hydrogen/nuclear powered transformers?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by coppertop5150, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. coppertop5150

    coppertop5150 Well-Known Member

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    Why dont they just convert themselves to hyrogen powered fuel cells, or simply build a portable nuclear powerplant.

    Only thing they would need is air to stay powered on earth and uranium to power the plant.

    they could leave at any time on a nuclear power spaceship
     
  2. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

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    Energon is a glowy, cool-sounding alien energy source. Most of the time that trumps our lowly, Earth-bound sources any day when it comes to science fiction.

    That and I'm sure that there's some fan equation or explanation detailing how Energon is a lot more efficient and reliable than nuclear power.
     
  3. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Banned

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    If I remember correctly, some transformers are powered by nuclear reactors. Shockwave's one I think.

     
  4. Rigas

    Rigas Well-Known Member

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    If I shoot you and blow a hole in your reactor . . . Nuclear Explosion ( they are frowned upon ) and god only knows how powerful it would be to have to power a TF.

    also Energon is a cool and convenient MacGuffin. I could see it maybe being worked into a G.I. Joe crossover or something like that, Or a rogue group of human find Cybertronian remains and try to re-animate them.
     
  5. Blitz.

    Blitz. Well-Known Member

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    Hydrogen isn't quite as good a plot device as Cybertronium or Energon.

    Dare I say if they were looking for Hydrogen or Uranium that it would just become a huge plot hole as to why they would even come to earth when Hydrogen is so common
     
  6. E. C. R. Former

    E. C. R. Former Is probably insane...

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    Using Nuclear power like that in fiction for kids is frowned upon. Energon is a convenient power source.

    That said, some TFs are indeed nuclear powered, most notably Sunstorm.
     
  7. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Nuclear reactors are large and cumbersome, and require heavy fuel. Hydrogen fuel cells at this point can barely run a car, and probably would have trouble powering a giant transforming sentient space robot for a good length of time.

    Why would they use those two technologies when they've got millions of years more advance stuff, namely solid enegy that can store the entire output of a hydroelectric dam, and fit inside something the size of a car's engine block, and create no waste that we know about?

    Also, a nuclear powered spaceship would either be unable to get them off the ground by being too big / not powerful enough, or throw a ton of deadly radioactive fallout in its wake. Is this another of your "lol i troll u" threads?
     
  8. DecepticonSpike

    DecepticonSpike Kimber/Stormer Fanboy

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    Waaaaaaaaaaaay back in the Marvel TF comics, the Decepticons took over a nuclear power plant, and turned it into a base, and they didn't seem to unerstand that it was a power source since it was very primative by TF standards.
     
  9. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    As mentioned earlier, Shockwave DOES have a nuclear reactor, and it seems to give him a pretty solid advantage. It's one of the things that make him "special"... along with "second only to Megatron in power".

    I've always taken the point of view that space tech is not always inherently superior to basic Earth technology. Sometimes you can invent highly complicated, technologically advanced methods to achieve the same effect as something simple, and I think that TF tech sometimes is so advanced that it becomes redundant. If you read the descriptions of many TF weapons, they often seem to use absurd science-fiction powers to achieve effects that would be just as easily performed by an artillery shell.

    After all, sometimes a stone axe will do the job just as well as a light saber, y'know? ;) 

    Plus, let's not forget that if we're looking to the G1 cartoon for explanations, you notice that the Decepticons seem to spend an awful lot of time STEALING human resources and technology... which indicates that they may not be capable of doing much better themselves.

    My favourite summation of this comes from Marvel's Transformers #3, where Sparkplug observes that the Decepticons are like "modern humans trying to hack it in caveman days". For all their advancement, it's very hard for them to cope in such a prehistoric environment. Perhaps they've been relying on their advanced technology for too long?

    zmog
     
  10. coppertop5150

    coppertop5150 Well-Known Member

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    good points on both sides

    I think the writers have not factored in this is 2011 not 1986 and things have changed

    arenarth if their technology is so great why are they on earth ?

    A nuclear reactor powered ship can be the size or the enterprise or smaller .
    It seems to get the job done and travels at warp speed for the startrek crew

    To avoid nuclear fallout/radiation the reactor would be shut down incase of emergency.

    Magnetic/wave purpoltion would be used to turn the generater making power till its safe to use the reactor agian

    Transformers themselves seem to be energy hogs. Why have they not explored alternative forms of enery. Wind,solar,magnetic,water/hydro,atomic combinations.

    It would only make sense that in TF3 they discuss this and have some of the transformers equiped with modern earth day 2011 technology.

    I know they are advanced but releying on one energy source seems outdated.

    smog very valid points sometimes overkill is not the way to go and keeping things simple works just as well

    Could the solution be as simple finding a source of energy that is self renewing and never ending ?
     
  11. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    NOW, in 2011, unlike how it used to be, Transformers ONLY run off of Energon, because it's an emanation of their god and creator and the only thing their bodies can run on. They either consume it, or a synthetic version of it created from other energy sources.
     
  12. Rigas

    Rigas Well-Known Member

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    Star Trek have their own MacGuffin's instead of Nuclear Power anti-matter.

    That's the whole benefit and problem with nuclear reactions, they don't just stop.

    easier said than done, us lowly humans have been looking for a magic energy source such as this, but no luck so far.
     
  13. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Oh, now Energon is PRIMUS MILK?? Nope, sorry. I don't take to that one. Explaining Energon that way is the equivalent of "a wizard did it".

    Energon as a power source has ALWAYS SUCKED. It was a clumsy and awkwardly defined Maguffin in the old cartoon, and since then we've seen Transformers both drink Energon and BLEED Energon... which I suppose makes TFs a bunch of vampires, potentially. :) 

    So no... keep it oldschool. Energon is a container format... or maybe some kind of distilled fuel substitute. Making it it's own damn element and adding it to the periodic table is kind of annoying.

    zmog
     
  14. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    Well, no more than drinking oil does! It's the potential iffiness that comes with thinking too much about robot nourishment. :) 

    Well, being fair, now, energon has been portrayed as an element as early as 1987. The concept is pretty oldschool itself.
     
  15. Autobus Prime

    Autobus Prime Transit Former

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    OP:

    G1 Jetfire burns liquid hydrogen in his booster engines :) 

    Who's Who in the Transformers Universe

    Some TFs have explicitly had reactors. Megadeath....sorry, I mean :rock  MEGADEATH :rock  had a very explicit one, since it was on display, inside a clear plastic housing. Megatron's fusion cannon must have involved some sort of fusion, unless it was powered by jazz music.

    Shockwave also has one, though, according to his extended bio, and I'm sure there are others.

    http://www.ntfa.net/universe/english/index.php?act=view&char=Shockwave

    Bob Budiansky was such a tremendous tech geek. :D 

    Nuclear tech is a fixture of the comic and bios, but not so much, in the cartoon. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the word "nuclear" actually restricted from use in the cartoon?

    C McF:

    Yes, Blackthornes' Transformers in 3d said that energon was an element, which combined with other elements to form a molecule called...pure energon. This statement makes my brain hurt. :D 

    Energon (fuel) - Transformers Wiki
     
  16. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    I think that can easily be taken to be backwards a reference to the energon seen in the cartoon, implicitly labelling it "impure", created as it was without the use of the true element. It was the first real indication we got that the cartoon's energon was "less than", which is a position that has ultimately been borne out as accurate as the fiction has grown. The mechanics of energon were very indistinct back in the 80s, but they make a bit more sense retroactively nowadays.

    Er, well, aside from that bit about true energon being alien shit, that is. :) 

    (I basically wrote that entire article!)
     
  17. Autobus Prime

    Autobus Prime Transit Former

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    :D 

    Quoting the Covenant to Primus, I am. :D 

    That's probably how they meant it to read, of course, but it still makes my brain hurt, because a 'pure' substance is one without other stuff in it. Pure iron is just Fe, pure water is just H2O, etc. So...if you had a pile of elemental energon, you'd have pure energon.

    But then you add stuff to it, and get a molecule called...pure energon.

    As soon as I find a Time Lord, I'm writing Blackthorne a Nasty Letter. :drunk 
     
  18. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    Here we go. A nuclear reactor has a few built-in limits to its size because of the constant requirement for new fuel to maintain the ongoing reaction. A fission or fusion reactor also has no "pause" button. There is also the issue, as Rigas mentioned, of a breach. TFs fight all the time (endless war) and get shot or torn open on a semi-regular basis, enough so that a single TF could wipe out everyone on a battlefield if they had such a reactor inside when say...Grimlock tore an opponent to pieces. Notice the only vehicles in real-world armies that are nuclear-powered are on the ocean and normally do not get directly engaged?

    Energon, whatever it is, is always depicted as amazingly efficient at energy storage. It contains a staggering amount of power, occupies a small space, has two storage states (pink or glittery/compressed), is very stable for how much it stores (single cubes would annihilate towns when blown up otherwise), stores power for literally millennia without appreciable loss (cubes shed a soft glow as waste, a few photons here and there, no dangerous radiation, and not even any heat), and are easy to handle and use. It's a dream come true.

    Nuclear rockets actually are very powerful, but yes, launching one from the ground would be catastrophic. That's why the real-world plans (I live in Nevada, they tested nuclear propulsion here) for ships like the Daedalus called for them to either be lifted with typical rockets and the nuclear engine engaged in space, or it would be assembled in space and never see planetfall.

    Quite so. In addition, since they are effectively a post-apocalyptic civilization, they don't have "the tools to make the tools to make the tools". They're jury-rigging almost everything they have. Wheeljack doesn't seem to have any standardized parts of equipment to work with, for example.

    A human can live off the land (still difficult) just by eating food and drinking water. A Transformer has to smelt metal and built parts to repair itself. I'm sure they can do some self-repair using materials from the environment (we see them drink oil and eat the occasional solid), but for anything major they need parts. The upside? They are essentially immortal and having an arm torn loose won't kill them. The downside? They can't just heal injuries without refined parts.

    To address coppertop5150's point, Cybertronians are energy hogs. But their output is incredible. A single Cybertronian, outfitted purely for war, could level a human city within a few hours or less if unopposed.

    I always kind of liked the notion that they could potentially drain energon from fallen foes. It smacks of desperation and savagery in a way I really like. We saw a hint of that in the IDW books (which will promptly go unexplored).

    Oh, I covered energon a bit more thoroughly here: http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/transformers-animated-discussion/228426-transformers-do-eat-drink-like-humans-do.html#post3499686

    - Coeloptera
     
  19. coppertop5150

    coppertop5150 Well-Known Member

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    Yes but if they built a nuclear reactor and fussion devices , there would be no more fighting over energy


    Thats what thier fighting for correct energy ?

    The earth is just a fighting ground
     
  20. Quantum_Penguin

    Quantum_Penguin Be seeing you...

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    Nuclear reactors cannot explode catastrophically.

    The reason that an atomic/hydrogen bomb can sustain a runaway reaction is that the fuel is enriched (i.e. concentrated U-238) and even then it has to be super compressed by explosives to go off. Even an atomic bomb would not go off accidentally if you shot it.

    Furthermore, reactor fuel in most modern fission reactors is U-235, a much more stable isotope. Also, the control rods in the reactor can be scrammed to stop the reaction and moved in and out to provide variable output. Even in the event of a meltdown, the fuel would immediately start mixing with its cladding, diluting it until it fell below critical mass.

    Radiation from scattered fuel and activated reactor material wouldn't be much of a concern to Transformers unless they are Autobots and humans are nearby. Even then, the contamination would be isolated only to what was vaporized and/or dispersed by an explosion. Whatever weapons the Transformers are using on each other would probably have more dangerous after affects on innocent bystanders than their power sources.

    For example, Shockwave can shoot any bandwidth in the entire EM spectrum, so he's likely to activate non-radioactive materials if he shoots X-rays and gamma rays, not to mention what would happen to anyone behind his target. Also, imagine if Cliffjumper's glass gas drifted into a skyscraper...
     

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