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Traveller 5 Discussion of the Fifth edition of Traveller, released Spring 2013.

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Old November 26th, 2018, 04:12 PM
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Default BeastPower Defined

I put this up on another thread, but because it does give a way to determine exactly how much power is 1 BeastPower, I thought that a separate thread might get more visibility.

From T5.0.9 rules, page 254, bottom right-hand corner.

On the chart, human output ranges from 0.01 to 0.03 BP depending on Speed.
From Wikipedia, the following human to watt output is given, which seems about right. The information is from the Marks' Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers 11th Edition , Mc-Graw Hill, New York 2007

Over an 8-hour work shift, an average, healthy, well-fed and motivated manual laborer may sustain an output of around 75 watts of work.[2]
One Horsepower is equivalent to 745 watts, so a human could be rated at one-tenth a horsepower output. This means that Traveller rates a human at about one-fiftieth of a Beastpower at 0.02 on the average. Cranking the number through, that means a Beastpower is equal to 5 horsepower.

Confirming that this is about correct is the following quote, again from Page 254, bottom right-hand corner.

For beasts and beast-drawn vehicles, 1 ton (a measure of volume) is also 1000 kg in a wheeled cart on level ground.
Based on the chart on the page, it takes 1 BeastPower to haul a wheeled cart/wagon loaded with 1 mass ton of material at 5 kilometers or 3 miles per hour. From a wide range of sources including Garnet Wolseley's Soldier's Pocket Book and various U.S. Army manuals, a wagon holding a ton on took between 4 and 6 horses or mules to haul it on level ground. This again gives a result of 1 BeastPower is equal to 5 Horsepower.

Therefore, when it comes to power, 1 BeastPower is equal to 5 Horsepower or putting it into Kilowatt terms, 1 BeastPower is equal to 3725 watts, or 3.725 Kilowatts.

Now, when it comes to weight, a very highly developed aircraft internal-combustion engine from World War 2 could generate about 1 horsepower per pound of engine. That was the peak output, and could be sustained for no more than 5 to 15 minutes without damaging the engine. Sustained output would be half of that. Diesels are going to weight about twice that in a lightweight aircraft Diesel. That would be the weight of the engine, and does not include the power train to get the output to where is it used.

For steam power plants, you have to figure on the volume of the boilers as well as either the steam reciprocating engine or the turbine, with or without reduction gear for the turbine. No reduction gear means either that the turbine is running very slowly if being used to power a ship, with a corresponding increase in size and mass, or the screw is running at an inefficient high speed and wasting power. One reason that the U.S. Navy retained reciprocating engines for its battleships longer than most countries was the range requirement for Pacific operations. At lower cruising speeds, the reciprocating engine was more efficient in fuel use. The U.S. Navy had also taken the reciprocating engine to a very high state of development, so that it could be run at a high power output for a sustained time without excessive engine wear and tear. The conversion from coal to bunker grade fuel oil helped with the range issue by roughly halving the weight of fuel burned per horsepower-hour. The conversion from coal to oil also considerably reduced manning requirements in the engine room. If you are designing a steam-powered ship fueled with coal, you need to allow for stokers for the boiler room and stokers to move coal from distant bunkers to the ready-use bunkers by the engine room. Then there is also the time required to coal the ship.

I hope that all of this is a help to someone, and I do have a fair amount of data on engines of various types, along with steam power plants for ships. There are also some quite simple rules of thumb for determining power requirement for conventional aircraft and helicopters, along with ships.
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