Comic 1551 - Better Than Normal

6th Feb 2018, 9:00 PM
Better Than Normal
Average Rating: 5 (15 votes)
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plymayer 6th Feb 2018, 9:20 PM edit delete reply

Ah the wonders of New Troy.

Have fun. Put your money in your shoe and don't take any wooden aureus (?).
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:32 PM edit delete reply

LOL ok thats funny :D
megados 6th Feb 2018, 9:31 PM edit delete reply

Re: A/N, I dunno, I think Noctis is just being Noctis. She refers to the Lord Regent; Is Maxus still acting interim Regent, or has the Senate decided?

I have to say I like these sequences; they're great character building, and well done!

Have fun shopping, Ladies!
DLKmusic 6th Feb 2018, 10:44 PM edit delete reply

I don't think that it means that Maxus has been confirmed as regent so much as it means that Noctis recognizes him as such until such time as he is NOT confirmed.

I also think that the senate discussion has gone a long way to confirm maxus. He already has supporters in the senate, the approval of the populace, and after the cookie he just got handed to him, a chance to show Nova Roma what the new Regime is going to be like.

He starts dragging in gutters for trial and his popularity will go through the roof.
Sheela 7th Feb 2018, 5:07 AM edit delete reply

Wait, wait ... Maxus has the Cookie now ?

Man, Aeneas is gonna be PISSED !
antrik 7th Feb 2018, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
@DLKmusic I'm not sure the general populace really cares all that much about gutters?... I wouldn't expect Roman civilians to go strolling through the wastes very often...
megados 7th Feb 2018, 8:49 AM edit delete reply

@DLKmusic, Thanks! I don't know how fast the Senate is moving, nor how much time has passed. If Acantha is well enough to go on a shopping excursion, I would figure at least a couple of weeks. Let's hope the rest of the Senate is as optimistic!
antrik 7th Feb 2018, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
Eh? A few days at most, I would think... Acantha hasn't even received her proper new heart yet.
megados 7th Feb 2018, 11:32 AM edit delete reply

Really? A couple days after heart replacement surgery to be well enough to go out and about? I guess I don't have a very good grasp of their medical capability. Yes, she has a temporary synthetic heart right now, and she's awaiting her cloned one. (I don't know how long that takes, either) I would have thought it would be more than a couple of days to recover from implanting the synthetic heart, though.
DLKmusic 7th Feb 2018, 12:54 PM edit delete reply

@megados: Depending on how many goods have to be imported into Nova Roma, which I am thinking is probably a lot, A reduction in piracy will have a tremendous impact on prices at the stores. That's something that I think most people will truly appreciate!
megados 7th Feb 2018, 3:12 PM edit delete reply

I completely agree, @DLKmusic! It will help trade, remove an impediment to the economy, and help restore public trust, as well as reduce an overall drain on resources.
Lurker314 7th Feb 2018, 12:07 PM edit delete reply
He popularity will go through the roof with the import/export crowd. An important crowd, to be sure, but not the big enchilada. Now, depending on how the trials & punishments are handled, this could have larger implications.

To really please the citizens, he needs to deal with the abuses by the Praetorian Guard & the like. But that is far more delicate, as history has shown...
DLKmusic 7th Feb 2018, 6:48 PM edit delete reply

@lurker314: If Decimus kept to the roman tradition of the PG being 100 men, then it has been pretty much decimated. My count may be off a little, but if you read through and count the casualties of the guard, I came up with 84 (including 48 by Noctis), plus 2 prisoners, 1 known deserter, and their Commander (thanks to Tennyo).

by my count that leaves 12 men left to chase down and answer for their crimes (assuming they haven't already met their fate during the riots), but there is no more Praetorian guard.
Sheela 8th Feb 2018, 6:29 AM edit delete reply

Don't forget that CeCi and Dolly went through some PG's on their way to Lynn.

.. poor guys, not their best day, I suspect. :D
robnot 8th Feb 2018, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
an an don't forget Maraiko an Julia...
DLKmusic 8th Feb 2018, 11:12 AM edit delete reply

Here is the body count as I remember it.
48 - Noctis (first prize)
8 - Demacles
7 - Marcus
6 - Maraiko
6 - Maxus (in his quarters),
6 - Teedee and Ada
3 - Dolly and Ceci
1 - Tennyo (she bagged Moby Dickhead)
2 prisoners

I think I got everyone, but putting it on paper shows 13 unaccounted for, which includes Decimus's guard that deserted on duty.
megados 9th Feb 2018, 8:06 AM edit delete reply

I think Maxus gets extra points for soloing unarmored!
robnot 9th Feb 2018, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
... nuuu ,, i wood say Maraiko, for bonus points,, no blood on her.!!
an just a side note,, Maxus trains that way, and he prolly trained them... and he fought in the arena , they did not...
DLKmusic 9th Feb 2018, 7:29 PM edit delete reply

@megados & robnot: I think a better question to ask than "who gets bonus points?" is this...

When can we get an accounting of whereabouts of the remaining 13 miscreants that are still loose?

If most of them show the same stupidity that has been true to form for them up to this point, then it's a good bet that at least some of them wandered into the rioting crowds thinking they were invincible and should be feared, with the results being... let's just call it "Mob Justice". There is also a good chance that there are some casualties inflicted on the Praetorian Guard that were not actually shown in the action of the strip. Regardless, I think an accounting of all of them is a high priority for the Cassians right now.

Lastly, Maxus gets 1 extra style point per kill for being unarmored, Maraiko gets 2 extra style points per kill for not getting any blood on her. Noctis is still ahead of both of them combined!
megados 9th Feb 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply

Makes sense. If some of the remaining PG members did wander out into the riot crowd, indeed a number of them would likely have behaved exactly as you say. I have to say though, that odds are some of them decided to ditch their armor, and try to "blend in", rather than try to single handedly quell a riot. Further, odds are fair that there are a few left. Since they are, for the most part, recruited from criminals and undesirables, they would have records and information that can be used by the Cassians to locate them. If they have the Cassians looking for them, their life expectancies would be decidedly non-existant.
Timotheus 10th Feb 2018, 1:21 AM edit delete reply

I would say the evidence is quite heavily in favor of there having been far more than 100 praetorians at the start of our little exercise. That there are probably far less than a hundred of them left right now is equally likely. (Didn't Dolly and CeCee wipe out 8 or 9 security squads in the palace all by themselves? That could be almost 80 troops, at least half of which were probably in blue.)
Sheela 12th Feb 2018, 3:50 PM edit delete reply

Maybe it's 100 active Praetorians at any one time, multiply that with number of shifts needed to have 100 around, plus spares for when someone is sick, and you'd probably end up with 3 shift = 300 + spares ... so probably around 350 or so, plus quartermasters and such .. so a grand total of about 400 is possible.
robnot 12th Feb 2018, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
im guessing NR is different than old rome.. but your numbers are close,, 100 = one unit called a cohortes , when active 3 groups of 30 would patrol the area , an 10 would guard emperor..
an depending on time frame a number of 500 to 15000 people in the unit
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:33 PM edit delete reply

O_O you counted>!?>!
Lurker314 15th Jul 2021, 7:23 PM edit delete reply
Excuse me, Centcomm. Apparently, we have not met before. Let me introduce your fans: We're nerds. N.E.R.D.S!

OF COURSE someone counted.
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:32 PM edit delete reply

Noctis just likes trolling..
Hells Dragonfly 6th Feb 2018, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
It would appear that Acantha's adapted quickly to treating Artifolk as equals and not servant machines to be denigrated and feared as they generally are in Nova Roman society.

This shopping trip should be fun after all the blood, guts, explosions and court intrigue.
Lurker314 6th Feb 2018, 10:43 PM edit delete reply
She's had a head start with her relationship to her city AI. Also, Noctis's lawyerly tendencies probably make her the most relatable of her kind.
That one guy 9th Feb 2018, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
I'd also point out that Kali did her best to reign in Decimus and the Cassians likely had orders to try to distract/divert Decimus away from Acantha whenever possible.

So at least some of the palace Cassians have probably been helpful allies to her for a long time.
Lurker314 6th Feb 2018, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
Regarding the alt-text. That's the thing about Noctis--you absolutely can NEVER tell with her. No small part of what makes this side-splittingly funny. I still think Acantha is likely to try to give Noctis the slip.
xpacetrue 6th Feb 2018, 11:41 PM edit delete reply

True. Noctis hardly ever seems to express her emotions with visual cues like facial expressions. But that doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't feel or even have a sense of humor.

But, perhaps this particular dialog exchange between Noctis and Acantha is more than just Noctis being Noctis or trolling? Perhaps Noctis is trying to help Acantha get into a habit of reading between the lines, thinking more carefully about how to word things and how to manipulate with words... like what seems to come naturally for Athena. That's an important skill for a diplomat, politician or leader.
megados 7th Feb 2018, 7:32 AM edit delete reply

@xpacetrue, Noctis certainly does seem to have emotions which she mostly keeps to herself. Subtleties in her speech and manner tell us this is so. It does take a little "getting to know" Noctis to appreciate it. As a very high level security officer, her poker face serves her well, as it enhances her effectiveness in her role. Security personnel don't usually go around laughing and joking, and for Noctis, her role is 24/7.

I have to admit, I hadn't looked at Noctis' conversation with Acantha as a teachable moment. You are probably right, at least in part. Had Decimus paid more attention he might not be so . . . dead. :D
Timotheus 8th Feb 2018, 12:28 AM edit delete reply

Please remember that Noctis seems to have routinely outwitted Decimus to his face as a sort of personal game. She is an intellectual giant and never to be underestimated in a battle of words or wits.
antrik 9th Feb 2018, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
Don't know about "routinely"... IIRC we witnessed only of one instance?

(No doubt she *could* have -- the question is whether she had opportunity/motivation to do it before...)
Fairportfan 7th Feb 2018, 1:26 AM edit delete reply

Not sure why, but this exchange puts me in mind of a recent Questionable Content page where Faye said to Bubbles (for those not familiar with the comic, Bubbles is a former military android - quite cute and about seven feet tall and very likely able to go one-on-one with a Bradley) that if she was planning on getting social she {Faye} would be her wing girl.

Here are Faye and Bubbles. Faye is maybe five-foot-six{?}

Bubbles says:

That turn of phrase concerns me. If your love life requires close air support, something has gone very wrong.
wright1 7th Feb 2018, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
Bubbles and Noctis would find a lot of things in common, for sure.
robnot 8th Feb 2018, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
umm ,, might be artist perspective but,, im 5' 5" an partner is 6' 4" an the top of my head comes to her boobs..!!
antrik 9th Feb 2018, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
That can't be right. Top of boobs is definitely quite a bit more than 28 cm below top of head... Unless she is some kind of alien ;-)

(You are right though that the proportions in the picture do not seem to match the comment.)
Morituri 13th Feb 2018, 12:16 AM edit delete reply
Art drift has been happening. Bubbles was about eight feet tall when introduced, then seven-and-a-half feet tall after the first couple of weeks, and has been slowly shrinking ever since. She's now depicted as about six-and-three-quarters to seven feet.

Of course it's never been consistent. Jeph Jacques' art style makes his characters kind of elastic - drawn from a different perspective or with different visual obstructions around them, they are a different height.
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:35 PM edit delete reply

that is one thing i dont have to worry about is hight drift although Acantha has had some minor changes as have other charcters.
MirrorField 7th Feb 2018, 2:59 AM edit delete reply
No, I don't think Acantha will try to give Noctis a slip unless Noctis becomes obnoxious hindrance for a little partying among the girls, shall we say?

I do think Acantha has at least *some* grasp about the realities of security. Especially given the smoldering underground New Rome had during Prince Douchenozzle's reign.
Sheela 7th Feb 2018, 5:16 AM edit delete reply

Hah, this reminds me of Maxim 4 and 5 from The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries :

4. Close air support covereth a multitude of sins.
5. Close air support and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart.

Also, they should take a Dolly along for good measure. :)
Timotheus 8th Feb 2018, 12:35 AM edit delete reply

I'm almost certain that addition to the party is going to happen ("Dolly, you go with them and make sure nothing happens to Lynn!") I'm wondering if Centcom is going to decide they'll need a couple medtech/body guards from S&R as well.
Sheela 8th Feb 2018, 6:21 AM edit delete reply

Well ... lets not forget that Dolly knows all the *good* places to shop. :D

This is totally canon too, that's how she met Minx. :)
robnot 8th Feb 2018, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
after that last go round,, Dolly is going regardless,, and Ancantha is jus out of surgery she is NOT planing on slipping out an partying .. (she might even go in a hover chair,,)...
Sheela 9th Feb 2018, 5:05 AM edit delete reply

Ah, but Acantha is a sassy one, she may try speeding away in the hover chair. :D
robnot 9th Feb 2018, 8:23 AM edit delete reply

an Schlock.!!
antrik 9th Feb 2018, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
They will probably try to give Noctis the slip before the inevitable marriage proposal...

/me ducks for cover :-P
Sheela 9th Feb 2018, 10:43 PM edit delete reply

Schlock is awesome. :)
robnot 10th Feb 2018, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
jus fyi ,, partner looked like Bunnygus...
Bullwinkle 7th Feb 2018, 5:26 AM edit delete reply
Noctis teaching diplomacy 101.
Lurker314 7th Feb 2018, 12:18 PM edit delete reply
Yep. That's why I'm betting they're going to try to give the slip. It's the sort of group behaviour thing that "just happens".
Greenwood Goat 7th Feb 2018, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Lynn: (thinks) Shopping! Janelle's Accessories - Acantha. Spikyxx accessories and personal defence - Noctis. Heel & Co - Acantha. Grrly - Noctis. Plumes Fashions - Acantha. F.I.T. - Acantha and Noctis. Colourz makeup and facial decals - Noctis. I'm sure they'll be able to work on her skin... RingRing's jewellery and charms - Acantha... and me. Metalworks piercing shop - Noctis. ...If they can find a needle up to the task. Carrie's hair and nail spa - Me and Acantha. The Shocking Pink Palace - that lesbian style place is always such fun, and the owner always offers freebies to get the girls to kiss...

Meanwhile, at the Shocking Pink Palace...

Melanie Teda, owner (to videophone): I don't know who or what you are, or what you think you're doing-

Tokyo Rose (on videophone): I am Tokyo Rose, THE Tokyo Rose, and I am telling you not to attempt to get Lynn Taylor to kiss either of her companions, because I will set about you and your shop with my anti-shipping missiles! Straight in through the door and straight into that display of fluffy handcuffs! Boom! In fact, you'd be better off closing the shop, just to be on the safe side!

Melanie Teda: Y-you can't threaten me! New Troy has a missile defence screen (I think) and Cent-Comm will nuke your ass halfway to the moon! Yeah! In fact, I should probably report this-

Tokyo Rose (on videophone): No you don't. The missile strike is only the final option. I also have uni-swine Princess Cloaca on my side. *switches screen to video footage*

Melanie Teda, aged twelve (on video): *adjusts elastic-on unicorn horn and pig snout* I'm Princess Cloaca - uni-swine princess! I rule the universe with my magical fart powers! *turns, waves bum and tie-on pig tail at camera* *blows long raspberry*

Tokyo Rose (inset picture in video): I've got nearly a quarter-hour of this archived. I can make it go viral, or just hack the broadcast system. So...

Melanie Teda: D-: How did you... D-X Fine! I-I'll do whatever you want!

Yasakani: ++You are so mean, Rose-san. I could have used that concept to make an original video anime!++ :-p

Sheela 8th Feb 2018, 6:24 AM edit delete reply

Oh my, the anti-shipping missiles are loaded ! :D
Romfire 7th Feb 2018, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
I am not sure Cent is going to be happy with Noctis Loose in her city. They may be followed by a dozen or so Reavers and some drone air support. And snipers staying ahead with eyes on her all the time.
Some Ed 7th Feb 2018, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
'Followed' is a funny way to spell 'preceded by, in all directions they could conceivably go'. I understand it may be a bit difficult to spell, but I usually manage to get a little closer than that. I'm generally pretty sure that there isn't an 'f' in it. ;)
Romfire 7th Feb 2018, 2:15 PM edit delete reply
Sorry, I typed that just before I went to sleep. It does sound like I am saying everyone would follow them. I was thinking the Reavers would be rather clunky and mostly follow while the drones and snipers would be more mobile. (is a wm-fifty-four-fourty medium heavy a reaver?)
antrik 7th Feb 2018, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Well of course! Anything less for a royal entourage would be a dishonour ;-)
DLKmusic 7th Feb 2018, 7:43 PM edit delete reply

I'm thinking that Sheela had the right strategy. Assign Dolly to Lynn for additional security... with the side effect of keeping an eye on Noctis.

I also it would give both Noctis and Dolly a chance to actually bond over what is a common duty, and for Dolly to hear an unbiased assessment of her performance against Kali. If I recall, Noctis was impressed. and it's probably safe to say that Dolly is indeed in need of an ego boost.
Timotheus 8th Feb 2018, 12:40 AM edit delete reply

I'll repeat, Ada and Teedee, as additional escorts. And Ada can try to give Teedee a makeover so she dosn't stand out so badly.
robnot 8th Feb 2018, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
i think that would be great,, an by this point Teedee has her new body... an Ada had her "man" time..
Gilrandir 8th Feb 2018, 6:04 PM edit delete reply
I suspect the creatrices are having fun with TeeDee right in the body she's in. I'm not sure what justification will be presented, but I doubt we'll see TeeDee in the hulking mayhembot of her dreams any time soon.

Of course, I am often wrong about these things.
DLKmusic 9th Feb 2018, 2:04 AM edit delete reply

I agree with that, @gil: after being schooled by Noctis, who's even smaller, I think that she got the idea of how powerful her existing frame can be if trained right.

(With that being said, I think Noctis would have schooled her no matter what.)
Sheela 9th Feb 2018, 5:11 AM edit delete reply

Dolly and Noctis seems plausible bodyguards.
I would also imagine a Centcomm Doll to tag along, sure she can invade all the security camera's along the way, but why make it difficult on herself ?

Maybe Officer Ray will have something new to do too, I mean, apart from drooling over Minx. :D

It would make a small, but tight group, with a surprising amount of firepower between them.
Maybe have a silent running dropship ghost them at altitude, with some reavers ... just in case.
Heck, Marcus could come too, they need a bag boy after all. >_<
antrik 9th Feb 2018, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
So far it's rather been Minx drooling over officer Ray I'd say :-)
antrik 7th Feb 2018, 7:51 AM edit delete reply
A makeover? Yay, time for a pink lacy dress and ribbons in her hair! :-)
megados 7th Feb 2018, 8:21 AM edit delete reply

As long as it won't hinder her ability to move, she'll probably go along with whatever Acantha says. (No flowy, floofy or loose stuff) Otherwise, as she mentioned, she's content leaving things as they are.
Sheela 9th Feb 2018, 5:19 AM edit delete reply

Noctis, is one of the few characters, that could rock a Goth Lolita outfit, straight out of Japan - And look good in it.
megados 9th Feb 2018, 6:59 AM edit delete reply

Oh, she absolutely could, but I kinda doubt that she would.
antrik 9th Feb 2018, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Oh, you think Cent-Comm wouldn't rock a Goth Lolita outfit even better? ;-)

Or Marcus, for that matter :-P
robnot 9th Feb 2018, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
@Sheela: Rory Mercury.. Noctis as envoy of Emroy .!!
Sheela 9th Feb 2018, 11:01 PM edit delete reply

@antrik :
No, I think the bubblegum hair would spoil it a bit.
Mind you, the idea of Noctis in a pretty outfit may have been raised in the comments of Comic 1487 - Justified Detour, where Centcomm liked the idea, but Tokyo Rose said "No" - The party pooper!

@robnot :
No that wouldn't work, Rory is most adamantly a very emotional person, and Noctis is most decidedly .. not!
On a sidenote, the Gate anime is awesome, I really enjoy the concept of magic vs. tech.
robnot 10th Feb 2018, 2:21 PM edit delete reply
hehe,, wait HE took down a dragon..!!???

an i meant the "Look"
Sheela 12th Feb 2018, 3:51 PM edit delete reply

Heh, lampshaded by, "wait, SHE took down the dragon?" when the elf blasts one to kingdom come. :D
robnot 13th Feb 2018, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
now i agree 111%.. but "they" say he/his explosives did it,, so by default he did it..
soo they both did it.!!
antrik 7th Feb 2018, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Geez, Lynn, can't you relax just for a moment? Pressing the issue like that -- and after just some two minutes or so of conversation -- isn't really helping your cause...
Lurker314 7th Feb 2018, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
I'm inclined to cut her some slack here. At no point was Acantha supporting Prince Douche with his actions, and Lynn knows it. She's 18; she knows what actually went down; she's concerned for the psychological welfare of her friend/guest--whose presence in NT is NOT entirely of free will. That she's impatient with the NT entities concerned about HER welfare (and theirs) is...understandable.
Sheela 9th Feb 2018, 5:37 AM edit delete reply

Buuut ... Lynn wants to plaaayy !

And youngsters aren't very well known for being patient. :D
KarToon12 7th Feb 2018, 3:38 PM edit delete reply

It's like negotiating with a genie---it's all in how you word things.
DLKmusic 7th Feb 2018, 7:45 PM edit delete reply

LOL, Kartoon! "You wish for long life? DONE!!! You are now the Duracell bunny!
Just_IDD 7th Feb 2018, 9:33 PM edit delete reply
Energizer has the bunny, Duracell has The Coppertop. Although we never saw them charging that video player either so Rose only knows what's running it after 10 years. Our small rechargeable technology is only good for a thousand or so charge-discharge Cycles. Before you really begin to notice a loss of capacity. Also military hardware is meant to keep running, efficiency is only considered A positive when it extends operational capability.

Ps: what is the alt text for us mobilites who can't put a point- someplace and let us up hover.
megados 7th Feb 2018, 9:46 PM edit delete reply

Alt text is "Is Noctis trolling? I think she's trolling"

To see it on most mobile devices, touch and hold on the page. That should make it appear.
DLKmusic 7th Feb 2018, 10:45 PM edit delete reply

@just IDD: Energizer, Duracell, whatever. that thing has been annoying America for 45 years! Make it stop, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE IT STOP!!!!

Shot guns, Nuclear blasts, even far into the future with the murderturds trying to eat it... the DAMN THING JUST KEEPS GOING AND GOING AND.....
Sheela 8th Feb 2018, 6:34 AM edit delete reply

Somewhere out there, there's a Murderturd that wishes that the thing it just ate would stop trying to march around in it's belly .... most annoying ! In fact, it makes the Murderturd angry !
Well, maybe it's that rock over there that's making it angry .. or the tree, it's uncertain, but ...

Also, what's this about nuclear blasts ? Are they eadible ? Murderturds everywhere wants to know!
antrik 9th Feb 2018, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
@Just_IDD the cycle life of batteries actually depends a lot on the specific chemistry in use. Looking at the now ubiquitous Lithium-Ion cells, the LCO (Lithium Cobalt Oxide) variant -- which was the first type available, and used in pretty much all consumer electronic devices -- indeed used to have pretty poor stability: typically being good only for some 300-500 cycles. (And what's worse, often breaking down after just a few years of shelf life, regardless of usage...)

However, they have improved over time; and perhaps more importantly, nowadays there are many other types available. For a lot of applications, NMC or NCM (Lithium Nickel Cobalt Manganese Oxide) cells are increasingly popular, since they have energy densities similar to LCO -- even higher in fact with ongoing refinements -- while offering better robustness.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is LTO (Lithium Titan Oxide A.K.A. Lithium Titanate), which can easily do 5000 cycles. (Though at a significantly lower energy density...) These are used in speciality applications such as medical implants; and also a variety of other demanding applications.

And there are things in between, such as LFP (Lithium Ferro-Phosphate), which is often used in power tools for example.

In short, it's perfectly possible to make a rechargeable device lasting for fifteen years even with today's technology, depending on the trade-offs taken. (There are other considerations I haven't mentioned, such as charging times and price...)

And that's not even considering the "micro-fusion cells" existing in the Datachasers universe :-) Though inductive charging has been brought up as well -- so not sure what the story is supposed to be here exactly...
Ictuan 9th Feb 2018, 7:14 PM edit delete reply
Even with similar chemistry there is tremendous difference in battery longevity based on production quality and the electronics to control the charge and discharge of the batteries. For example electric vehicles, which use lithium ion batteries tend to have 10 year 100K mi warranties, whereas the battery in your typical cellphone is good for maybe three years. Most of that extended battery life comes from the electronics controlling the full charge/discharge points. An example of this was when Tesla temporarily lowered the maximum discharge threshold on model threes in Florida to help owners get out of the path of the hurricane.

Our 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid batteries have been through thousands of discharge cycles with no appreciable loss in performance and will go through thousands more before the battery warranty expires. Our Chevy Bolt EV will also go through thousands of charge discharge cycles over its expected life.

For a car, battery longevity is the primary concern, the battery's size and weight is a secondary concern. A cellphone on the other hand puts a premium on size and weight and sacrifices battery longevity to get as much performance out of as small a battery as possible.
Sheela 9th Feb 2018, 11:22 PM edit delete reply

Curiously, the Energizer Bunny never ran on Lithium batteries ... it ran on Alkaline batteries.

And if you look at it historically, the most used rechargeable battery, is a Lead Acid battery. The Nickel-Cadmium batteries are pretty close though, but the Cadmium is toxic, so they disappeared when the Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries came out.

And even those have been out-competed by Lithium batteries, and Lithium Batteries may well become out-competed by Quantum Batteries eventually.

Of course, the Lead Battery will probably still be around by then.
antrik 11th Feb 2018, 4:34 PM edit delete reply
Do you happen to remember where you got this data from?

There is no doubt about Lead-Acid having enormous historical importance (it's been around for more than a century...) -- but I find it somewhat surprising that the various types of Lithium-Ion haven't overtaken it by now? (Even more so for NiCd.)

FWIW, the next major breakthrough expected short to medium term is in "solid state" batteries, i.e. ones using a solid ion conductor instead of the common liquid or gel (in the case of LiPo) ones. The solid electrolyte allows for better Li-Ion batteries, using design choices that aren't feasible with liquid ones, such as a pure lithium anode; or possibly even completely different chemistries, such as Sodium-Ion.

(The exact timeline is unclear: low-volume production already exists, while mass production is anywhere between a year or two and ten years away, depending on who you ask... Most EV makers talk somewhere around 2021-2025.)

Further out are rechargeable Metal-Air batteries -- but there are still very fundamental problems to overcome, so it's not clear at this point whether these will ever actually materialise...
antrik 10th Feb 2018, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
You got that hurricane example wrong: for one, it wasn't Model 3 (that wasn't in production yet), but rather their other models. More importantly, they didn't lower the discharge threshold. (That would be dangerous.) What actually happened, relates to the fact that Tesla is sometimes selling larger physical batteries software-locked to a smaller usable size. (Most notably, they discontinued their 60 kWh battery a while back, and after that were selling 75 kWh batteries locked to 60 kWh in their entry models for quite some time.) The software lock can be removed for a fee. During the evacuation, they simply removed the lock in these models temporarily at no cost.

You are right that cells of the same main chemistry can vary in cycling robustness. (That's why I said that LCO cells got better with time.) However, as far as I'm aware, that in not related to production quality so much as other subtle changes in construction -- including electrolyte chemistry, electrode coatings, binder materials etc.

As for electric vehicles, that *is* actually a difference in the main chemistry: no EV that I know of ever used LCO cells. (For safety and robustness reasons; but also because of power density -- which is another thing LCO cells are very poor at...)

Some early EVs (such as the Nissan Leaf) used LMO (Lithium Manganese Oxide) cells, which have a lower energy density than LCO, but better robustness, safety, and power density. Most EVs use NMC cells nowadays; or sometimes LFP. (Until recently, most Chinese models used LFP because of stringent safety regulations... The trucks and buses BYD sells worldwide for example still use these.)

Ironically, Tesla uses NCA cells for their vehicles -- which have the highest energy density, but are generally specified with rather poor robustness, roughly on par with LCO... The reason they can get away with it, is that their batteries are so large: when a single full cycle can get you up to 500 km, even just 500 cycles are enough for 250000 km... (Though data available so far suggests they typically last much longer than that.)

Nevertheless you are right that charge settings significantly affect the cycle life -- except it's mostly the *maximum* charge level that gets varied, since filling the last bits stresses the cells much more. (Mostly due to higher voltage required.) Tesla vehicles for example (don't know whether other manufactures do the same?) have an adjustable maximum charge level, defaulting to 80% or 90% or so; and they recommend doing a full charge only when really necessary, i.e. before long trips. Also, while this is pure speculation on my part, I'm pretty sure their residential and grid energy storage products generally limit the charge level to 80% or so, so they are good for at least 3000 cycles with MNC cells.

As for (non-plugin) hybrid electric vehicles, these actually still use NiMH cells most of the time -- only some recent models are explicitly advertised with lithium batteries... (The type is generally not specified -- I would guess LFP, or maybe even LTO...) However, it's also true that hybrids *severely* limit the charge level to improve cycling robustness.
Ictuan 11th Feb 2018, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
@Antrik, I found a link on the Tesla battery tweak ( Yes, it was the Tesla Model S, not the Tesla Model 3 just a typo. The 60kWh Model S has a 75kWh battery but is only allowed to be charged to 80%. Likewise, the 70kWh Model S has a battery that is larger than 70kWh, but again is limited to a maximum 80% charge. They temporarily raised the charging cap so that the 60D, which has a 200mi rated range could get out of the 230mi evacuation zone on a single charge. The fee to remove the cap probably includes lots of disclosures that doing so will shorten the life of the battery.

Starting with the 2013 model year, Ford switched the Ford Fusion Hybrid over to Lithium batteries to cut weight and allow for a larger battery kWh wise.

Our Chevy Bolt EV will go into limp home low power mode once the battery drops below a preset threshold to extend range and reduce stress on the battery. I've gotten to the low power mode exactly once, when I was trying a hyper mile range test. I managed to do 336.7mi using 57.6kWh of the 60kWh available, which was almost 100mi further than the EPA estimated range.

Manufacturing quality does really matter. there is never 100% pure chemistry or 100% defect free. The closer you get to 100% perfect the more expensive it becomes. Just look at the price and reliability difference between Energizer and Panasonic Eneloop Pro NiMh rechargeable batteries. The Energizers are way cheaper per battery, but also significantly inferior in regards to capacity, longevity and reliability.

In the DC universe, they would have had time to improve battery chemistry and manufacturing standards. heck, they could probably manufacture their batteries at the atomic level, which would eliminate any of the impurities that doom our batteries. One big reason for the Li battery fires we see currently exist because of impurities introduced during the manufacturing process:

Besides the gods who created the DC universe decided that some super amazing energy storage/transfer systems had been invented that solved the limitations we have to live with. Kind of like the "transparent aluminum" in the Star Trek universe.
antrik 11th Feb 2018, 4:17 PM edit delete reply
There is no doubt that manufacturing quality is important to prevent catastrophic failure... I'm still not sure though it affects *normal* life.

As for the Eneloop batteries, note that they have lower capacity than the typical run-of-the-mill offers. So it's a design trade-off again.

(And it's *great* to see someone actually go ahead and actively market batteries taking this different trade-off to consumers :-) )
Ictuan 11th Feb 2018, 7:43 PM edit delete reply
From what I've been seeing, the Eneloop Pro batteries have a higher capacity than most other NiMh batteries, but they are also much more expensive (well worth the expense in my book). I've stopped buying anything but the Eneloop Pro batteries and we must have dozen's of AA & AAA batteries due to all the battery powered toys, etc. floating around the house.
antrik 12th Feb 2018, 1:02 AM edit delete reply
Ah, the "Pro" variant is actually a dilution of the "regular" Eneloop brand: they have higher capacity, but poor cycle robustness -- just like all the other crap on the market. (500 vs. 2000 cycles.)

Apparently the only thing the two have somewhat in common, is low self-discharge. (Though not entirely as good for the "Pro" variant either.)

This actually *perfectly* proves my point about the capacity vs. robustness trade-off being orthogonal to quality/price :-)
antrik 12th Feb 2018, 1:13 AM edit delete reply
Also, the 2550 mAh of the "Pro" variant is *not* more than other brands -- in fact the standard for run-off-the-mill cells seems to be 2800 mAh right now...
Ictuan 12th Feb 2018, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Considering the death rate I was seeing with Energizers, even Eneloop pro's 500 cycles is 10 times better than I was seeing with Energizers.

Another problem I've had with rechargeable batteries is the really poor quality of chargers that overcharge or overheat batteries, which shorten's their life. Again, Energizer chargers are the worst. A huge advantage EVs and Hybrids have in battery longevity, is really good electronics managing how they are charged. Building good chargers is something the consumer battery industry doesn't seem to grasp or care about since in reality, they make their money by selling us more batteries.

In the DC world, in addition to having had time to evolve better battery storage, I imagine, they've also had plenty of time improve the method of charging their batteries or however it is that they store energy to power small devices.

They must have come up with some method of efficiently convert and storing large amounts of energy in a small space given all of the Androids running around without constantly looking for the next charging port.

Since the Androids don't seem to offload their processing to a system outside their bodies, they must have a fairly high energy demand for all of that processing plus all the energy they would require for their other activities. Allowing for fantastic advancements in processing efficiencies, the androids in DC have processing capabilities that would rival modern day large scale data centers that have absolutely phenomenal energy demands.
antrik 12th Feb 2018, 7:06 PM edit delete reply
Well, apparently Energizer is just a shitty brand? I can't really comment, since I have no experience with them myself... I can confirm though that some "regular" (non-Eneloop) Sanyo NiMH batteries seem to be the most robust NiCd or NiMH batteries we ever had -- but then again, we didn't have *that* many others to compare...

I totally agree that for NiCd/NiMH batteries, the quality of the charger affects life more than anything. Though good chargers *are* available to consumers -- they just tend to be quite expensive...

For Li-Ion the situation is quite a bit different, though. The chargers are pretty simple in nature here: so it's not really a quality issue. The parameters chosen the vendor are more significant in this case. My current phone for example tops out at a frighteningly high voltage (4.5 V), but ends charging long before the current approaches 0 -- evidently to optimise charging time, at the cost of longevity...
antrik 12th Feb 2018, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
Regarding Android energy use, it's really hard to estimate what efficiency improvements future technologies will bring... Though extrapolating from the improvements we see in digital electronics -- which roughly follow Moore's law in terms of capacity per power use, i.e. doubling every two years -- it seems quite likely that far in the future they might actually be more power efficient than biological organisms...
megados 12th Feb 2018, 7:42 PM edit delete reply

As far as energy storage and distribution in the DC universe goes, it's anyone's guess. The assumption is that the storage devices are much smaller and energy dense. Whatever that means for the androids, it hasn't been discussed much, and the tech page doesn't go into it. My guess has been that it is a distributed system with storage located near or within each device or device group to keep power transmission (and subsequent losses) to a minimum to maximize efficiency. It has been said that induction charging is used, so no charging power bus constructs would be needed since there could be many independent nodes, and it could rely on a much smaller balancing system instead. This could also provide emergency redundance. For instance, a single construct (anything that uses power such as the synth brain, synthetic muscle, etc.) would have embedded cell elements, induction pickup(s), and a system balancing bus to allow for balancing current flow. Should a pickup or embedded storage become damaged, the balancing bus could allow charging from adjacent ones. This arrangement would make the energy system very robust, compared to a central power bank. Again, losses associated with bus distribution would be eliminated, and significantly reduce heat dissipation requirements. The only thing we can have any reasonable assurance of, is that the actual storage would probably be electrochemical in nature, and induced electromagnetic electrical current is one means to charge it. It is also possible that the appliance of the stored energy could be electrochemical as well, direct utilization rather than reconversion.

This powered construct, then, becomes a more or less self contained unit and requires only isolated control and sensing signal pathways, and balancing connections.

It has also been mentioned that the androids ingest and process food to supply nutrients to any biological needs they have. I am not certain whether additional power is gained in that way though.
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:37 PM edit delete reply

most power is supplyed via " Fusion cells " or E-chips. no im not gonna say how they work. >_>
robnot 10th Feb 2018, 2:32 PM edit delete reply
jus saying,, my Starwars blaster "Hasbro 1999" still has the original batteries in it.!
Sheela 10th Feb 2018, 4:10 PM edit delete reply

One way to make cells more "robust", is to have them in massive parallel ... that way, even if they are damage from having been recharged many, many times, they can still deliver, because each cell is not stressed as much - IF you discharge a cell hard, it produces heat, which over time damages the cell, but by having the cells in parallel, each individual cell is much more understressed, and thus capable of lasting longer.
megados 10th Feb 2018, 5:18 PM edit delete reply

Sheela is correct here; most high capacity batteries are designed this way. Individual, smaller cells, in series-parallel minimize the dependence on the performance of individual cells.

I am not going to argue elementary cell attributes, but rather that it has been touched on that control over charge discharge parameters be adhered to, and which must be tailored to the battery configuration you are using. Yeah, it has to be custom tailored. I recommend battery capacity rating at 75% of average design rating. Minimum charge rating according to minimum battery spec. and running 75-80% max final charge voltage for LiPo batteries. I want to minimize battery fires, while maintaining a reliable battery. Smart phone users with weak arms might hate me, but power grid systems will be richly rewarded.
antrik 11th Feb 2018, 3:10 PM edit delete reply
It's not true that many small cells are generally preferred. In fact, pretty much all manufacturers use fairly large cells for EVs and grid storage: with Tesla being the sole exception so far. (And Tesla mostly seems to be doing it so they can use cheap standardised cells offered by several makers, rather than for technical reasons...)

It is true that often you see quite a lot of cell groups in series -- but that actually makes cell balancing *more* complicated. (Since consistent voltage levels need to be maintained for every single group.) It's only done to get the required total voltages. (In electric cars, typically 96 groups or so for around 350 V.)

And with the large cells typically used, that means only very few of them are actually used in parallel to form each group. (Not more than one or maybe two in most cars I think.)

AIUI, it doesn't really make a difference whether you have one large cell, or many small ones in parallel for the same capacity. (Technically, all the active surface area within an individual cell is in parallel too... So it really boils down to splitting that area into several housings or not.) If anything, I'd guess a single cell is probably preferable, since variance between multiple cells might be larger than within a single one. (Though that doesn't seem to bother Tesla, so I guess it's not really a problem...)

@Sheela is right that everything else being equal, larger batteries allow for higher power output, without getting into a harmful range... But again, this only depends on the total size, not how it is split up into cells. For a given chemistry and architecture, the power capacity is proportional to the energy capacity. That's why for the same EV model, the longer-range variants generally offer higher performance as well.

And beside some minor trade-offs in the design of a specific cell type, the ratio of power density to energy density is mostly dependent on chemistry. (The more robust types, such as LTO and to a lesser degree LFP, also tend to have much higher power density.)

BTW, while I vehemently agree about lowering the charge voltage (and I wish my phone had an option for that), I don't think it makes sense to express this in terms of percentage. To get any meaningful charge, you have to go above the nominal output voltage of the cell; so around 3.9 V is the minimum for the most common chemistries (LCO, MNC, and NCA are all pretty close, unlike LFP and LTO) -- regardless of the maximum the cell is specified for. Beyond that, as a rule of thumb, under otherwise good conditions, a reduction of 0.08 V supposedly roughly doubles the cycle life. So with a cell specified for 4.2 V for example, going down to 4.0 should already give more than five times the specified cycle count... Anything beyond that would probably be pointless, as other aspects of cell ageing would almost certainly dominate.
megados 11th Feb 2018, 4:22 PM edit delete reply

Yes, the cells/cell groups have to be connected in series, because of the high voltage needed for most power applications. There just aren't many applications, save mobile devices and other personal devices in which a single cell provides enough voltage. Cordless tools are heading toward higher and higher voltages, and are requiring more cells in series. Balancing them is only difficult if/when cells degrade unevenly.

Parallel cells can be used for a number of reasons, and Tesla takes that to kind of an extreme for their own reasons. Sometimes using cells in parallel allow for different mechanical configurations where the shape of the battery is a concern, and I don't know whether that played a role in Tesla's configuration.

It doesn't pay to complain about elements in series, because high voltages can provide high power levels at lower current, which in turn allows for greater efficiency, because of less voltage drop, and resultant heating of conductors and equipment as a result. The trend is toward higher voltage and lower current. This also allows for smaller conductors, and power devices, which makes construction less expensive.

It isn't all that hard to manage charging or discharging series' of cells or batteries. If all components are otherwise properly functional, it can be managed with charge/discharge rates. Another advantage to parallel cells is that a modular approach allows for battery component replacement rather than having to replace the entire battery. For automobiles, that isn't as big a consideration, but for rack installations it is ideal.
Sheela 12th Feb 2018, 3:41 PM edit delete reply

Ok, so there's a lot of ground to cover here, and I see I missed an earlier question aimed at me :

@Antrik :
Lead Acid Batteries are by combined capacity easily the most used battery in the world - Almost every single car, truck, tractor, ship, aeroplane, forklift, heavy equipment will have one. On top of that, almost ALL heavy industries batteries are deep cycle lead acid batteries ... think power banks for solarpanels, backup power for a datacenter and so on.

The sheer number of Lead Acid batteries out there is mind numbing, and really only beaten by alkaline AAA batteries.
And don't think that Lead Acid batteries are old hat, the more modern batteries like the ones used in industrial machines such as a Forklift, is a vastly different beast than the old ones.

To put it into perspective, a new Deep-Cycle Flooded Lead Acid battery for a Caterpillar Forklift costs about 6000 US dollar - Not a cheap battery.

Of course, it weighs as much as a compact car, and had 30 kWh in it.


As for parallelism, there are more advantages to them than just capacity, there's also a higher peak discharge rate, and you can go to a deeper Discharge-of-Depth without loosing critical voltage, which can be real bad for lithium batteries.

Also, you will have to dimension your internals differently.

Lets say you take 10 big Lithium cells, and put them in serial and put a large amp draw on it, like 100 amps or so, all the electronic and all the battery internals have to support that amp draw, or it will break. and you will also have to cool the battery, and worry about the difference of internal cell temperature vs. outside cell temperature, which can create some serious stresses (cough .. exploding batteries).

Lets say you have 20 medium Lithium cells, you can now have two strings of 10 cells, that means that when you place a large amp draw on the battery, you will still have strong electronics, but once you come to the collection point of the battery, you split the load, so now each string only have to handle half the amperage, ie. 50 amps in our case. That means that the internal structure of the battery both becomes smaller, more compact, and even cheaper - And since each cell is not getting nearly as hot, so they will be easier to cool down, even if the heat is the same overall, it's spread out much more. And as a side bonus, the smaller cells are easier to package.


And finally, voltage, a lot of items can run on 4.7 volts that a lithium battery gives, but since you have a higher peak energy potential with higher voltage, you can make the tool stronger by raising the voltage, without raising the amperage.
Of course, you raise voltage by combining cells in a series connection, which is the opposite of a parallel connection - So a choice will have to be made. Most high power applications, will use a combination of several series connected batteries, in a parallel setup. The more cells, the more voltage and capacity available, but also the more cost, weight and space is taken.

In other words, there's no free lunch.
antrik 12th Feb 2018, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
It's true that the starter battery in almost every single car (including even most EVs) is still Lead-Acid more often than not. However, these are fairly small batteries. And while lead-acid is still fairly popular for the drive battery of low-speed ("neighbourhood") EVs, the much larger batteries of highway-capable EVs and plug-in hybrids are always Li-Ion -- not to mention the *huge* batteries in electric buses and trucks. Between them, I think they amount to a similar total capacity by now as the numerous small Lead-Acid starter batteries... Doing a rough estimation, I believe lead-acid starter batteries should amount to some 50 GWh per year. I don't remember the exact number for the current yearly production of Li-Ion for EVs; but it's definitely in a similar ballpark at least. Total production of Li-Ion batteries (including consumer devices etc.) is easily beyond 100 GWh per year by now IIRC.

Other kinds of vehicles are also increasingly switching over to Li-Ion. A certain model of passenger plane was in the news a while back because of that: they used an unsafe chemistry along with poor design, resulting in some fire incidents... Oops.

Really, for anything that moves or is moved around, the higher energy density of Li-Ion cells is always a huge advantage; and with Li-Ion prices plummeting at some 25% per year, cost is not much of a concern anymore...

I don't know about compact UPSs -- but for large-scale energy storage, Li-Ion *totally* dominates the market nowadays, at >90%. (The rest being divided among Lead-Acid, various kinds of flow batteries, and some other niche types.)

So... Unless you have actual sources to back up your claim, I'm not really buying it :-P

(Though in cumulative all-time sales, I guess Li-Ion might indeed need another five years or so to catch up with Lead-Acid's historical *ahem* lead.)
antrik 12th Feb 2018, 8:44 PM edit delete reply
Regarding topology (replying to both @Sheela and @megados here), it seems to me you are making it more complicated than it is... Topology really doesn't affect stress on individual cells at all. The maximum current of any cell is always defined in proportion to its capacity (C-rating) -- whether it's many small-capacity cells adding up, or a few big ones; whether they are in parallel or series -- it doesn't matter. Total power draw relative to total capacity, that's all there is to it.

It should also be noted that the number of cells in series needed is *not* strictly defined by the application, as the voltage almost always need to be stabilised anyway, which means voltage conversion basically comes for free. A typical notebook computer for example will have two or maybe three cells in series, for something around 7.4 or 11.1 V. (Some systems might even just use a single cell I think.) The external power supply usually provides around 20 V. And the internal electronics actually need various voltages ranging mostly form around 1 V to 3.3 V; while mechanical parts (drives and fans) might need as much as 12 V... So it's all pretty much orthogonal to the battery voltage.

It is true that for high-power applications, a fairly high source voltage is necessary, to avoid overly thick connectors and resistance losses. But it's a trade-off against complexity. (One car maker recently boasted that they have the first 800 V system, IIRC for a hybrid; while others are slow to move to higher voltages than 350 V or so.)

For all I know, more than about three Li-Ion cells in series is generally considered impractical without individual balancing. For more demanding applications, I suspect even that would be a problem. (Tesla's batteries seem to have a separate tap to the battery management system between each of their 96 cell groups... Not sure about others.)

The problem is that even the slightest difference in internal resistance of cells / cell groups connected in series, means this cell will bear more voltage when not actively balanced, making it age faster. Ageing in turn increases the resistance further, thus increasingly exacerbating the problem -- it's a vicious circle.

Regarding flexibility in arranging smaller cells, that's an interesting aspect. The original Tesla Roadster definitely profited from the fact that they were able to use a fairly odd shape for the battery, since they had to retrofit it into the frame of a third-party glider that was originally designed for a combustion engine. Their later designs created for batteries from the ground up on the other hand have much more flexibility in how they decide to shape the battery, so it matters much less. (Smaller cells still offer more flexibility in maximising dimensions; but on the other hand, they waste more space for the individual cells...)

Curiously, while Tesla only slightly increased the cell size when optimising their design for the Model 3, another battery maker (Samsung IIRC?) recently unveiled a special cell type that is fairly short, and thus allowing for a battery pack design very similar to Tesla's, with cells "standing" upright rather than lying flat; but otherwise, still using large prismatic cells rather than small cylindrical ones like Tesla...
megados 12th Feb 2018, 9:26 PM edit delete reply

I don't think I said anything about a topology relationship to capacity. It has to do with voltage to current ratio. The overall wattage remains the same. No, voltage conversions are NOT free. Regulators and multipliers give off heat. Heat is waste. Greater efficiency is gained when your minimum charge loaded voltage is just above the input regulated voltage required for the device. The greater the difference between the requirement of the device and the voltage of the battery, the greater the heat losses in the regulator, and the lower the efficiency.

The operating voltage is kind of a two edged sword. Higher voltages increase efficiency, and somewhat lower construction costs, but insulation becomes more of a factor, and you do get to a point of diminishing return.

Balancing series of cells is a necessary evil no matter how you slice it, unless you know of any 300 volt cells. :D It isn't hard, Even balancing current cell by cell on the fly isn't hard. Simple comparator and switching device . . . I'm not sure why you resist series and parallel circuits.

There are a few reasons, as I was saying why a person might want to use cells in parallel.

There are always different ways of doing things. :D
Morituri 13th Feb 2018, 12:24 AM edit delete reply
Those whose minds are excessively clean may not understand this, but my dear wife, once when she laughingly compared herself to the Energizer Bunny, was driven into gales of laughter by my observation that obviously I'd gotten the batteries in backward.

It was a tender and beautiful moment.
megados 13th Feb 2018, 6:17 AM edit delete reply

XD @Morituri
antrik 13th Feb 2018, 12:52 AM edit delete reply
Why would the voltage difference affect the efficiency of a regulator? Unless you are thinking of linear regulators, which have been out of fashion for like two decades...

I'm not claiming putting cells in series is inherently bad: just pointing out that it doesn't come for free. While each balancing unit might not be prohibitive in itself, adding a whole bunch of them *does* increase complexity, both in terms of electronics, and of wiring -- so it has to be considered carefully against the benefits.

More generally, I'm not really "resisting" anything -- apart from the notion that using more individual cells in whatever arrangement (without increasing the total capacity in the process) somehow improves cycle life... It doesn't. That's really my entire point here.
megados 13th Feb 2018, 5:57 AM edit delete reply

I'm still talking about switching regulators, not linear ones. When the switch is "on" you are carrying current. Even though the resistance is small, it is non-zero. For a given current, the difference in voltage drop means more energy is dissipated as heat, therefore losses are higher. Slew rate for the transition is non-zero; the infinitesimal transition time has the device in a linear range even though it is pico-seconds, and it adds up. The greater the difference between the battery and the required voltage, the greater percentage of time your switch spends in transition or off compared to the low resistance "on" state. Also, each time it turns on, there's a current spike as the difference between the level of the battery and your input smoothing capacitor and resistance is absorbed. (It's also why they're electromagnetically "noisy", and why inductors are used to minimize it.) Regulators heat up. That's why they are mounted on heat sinks, even on small circuit boards. There, it usually consists of a larger area of un-etched copper. Your best bet is to design for the least difference, if you can.

Balancing isn't (or doesn't have to be) complex; but as I mentioned, there does exist a point of diminishing return. The cost of additional insulation methods, or circuitry has to be weighed against the costs of the heavier conductors and active components.

On the last part I am, (and have been), in agreement. :D
antrik 13th Feb 2018, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
I don't quite follow your explanation about regulator efficiency. The time spent in transition between states should not depend on the voltage difference I think, but rather only on the frequency used? And the whether the switch spends short or long periods in the "on" state shouldn't matter, as long as the total energy transferred is the same?

However, that made me realise when the input voltage is above the target voltage (by *any* amount), that should avoid the need for a transformer or step-up converter; so I guess that does indeed improve efficiency a little?...
megados 13th Feb 2018, 10:25 AM edit delete reply

Regulators get warm. This is known. When you have something that gets warm, energy has been used to make it so. Therefore, energy that should have gone into making your device function, has instead gone into making the regulator warm. Warming things up is an inefficiency unless your device is a heater.

Consider an instance where the output exactly matches your device's input needs. At this point, no regulator would be needed, so no heat is being produced. At this point we add a regulator, and it remains turned on. Still pretty efficient. As you raise the voltage from your supply, switching action begins. At first, on-time far outstrips off time so it's still fairly efficient, but as you raise the power supply voltage, you spend less and less time in your "on" state, and more time transitioning by percentage. Also, as the power supply voltage increases, the increasing voltage increases the current of the spike each time the regulator turns "on" again. That also results in additional heat, which signifies wasted energy.

No power conversion is one hundred percent efficient.
DLKmusic 13th Feb 2018, 10:14 AM edit delete reply

All this talk about batteries is great, but you're all missing the point!

megados 13th Feb 2018, 10:28 AM edit delete reply

@DLKmusic, See what ya started? LOL The batteries are right there on the outside, just pop 'em out! X'D
Ictuan 13th Feb 2018, 6:47 PM edit delete reply
Cent & Rose, the once a week updates are just too infrequent. It allows way too much time for discussion threads to go way off kilter. This one started off with genies granting wishes and long life,which leads to Energizer bunny marching around inside the belly of an angry Murdderturd. Then somehow digresses in to a chemistry discussion and the fact that Acantha never chargers her video player that has last for like ten years.

After over 6,000 word and having weaved through discussions of cars, forklifts and what the power source is for androids, it finds it way towards discussing how to kill a rabbit.

All that is left is for someone to start quoting from the Book of Armaments chapter two, verses nine to twenty-one.
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:39 PM edit delete reply

LOL id like to do more but im just not feeling up to it. ill get some done and then feel really bad for a week its not a fun place to be. im trying to get more updates for you guys.
Ictuan 13th Feb 2018, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
The loyal fans need to do more aggressive fundraising to provide incentive and a means to replace other sources of income.

Come on everyone, become patreons! These guys, er girls, really deserve to reach that magic level of success some of my other favorite web comics have reached where their comics have become a major source of their income.

Otherwise, Acantha won't reach her 18th birthday before I'm 80.
Sheela 13th Feb 2018, 8:52 PM edit delete reply

@Ictuan :

That was a beautiful summary. :D
And the Book of Armaments doesn't use batteries!
mjkj 7th Feb 2018, 4:44 PM edit delete reply

*lol* Noctis definitely is... - ...and is enjoying it... =) =P, next up shopping spree?
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:40 PM edit delete reply

Not exactly...
lalverson 7th Feb 2018, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
Maybe New Troy has a sale on "Fun" particles Noctis. Would be a nice way to honor Malati's memory as it does look like Noctis is going to be Aganthas' security companion for a long time.
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:40 PM edit delete reply

truth there Ilverson
Rashala 8th Feb 2018, 12:40 AM edit delete reply

I am starting to warm up to noctis.....she's like a smart alek Spock!
antrik 9th Feb 2018, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
Only now? You are late to the party! ;-)
Steven-Vincent 9th Feb 2018, 7:21 AM edit delete reply

I am not one for much shopping but I have the feeling as a nerd I would enjoy shopping in New Troy.
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:40 PM edit delete reply

oh nerds would be in heaven
Romfire 13th Feb 2018, 3:53 PM edit delete reply
I know Lynn has some cash, I am wondering what resources Acantha has? Is she carrying a Platinum card? How are they going to fund this little shopping spree?
Centcomm 13th Feb 2018, 7:39 PM edit delete reply

Lynn plans to fund it.
Lurker314 3rd Oct 2018, 9:35 PM edit delete reply
Not sure how I missed that look that Athena is giving Noctis.


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