Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

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EntropySpark
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Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by EntropySpark »

Going from portable solar panels to a portable fusion reactor is a major shift in power for the player. I go from using one or two personal laser defenses and shields to augment a flamethrower, to casually strolling through large bases with five lasers and more shields as if the biters aren't even there. I think it would make sense to have a few intermediate power source options to avoid this massive jump, and more realistically reflect what an engineer would research and build from already-established technologies in the world:
  • A personal engine that converts burnable fuel sources into electrical energy. I like the idea of running around with the coal or solid fuel or rocket fuel or eventually even nuclear fuel necessary to power my equipment.
  • Charging stations. Why would I try to power my equipment solely from solar panels when I already have an entire electrical system that produces far more power? I'd like the ability to place batteries (and other charging equipment) in a charging station, then swap them out with the batteries in my armor while preserving their electric storage, which currently isn't quite possible when even moving equipment within a grid will lose its energy.
The use of a personal fusion reactor has always been a bit strange to me due to its lack of an explainable power source. Back when it took alien artifacts to create, I could accept some unknown fictional technology, but it's comprised mostly of circuits plus low density structures. And after I've invented this fantastical power source, why can't I use it to power my factory? The power output is roughly equivalent to a steam engine, but with no fuel source, no pollution, and presumably a much smaller size. It's the only personal equipment that has no larger equivalent, but realistically would. I would gladly make some to compliment my nuclear power, but can't.

I know there are mods that can enable variants of the above things, but I think the sheer power gap between solar panels and fusion reactors, along with the breaking of the willing suspension of disbelief, should be addressed.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

EntropySpark wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:13 am
The use of a personal fusion reactor has always been a bit strange to me due to its lack of an explainable power source. Back when it took alien artifacts to create, I could accept some unknown fictional technology, but it's comprised mostly of circuits plus low density structures. And after I've invented this fantastical power source, why can't I use it to power my factory?
It needs to get up to speed before it can function.
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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by EntropySpark »

AmericanPatriot wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 3:33 pm
EntropySpark wrote:
Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:13 am
The use of a personal fusion reactor has always been a bit strange to me due to its lack of an explainable power source. Back when it took alien artifacts to create, I could accept some unknown fictional technology, but it's comprised mostly of circuits plus low density structures. And after I've invented this fantastical power source, why can't I use it to power my factory?
It needs to get up to speed before it can function.
Great Scott, you're right. Well, I think there's precedent for using trains for this...

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by JaminRoyale »

In Mountain Fortess public server we run batteries and charge off accumulators. This isnt a mod its a scenario.

This is the way.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by starlinvf »

I'm pretty sure that middle area is supposed to be filled with Capsules. People tend to avoid it because its both clunky to use, and takes a lot of setup compared to the Energy based augments.

I've been pondering if having capsule slots paired with the weapon slots, and an extra keybind to deploy them on the go. It also opens some nice synergy planning between weapons and combat bots/capsules that play off each other.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

starlinvf wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:56 pm
I've been pondering if having capsule slots paired with the weapon slots, and an extra keybind to deploy them on the go. It also opens some nice synergy planning between weapons and combat bots/capsules that play off each other.
You should make a separate suggestion
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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by EntropySpark »

starlinvf wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:56 pm
I'm pretty sure that middle area is supposed to be filled with Capsules. People tend to avoid it because its both clunky to use, and takes a lot of setup compared to the Energy based augments.

I've been pondering if having capsule slots paired with the weapon slots, and an extra keybind to deploy them on the go. It also opens some nice synergy planning between weapons and combat bots/capsules that play off each other.
That may solve the combat issues, but not the general problem of a power jump in energy sources.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by starlinvf »

EntropySpark wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:59 am
starlinvf wrote:
Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:56 pm
I'm pretty sure that middle area is supposed to be filled with Capsules. People tend to avoid it because its both clunky to use, and takes a lot of setup compared to the Energy based augments.

I've been pondering if having capsule slots paired with the weapon slots, and an extra keybind to deploy them on the go. It also opens some nice synergy planning between weapons and combat bots/capsules that play off each other.
That may solve the combat issues, but not the general problem of a power jump in energy sources.
But ask the question about why the power jump is even a problem? The OP outlines the issue as a consequence of simply going from a few personal defenses to a lot of personal defenses. So thats implying combat is at the core of why this jump is a problem. And if you look at how the rest of the equipment grid scaling works, its an AxB power multiplication where you're getting both more space on the armor, and more efficient/dense equipment for the space they occupy, as you advance research.

I rarely make MkII armor or Fusion reactors on my play throughs, because I don't need them for rocket launch. And Post rocket game has a lot of stuff seemingly made to stream line rapid expansion.

So unless its directly balanced around the idea of trading more grid space for a higher power output, than a new power stepping is just breaking the power consumption problem earlier in the game by reducing the need for batteries.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by EntropySpark »

starlinvf wrote:
Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:14 pm
But ask the question about why the power jump is even a problem? The OP outlines the issue as a consequence of simply going from a few personal defenses to a lot of personal defenses. So thats implying combat is at the core of why this jump is a problem. And if you look at how the rest of the equipment grid scaling works, its an AxB power multiplication where you're getting both more space on the armor, and more efficient/dense equipment for the space they occupy, as you advance research.

I rarely make MkII armor or Fusion reactors on my play throughs, because I don't need them for rocket launch. And Post rocket game has a lot of stuff seemingly made to stream line rapid expansion.

So unless its directly balanced around the idea of trading more grid space for a higher power output, than a new power stepping is just breaking the power consumption problem earlier in the game by reducing the need for batteries.
Combat is the bulk of the balancing concern, but the jump also leads to a large increase in speed (being able to power more exoskeletons) and building power (powering more personal roboports).

The other issues are more related to world-building: why doesn't the engineer, before jumping all the way to a personal fusion reactor, try using a simpler fuel source from burnable fuels, or try charging batteries using the factory's electric grid? It's a solution that many people have already arrived at by making mods for it, and I think that it would be a significant enough improvement that it should be implemented in the base game.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by _wf_ »

Bit late here, but solar panels did get a substantial buff from 10 to 30 kW already in 0.17.
This brings 16 (4x4) of them up to 480 kW, which is not too much of a gap to the 750 of a fusion reactor. I don't think further balancing will happen on this front in vanilla.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by Silari »

_wf_ wrote:
Sat Aug 28, 2021 8:43 pm
Bit late here, but solar panels did get a substantial buff from 10 to 30 kW already in 0.17.
This brings 16 (4x4) of them up to 480 kW, which is not too much of a gap to the 750 of a fusion reactor. I don't think further balancing will happen on this front in vanilla.
Keep in mind you need to adjust for the day/night cycle, as the panels won't produce all the time. Pretty sure they follow the same rules as the building, so they effectively average 70% of the rated power - 336 kW

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by _wf_ »

Silari wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:49 am
Keep in mind you need to adjust for the day/night cycle
Depends on your usage, but valid point of course. So the solar panels come out at 21 kW / tile and the fusion reactor at ~47 kW.
That gap is still not huge, but yes you can squeeze a useful intermediate power source in the 30-40 kW range.

For example, the mod Power Armor Mk3 provides the "Portable nuclear reactor" at 900 kW with 3x3 (33 kW / tile).
I just wouldn't sign the "needed".

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by JimBarracus »

I think the gap between solar and fusion wouldnt feel so big if the solar panels were 2x2.

Solar combined with mk2 batteries is enough for personal construction bots.

But something like a charging port would be nice.
Could be something like a "stationary vehicle" you have to enter and it refills the batteries within 20s.
This would prevent abuse in combat.

It would also be great if it was possible to store charged batteries.

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Re: Personal energy source needed between solar panels and fusion reactor

Post by shopt »

_wf_ wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 5:56 pm
Silari wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:49 am
Keep in mind you need to adjust for the day/night cycle
Depends on your usage, but valid point of course. So the solar panels come out at 21 kW / tile and the fusion reactor at ~47 kW.
That gap is still not huge, but yes you can squeeze a useful intermediate power source in the 30-40 kW range.
Don't forget that you will probably need batteries as well to make effective use of those solar panels, reducing the effective power/tile further.

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