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# Paddle Wheel Speed Challenge

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Ahoy Rocketeers, Seadogs and pilots, I'd like to see how you tackle my little challenge

The Challenge: Build the fastest paddle wheel boat, powered by electricity, then get in to the shore, and show us how fast will it go.

The Rules: No mods or expansions for the spinny part(bearing), has to be electric

Rating:

Speed category: by sustainable Vmax only

1. Pds314 @ 18,4m/s

Efficiency category: Vmax/power drain while at equator (power drain=power needed to move the boat at Vmax, measure without generating power at the same time, )

1.Pds314 @ 8.97

In this challenge you will have to develop a stock bearing system, way of driving it by electric means. Even getting that to spin is a win in my book, so let's go!

So far my best design reached Vmax of 9,6m/s, while draining 9,68/s, which is about 1000% better than my first aproach(actual math 2m/s with 20/s)

One to get you started:

Edited by Vít Salava
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Paddle Wheel Challenge, yet you immediately exclude the robotics parts from Breaking Ground that are the most obvious way to power a paddle wheeler??? That’s basically impossible without building some kind of circular contraption that spins the whole thing to move, and that is probably not what you’re after.

First, prove it can be done at all by posting a video where you do it yourself.

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Well yes, because as I understand, many community members do not have expansions, and console players are (also as I heard) unable to mod their game. Stock bearings have been a thing for a long time, people even made planes using them and attached reaction wheels. It is very doable, but it's likely to wake up the Kraken. And it usually does. But you wanted to see mine. So, 1,7-ish m/s, terrible efficency, I had one that could do 2,5  That's why I made it a challenge. Because It's not easy, yet it isn't as time consuming as circumnavigation and things like that. And mind you I currently have FAR installed so it might work slightly differently in completely stock game, that's why I havent shared yet. PS bearings are easier to make when you can float them.

Here's the vid.

Edited by Vít Salava
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2 minutes ago, Vít Salava said:

Well yes, because as I understand, many community members do not have expansions, and console players are (also as I heard) unable to mod their game. Stock bearings have been a thing for a long time, people even made planes using them and attached reaction wheels. It is very doable, but it's likely to wake up the Kraken. And it usually does. But you wanted to see mine. So, 1,7-ish m/s, terrible efficency, I had one that could do 2,5  That's why I made it a challenge. Because It's not easy, yet it isn't as time consuming as circumnavigation and things like that. And mind you I currently have FAR installed so it might work slightly differently in completely stock game, that's why I havent shared yet. PS bearings are easier to make when you can float them.

Here's the vid.

Clever use of wheels to turn it. I like it.

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13 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

Clever use of wheels to turn it. I like it.

I'm looking forward to your go at it

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On 6/5/2020 at 4:08 AM, jimmymcgoochie said:

Paddle Wheel Challenge ... That’s basically impossible without building some kind of circular contraption that spins the whole thing to move ...

I did this quite awhile ago. You do not need BG to make rotating machines work.

Sidenote: Vmax of 18.4 m/s.

Re: efficiency category, you may want to specify that you need to start at the equator, as it is possible to build boats that fall toward the equator due to Kerbin's lack of an equatorial bulge.

Edited by Pds314
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Efficiency-wise, the big problem seems to be that it's hard to get into the good RPM range. Most large paddle wheels with good sized paddles seem to be stuck at less than 300 deg/s. Which provides very poor efficiency.

Edited by Pds314
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I managed to get 11.3 m/s on 1.26 u of electricity per second for an efficiency of 8.97 m/electric charge.

It's still very far from optimally efficient though. Especially since once it gets past 9 or 10 m/s the rotation rate drops from 800 deg/s to 300, although the actual paddles become more efficient at that point because they aren't going much faster than the boat like at low speeds.

Considering that electricity use is constant and there's potential for 2700 deg/s before anything starts to jiggle to death, and 2800 before jiggle losses are the dominant factor in efficiency loss, this is still only about 10% of theoretical efficiency. We can definitely do better.

Edited by Pds314
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On 6/9/2020 at 3:14 AM, Pds314 said:

I managed to get 11.3 m/s on 1.26 u of electricity per second for an efficiency of 8.97 m/electric charge.

It's still very far from optimally efficient though. Especially since once it gets past 9 or 10 m/s the rotation rate drops from 800 deg/s to 300, although the actual paddles become more efficient at that point because they aren't going much faster than the boat like at low speeds.

Considering that electricity use is constant and there's potential for 2700 deg/s before anything starts to jiggle to death, and 2800 before jiggle losses are the dominant factor in efficiency loss, this is still only about 10% of theoretical efficiency. We can definitely do better.

On 6/8/2020 at 11:55 PM, Pds314 said:

I did this quite awhile ago. You do not need BG to make rotating machines work.

Sidenote: Vmax of 18.4 m/s.

Re: efficiency category, you may want to specify that you need to start at the equator, as it is possible to build boats that fall toward the equator due to Kerbin's lack of an equatorial bulge.

This is why I made this challenge  To learn the witchery of others  Congratulations on 18,4m/s, that's almost a practical electric boat  I will add the equator rule, that is an interesting observation.

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1 hour ago, Vít Salava said:

This is why I made this challenge  To learn the witchery of others  Congratulations on 18,4m/s, that's almost a practical electric boat  I will add the equator rule, that is an interesting observation.

It's not just an observation. I've built multi-kiloton boats that are designed to just fall toward the equator xD.

Edited by Pds314
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Hmmm... I've been thinking some more about this and I wonder if paddles are truly the right tool for the job? I wonder if some kind of wheels that use skin friction to accelerate the ship might actually do better.

Edit: no. No it will not.

Edited by Pds314
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Hmm... normally it isn't worth it because with aircraft you actually want the prop to rotate quick, but with paddleboats, the paddle can spin slowly. I will be investigating some geared setups later to see if I can transform high-speed, low-torque power from an electric engine into high-torque, low-speed power for the paddlewheels.

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