High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

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Pyromancer
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High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Pyromancer » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:18 am

Is there an errata for High Guard 2e? The rules for solar panels are just copy&pasted from High Guard 1e and don't make much sense in the 2e context. Specifically, they don't give how much Power points solar panels generate.
baithammer
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby baithammer » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:03 pm

The solar panels have two different effects.

1.) If the ship has a power plant and solar panel then the following applies.
A ship equipped with solar panels consumes
power plant fuel at one–quarter the normal rate so long
as it is only engaged in minimal manoeuvring and does
not fire any weapons. Minimal manoeuvring does not
include long periods at full thrust, so solar power alone
is useless for most commercial and military vessels.
2.) If the ship only has solar panels.

If the panels are fitted to a ship without a power plant,
then assume the (non–existent) power plant is sized
to the ship’s basic systems and a Thrust 1 manoeuvre
drive.
Pyromancer
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Pyromancer » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:40 pm

Yes, it's the same text as in High Guard 1e. Only there, it makes sense, because in 1e, power plants are defined by what kind of drives they can power, and the rest is just handwaved.

But in 2e, there is a whole new subsystem centered around power management. Now, power plants are defined by how many power points they generate, and we know exactly how much power each ship's component needs, and what happens if there isn't enough power. For this system to work, we need to know the number of power points generated by solar panels.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Given that we can't manoeuvre nor fire weapons using solar panels it makes some kind of sense that we don't really need specified Power.

Solar panels are just a backup for ships extending endurance while doing nothing much...
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Pyromancer » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:31 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:55 pm
Given that we can't manoeuvre nor fire weapons using solar panels it makes some kind of sense that we don't really need specified Power.
You may not need it. But I find it irritating that they introduced this whole new subsystem of power generation and bookkeeping with power points, and then ignored it when it came to solar power. If this is intentional and not just an editing error (since that paragraph is 1:1 the text from 1e, I believe it is), that's just lazy design. Basic ship systems need more power than the manoeuvre drive, and way more power than weapons. Solar panels being able to power one but not the others doesn't make sense.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:11 pm

Pyromancer wrote: But I find it irritating that they introduced this whole new subsystem of power generation and bookkeeping with power points, and then ignored it when it came to solar power.
I agree.

But for better or for worse, MgT2 is not FF&S...
Pyromancer
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Pyromancer » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:48 pm

House rule:

Solar Panels generate Power points per ton dependant on TL and cost MCr0.1 per ton:
TL 8: 50 PP/ton
TL 10: 75 PP/ton
TL 12: 100 PP/ton
TL 15: 125 PP/ton

This is for ships in the habitable zone of a star. Divide by 2 if the ship is beyond the habitable zone, divide by 10 if the ship is in the outer system. Outside a star system, solar panels don't generate power at all.

While the solar panels are unfolded, they ship can't use a jump drive. Since the panels are very fragile, every manoeuvre except the most minor course correction results in the destruction of the panels. This includes every action that happens during the "Manoeuvre Step" of space combat. When a ship with unfolded solar panels is hit by any spacecraft damage scale weapon - regardless whether the hit causes actual damage or not - the solar panels are also destroyed.

Folding and unfolding solar panels is a Routine (6+) Engineer (power) check and takes 1D6x10 minutes per ton.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby NOLATrav » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:23 pm

A bit harsh for my tastes but definitely a solid start.

I would probably say that solar panel tons = hit points so that each of the scenarios you describe (a maneuver at Thrust 1+ or a weapon hit) takes out one ton of the array. So still a chance to take out the whole system but maybe just a part. Whittling away a PC asset is more fun than just turning it off. Heck I’d even go fractional. “Dammit, Jim! That micrometerorite swarm took out a quarter of the solar array! We’re down to 37.5 Mw output!!”

Could also play with stellar classes: Class M = 50% Power harvested, K = 75%, F = 125% etc. Combined with your in-system location you’re giving a texture and terrain to solar systems and that’s pretty fun.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:01 pm

Pyromancer wrote: This is for ships in the habitable zone of a star. Divide by 2 if the ship is beyond the habitable zone, divide by 10 if the ship is in the outer system. Outside a star system, solar panels don't generate power at all.
Perhaps a bit generous, e.g. Jupiter orbit is about 5 times Earth orbit, by inverse square the solar panels would give 1/25th the power, and Neptune orbit is about 30 times Earth orbit, so 1/900 power.

If you want it simple, perhaps divide Power by 100 in the outer system?
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Pyromancer » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:40 pm

NOLATrav wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:23 pm
A bit harsh for my tastes but definitely a solid start.

I would probably say that solar panel tons = hit points so that each of the scenarios you describe (a maneuver at Thrust 1+ or a weapon hit) takes out one ton of the array. So still a chance to take out the whole system but maybe just a part. Whittling away a PC asset is more fun than just turning it off. Heck I’d even go fractional. “Dammit, Jim! That micrometerorite swarm took out a quarter of the solar array! We’re down to 37.5 Mw output!!”
"1 hit point per ton" sounds good!
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:01 pm
Perhaps a bit generous, e.g. Jupiter orbit is about 5 times Earth orbit, by inverse square the solar panels would give 1/25th the power, and Neptune orbit is about 30 times Earth orbit, so 1/900 power.
I wanted to be generous. ;)
As justification: Farther away from the star, the solar panel can unfold further, because the solar wind is weaker, thus increasing the surface area. That's why the power doesn't decrease by the inverse square law.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby NOLATrav » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:51 pm

You must be on to something here... Harsh + Generous = kewl things PCs will want :P
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby PsiTraveller » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:43 am

I hope there is an official update to the Solar Panel rules at some point. I want to be able to build a Kardashev Outpost :P
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby phavoc » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:11 pm

Pyromancer wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:40 pm
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:01 pm
Perhaps a bit generous, e.g. Jupiter orbit is about 5 times Earth orbit, by inverse square the solar panels would give 1/25th the power, and Neptune orbit is about 30 times Earth orbit, so 1/900 power.
I wanted to be generous. ;)
As justification: Farther away from the star, the solar panel can unfold further, because the solar wind is weaker, thus increasing the surface area. That's why the power doesn't decrease by the inverse square law.
Unfortunately it's not a solar sail, so the solar wind has no bearing on power generation. Solar panels convert photons into electricity. The solar wind is all about charged particles and plasma being ejected from the sun. Now, if your solar panel converted both, then maybe you would not have to incorporate such a loss of for distance from the sun.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Sigtrygg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:22 pm

There is a bit of a sea change coming with the next generation of solar panels. The latest versions are touted as 'organic' in that they are carbon based rather than silicon - they are a bit like the OLED technology in screens now, but in reverse.

Lighter, more flexible, the downside is efficiency but it is likely to get better and surpass silicon base solar panels.

Then there is the potential for graphene based photovoltaics...
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:59 pm

Solar panels still can only convert as much energy (solar wind or light) to electricity as is available. Both the solar wind and the amount of light follow the Inverse-Square law as they expand out from the sun.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby Sigtrygg » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:22 pm

And you will need a very large solar array to compete with a gigawatt to terawatt fusion reactor.

Has the MgT ever been defined as to its wattage? I know the CT EP conversion is 250MW=1EP.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:29 pm

Sigtrygg wrote: Has the MgT ever been defined as to its wattage? I know the CT EP conversion is 250MW=1EP.
There is no definition.

If we compare PP output with CT we can estimate 1 Power = 5 - 10 MW, if memory serves.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby DickTurpin » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:33 pm

Taking the simplest case, a ship with no powerplant, solar panels would be 10% the size of a imaginary powerplant sized to power basic systems and an M-drive providing thrust 1. That hypothetical drive would require power points equal to 20% of the ship's tonnage for basic systems and equal to 10% of the hull tonnage for the M-drive, totaling power points equal to 30% of the hull tonnage. Divide the power points by 10 for a TL 8 drive, 15 for TL 12, and 20 for TL 15 to get actual (hypothetical) power plant size and then divide by 10 to get the solar panel size to support that power level.

This gives solar panels the power production per ton of exactly ten times that of a fusion plant of the same tech level. This illustrates that great writers are not always great mathematicians and physicists. I would suggest a re-write of the solar panel rules linking their size directly to the power required and reducing their efficiency by 100, meaning that they are only 1/10th as capable as a fusion reactor (i.e. 1 pp/ton at TL 8, 1.5 at TL 12, and 2 at TL 15). The amount of power can be adjusted for the distance from the star by assuming that the listed power production is the average within the habital zone of a stat and doubling it inside of that limit and dividing it by half for every multiple of the outer limit of that zone the ship travels.

This will both (somewhat) more accuratly reflect reality and allow for oversized panels to operate at great distance from a star, recharge batteries, or opperate additional systems not currently allowed by the existing rules. Note that ship movement would still be restricted due to the stress on the giant panels required and they would obstruct firing arcs of a ship's weapons so that combat whit the panels extended would be very difficult.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby baithammer » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:27 am

Which is why solar panels are constrained to thrust 1 and only supplying power for basic systems when applied as a stand alone.
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Re: High Guard 2e - Solar Panels

Postby AnotherDilbert » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:35 am

baithammer wrote: Which is why solar panels are constrained to thrust 1 and only supplying power for basic systems when applied as a stand alone.
I would say no thrust:
HG, p36 wrote:No power plant fuel is consumed, and endurance is considered infinite, if the ship is not manoeuvring or refining fuel. Jump drives cannot be engaged with solar panels deployed.

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