Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

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eX_ploit
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Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by eX_ploit »

So I was under impression that electric furnaces are more efficient than steel furnaces and that's why you need to switch to them, but after running the numbers it seems that they have the same speed, the same energy consumption, and if you add pollution of electric furnaces + pollution of boilers this sum is even more than pollution of steel furnaces. Plus electric furnaces are bigger. So what's even the point in them?

mcdjfp
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by mcdjfp »

I am not sure about the numbers, but the biggest difference that I am aware of is that Electric Furnaces have 2 module slots which the Steel Furnaces lack.

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Krazykrl
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by Krazykrl »

Yep. Electric furnaces are really intended for end-game where you can get extra productivity and speed out of them without needing to feed them chemical fuel directly.

Frightning
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by Frightning »

eX_ploit wrote:So I was under impression that electric furnaces are more efficient than steel furnaces and that's why you need to switch to them, but after running the numbers it seems that they have the same speed, the same energy consumption, and if you add pollution of electric furnaces + pollution of boilers this sum is even more than pollution of steel furnaces. Plus electric furnaces are bigger. So what's even the point in them?
Keep in mind Boilers are only 50% efficient (they consume 2x Fuel value of energy they impart in the form of Steam from Water). So Steel furnaces can actually be cheaper to run. What Electric furnaces provide over Steel furnaces is module slots, and the potential to be powered by solar energy or now nuclear energy instead of by fuel only. The former can potentially mean a net fuel savings (as long as over half your total energy comes from solar panels you consume less fuel by switching to Electric furnaces than you do continuing to use Steel furnaces).

Aeternus
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by Aeternus »

Electric and Chemical furnaces both consume an equal amount of energy (180 KW), but as Fright stated, converting chemical to electrical fuel incurs a 50% efficiency penalty. So without modules, the Steel Furnace is more fuel efficient then the Electrical one.
This changes if you insert Efficiency modules. Even 2 tier 1 efficiency modules reduce energy consumption by 60%, which means the Electric Furnaces become slightly more efficient then the Steel furnace. Lateron when electical power gets generated from either Nuclear or Solar power sources, or when you need to add either Speed or Productivity modules to get more resources, Electrical furnaces become more useful since the Steel ones never get access to those.

But yea, in early to midgame, if you can deal with the hassle of getting fuel to the furnaces, stick with the steel furnaces until you can get modules.

iceman_1212
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by iceman_1212 »

Aeternus wrote:But yea, in early to midgame, if you can deal with the hassle of getting fuel to the furnaces, stick with the steel furnaces until you can get modules.

I strongly agree with this. Switching to electric furnaces without modules of any kind is tough to justify.

Assuming the decision is between getting electric furnace + efficiency vs. staying on steel furnace: the tradeoff is between convenience (of not having to bring coal to furnaces) vs. faster growth / tech advancement, and I choose to spend those circuits on modules for my green circuit/processing unit/purple & yellow science assemblers instead.

I also like the aesthetic of a compact steel furnace smelting array in the mid-game. (Sorry for potato quality image)

Image

Kelderek
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by Kelderek »

There's a convenience factor with electric where all you need is power. It can give you more options for in situ ore smelting and a little less of a headache for logistics as you only need to move around ore and not ore + fuel. It is for this reason alone that I always make the switch as soon as I possibly can. The added bonus of using modules comes later in the game for me, I have usually been on purely electric smelting for a while before I make my first modules.

On my current game I am playing with Angel's Infinite Ores and am smelting all my ore right next to each ore patch so my mining outposts can use trains for plates instead of ore. I don't think I would ever try in situ smelting without electric smelters.

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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by iceman_1212 »

Kelderek wrote:There's a convenience factor with electric where all you need is power. It can give you more options for in situ ore smelting and a little less of a headache for logistics as you only need to move around ore and not ore + fuel. It is for this reason alone that I always make the switch as soon as I possibly can. The added bonus of using modules comes later in the game for me, I have usually been on purely electric smelting for a while before I make my first modules.

On my current game I am playing with Angel's Infinite Ores and am smelting all my ore right next to each ore patch so my mining outposts can use trains for plates instead of ore. I don't think I would ever try in situ smelting without electric smelters.
A great point and something I failed to consider in my last post - one benefit of faster electric sans modules as Kelderek says is to make it much easier to set up on-site smelting.

BlakeMW
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by BlakeMW »

Another advantage of Electric is once you've got a nuclear reactor up and running you can add gobs of power with very little investment - nuclear is damn near as cheap as coal power per MW in terms of initial investment, and without the ongoing fuel issues.

I normally use Electric with eff1 modules if I want to lower pollution or am too lazy to bring in fuel - they are very clean compared with steel furnace and now you need to make them anyway for production science packs. But once I have nuclear I just stop caring about energy consumption and usually can't even be bothered inserting eff1 modules in anything (except maybe mining outposts to reduce biter attention).

milo christiansen
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by milo christiansen »

I used to use steel furnaces for everything, even late game (via solid fuel, and maybe even rocket fuel), but the .15 added the reactor...

I dislike solar, so I always used steam and the 50% boiler loss combined with larger furnace size and price was a bridge too far. Now I switch as soon as possible (using efficiency 1 modules to keep from taxing my boilers too much), then get nuclear going as soon as I can after that.

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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by Lemlin »

Steel furnaces is also smaller, so you can fit more the same space.
Electric furnaces is only a better choice if you put modules in them. Far superior if you also add beacons.

Aeternus
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by Aeternus »

Another trick for the electrical furnaces... once you've gone nuclear and got power coming out of your wazoo, replace the efficiency modules with production 3 and speed 3, one each. You get a faster furnace that produces bonus items, and all it takes is more power. Or, my own usual way... just add more furnaces to compensate for the speed reduction, then add more production modules. Or even add a speed module beacon or two. Meh. There's lots of options :)

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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by FredHp »

I stick to steel furnaces until i have sufficient productivity modules MK3, Beacons and speed modules MK3 to create a fully moduled electric furnace setup.

I simply do not see any real advantages to switch to electric furnaces without productivity modules:

Chemical fuel is usually cheap to produce - coal is easy to mine and transport, solid fuel is efficient and infinite.
With good defenses, pollution is not an issue.

I try to run 100% on solar power as soon as possible, so , using steel furnaces reduces my solar panels and acumulator needs. By the time i can get a reliable reactor working, producing modules is not a problem anymore.

So, this is my strategy - Steel Furnaces until i have enough modules to build a fully moduled electric furnace.

PacifyerGrey
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by PacifyerGrey »

You can compare A picture of previous poster
Image
to this one
Image
to see why electric furnace is better for endgame.

Personally I prefer electric furnaces from the point when I get enough Eff1 modules to fit in them. This way smelting area becomes much less polluted and pollution is generated only in electric boiler site which will switch to solar/nuclear at some point (which is much faster than you get enough Prod3/Speed3 modules).

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Ifalna
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Re: Electric Furnaces vs Steel Furnaces

Post by Ifalna »

Switching to electric furnaces is probably the most rewarding point of any game for me.

I love their quiet hum, no ugly clouds no annoying coal logistics... also, for whatever reason, I always get a kick out of fitting them with green modules. :D
The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future will be, the use of electrical Power.


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