Shaft Power

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Shaft Power

Almost all technology-centered mods have some form of power system associated with them. Many of these power systems function as some form of electricity, carried by cables from generators to machines, stored in those machines, and consumed by those machines to perform specialized crafting recipes on items. In most such mods, two numbers are important: the rate of energy flow, and the total energy consumed by a given machine recipe. RotaryCraft departs from these ideas. In RotaryCraft, power is transferred as rotational kinetic energy through connecting blocks called Shafts, hence the name Shaft Power. Shaft Power has three important numbers in it:

  • Torque, measured in Newton-meters (Nm), the force with which the shaft keeps turning
  • Speed, measured in Radians per second (Rad/s), the rate at which the shaft turns
  • Power, measured in Watts (W), the rate at which energy is transferred, equal to the product of Torque and Speed

While this looks like a lot of math to work with, and while most engines and machines have very large Torque, Power, and Speed inputs and outputs, there is a marvelous simplicity to Shaft Power: all Shaft Power math is based on multiples of 2.

Shaft Power is generated by Engines. Each engine has a known Torque it outputs and a known Speed it outputs it at, which combine to form the known total Power the engine outputs. Likewise, all machines that consume Shaft Power have certain minimum Power requirements. Most machines require a minimum of two of the three factors (minimum Speed, minimum Torque, minimum Power), and if those minimum requirements are not fulfilled the machine will not run. In RotaryCraft, having sufficient Power is rarely an issue. Much more common is the issue of having Power at an insufficient Speed or Torque to run a machine. This is where Gearboxes come into play. Gearboxes take the power from a Shaft and change the ratio of Torque to Speed in that Power, without losing Power in the change. Gearboxes are necessary at all stages of RotaryCraft progression, at first just to activate machines, but later to power them up. Many other tech mods' machines can be upgraded in some way to increase their speed at the cost of more power. In RotaryCraft, many machines will do that on their own if fed higher Speeds than their minimum requirements. In the cases where that is true, the general math states that every time the speed is doubled, each action taken by the machine will happen 1-3 seconds faster, starting at 20-60 seconds, but eventually scaling down to 1 tick per action if enough power is given.

Similar to other mods, there are limits to power transmission. Shafts and Gearboxes have finite limits on their input and output Speeds and Torques, based on the materials they are made of. If the limits are exceeded, Shafts break and Gearboxes explode. Shown below is a table of material power limits.

Material Max Torque (Nm) Max Speed (Rad/s)
Wood 278 3577
Stone 958 11561
Steel 6711 57005
Diamond 69508 412148
Bedrock Infinite Infinite

One important difference between Shaft Power and other mods' power systems is that Shaft Power is not stored in machines. Machines that receive power use it immediately and continuously, and shafts not connected to machines will simply turn with no purpose. Shaft Power is made to be consumed, not stored. However, there are a few ways to store it in limited amounts:

  • The Industrial Coil can be fed shaft power and then re-emit it later. When crafted with Bedrock Tension Coils, it can store more power but requires more Torque to store power.
  • The Coil Winder can store power in Tension Coils, which function similarly to portable batteries. Tension Coils can then be un-wound in other Coil Winders, or used to power certain RotaryCraft hand tools.
  • Flywheels do not expressly store power, but they can be fed power by an engine and will transmit it through themselves, and then if the engine is shut down will continue to supply power for additional time.