[0.8.x] Big solar farm

Power Plants, Energy Storage and Reliable Energy Supply. All about efficient energy production. Turning parts of your factory off. Reliable and self-repairing energy.

Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Garm » Tue May 20, 2014 9:06 pm

Just make sure you both account for peak demand....



Anyhow - is it really that much important? how much each player spends resources per energy used?

I personally use 4 solars/~3 accus only because they form good pattern.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby GamerGER » Tue May 20, 2014 11:33 pm

thanks for the calculations. wanted to do something similar by myself but now i dont have to anymore^^

since i want to sustain heavy fighting at night i use about 4 accus per every 5 panels and since i am a lazy guy i want to stamp solar factorys all over the place with this pattern:

http://imgur.com/92Kauts
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Glyph » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:24 am

Hope this isn't too much of a necro, but I found this thread really useful and came back to it a couple times.

For the phase before blue science (and therefore before distributors), I now use this design:

Image

It's a slight modification of malokin's design on page one of this thread. It is slightly more efficient space-wise (panel area / total area used) than malokin's design. My design is 97.3% space efficient vs malokin's 94.7%, i.e. 2.7% more efficient. However, I don't feel that justifies the increased cost of all the poles you need. What I like about my design, however, is that it's faster to place 4x solar panels in a row at a time rather than 2x, and there's no funkiness required to figure out where to put the power poles (they go in every empty spot).

I wonder how much more space efficient you could get than 0.947% without using distributors? Or if you even could.

Edit: Here's an improved version. It uses 3x2 tiles of solar panels with 1 medium pole at the left bottom. 3x3 tiled solar with this pattern is not possible because none of the medium poles connect. Even with this design, you have to "plug in" each diagonal strip of poles from the top or bottom (or left/right if you rotate this design).

Image

This design has a space efficiency of 98.2%, bringing you pretty damn close to 100%. It is about 3.6% more efficient than malokin's design. It also uses far less materials (fewer poles) than the above design, and I think it is even easier to construct.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby JoshLittle » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:21 pm

Is it even possible to reach 100%? ;)
Is it expedient to try?
Do you also include the unusable or inefficient usable place which is created by the jagged edges into your calculation?
Isn't it better to have "only" 80% (24 of 120 are empty, poled or lighted) but to be able to run through it, to have sharp edges and nearly the lowest cost for poles (like http://www.factorioforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5039#p38783)?

Image
If your belt feels too long, your wall is just too short :mrgreen:
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Glyph » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:33 pm

JoshLittle wrote:Is it even possible to reach 100%? ;)
Is it expedient to try?
Do you also include the unusable or inefficient usable place which is created by the jagged edges into your calculation?
Isn't it better to have "only" 80% (24 of 120 are empty, poled or lighted) but to be able to run through it, to have sharp edges and nearly the lowest cost for poles (like http://www.factorioforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5039#p38783)?

Image

There are definitely tradeoffs between the methods, as you mentioned. I don't mind not being able to run through my solar field in my current mostly land map, but in a map with lots of water around, it'd be nice to be able to run through it.

I did calculate the empty spaces wasted, but not around the edge. The efficiency is calculated as an infinite tiling and makes no consideration for the edge shape.

100% is not reachable unless you didn't need power poles, and then the 100% design would be very simple - just a giant grid of solar panels without any spaces. However, we do need power :) Your design, by the way, is 86% efficient. I can't tell how many poles you have per solar panel from that picture, though, so I don't know the cost.

Here's a chart for the designs I have so far:

Image

Edit: see here for an updated chart - viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1865&p=39558#p39558
Last edited by Glyph on Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby malokin » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:58 am

Wow, just wow, I don't know how to feel. I was sort of upset that this design I was so very proud of was ignored and unused for so long, and now that my design has finally been discussed, I'm upset that the design has been beaten and improved upon so simply and easily. This is actually exactly what I was hoping for when I posted this design, I wanted tips on how to squeeze out that final tile of space.

Anyway, thank you so much for your contribution, I'll be using your design from now on when space saving is my primary concern. My only critique would be that your setup seems to have 6 panels per 1 power pole vs my design which uses 8 solar panels per 1 power pole. That chart is hella-useful but I'm curious how materials compare between those setups for very large arrays over areas as big as 1000x1000 or 10,000x10,000. I wonder what the difference in cost will be as our setups expand into the larger scale. I still can't believe you whomped me in space savings like that. You're truly a master of tetris to which I cannot compare.

Relevant "Solar Panel Theory" Discussion:

Substations cost way too much to ever be useful or efficient in these kinds of setups, I use substations in the thickets of an assembly plant or chemical processing facility, but never for solar panel or accumulator arrays.

Mixing Solar Panels and Accumulators is an odd decision. In my mind, you spread your accumulators out between facilities. This way, if the biters or a car crashing into a power pole or a rewiring job causes an interruption to your power supply, your factory will switch to localized accumulator power instead of just shutting down. Every facility deserves a couple accumulators just in case.

Solar Panel to Accumulator Ratio is mostly irrelevant. I'm really glad someone figured out how many panels are needed to keep accumulators charged thru the night, but accumulators for me are the batteries of my laser turrets. I WANT to keep way too many accumulators on hand. At no point does a stockpile of accumulators become inefficient or overkill in my eyes. I'm waiting for the mother of all bug charges and those accumulators are my ammo in that fight. You might was well tell me that my chest full of destroyer capsules is inefficient.

Walking Space is important, even more important, driving space. Once your giant solar panel ocean is done, its easy to disassemble a path thru wide enough to drive a car. Remember to add walls near any solar panel corners or around any important power poles. A total wall off is overkill, I personally place a wall section every third tile and use lighting for added safety. Drive safe and carefully until the devs fix the car's handling issues.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby JoshLittle » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:26 pm

Oh sorry, in my head I reduced the size of a panel from 3x3 to 2x2 :oops:
So my blueprint uses 216 of 252 tiles and therefor 85,174%

I consider the sharp edges to be a very practical and important thing even if you want to calculate infinitely.

Like I show here http://www.factorioforums.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5039&start=10#p38933 it is very modular. I can run belts at the side of an edge which would be a pain if they were jigged.
Image
Image
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby JoshLittle » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:02 pm

In the blueprint I use 4 poles for 24 panels = 6 panels/pole

If you want it more compact I have a different design:
  • It uses 238 of 252 tiles (stacked) = 94,44% or only 236 of 252 = 93,65% if you cancel the last accumulator manually to prove a gap at the bottom
  • It has the same outline-dimensions (14x18) and therefore both designs can easily be combined. A ratio of 3 to 1 provides still a good ratio of ways through it.
  • The sharp edges remain
  • Also with little gaps it autoconnects without additional poles

Version 1 and 2 in comparsion
Image

They can be stacked very easy
Image

Which looks like this
Image
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Glyph » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:05 pm

malokin wrote:Wow, just wow, I don't know how to feel. I was sort of upset that this design I was so very proud of was ignored and unused for so long, and now that my design has finally been discussed, I'm upset that the design has been beaten and improved upon so simply and easily. This is actually exactly what I was hoping for when I posted this design, I wanted tips on how to squeeze out that final tile of space.

Anyway, thank you so much for your contribution, I'll be using your design from now on when space saving is my primary concern. My only critique would be that your setup seems to have 6 panels per 1 power pole vs my design which uses 8 solar panels per 1 power pole. That chart is hella-useful but I'm curious how materials compare between those setups for very large arrays over areas as big as 1000x1000 or 10,000x10,000. I wonder what the difference in cost will be as our setups expand into the larger scale. I still can't believe you whomped me in space savings like that. You're truly a master of tetris to which I cannot compare.

Relevant "Solar Panel Theory" Discussion:

Substations cost way too much to ever be useful or efficient in these kinds of setups, I use substations in the thickets of an assembly plant or chemical processing facility, but never for solar panel or accumulator arrays.

Mixing Solar Panels and Accumulators is an odd decision. In my mind, you spread your accumulators out between facilities. This way, if the biters or a car crashing into a power pole or a rewiring job causes an interruption to your power supply, your factory will switch to localized accumulator power instead of just shutting down. Every facility deserves a couple accumulators just in case.

Solar Panel to Accumulator Ratio is mostly irrelevant. I'm really glad someone figured out how many panels are needed to keep accumulators charged thru the night, but accumulators for me are the batteries of my laser turrets. I WANT to keep way too many accumulators on hand. At no point does a stockpile of accumulators become inefficient or overkill in my eyes. I'm waiting for the mother of all bug charges and those accumulators are my ammo in that fight. You might was well tell me that my chest full of destroyer capsules is inefficient.

Walking Space is important, even more important, driving space. Once your giant solar panel ocean is done, its easy to disassemble a path thru wide enough to drive a car. Remember to add walls near any solar panel corners or around any important power poles. A total wall off is overkill, I personally place a wall section every third tile and use lighting for added safety. Drive safe and carefully until the devs fix the car's handling issues.


Improving a design and creating a design are two different things :) I'm glad for the work people already did on this.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the various designs, also. It's an advantage of your original design that you can wire it up from a point, rather than having to use extra poles and time to wire up an entire side as in the 3x2 steps version. I think the primary advantage of the 3x2 steps is actually that it's easier to place. It's very easy to get the solar panels in place once you have a few already in place to reference. Larger blocks of square solar panel matrices (3x2 in this case) also mean faster placing, because it's easier to place in a square grid.

I completely agree on the accumulators - people were getting pretty heated in another thread, arguing about which ratio is better. I appreciate their insight and like the optimizations and math, but for myself I like to have way more accumulators than I need. It helps with laser turrets and also gives you more warning time when you don't have enough solar power to sustain them.

JoshLittle: I agree that the square edges are an advantage to those layouts. I have a massive area that I don't really need to run through on my current map so I'm going with 3x2, but on a different map or if I wanted a different style I would probably go with one of the square layouts again.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Glyph » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:12 pm

Updated chart:

Image

And links to images of all of the designs:

3x2 steps glyph: http://i.imgur.com/uRM5eE7.png
4x steps glyph: http://i.imgur.com/FaBEyS9.png
2x steps malokin: http://i.imgur.com/GAV6HqN.jpg
Naïve (8 around 1 pole): http://i.imgur.com/opoXAB8.png
2x simple runthrough JoshLittle: http://i.imgur.com/GvgFMtd.png

I think it may be possible to get higher space efficiency than the 3x2 steps if you use a more complex tiling arrangement.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby darkminaz » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:47 pm

hmm nice design, somehow i just went with the line modes, makes it quite easy to walk through and to add more means just get the 50+ from the factory -> klick and push s for a while ^^
guess i'm not the best worker out there .. but maybe the most lazy :D
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Glyph » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:21 pm

darkminaz wrote:hmm nice design, somehow i just went with the line modes, makes it quite easy to walk through and to add more means just get the 50+ from the factory -> klick and push s for a while ^^
guess i'm not the best worker out there .. but maybe the most lazy :D

There are advantages and disadvantages to each design (with the exception of a couple that have strictly better versions). Being able to walk through can be a big deal, and actually the simplest designs have the best cost efficiency that we've seen thus far (8 panels / pole). If you have plenty of space and you're not trying to optimize layouts, then any design is great.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby darkminaz » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:38 pm

jup, well i mostly put most of my value on the overall look as posted in my other thread (http://i.imgur.com/PoxB220.jpg)
but it's still quite surprising how mutch land i loose in the process. (not that i realy have a big issue ony my current map with that)

if i ever try a compact system ill try out the 3x2 version
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Glyph » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:57 am

darkminaz wrote:jup, well i mostly put most of my value on the overall look as posted in my other thread (http://i.imgur.com/PoxB220.jpg)
but it's still quite surprising how mutch land i loose in the process. (not that i realy have a big issue ony my current map with that)

if i ever try a compact system ill try out the 3x2 version


No matter what you do, you'll be taking up a lot of space with solar :D. Here is my 3x2 setup:

Image

I have the accumulator blocks intersect the 3x2 blocks because I think it looks cool, no other reason :)

I made a 2x2 block of 3x2 solars with power poles surrounding it (in the correct spots), and I use that as a blueprint to construct more solar.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby JoshLittle » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:34 am

Is it possible to run a belt through your separation? I have "only" one gap between my fields but they prevented me from ripping down entire sections. Ok, in my solar setup it would also have the possibility to use one of my running-gaps with undergroundbelts but I never did yet. But it has to be a pain to set up a diagonal belt. You would have to make a blueprint out in the air to not have anything else in the blueprint. But still then. I just grab a belt, shiftklick and run. Done :mrgreen: .
If your belt feels too long, your wall is just too short :mrgreen:
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Glyph » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:53 pm

JoshLittle wrote:Is it possible to run a belt through your separation? I have "only" one gap between my fields but they prevented me from ripping down entire sections. Ok, in my solar setup it would also have the possibility to use one of my running-gaps with undergroundbelts but I never did yet. But it has to be a pain to set up a diagonal belt. You would have to make a blueprint out in the air to not have anything else in the blueprint. But still then. I just grab a belt, shiftklick and run. Done :mrgreen: .


My solar farm is only a solar farm. Anything beyond it will be transported by train, not by belt. It is also easy to construct a 3x2 solar farm like mine and then cut a horizontal or vertical strip through it using deconstruction robots. The edges will be jagged (like the boundary between accumulators and solars in my picture above) but that's not a huge problem, especially considering the efficiency of the rest of the farm.

I would not have separated sections at all except that I think it looks cool. I don't intend to prance about my solar panels, so having a giant block of them would be fine :).
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby DaveMcW » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:51 am

Here is the layout I use. It combines solar panels, accumulators, roboports, and access lanes in one complete package.

solar-blueprint.jpg
solar-blueprint.jpg (213.71 KiB) Viewed 9225 times


Space efficiency: 87%
Wiring requirement: Any side
Can run through: both axes
Edges: Square

Additional features:

Can lay belt through: both axes
Accumulator/Solar Panel ratio: 0.841

It is missing one corner to allow room for a Roboport. And it has easy access to build or remove the roboport by hand.

The circular accumulator patterns make it easy to find the path through when zoomed out.

solar-blueprint-2.jpg
solar-blueprint-2.jpg (894.11 KiB) Viewed 9225 times
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby JoshLittle » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:24 am

Oh nice. I always wanted to find something which is also scaled for the roboport-pattern
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Blackence » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:51 am

DaveMcW wrote:Here is the layout I use. It combines solar panels, accumulators, roboports, and access lanes in one complete package.


This is a nice one. Especially the roboport inclusion. :-) I'm going to migrate my solar setup to something like this.
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Re: [0.8.x] Big solar farm

Postby Cilya » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:49 pm

As i explained on this topic i've been inspired by the layout presented by Cellidor on reddit. I've tryed to do the same with different ratios. I've managed to build this one, which is a bit disapointing cause it only has a single axis of symetry. :(

Image

Size: 48x48 (2304 tiles)
Usefull area : 2224 (96.5%)
Solar panels: 180
Accumulators: 151
Substations: 16
Roboport: 1
* Square edged
* No run through
* Logistic network tilable
* Electric network tilable
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