Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power Meter

Post your ideas and suggestions how to improve the game.

Moderator: ickputzdirwech

Gammro
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by Gammro »

Redefining what demand and supply mean, would not help that cause though. It would confue players who do know what it means. I honestly believe my edit is a step in the right direction. I wanted to change production too, but couldn't find a word that described what I had in mind. Saturation, maybe?
Ignore this

robhol
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 9:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by robhol »

Gammro wrote: You guys are looking at the graph in a way that it is not meant to be looked at that way.

Anyway, here's what I did to make it clear in one blink of an eye:
Image
Of course we are. But with labels that weren't wrong, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

"How much power are my solar panels currently producing?" (Common sense) vs "How much power are my solar panels currently consuming?" (Factorio electric stats)
"How much power is this Lab consuming?" (Common sense) vs "How much power is this Lab producing?" (Factorio electric stats)

I think either switching them (so "production" is the thing that increases once you add something that produces power) or just relabelling them to supply and demand are completely valid.

What I definitely don't understand is how this isn't bleeding obvious. :mrgreen:
窮屈そうに身を屈めても今じゃ誰もがそうしてる 天井の無いECHO ROOMに誰かが僕を放り込む
君のSPEEDでもって 同じPHRASEを弾いて 冷たい時に寄り添って

Turtle
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 240
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 9:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by Turtle »

I totally agree that it's misleading at first. I couldn't understand it at first glance either. However, these statements are why you find it really confusing.
robhol wrote:"How much power are my solar panels currently producing?" (Common sense) vs "How much power are my solar panels currently consuming?" (Factorio electric stats)
"How much power is this Lab consuming?" (Common sense) vs "How much power is this Lab producing?" (Factorio electric stats)

I think either switching them (so "production" is the thing that increases once you add something that produces power) or just relabelling them to supply and demand are completely valid.

What I definitely don't understand is how this isn't bleeding obvious. :mrgreen:
It's not how much they are currently consuming. It's how much power they are producing compared to their capacity. They do not need to produce more than is needed on the network. That's why you see the bar fluctuate so much. If more power was produced than needed, where would it go? All your machines would fry if they got all the power that solar panels/steam engines would produce. Imagine if the power was in liquid form that HAD to go somewhere. You have 20 gallons and a machine needs 5 gallons, but the 20 gallons have to go somewhere, so they would flood your machine.

So I was thinking what exactly was confusing about the current display. The top bar, Consumption - which is technically the demand of power, is always full (assuming you have enough power), while the bottom bar, Production - the supply of power, is fluctuating depending on demand. The problem that I see is that most people expect a bar of a certain size to always be the same value. The Consumption bar currently fluctuates, but the size of the bar remains the same.

Let's make an example:
You have 10 steam engines for power, which is about 5 MW. If you sit and look at your Consumption bar you'll see it go from, for example, 2.8 MW to 3.2 MW. Now imagine if that bar was ALWAYS 5 MW. Now what would that bar do? It would fluctuate just like the Production bar - so the Consumption bar and the Production bar would ALWAYS be the same, unless your demand exceeded the supply.

So I was thinking, "How could this information be displayed in a more easy-to-view manner?" So this is what I came up with:
Power_night.jpg
Power_night.jpg (67.68 KiB) Viewed 4406 times
While I was doing this, I realized both bars would always be the same size all the time. So we don't even need two bars. Having the top bar that says Production is enough. Let me break down the information, if it's not clear. The entire bar is Power Capacity - how much you are able to produce. The first green bar is accumulator power production (I took the screenshot during the night) producing 32 MW. The orange bar is steam engine power production producing 20 MW. The blue bar is solar panel power production producing 19 MW. The demand of power bar? Why have it there? In my picture, they would ALWAYS be the same, unless your demand exceeded your capacity. The top bar already shows how much demand there is AND it breaks it down what is supplying that power. If power demand ever exceeds capacity, make the entire bar full and red.

Is that easier to read? What are some possible flaws doing it this way?

robhol
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 9:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by robhol »

I think your solution works too, Turtle. Still, I think it's simple enough to just rename them Supply and Demand, which is completely clear.
In any case, I think it'd be a good idea to add a very simple visual cue - green if the power supply outweighs the demand, yellow if they're close, red if you're not keeping up with the demand and need to take action.
窮屈そうに身を屈めても今じゃ誰もがそうしてる 天井の無いECHO ROOMに誰かが僕を放り込む
君のSPEEDでもって 同じPHRASEを弾いて 冷たい時に寄り添って

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 12758
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by ssilk »

Hm. I'm not sure if that is enough.

In every case I want to have just a very simple "Do I produce enough to satisfy everything"-Meter and a "How much reserves do I currently have"-Meter.

That are the both bars yet - the information is there.
I think the problem with them is, that they show the "absolute value", instead of "how much more do I need or am I producing much too much?".

The absolute value is (normally) the used power. That can be shown just as a number! I was once in a nuclear power plant and they showed the currently produced power also as a big number display on the wall and not as a voltmeter-like bar or arrow, that makes no sense; that's what numbers are for. :)
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

Turtle
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 240
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 9:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by Turtle »

ssilk wrote:Hm. I'm not sure if that is enough.

In every case I want to have just a very simple "Do I produce enough to satisfy everything"-Meter and a "How much reserves do I currently have"-Meter.
If you look at the image I posted, the Production bar shows all that information. The entire bar is the total power you are capable of producing. If the entire bar is not full, you are producing enough. You can also see if you are close to needing more power.

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 12758
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by ssilk »

Turtle wrote: If you look at the image I posted, the Production bar shows all that information.
Hmmm. My true opinion is: if I would be a beginner it shows nothing relevant for me.
The entire bar is the total power you are capable of producing. If the entire bar is not full, you are producing enough. You can also see if you are close to needing more power.
The problem is: you need to explain it more then a sentence. But it should explain itself. My opinion. :)
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

User avatar
Khyron
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 5:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by Khyron »

I think there is a case for changing the current system. The reason is very simple. There are two use cases: You have enough energy production or you don't. Regardless of which state you're in, one of the bars is redundant. If I have enough energy production, the consumption bar is redundant. If I don't, the production bar is redundant.

The player is interested in one piece of information: the difference between supply and demand.

I would suggest showing one bar with zero in the center. If your factory has spare energy generating capacity, draw a green line to the right. If it could use more power than it can produce, draw a red line to the left. Write the magnitude in text.

Gammro
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by Gammro »

Khyron wrote:I think there is a case for changing the current system. The reason is very simple. There are two use cases: You have enough energy production or you don't. Regardless of which state you're in, one of the bars is redundant. If I have enough energy production, the consumption bar is redundant. If I don't, the production bar is redundant.

The player is interested in one piece of information: the difference between supply and demand.

I would suggest showing one bar with zero in the center. If your factory has spare energy generating capacity, draw a green line to the right. If it could use more power than it can produce, draw a red line to the left. Write the magnitude in text.
Seems like a nice suggestion, but would the amplitude be the deficit/overcapacity or the absolute production?

QuickEdit: Probably deficit, but I'd like the total production to be there as well for e-peen purposes.
Ignore this

robhol
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 9:57 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by robhol »

I also suggested the bar-from-center. There's a significant flaw that I couldn't figure out, though. Problem is that while the surplus/deficit is a critical piece of information, there's no "obvious" metric to compare it with - so, let's say you have a gigawatt or so in excess of what you're using - how do you represent that? How large should the green bar be, and what are you measuring it up against?

It'd look a lot prettier, but you'd basically have to "bullshit" a value or a reason to use a value that doesn't really fit.

The two bars can work - again, they just need the proper labels. And adding a clear text label that displays the current surplus/deficit would probably be a good idea.
窮屈そうに身を屈めても今じゃ誰もがそうしてる 天井の無いECHO ROOMに誰かが僕を放り込む
君のSPEEDでもって 同じPHRASEを弾いて 冷たい時に寄り添って

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 12758
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by ssilk »

robhol wrote:I also suggested the bar-from-center. There's a significant flaw that I couldn't figure out, though. Problem is that while the surplus/deficit is a critical piece of information, there's no "obvious" metric to compare it with - so, let's say you have a gigawatt or so in excess of what you're using - how do you represent that? How large should the green bar be, and what are you measuring it up against?
I repeat from my above posts: the absolute power, the absolute value is a digital number display.

The relative power is compared to the average of the last minute/10 minute/hour-intervall. And shows clearly, if enough or too less power is produced.
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

Gammro
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by Gammro »

To give an easy formula to determine bar size, I've drawn up this:
Bar_size=(total_production - ideal_consumption)/total_production

total_production is the total amount of power you're able to produce.
ideal_consumption is the amount of power your factory wants to draw at that moment.(but doesn't necessarily get)
Bar size is the portion of the total size the bar can be. And can be between -100% and +100%(or -1 and +1, whatever). If it's 0, you produce exactly what you need. -1 and you're in deep trouble.

I think this formula is clear for almost any situation, and only needs 2 exceptions:
- If ideal_consumption is more than double the total_production, so you'd get values smaller than -100%. Then for simplicity, cap the bar 100% to the deficit side.
- To add to the previous, work around if total_production == 0, since you can't divide by 0.
- If you're able to produce double or more than ideal, the size should be capped to 100% into the surplus side.

Then display the surplus/deficit value above or under the bar, and the total production somewhere else.
Ignore this

User avatar
Khyron
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 5:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power M

Post by Khyron »

I'd suggest we try and define some key words for simplicity. These words don't necessarily have to be labels in the game, it's just for discussion in this thread.

The game currently has "Production" and "Consumption". Production is capped at your Consumption because of how the game instantly reduces your power output to match what your factory needs. But we do want to know or talk about the theoretical maximum power output of your factory. For simplicity, I'd suggest we just refer to that as "Supply". And conversely, Consumption is capped by Production but we want to know about how much power the factory could use if it were available. That then becomes "Demand".

Now in terms of how to draw this GUI element, let's try and arrive at a number between -1 and 1 as Gammro suggested.

Let's run through some test cases:
Supply, Demand, The Magical Number We Want (-1 and 1)
0GW, 0GW, 0
0GW, 12GW, -1
12GW, 0GW, 1
12GW, 12GW, 0
12GW, 8GW, A?
8GW, 12GW, B?
200GW, 190GW, C?

Case A and B are arguable but I think 0.33 and -0.33 are the most sensible values. That shows the player...
For case A: "What proportion of my energy generating infrastructure is effectively sitting idle?"
For case B: "What proportion of demand is not being satisfied?". This also tells the player "To what extent has my factory been slowed by the lack of power".

Case C is interesting because it shows how the bar copes with scaling to very large factories. An absolute surplus of 10GW might be plenty so far as you're concerned, but it becomes a relatively small fraction of total power production. Would you be happy seeing only a tiny green line at that point? I can't say because I haven't messed around with really large factories. My guess is that you'd probably care more about the numerical value rather than the magnitude of the green bar at that point so my answer would be 0.05.

I'm interested to know if you guys have any other thoughts on what A B and C should be, but if you're happy the formula is just
supply - demand / max(supply, demand, 1)
robhol wrote:I also suggested the bar-from-center. There's a significant flaw that I couldn't figure out, though. Problem is that while the surplus/deficit is a critical piece of information, there's no "obvious" metric to compare it with - so, let's say you have a gigawatt or so in excess of what you're using - how do you represent that? How large should the green bar be, and what are you measuring it up against?

It'd look a lot prettier, but you'd basically have to "bullshit" a value or a reason to use a value that doesn't really fit.
So I hope the above answers this. I don't think the value is bullshit. It just answers a different question. The magnitude of the bar is actually a unitless quantity - it's like a ratio. That's why its important to also give the numerical (and units) representation beside it, like -8GW. Those two pieces of information together let the player quickly identify what needs to be done.

Imagine "Do I have enough power?"
Red line = No.
"How bad is the problem?"
Small line = not bad
"What do I need to fix it?"
"-8GW". (Ok, -8 GW doesn't strictly answer that question but it tells the player an absolute number they can work with).

Edit: The numerical value shown beside the bar is simply supply-demand.

Johnny8Bob
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:31 pm
Contact:

Graphs: Power consumption totals

Post by Johnny8Bob »

A simple power total consumption graph (overlay for the production graph) that can be enabled to compare the total consumption to total production of power.

This would be helpful because it allows you to view where you power is seeping below the consumption graph. It is far more intuitive that just "satisfaction" and "production" bars in the top left corner.

User avatar
drNokard
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:30 am
Contact:

Re: Graphs: Power consumption totals

Post by drNokard »

This would be useful.
In alternative, a simple total power graph owuld be enough.
At the moment, we have only the top bars that are in rreal time, it's not possible to see the total consumption/production graph for different timeframes.
It would be useful to correctly dimension the power grid

gGeorg
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:06 pm
Contact:

Re: Graphs: Power consumption totals

Post by gGeorg »

+1

another improvement to stat screen: in the list of items should show the most significant items.
Currentntly, in the left column are most significant items sorted, but in the right not.
When open the stat screen it shows me immediately in the top of the second column the lights consume 0,001% of power, but for item which consumes 10% of energy I have to scroll. Thats twisted presentation of data and inconvenient.

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 12758
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Graphs: Power consumption totals

Post by ssilk »

@gGeorg: that is off-topic!

With item I think you mean the device ( the entities) that produce the items of that type.

That is a completely new functionality (please more details about what exactly you want to have; resort the order of the devices, switch sorting order, complete overhaul?.)

Please make an own suggestion!
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

jaideep
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:06 pm
Contact:

Re: Graphs: Power consumption totals

Post by jaideep »

The power stats screen already shows the average power in the given timeframe but I prefer looking at the total power. Since the information is already present (average=total/time) I feel like it should be an easy checkbox in the settings to allow users to configure whether they want average power or total.

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 12758
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Consumption/Production / Electric Network Info / Power Meter

Post by ssilk »

merged with quite similar topic

I add additionaly: a switch to flip between the current view and the suggested.
(But I think once switched you’ll never switch back)

@jaideep: as workaround you can simply switch to 5 second frame, that shows more or less the total.
But it also showed me how useless the graphs are. :)

The general topic: viewtopic.php?f=80&t=19987 More Game Information (Statistics, Monitoring, Graphs)

I searched for more suggestions around that topic. (Ickputzdirwech: feel free to merge them also if good matching :) )

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=20738 Power supply/demand/storage chart in power panel
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13266 Better Power Generation Indicators
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=51998 power visualisation change
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16967 The Electric network infoscreen is counter-intuitive
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=82882 0.18 Power Graph display misleading due to inclusion of accumulators
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=60364 Fixing the power bars.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=25146 Redo the power bars.


Make your own bar:

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/timeseries_fixfor110

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/power-combinator
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Circuit_P ... Combinator
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/PowerPlusPowerMeter
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

Post Reply

Return to “Ideas and Suggestions”