requests for a smaller hydrogen tank in numerous feedback topics - they explicitly stated a smaller tank was no longer necessary because of the capacity change.

As a solution, it falls short, because it is, in fact, no tank. Whether Keen responds to this by turning it into engine and tank or adds a new small tank after all... either works in my book.

So yes, you should be able to refill bottles. If you are not, it falls short as the tank replacement Keen wants it to be.


Do you have any source on that?

Never heard them say that the engine should function as a small tank.

And it wouldn't make sense.

You don't pump fuel back out of a motor?


Mike: In that case you weren't paying attention - the hydrogen engine in-game has a fuel capacity of around 16,000 L. The most I've ever seen it was around 2L or 8L depending on the time I saw it.

That's why we're asking for a separate tank, I think - so we can use it for other things without having to use the monster-sized tank they have at the moment.

Hence why I suggested being able to fill it manually from bottles. If it wasn't supposed to be used as its own tank, I'd not have suggested it.

Currently, trying to get the engine full enough to use means turning it on, which empties the internal tank as fast as you can fill it from the converter.

They may not have intended it to act as a tank for hydrogen thrusters, but right now, it's not even a tank for itself.


Sorry... But I might have payed a little more attention to it than you, since you don't know that you can fill the internal tank if you have enough power on the grid.

Set a battery to discharge and... bingo the engine will fill.

I've already written a script to do this for me.

Everytime the engine is at 50% or lower, turn batteties to discharge and refill.

The reason it's not filling is Because the engine is trying to recharge you batteries.

It's not filling because it's using what you give it to power the grid.

Makes sense, right?

Now if you had some other way to actually power you grid then you can fill it.

On a rover I would suggets hooking it up to the base, which should have enough power.

Also you should try go read what I'm actually writting.

As I stated further above. I agree, a "Stockpile" would be

Easier or fill from a bottle.

But not fuel hydrogeb thrusters and refill bottles from a motor.. that's just plain stupid, in my opinion.


"Hello, Engineers.

We have decided to increase Hydrogen Engine internal capacity, so the new block is no longer needed.



Its one of multiple answers to multiple topics about hydrogen tanks. I'm certain you'll find the rest if you're so inclined. For whatever reason, they have it in their mind to solve the issue with the hydrogen engine capacity. For multiple reasons stated in multiple topics, including this one, it fails as a solution.


Mike: tried that and with ample battery backup on the main grid... and nothing happened. I even put a solar panel on the roof of the rover on the server and it did zip.

Part of the problem is that it doesn't seem to fill unless you have it turned on... I was testing this when I had the buggy blow up on disconnection after adding a hydrogen tank to the main grid.


The H2 engine is of questionable value unless your base is sitting on a lake. Even then, the effort to keep it fueled is ridiculous. You are much better off using solar or wind with batteries. In the early game, making solar panels from stone is tedious, but once you have a good array established, it is zero maintenance, zero fuel. The H2 engine will require constant work to keep supplied.



I just tested it again.

It fills fine.

Remember batteries MUST be turned off or set to discharge.

Batteries on auto and recharge (Evn if full) will draw power and the engine will use the fuel right away.

Also, I'm not disagreeing. It should bot burn fual THAT fast.

Abd a "Start/Stop engine" would be great.

So that you don't have to turn it off, but can simply stop the engine at it will fill from pipes.

Dennis Linderman:

I agree to a degree.

I mainly use them when I need to boost the power of my grid.

Example: I have a truck that can have a drone on it and drive around.

It's my transport

The drone has a small capacity.

So I use the truck as storage for ore and Power-house.

I can basically turn all the 12 engines on and while I'm unloading the ore it can charge the batteries to full.


Dennis: It's OK for rovers in some climates - my base on the test server was surrounded by ice in the highlands... so fuel wasn't a problem, but such a small rover looked daft with a solar panel on the roof...

Mike: I'm with you now - it was the batteries being set to discharge that I think I was going wrong on... I assumed that Auto would power the H2 converter and fill the engine... silly me! :)

Either a "Start/Stop" or a "Auto/Fill/empty tank" option - something's needed, for sure.

Still think a small tank might be better though - it could be used for the lunar modules too - but the engine would be good enough for me, if it works...


I'm actually having some issues with the small hydro engine. For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to want to fill properly. And I'm having the issue on multiple saves, so I know it's not just some fluke of a problem. The thing is, it only seems to do it if you're using a single engine. If you use two or more, they fill fine. If you only have one, it doesn't wanna fill unless you start power cycling the grid it's on (It still doesn't fill as it should, but it gains some liters of hydrogen each time you cycle the grid), but it happily drains your Ice as though it is.

Edit: Never mind. It was me not realizing that the engine doesn't produce enough power to fill itself. that seems a little...ridiculous if you ask me, especially when it's not even maxing its own output of 500kW


Agreed - if you have the power, it should be converting H2 for the built-in tanks.

Similarly, if you load up the engine with (filled) h2 bottles, if you have it set to "Fill Tank" (not an option at the moment) should it not take fuel from those? It would be a good way to carry spare fuel without needing to build in extra tanks, but also to refuel it at our bases?

I would say that the internal tank isn't working at this time and that we *need* a smaller H2 tank.

I also ran into a problem with my grid when I had my buggy connected to it - the base H2 tank wasn't filling despite ice in the (base's) H2 converter, it being fully linked in to the converter (right next to it too, so easy to trace) and the connector wasn't connected to the system (just an armour block so I could recharge the buggy's batteries).

Disconnected it and the buggy blew up (the debris was left in my base for you to see - beacon BFX). Judging by the damage, it looks to be centred around the H2 engine or the converter - I've not reported it since it might also be a ride height issue - just mentioning it here to see if anyone else had similar problems.


The concept is good but is in need of some tweaks.

1. It should not refill bottles.

2. It should bot power hydrogen thrusters.

Does bot produce hydrogen.

It's a reacter fueled by hydrogen.

Simply put it's not supposed to output hydrogen but use it to produce power.

3. Have it so that you can fill it's internal capacity with hydrogen would be good. (But would be weird. Think of it like a motor. Pre-Filling it with gasolin would be odd).

It's burns through ice so fast that you really need to constantly put fuel in it, which makes it ineffecient.

Ot's a godd power source before beikg able to build Uranium reactors, however, you really have to stockpile shit ton of ice on the grid it's placed on.

I collected 66k ice yesterday.

I went to get some iron and when I came back the engine was dry.


A dev came on the server while I was there - a full tank (internal to the engine) was supposed to handle a 20km range under normal circumstances... unless it acts as its own converter, the small O2/H2 converter doesn't convert fuel quickly enough to build up a reserve and you need a fuel reserve or energy supply to bump-start the process initially (hence my comment about filling with bottles above so you can start the engine without needing to build batteries each time).


Yea. I don't think the idea of filling it from bottles is an issue.

Just the "Be a tank" thing.

It's not a tank, per se.

It's ab internal storage for use of the hydrogen engine only.

that's how I mean it.


Same issue with usage, it uses more hydrogen than a thruster does which means that its not efficient at all, I spend 90 percent of my time mining ice just to keep it running I can land a small ship on a planet and take off again and use less hydrogen than I do using this to power the starter ship in the survival tutorial, I even have several solar panels on it now just to keep the batteries charged.


And the issue remains in Test 3.

Internal capacity is no replacement for a tank, especially if said tank lacks tank behaviour.


In addition to your idea, it would also be great to be able to unfill H2 bottles to fill the hydrogen engine, as an emergency option.


Under normal physics, a hydrogen engine should only produce less power than was required to produce the hydrogen through electrolysis. That being said, this is a game, and my understanding is that it actually produces more energy than it costs to procure hydrogen gas.

I wonder though, if the ratio is near 1:1 for energy used in H2 production and energy gained from H2 consumption, that what we see in lacking efficiency is really the hydrogen engine powering it's own cycle of Ice conversion to H2 deletion. That is:

1) Ice converted to H2 ->

2) H2 burned in the engine ->

3) Engine produces energy ->

4) But most of that energy is just consumed Converting more Ice.

Maybe try Running the Engine with the O2/H2 generator OFF, and see if it's any more efficient.


I Agree with Mike, It's not a tank, per se. But it has an internal Tank, and that you only can fill that Tank by turning it on, effectively burning through all input immediately (if you dont overpower or have more H2 generation than can be consumed) is not fun.

Like Pruska37 said, there should be a Option to "turn on Engine" separated from "fill that Tank" to use the Hydrogen Engine more easily. After all it is, in most cases, a backup Option (thats what the internal Storage is there for) to jump in when all SolarPanels/Windmills/Reactors/Batteries fail.

I think the Hydrogen Engine should have similar Modes than the Batteries "Recharge/Discharge/Auto", being:

  • Stockpile (Like in Hydrogen/Oxygen Tanks, Engine only fills its Gas Tank, not use it)
  • Emergency (If all Batteries and Reactors are Empty, and the grid has no Power, Engine kicks in and saves the day)
  • all-out operation (Basically how it is now, Engine pumps in Power as soon as i´ts needed anywhere including Battery recharge.)

Any thoughts?


Simply remove this ugly combustion engine, which is totally unrealistic in a future. because first, burning hydrogen within a combustion engine is not energy efficient, because you need first to refine hydrogen, unless you can farm hydrogen clouds within space engineer, which you cannot do. Replace this engine by a fusion reactor, which only needs water and will fisson it into energy.

Simply as that.

And add a 2x1x1 small hydrogen tank.

And do it fast, and not in until next 3 years.

Thanks and sincerely