I've seen a lot of blueprints and vague references to using the Recursive Blueprints mod to create self-expanding solar power farms but I'm not good enough with circuits and logic to really dig in as deep as I need to go to build one from scratch. I saw a lot of posts from people like myself wanting to use this mod but not being savvy enough to understand the logic. I spent quite a bit of time and found a blueprint for the base logic and for the solar farm output and was able to get it to work and understand the basics of how it functions. I still don't FULLY get the logic, but I can make it do what it should and explain how to tweak it, so that's enough for me. I thought I'd share this with others that might be looking for something similar.
I took this blueprint and expanded it a bit, fixing what I think were some minor bugs. I added both the logic blueprint and the solar panel blueprint - It is attached here and uploaded to Factorio School.
First and foremost.. This thing deploys solar panels and accumulators at an incredibly rapid rate. Don't try and hang this thing off of an early or mid-game multipurpose factory. You probably want to create a dedicated factory just to make the parts you need.
This, of course, requires the mod Recursive Blueprints.
You will need a factory to create:
- Solar Panels (and a lot of them!)
- Accumulators (a lot of these as well!)
- Big Electric Poles
- Cliff Explosives
All of these should be put into provider chests for the logistics network to read.
The attacked book contains the blueprint for the logic controller and a blueprint to use to build the solar array.
Find a place with LOTS of room all around you. You're going to want to start to expand in a direction - The default is to build up and to the right. Build your factory to build the materials, then drop down the logic blueprint
The basic flow is that you put the solar panel blueprint into the requester chest at the top-right. There's some logic that decides when that blueprint will be put into the blueprint deployer. The blueprint deployer reads X and Y values from the logic network and deploys the center of the blueprint there. Construction robots then build it. After that happens, the logic network increments counters, etc. and changes X and Y values to next place the solar blueprint should be placed. (You can see the current X and Y by hovering over the top-right substation). The logic network will monitor the active construction robots - When all of the construction bots are idle AND all of the items are available to deploy another copy of the blueprint the bottom fast inserter will fire, dropping the blueprint to the passive provider chest, which is pulled out and moved back up to the top by the belt. (I could have used logistics for this, but I didn't want to accidentally stick another blueprint in the network and have it mess things up).
if there are trees, rocks or cliffs in the way it will deconstruct them or blow up cliffs. The row of storage chests holds all this. It will NOT lay down landfill, so avoid water accordingly.
You will want to pick the width of the solar blueprints to be built - The default is to put 6 copies of the blueprint horizontally, then move up a row and build 6 more. You can set this value to something other than 6. There doesn't seem to be a vertical limit - It just keeps growing taller and taller.
If you want it to STOP building after the current blueprint the easy way is to take out a chunk of the belt.
At the bottom of the logic blueprint you will see a Constant Combinator. It has an X and a Y value. That defines the MIDDLE of the start of the FIRST solar blueprint build as measured from the blueprint deployer in the logic blueprint. The solar blueprint is 50X50, so pick a spot to build that first blueprint. The default I set was X=-10 (10 squares to the LEFT of the blueprint deployer) and Y=-40 (40 squares ABOVE the blueprint deployer). This seems to work pretty well. Make sure that the first blueprint you build has a centerpoint that is within range of the roboports!
The decider combinators on the left read values from the roboport to check to see if you have enough materials to build a copy of the solar blueprint. When each material reaches the required minimum the combinator outputs a value of 1 and lights a green light. When all of six of those combinators turn green, it will "fire" the top-left fast inserter that pulls the solar blueprint from the requester chest, putting it into the blueprint deployer. That does the actual work of laying down the ghosts at the proper X and Y value as set by the logic network.
After each blueprint is read, the new X and Y values are calculated and the system is prepped to wait to be ready to create another copy.
To kick this all off, simply take the solar panel blueprint and put it in the requester chest. As soon as you have all the materials everything will start moving. You will need a lot of construction bots - I put in ~400 and it seemed to work OK, but the further away the build is the longer it takes. More than 400 might eventually be required.
- The bottom constant combinator, as mentioned, sets the start value for the center of the first solar blueprint. Make sure it's in a good spot for the center to connect to your roboports.
- There is a constant combinator above the deciders that sets of the value of O=6. If you want it to be narrow or wider, change this accordingly.
- The top-left arithmetic Combinator sets Y to -50. This means that it's going to build UP by increments of 50 spaces. Want to go down? Change this to a 50. Leave the value at 50 since that's how tall the solar blueprint is.
- The top-right arithmetic Combinator sets X to 50. This means it will build RIGHT by increments of 50 spaces. Want to go left? Change this to a -50. Leave the value at 50 since that's how wide the solar blueprint is.
- Save your game before starting things going the first time and every time you reset and reset the starting values. Chances are, you'll mess it up.
- Plan way ahead for large growth and capacity. The default width is 300 tiles. That's really wide.
- If you are going to have to blueprint landfill over water, you have to do that yourself. (Reminder - Shift-click to lay down a blueprint with landfill that will touch both earth and water, a simple click won't let you overlap the landfill with earth)
- You probably need more steel. Yes, even more than that. You use a LOT of steel for solar panels.
- Don't be in a hurry. It takes quite a while.
-I honestly don't know how to "reset" it without destroying the logic portion and rebuilding it. If you have to destroy and rebuild it, make VERY sure it goes in EXACTLY the same spot. One tile off and all the blueprints will be messed up. I put some iron chests at the end of the rows of storage chests as markers. Don't delete those and use them as indicators as to exactly where to rebuild.
- Have fun. Mess with it. Put your own blueprints in and change the values for the decider combinators to what materials you need and the X and Y's in the arithmetic combinators to the right width and depth.
Good luck and enjoy!
(Unfortunately, I can't find the original blueprint again to credit the original author, so if I've used your work as a base.. Thank you! Let me know and I'll give you credit. )
Power Plants, Energy Storage and Reliable Energy Supply. All about efficient energy production. Turning parts of your factory off. Reliable and self-repairing energy.
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