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Posted by: Iranon
« on: June 16, 2019, 07:53:31 PM »

Partially obsolete engines may be useful for tanking shots. Engines cost a minimum of 5BP, for 25HtK that's much cheaper than armour. They can also be repaired in space.
A somewhat advanced engine with low power multiplier would be better (0.1 power hits the minimum cost for Internal Confinement Fusion, because costs/crew scale quadratically below 1.0 power), if that's worth the tech investment. If you want to be silly, you can get a fully operational junk star for the cost of a small flotilla: A megaton of engines on a habitat, a few 100k of low-tech beams, just a tiny bit of sophisticated weaponry to avoid being kited.
Posted by: bankshot
« on: May 02, 2019, 09:27:51 PM »

I only have one sorium harvesting site at the moment (Saturn) and there is a civilian mining colony on Mimas, so that became my de facto fuel dump for my prototype harvester. 

I'm at Ion engine tech, my production sorim harvesters have 20x harvester modules, 4M fuel capacity, and 2x 50HS commercial Nuclear Pulse engines, so they move at 325 m/s.   That is sufficient to get them to the harvesting site, and to/from Mimas if needed but they have enough tankage to be on-station for several years before needing to be emptied.  And so far it hasn't been an issue as I've sent a tanker out to tap them whenever they get full.  I can see that it may become a bit management-heavy as my empire expands but as there is only 400K sorium available on Saturn I'll probably have to set up fuel or sorium shipments from other systems before management becomes annoying. 
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: May 02, 2019, 07:30:22 PM »

Or you can just assume, as I do, that any world that you have designated as a "colony" will have at least a token presence of personnel and/or support equipment, even if the game does not represent this.

Yes, the 'unmanned' AutoMine explanation works just fine for me here.  (Though since I'm using tankers I rarely end up using just a 'fuel dump' instead of a proper Colony with Infrastructure and Population.)
Posted by: Cavgunner
« on: May 02, 2019, 05:54:23 PM »



I also feel it is a bit of a cheat to use colonies this to simply dump fuel... you still should need to house the fuel in some form of tanks. That is why I don't like to do this unless I have a proper base with infrastructure on it, but this is a role play restriction on my side.

Or you can just assume, as I do, that any world that you have designated as a "colony" will have at least a token presence of personnel and/or support equipment, even if the game does not represent this.
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: May 02, 2019, 04:40:43 PM »

Option 3:
Have a mid sized tanker offloading fuel from the harvesters to a nearby fuel dump which the megatankers then pickup from.


Why?  The process I've described doesn't need the help of an auxiliary tanker.  In relative terms the distance between a gas giant and any of its moons is negligible for any fuel harvester that has an engine.

In general it would be cheaper to move stuff with a small tanker than the entire station, but at the same time I don't think it matter much which way you do it.

In C# I will probably have harvesting stations which I tug in place and a fuel station to which the harvesters unloads the fuel from its own relatively small fuel tanks. I would then collect fuel there once in a while or simply use it as a fuel station. You are going to need specific tanking equipment now anyways so no point in just dumping it in a colony anymore, you might just have it in a separate fuel station.

In VB6 I also just deploy them as stations and tug them in place, they all have their own fuel tanks. I then send a tanker there to collect the fuel once in a while, these small tankers are very cheap to run.

I rarely find much reason to put engines on anything that stay in one place 99.9% of its lifetime.

I also feel it is a bit of a cheat to use colonies this to simply dump fuel... you still should need to house the fuel in some form of tanks. That is why I don't like to do this unless I have a proper base with infrastructure on it, but this is a role play restriction on my side.
Posted by: xenoscepter
« on: May 02, 2019, 11:59:37 AM »

Usually I use space stations for my Sorium Harvesters; adding Fuel Storage modules to it and going to unload them with a tanker if they get too full. That way the Harvester is also the fuel base and has added utility later... although it needs a Tug.
Posted by: Cavgunner
« on: May 02, 2019, 09:56:58 AM »

Option 3:
Have a mid sized tanker offloading fuel from the harvesters to a nearby fuel dump which the megatankers then pickup from.


Why?  The process I've described doesn't need the help of an auxiliary tanker.  In relative terms the distance between a gas giant and any of its moons is negligible for any fuel harvester that has an engine.



Posted by: MarcAFK
« on: May 02, 2019, 06:02:02 AM »

Option 3:
Have a mid sized tanker offloading fuel from the harvesters to a nearby fuel dump which the megatankers then pickup from.
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: May 02, 2019, 03:45:00 AM »

Well, it's generally option 1, because if it's 2 then it's time to add another tanker to the run. . . because I'd rather have a (small-ish) tanker sitting around waiting for a load than a harvester not harvesting.  At 200 km/s, that's what, a five-day round trip?  Not to mention at that speed it's entirely too easy to fall behind orbital velocity and never arrive.

I admit, my views are probably biased by my desire for a robust and varied commercial fleet.  I don't use mass drivers because I would rather have freighters delivering minerals than chunks of TNE flying through space.
Posted by: Cavgunner
« on: May 02, 2019, 02:09:53 AM »


Whereas I would suggest a single tanker on a repeating run of 'fill from harvester fleet, unload fuel at nearby colony' is a far better method.  In VB6 Aurora I would have no problem with performing an occasional SM Mode 'equalize fuel' on my harvester fleet rather than fiddle my load orders if necessary.



Well, of course I respectfully disagree that using an auto-tanker is better.   Unless your ratio of harvesters to tankers to time and distance is darn near perfectly balanced, one of two things is going to happen.  1) Either your tanker(s) making trips to the sorium site are going to sit around fiddling their thumbs waiting to be topped off, or 2) they ARE going to be topped off, which means your harvesters almost certainly still have fuel in them.  In the latter case you therefore risk having harvesters doing nothing either because their tanks are still full, or they fill up while the tanker is farting around.  Neither scenario is efficient.  Furthermore if your tanker is leaving the sorium site with less than 100% fuel, that also is not efficient.

So again, why worry about any of that?  Why fiddle with SM?  Why tie down strategically important ships (the tankers) on a mundane task?  It's not necessary, and those tankers probably have important stuff to do elsewhere anyway.  Just use a local moon as a depot and your tankers can come pick up that gas whenever you think you might need it.  Done.  No further steps needed.  And if you end up with 100 million liters of fuel on that moon, who cares?  It'll still be there when you need it. 

Heck, with this setup you don't even need tankers to be a part of the operation's supply chain, as long as the gas giant is not out of the way (and a properly located sorium operation shouldn't be).

I should also mention that since fuel drop-off or collection orders don't cause an interrupt, and also since fuel harvesters tend to collect fuel at varying rates depending on commander skill, I've found it best to keep each Fuel Harvester as its own task group.

Just my .02
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: May 02, 2019, 01:18:39 AM »

I would suggest that a fuel harvesting ship shouldn't forever be immobile at its target gas giant.  Set up a colony (i.e. a fuel depot) on one of the gas giant's moons and set up automated secondary orders on the harvester to unload 90% of its fuel at the nearest colony every time it fills up.  The primary order should of course be "move to gas giant with Sorium."  The fuel harvester will do its thing without you having to worry about it and you can have a dedicated tanker or your other ships come get the stockpiled fuel whenever it's convenient.

My favored fuel harvesting ship is 55,000 to 60,000 tons with around 25 sorium harvesters and about a million liters of fuel capacity.  It has a single 50 HS commercial engine of whatever I have going.  This grants the ship a speed of somewhere around 180 km/s to 300 km/s, assuming early to mid tech, which is more than enough for what it needs to do.

I feel that this setup is far more efficient that constantly having to babysit engine-less fuel harvesting stations.

Whereas I would suggest a single tanker on a repeating run of 'fill from harvester fleet, unload fuel at nearby colony' is a far better method.  In VB6 Aurora I would have no problem with performing an occasional SM Mode 'equalize fuel' on my harvester fleet rather than fiddle my load orders if necessary.

Though I agree with putting at least a single, max size commercial engine on all my 'production' auxilliaries like asteroid miners, terraformers, fuel harveters, etc., rather than rely on engineless barges.
Posted by: Cavgunner
« on: May 02, 2019, 12:59:47 AM »

I use old engines from scrapped ships for my fuel harvesters, as once they make it to the sorium site on the gas giant they don't have to move again.   



standard disclaimer: Still on my first playthrough.   Any observations or advice given may be of questionable value. . .

I would suggest that a fuel harvesting ship shouldn't forever be immobile at its target gas giant.  Set up a colony (i.e. a fuel depot) on one of the gas giant's moons and set up automated secondary orders on the harvester to unload 90% of its fuel at the nearest colony every time it fills up.  The primary order should of course be "move to gas giant with Sorium."  The fuel harvester will do its thing without you having to worry about it and you can have a dedicated tanker or your other ships come get the stockpiled fuel whenever it's convenient.

My favored fuel harvesting ship is 55,000 to 60,000 tons with around 25 sorium harvesters and about a million liters of fuel capacity.  It has a single 50 HS commercial engine of whatever I have going.  This grants the ship a speed of somewhere around 180 km/s to 300 km/s, assuming early to mid tech, which is more than enough for what it needs to do.

I feel that this setup is far more efficient that constantly having to babysit engine-less fuel harvesting stations.
Posted by: MarcAFK
« on: May 01, 2019, 11:32:01 PM »

thats fine if they're efficient though fuel use will be excessive the larger the harvester gets.
Posted by: bankshot
« on: May 01, 2019, 10:01:04 PM »

I use old engines from scrapped ships for my fuel harvesters, as once they make it to the sorium site on the gas giant they don't have to move again.   



standard disclaimer: Still on my first playthrough.   Any observations or advice given may be of questionable value. . .
Posted by: Iranon
« on: March 12, 2019, 05:29:00 AM »

Below 1.0, cost and crew requirement scale quadratically with power multiplier. Purpose-built low-power engines are much more attractive than obsolescent ones. This also means building new engines of the same performance and scrapping the old ones costs very little.

One strange case in which old tech may make a little sense is using engines as a damage sponge - 25HtK for 5BP (the minimum cost of an engine) is a bargain. But if you like bloated cheap ships, you probably want to research low-power multiplier until you can do it at your current engine concept.
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