All Thrusters Power Comparison Chart (power density)

Rafs

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#1
Hello everyone!

I came here to share some tests I made comparing the power density of all thrusters. That's basically the amount of thrust a type of thruster gives compared to the space occupied.

So I made a tech for attaching thrusters and making the tests. It's this tech:

Thruster Test.png

It has plenty of active and passive gyros to make it hard to destabilize, fly tilted, or anything like that, allowing me to have more flexibility with thruster placement if needed.
Also, there's an antigravity equipment that I turned on and off for the test. And 4 VEN 5-way thrusters for minimum maneuverability if needed, as well as hovers (no ground friction).
This is a heavy tech and that should make results less dependant on the tested thrusters' weight.
All tested thrusters were placed on positions as symmetrical and as centered as possible within the tech structure.
The 12 block comparison is a list where I filled a 12 block space with these thrusters, the same goes for the 18 block one.

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These are the results:

Thruster Speed Comparison.png

And a more complete chart, based on the speed reached/space occupied:

Thruster Speed Comparison 2.png

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Conclusions & Observations

  • Antigravity has a notable speed dampening effect on thrusters. Such dampening can be negated by any vectored thrust in said direction, be it LME effect on thrusters, or Rotors themselves.
  • There seems to be a trend where larger blocks are more space inefficient. Large rotors are the rock bottom.
  • Most propellers/fans have less thrust when working backwards.
  • The GSO horn is one of the most powerful thrusters in the game, considering it has equal top-tier thrust in two directions (angled). These are great for small, speedy builds, or corners of a larger tech.
  • VEN Adj. thrusters and propellers are also good, and their plenty of Attachment Points should make up for a good way of filling spaces on a tech, in case one needs more speed.
  • For raw power and balanced APs, both BF ion drives are equally amazing.
  • The HE Exfil has a notable difference between the single and double sides, being reasonably powerful; place it wisely. The expected high health should make up for a good block to place on edges and exposed parts for extra speed and maneuverability.
  • Finally, this is just a power density ranking, other variables for comparison and judgement can be found at HeX block info list.
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Any other observations to add?
Also, I didn't test boosters but a friend was testing these, as well as hoverbug speed, so I didn't got into these.

Hope this helps with your techs building, thanks for reading!

(excel chart attached)
 

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ZeroGravitas

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#2
Very pretty results tables.:)

Personally, I've done a couple of spot checks on fans/props, in the past, by testing their static power in terms of lifting a (gyro stabilised) ballast weight (of GSO 1-blocks, added until hover-balanced). Somewhat like @Rockfarmer did back here:


Once you have a couple figured out, you can compare them directly on a tortion balance - a rotating anchor tech, finding the equivalent number of thrust block types to counterbalance, either side.

I think your test setup is a little over-complicated for my tastes; I'd be interested to see plotted out the relationship(s) between absolute force and vehicle speed (at different total masses). I suspect 'drag' is only a product of mass in TerraTech (if leaving wheel physics, etc, out of it).

Some specific points/questions:

(1) In your tables, is the "Venture Propeller" the Zero Propeller?

(2) I'm a little surprised that you've found the 'power density' for the HE large rotor to be so relatively low. A major takeaway from Rockfarmer's video (iirc) is that the force per unit volume of the fan blocks was fairly similar. It should also be noted that the large HE rotors have, by far, the best top speed, due to their insane power to *weight* ratio.

(3) I found that the zero props and ion drives both had the same thrust/weight (and so top speed on jets made predominantly from them). Both notably faster (at ~230mph) than the venture 1-way Adj-Thrusters (~200mph, very roughly).

So it's worth noting that the rankings you will get depend greatly on the (dead-weight) mass of the test tech (and therefore vehicle type they are each most appropriate for).:)

(4) Your setup uses hover plates that will be adding additional thrust, too. I think I saw you talking about this factor on discord(?) as that might be contributing to a disparity between anti-grav on/off, as they stop producing vectored force when there's no weight on them.
 
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Rafs

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#3
I have done this test in the past and the results are always proportionally the same, even with a lighter vehicle. Probably a very light vehicle could have a slightly different outcome because of the thruster mass having a higher effect on it.

Drag is just mass in TT, it's very simple. I suggested a system that looks at the "shadow" of a tech in a certain axis to increase drag in said axis, and have all these shadows calculated only when a block is placed or removed; then when the tech is moving these numbers would go as weights depending on the axis components of the movement in a certain direction, decreasing the speed in that direction. This way a bullet tech will move faster than a tech of the same weight shaped like a wall (in the front/back axis).

Thrust is very simple too, there's no such a thing of a thruster more suited for heavy techs and one more suited for light techs (when not counting the thruster own weight I mean).
Wheels can carry more or less weight, but thrusters, they just push things with their own force, regardless of the tech mass. You can expect the GC Adj. Thruster to be always inferior to 4 VEN 1-Way Adj. Thrusters on a heavy or a light tech, if the 1-way is more powerful, it will always do it better.

In some edge cases of a tech very very light or a very high amount of thrusters (thus high thruster proportional mass), the thruster own weight may matter, and then you can have some anomaly (the HE Exfil is a good example of heavy thruster and could rank lower on a light tech).

I wanted to make my tests with a fixed high mass to simplify things and provide a reliable comparison, if one wants to make it with varying masses, go ahead.

1) Yep.

2) Well, you can get the snapshot and test yourself. The rotor might be efficient when related to its own mass, but when the thruster mass is not an issue and space is, then the rotor will be using said space very inefficiently. For helicopters there's not much of a problem because the top of the vehicle is dedicated to the rotor, but anywhere else it could be sub-optimal.

3) Probably because the 1-Ways could be heavier than the Zero and thus, creating that difference in speed. As I said, my tests were made on a heavy tech. One can use HeX list to check thruster weights and compare which one is better for their light techs.

4) I had that theory for a while. But when I added the LME, it was debunked. The LME and any other vectore thruster, as well as any combination of LME and normal thrusters, will result in a consistent speed with or without AG, even on middair where hovers have nothing to interact with and can't be accounted for the kept speed.
And even when I pressed the AG tech (with normal thrusters) against the floor I'd still have the lowered speed, so yeah, hovers couldn't be accounted for the debuff in speed, its just AG.
Antigravity doesn't only counters gravity, a Dev already said they added more effects to it so one could feel they are in "space". These effects could be the ones responsible for the slow down.
 

ZeroGravitas

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#4
a Dev already said they added more effects to it so one could feel they are in "space". These effects could be the ones responsible for the slow down
Yeah, it's @Sdarks who implemented AG and said this, did you already poke him on this linear slowdown effect (e.g. on discord)? This is what he was saying on rotational slow (a confirmed bug), as I think you'll have see:
-Having techs in Zero Gravity via the Antigravs makes them quite resistent to rotational force, as if it gets a passive gyro. I suppose this is intentional? It should be the other way around, no?
That's definitely not intended. ZeroG (the effect not the person) should actually almost completely remove angular/rotational drag. So that you get the cool "spinning around in space" effect despite still being within atmosphere. If you have a video or repro case I'm definitely interested in looking at it

Edit: Note - In reality there should be literally no change to rotational physics at all based on gravity if my physics is right. It's just more fun if you see an anti grav tech floating around like it's in space so I added that in intentionally
 
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Sdarks

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#5
Yeah, it's @Sdarks who implemented AG and said this, did you already poke him on this linear slowdown effect (e.g. on discord)? This is what he was saying on rotational slow (a confirmed bug), as I think you'll have see:
I believe what you're seeing is likely an interaction between the gyros enacting a rotational force to counter that posed by the thrusters and the anti gravity bug that is dampening angular velocity too much. I have fixed it and it'll be in the next unstable/stable update so I think you'll find that the linear speed decrease with AG on should be fixed then. What we do with anti gravity is to get the cool spinning around forever in space effect (despite still being in atmosphere) is as you have less gravity we increase the part of angular drag that is dependant on airspeed and reduce the constant angular drag down to zero. That means that your tech will still slow down from high rotational speeds but will never come to a complete stop without outside forces (thrusters etc) giving you a more spacecraft like feel. The bug was that the airspeed dependant drag was set too high which meant that techs were slowing down too fast and it was opposing angular velocity too much. It also meant that it was essentially placing a top speed on angular velocity which was noticeably lower than without anti grav. This is now fixed and I've toned down the air speed dependant drag so that it should be more comparable to non anti grav now.