Solar panels OP

Post your ideas and suggestions how to improve the game.
Post Reply
gendalf
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:59 pm
Contact:

Solar panels OP

Post by gendalf » Thu May 25, 2017 9:54 am

There's no point in nuclear reactors (or other forms of energy-production) if you can scale up solar panels all the time and have 300MW solar-only factory with 50GJ battery storage
They should either be removed from the game or produce way less energy. Or replace it with slightly more complex designs, like mirror-farms to turn water into steam:
it takes 173500 collectors on 3,500 acres to produce 377MW
it has daily pre-heating stage, which can be accelerated with natural gas burners.
no energy storage for all that energy
The technology, which uses thousands of mirrors to concentrate sunlight and heat water to power a steam turbine
Batteries are unrealistic too, large amount of energy should be stored mainly in physical/chemical form, like pumping water up and then using it in hydroplant-like thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-st ... lectricity
or power-to-gas - split water into hydrogen and oxygen by means of electrolysis, for later use: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_to_gas

Power armor's energy is just sci-fi

JohnyDL
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by JohnyDL » Thu May 25, 2017 10:43 am

The issue and the reason both of these things are balanced is space, a 40ish MW reactor can be placed in the same space as 5 or 6MW of solar power and accumulators. a 400MW reactor in less than 40MW of solar panels and accumulators

FYI Batteries ARE chemical storage and the accumulators are fairly realistic in terms of size:storage even if they aren't as difficult to come across as on earth due to having to work with far more elements than Hydrogen, Carbon, Sulphur, Copper and Iron. Factorio is a very simple model of the world.

There are effective large scale batteries can have the energy density of and more than accumulators Vanadium Redox Batteries https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanadium_redox_battery have an energy density of about 15–25 Wh/L assuming that the accumulator is a 2m (8,000L) cube that's 120-200kWH 1kWh=3.6MJ and accumulators only have 5MJ of storage not well orders of mangitude more than that

And the argument about SciFi is mute the story is you've crash landed on an alien planet of course Sci-fi

Don't like them you can mod in a nerf but frankly I don't want to see the base game nerfed because anyone doesn't think it's fair that others are enjoying a game or something is too 'OP' see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsC8io4w1sY

User avatar
bobingabout
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 6870
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 1:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by bobingabout » Thu May 25, 2017 11:33 am

I do still think that Accumulators should have a 60% effectivity set. That would help with the storage OP issues, because you lose 40% of the energy (Maybe each way, reducing it to 36% total efficiency).

As for solar panels, I guess it is possible that you could have a mod reduce their output too.
Creator of Bob's mods. Expanding your gameplay since version 0.9.8.
I also have a Patreon.

JohnyDL
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by JohnyDL » Thu May 25, 2017 2:54 pm

You mean it's not enough that you really have to over produce on solar by a long margin and waste a bunch of energy during the day and hope you never fully deplete it at night :P although maybe a running cost in terms of power might be possible if charging cost is in there (although I'm pretty convinced it is included) maybe as much as 10% and then a trickle drain all the time a day is 25000 ticks and I'd think 1% per day is a good number (and we'll ignore the compound interest of what I'm about to suggest) so 1%/25000= 0.00004% per tick so just deplete accumulators by that amount of their current capacity, it's negligible unless you're living on the edge. Adds realism for you and won't upset me because it's barely a nerf.

Added complexity joined to a slight buff and realism of accumulators maybe make it so it's maximum output rather than a fixed number (300kW) is a % of charge so actually the battery never fully depletes and over the night each battery becomes less and less effective, on the other hand charging is the same a % of the empty space is filled per tick and so battery management becomes a thing. You could have them all plugged in and discharging at the same rate and at the beginning of the night you might have more capacity than you need but because the batteries output isn't constant over the night you'll be using more and more of the potential output, and brown outs in order to keep that uniform output you'd need to provide enough output at the beginning of the night and slowly connect full batteries to maintain power. But that'd leave all your accumulators at a partial charge in the morning and so as a uniform lot might take longer to recharge as a result

currently 5MJ of stored energy takes approximately 17s to fully charge/discharge at the maximum rate of 300kW
translated into MW ticks that's about 300 MWt of charge at a floa 0.1% full capacity per tick
Instead we go for that same 5MJ/300MWt and 0.2% of current power. Initially you get twice the power output of the current setup, I like that, you say it's OP we agree to disagree, by 5.75s rather than 8.5we're at half charge and the accumulators ability to output is now level with current values.
It would take until a full 13.3s for the total power outputs to match, it's at this point the old accumulator has output more power than the new one for the first time, and it's just going to keep giving power but the new accumulator is outputting a fraction of the power of the old one and is losing ground rapidly, as much as a third less power. Already and dwindling. It will keep giving out power for much longer keeping the whole factory running at a slower speed while the other one shuts down production all together but you'd definitely prefer to be running at full capacity and you might even have enough energy to do that in the accumulators

The wiki suggests that 25 accumulators will provide 1MW of energy all night, 2500 ticks (41.6s) my own maths says 9 (well 8.333 but we'll go with 9)

Trial A 9 all on all the night no staggered power on. Brown outs start to appear at 36.6s (11 necessary to have no power loss)
Trial B 9 staggered switch on 2 switch on at first needing 1MW the initial 0.2% isn't enough, the third switches on at 1.7s but it's only a trickle, fourth turns on at a staggering 6.7 seconds, fifth at 11.7 seconds and so on until the 9th at 31.6s meaning brown outs at the same 36.6s and the same 11 for no power loss but now some will be much easier to charge than others. And getting to that peak charge be the primary focus of power management leaving the most depleted batteries until last, or charging them first and trying to keep the charging power usage even over the day rather than needing a big boost at the beginning and trailing off. etc etc..

If these were turned into curves rather than linear effects the complexity would be multiplied and new solutions would abound

Or leave it as it is because if you change efficiency you don't actually effect the balance/how OP something is you just change what ratios are plopped on the map and built if people can over produce and ignore the complexities.

gendalf
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:59 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by gendalf » Thu May 25, 2017 3:14 pm

FYI Batteries ARE chemical storage and the accumulators are fairly realistic in terms of size:storage even if they aren't as difficult to come across as on earth due to having to work with far more elements than Hydrogen, Carbon, Sulphur, Copper and Iron. Factorio is a very simple model of the world.
I still think that power-to-gas fits the game better, the tools are already in place for it. And that mirror farm turning water into oxygen and hydrogen or steam would be great to have too. I'm not saying that accumulators and solars should be replaced completely, but they can't be the sole solution to all of the power needs, it's just way too easy to have many chests filled with batterries and solar pannels and then plop a very simple no-maintenance blueprint whenever you need more power. It should make you work for it a bit more like steam burners and reactors do.
You mean it's not enough that you really have to over produce on solar by a long margin and waste a bunch of energy during the day and hope you never fully deplete it at night
irl solar isn't a solve-all magic wand, it requires to be installed on perfectly flat grounds, with nice weather conditions to have full value.. which is 100 to 365 W per module compared to 60KW in game

JohnyDL
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by JohnyDL » Thu May 25, 2017 4:26 pm

I guess you're right 1 sq.m is about 1kw of energy on earth (at noon) compared to 60kW per tick in game.

There are 12500 during the day. Lets assume 12 hours of daylight and it's constant on earth. (I know it's not but the surface of Factorio is euclidian not spherical (or far far far too big to consider sphericity it seems) so no direct comparisons anyway) 12 hours is 720minutes is 43200seconds, so 1 tick might be equivilent to 3-4 seconds and there's 9 sqm so that's 27-36kW irl compared to in game so this alien world gets about 2x the star light as earth, that's possible the planet could turn at a slower speed per day (so the number of seconds per tick is greater) and/or be closer to the star (light per area is greater), considering the barren desert like landscapes are predominant and the twilight suggests a 50 degree or greater deviation from the equator and that the star is shining on that side of the planet the planet must be fairly hot.

and really I'm assuming a lot calling the tiles 1sq.m I only say that cause a person is a little under 2m tall and that would seem logical but that might just be a representation, I don't think a real factory could turn wire and plastic into circuit boards in 3m by 3m square, and oil refining in 5m by 5m aren't oil refineries usually measured in sq.km? maybe the tiles are really 10m sq then and the size of the character and biters is just a representation so the avatar can be seen.

and you'd have to assume that a space faring civilisation would have perfected solar panels at least for in system use to 99% or better because it'd be literally free energy with no drawbacks.

As for hydrolyzing water, water is technically a component of accumulators you could easily think of them doing that if you chose to.

And honestly I like that there's a power source that doesn't rely too much on water and steam, I like playing on water free (starting area) or water limited (tiniest and lowest frequency I can have) worlds, having solar panels makes this a valid way of playing, all power relying on water in some capacity doesn't.

And steam doesn't cool if you wanted to you could have a huge number of fluid tanks holding steam indefinitely if you wanted some power storage.

And before you argue that we don't have to get rid of what's in game already to have water hungry solar consider this, so far almost every choice of system has 3 levels. 3 types of power production, 3 types of turrets, 3 levels of capsules, 3 levels of assemblers, 3 types of resource collection, 3 vehicles, 3 ways to move things around the map, 3 choices of modules, 3 levels of modules, 3 types of bullets, 3 types of rocket, 3 types of circuit, 3 types of power pole, 3 levels of belts, and so on sure that isn't a hard and fast rule there are 4 types of weapons, and 2 types of robot, but it clearly seems to be what the game is aiming for, starter, midgame and late game options.

When you consider that 1 un beaconed or moduled Kovarex centrifuge can power 40 reactors and that 1 U-235 is 30 minutes of power at 40MW (with only 1 reactor, 2x 3x or 4x that with neighbour bonuses) and that it's really not that expensive to set up and frees up a huge amount of space you were using on solar, solar really isn't the most OP power source in game anyways.

User avatar
Ranakastrasz
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 2039
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:05 am
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by Ranakastrasz » Fri May 26, 2017 2:29 pm

Its 60kj per second, not kw, and not per tick.
It would be 1kj per tick. Kilowatt is one kilojoule per second.

Ergo your math is off by a factor of 60, and in nonsense units. Unless you are measuring acceleration.

Not to nitpick but your premise is wrong given that.
My Mods:
Modular Armor Revamp - V16
Large Chests - V16
Agent Orange - V16
Flare - V16
Easy Refineries - V16

JohnyDL
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by JohnyDL » Fri May 26, 2017 2:53 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:Its 60kj per second, not kw, and not per tick.
It would be 1kj per tick. Kilowatt is one kilojoule per second.

Ergo your math is off by a factor of 60, and in nonsense units. Unless you are measuring acceleration.

Not to nitpick but your premise is wrong given that.
it actually puts my math out by a factor of 60 in the right direction though I think, I looked at the game and went "60kW" oh that's got to be the energy made per tick, cause that's how I think of energy I buy kWh units, so that's 1 kW for 1 hour so this is delivering 60kW each tick and I can use 60kW each tick, I'm not going to work it all out again

Koub
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 5213
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 8:54 am
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by Koub » Fri May 26, 2017 3:48 pm

Yeah and people should receive an electric shock every time they plop down a solar panel :lol:.
Why force people to play the way YOU think they should ?
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

User avatar
TheDrizzle404
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 7:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by TheDrizzle404 » Sat May 27, 2017 8:05 am

gendalf wrote:There's no point in nuclear reactors (or other forms of energy-production) if you can scale up solar panels all the time and have 300MW solar-only factory with 50GJ battery storage
I beg to differ. Steam power is early game, Solar is mid game, and Nuclear is endgame. With a proper uranium mine and enrichment setup you can easily swap over to pure nuclear power. Just 4 reactors nets you around 480MW of constant energy. That's nothing to scoff at.
Not to mention space. I could go measure, but just guestimating I'd say my nuclear setup in its entirety takes up less than a tenth of the space my solar farm does and produces more power. Solar is a fine permanent solution if you have infinite space to build in, but some people like to play on cramped maps for a challenge so the area they can build in becomes much more important. It's always wise to have accumulators for emergency power, but you can get away with far less using nuclear power as well since the power won't drop to 0 during the night.

User avatar
AileTheAlien
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 198
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:30 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by AileTheAlien » Sat May 27, 2017 8:55 am

TheDrizzle404 wrote:
gendalf wrote:There's no point in nuclear reactors (or other forms of energy-production) if you can scale up solar panels all the time and have 300MW solar-only factory with 50GJ battery storage
I beg to differ. Steam power is early game, Solar is mid game, and Nuclear is endgame.
You can break it down further than that, though. Steam with coal, steam with solid fuel, solar, nuclear without kovarex, nuclear with kovarex, and combinations of those. I myself am using solid-fuel-steam in my current train-world game, as coal, copper, and iron are all scarce, and I also don't have the resources to exterminate aliens for the space that solar would require. I've got my first uranium mine set up, and am almost done the initial nuclear research. So, I'll be skipping solar entirely. (Minus the solar in my armor, and single solar panels which boot-strap my steam-pumps for remote power generators.)
JohnyDL wrote:The issue and the reason both of these things are balanced is space, a 40ish MW reactor can be placed in the same space as 5 or 6MW of solar power and accumulators. a 400MW reactor in less than 40MW of solar panels and accumulators
This right here. Solar is a power source that uses a lot of resources and space. The space requirements mean even more resources and time spent fighting aliens, and the resources mean more time and effort spent not building other useful thing. Anectdotal proof that solar is not over-powered (at least not in all situations) is that it's easier for me to use steam, (and soon nuclear) in my current train-world game.

leoch
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:37 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by leoch » Sat May 27, 2017 10:09 am

AileTheAlien wrote:
TheDrizzle404 wrote:
gendalf wrote:The space requirements mean even more resources and time spent fighting aliens, and the resources mean more time and effort spent not building other useful thing.
I'm surprised that space ends up being a major issue.

I find solar+accumulators makes a good baseload supply, and a switched coal plant makes a good peaker (it can turn on ridiculously fast). Less reliable solar supply (e.g. from cloudy days, or to a lesser extent the axial tilt mod) would make for a more interesting supply challenge.

I've never needed 100+ MW (possibly because I don't bother with beacons or productivity modules), so haven't seen much use for nuclear power myself.

JohnyDL
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 3:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by JohnyDL » Sat May 27, 2017 12:42 pm

I suppose you don't need more than 100MW to 'beat' the game but I've played on multi GW saves. play the way you want to play :) but space can become an issue in so many ways, putting in a supply bus can be one of the biggest space issues.

Mendel
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by Mendel » Sun May 28, 2017 6:01 am

Well, sure. If you put in the time, effort and resource cost of building up a huge solar farm, then yeah. That is all you need. It is a one time investment that gives you infinite energy. But first you need to manufacture the panels and accumulators, spend time in first killing bugs to make room for them and then place them down in a huge array.

Compared to nuclear where you only need to put down a relatively tiny array of nuclear related buildings. The biggest hassle is the initial kovarex enrichment but once you have that scaled up, then getting all the power you need through solar is relatively easy and less time and space consuming. Even if nuclear is depending on finite resources, those resources give you fuel for a LONG time. And this is not even considering the byproducts you get (nukes, anyone?)

Personally, I don´t want to go through the hassle of setting up solar any more. I think my time is better spent making things work with nuclear and using the rest of the time saved managing other aspects of my factory.

User avatar
AileTheAlien
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 198
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:30 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by AileTheAlien » Sun May 28, 2017 2:13 pm

Mendel wrote:Compared to nuclear where you only need to put down a relatively tiny array of nuclear related buildings. The biggest hassle is the initial kovarex enrichment but once you have that scaled up
You don't need Kovarex to do nuclear. It makes more of your ore into useful fuel, but you can still run a plant without Kovarex. i.e. My base will be running off of a 3x3 plant (for huge neighbor bonuses), with all of the steam stored in a big steam-tank array. Much simpler than researching Kovarex, since I still don't have all of my science automated.
Mendel wrote:then getting all the power you need through solar is relatively easy and less time and space consuming.
Typo alert! You meant nuclear here, not solar. :)

Mendel
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by Mendel » Sun May 28, 2017 4:15 pm

oops I guess my brain got tangled somehow with that typo :)

BlakeMW
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 951
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:29 am
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by BlakeMW » Sun May 28, 2017 5:56 pm

In some other thread I analyzed the break even point, where it becomes cheaper to research Nuclear Power and build a couple of reactors, than to spend the same amount of resources in solar/accu. Because the resource types are different and productivity can come into play it's hard to be hard and fast, but basically the break even point is about 50-80MW. If you use eff1 very extensively the break even point is about 25MW (raw machine use of 80MW reduced by ~70%). It is entirely possible to launch a rocket or three within this megawattage. The distinction is, while you can get 50MW of solar/accu for the cost of Nuclear Power + 2 Reactors, the 2 Reactors will produce all the way up to 160MW with minimal additional investment. Enrichment is much more expensive again, but benefits heavily from productivity modules which complicates matters. In any case, for the cost of nuclear power + enrichment you can get about 200MW of solar/accu - although you could also get this amount of power perfectly easily with a non-enrichment nuclear setup.

Basically for a power usage over 50MW it's cheaper to invest in a nuclear reactor. From there whether you go enrichment or not mainly depends on whether you want to chew through more uranium ore, or spend a lot on unlocking enrichment.

Also for Marathon these numbers are about 4x bigger, because techs cost 4x as many beakers, although it can be taken for granted you'll prod3 everything which discounts the research cost a great deal. The break even point is about 120-160MW for a basic Nuclear setup, and 500-800MW for an enrichment reactor - smaller than this and you may as well invest in solar/accu instead.

Of course if you also wants nukes or uranium munitions then the cost of the techs can be greatly discounted. Once you have the tech Nuclear power is very cheap per MW for larger setups, almost as cheap as coal power, i.e. much cheaper than solar/accu, and the resource being consumed has very little other use.

User avatar
Ranakastrasz
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 2039
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:05 am
Contact:

Re: Solar panels OP

Post by Ranakastrasz » Sun May 28, 2017 6:38 pm

Its not per tick, its per second. There are 60 ticks per second.
My Mods:
Modular Armor Revamp - V16
Large Chests - V16
Agent Orange - V16
Flare - V16
Easy Refineries - V16

Post Reply

Return to “Ideas and Suggestions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users