Heliostat power plant

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Aza-Industries
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Heliostat power plant

Post by Aza-Industries »

Hey everyone, I'm sooper loopy right now but I had an Idea I wanted to record before I forget, so I can check later if it was good.

Anywho, I had this idea of a heliostat steam plant.

Basically you would build a central tower and provide water to it.

Then you would build turret like mirrors around and have to aim them manually both angle and distance(representing tilting mirror back and forth)
And basically you would have to manually aim quite a few unique angles, which you could then automate with blueprints.

The more you have aiming at the tower the more steam it would generate that you can use in steam engines of fans.

Maybe you would need to add some sort of maintenence/usage cost for each mirror, otherwise everyone would always max out their mirrors straight away without and drawbacks to their economy.

Hopefully that all makes sense..
I left a note for myself to check this in the morning. I'll be back to fix up grammar,spelling, structures.
THanks for reading.

orbiter28
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Re: Heliostat power plant

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lilstrip
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Re: Heliostat power plant

Post by lilstrip »

I honestly think this idea would be really cool if it was well implemented but theres already so many alternatives that it wouldnt actually be a benefit to use this system compared to solar panels.

The main reason why Heliostat powerplants exist in real life is because it actually cheaper to manufacture than solar cells and they are mostly used in desertic enviromnents where its dry enough to maximize on efficiency so in-game that would really limit the use of it to deserts.

On top of this they have the same downside as solar panels (no sunlight, no power) so in the end the only thing we would get is a solar panel you need to hook up with pipes :3

stm
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Re: Heliostat power plant

Post by stm »

lilstrip wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:36 pm
On top of this they have the same downside as solar panels (no sunlight, no power) so in the end the only thing we would get is a solar panel you need to hook up with pipes :3
That actually is not true, since you can store steam a lot better (and more efficient) than electricity.
You also have more controll over steam via tanks and pumps than via accumulators and switches.
This would actually be similar to having an electrical boiler which creates steam from electricity and placing solar cells to create that in the first place.
This at least would solve the problem of a missing diode, since a the moment you can not adequately controll backup power to have a priority lower than accumulators (I would like e.g. to empty my accumulators and only then switch to backup power, but not load my accumulators from backup power, or I would like to use spare electricity to load up accumulators for my laser towers and not empty them from the normal power grid. This can not really be done (there are some ugly workarounds, but it dows not really work efficiently). Both would be (relatively) easy with steam, since you van build priority piping using pumps.
And by the way: In reality these kinds of thermal solar power plants are alo able to at least produce some amount of electricity during the night, even if not neccessarily at 100%.

From a gameplay perspective I am not shure welther it would be a good idea to add such a kind of powerplant, since it would add many more entities with little benefit (as I said using an electric boiler would enable the same behavior with creative pole placement and connections. It also would create a huge issue with regards to using solar cells and especially accumulators at all.
Stm

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Re: Heliostat power plant

Post by Aeternus »

But any steam/water based solution tends to carry a hefty performance penalty once scaled up.

lilstrip
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Re: Heliostat power plant

Post by lilstrip »

The benefits of solar are:

* It's lower tech, available earlier in the game.

* It takes no maintenance, except maybe defense.

* It is extremely UPS friendly, making it the only real choice for UPS constrained worlds.

The benefits of nuclear are:

* Extremely high power for a small footprint

* More interesting to manage; this is a game about managing resources.

Solar is a good thing to tech into early while your power needs are modest. Every Joule produced by solar is a Joule you don't have to produce with coal. This reduces coal demand and pollution.

When you get to the point of explosive growth your power needs will likely expand faster than your solar fields can keep up with. This is where nuclear shines. I recently plopped down a ~50 nuclear reactor power plant. Within half an hour I had about 8 GW of power generation, giving plenty of headroom for my factory to grow. Solar would have taken almost 200k panels and a similar number of accumulators to do the same.

Finally, in the late late game a factory tends to be constrained by UPS. It is at this point that solar once again shines. The game takes about as much computation to handle 1,000,000 panels as it does to handle 10, while nuclear setups have hundreds or thousands of fluid boxes to consider.
This guy brings alot of good points actually about UPS which is a major factor we forgot to take into consideration. Fluids slow down the game on large scale so maybe it could be solved by having a closed pipe system included in the tower itself to avoid having performance issues. Another thing is that the amount of work the devs would have to put into such a system that would basicly not give anything that beneficial for any factory would be kind of unfortunate considering the fact mods would be able to really make this system complicated and modular! I honestly would like to see this happen but not from the devs since its really going to effect only a small number of people gameplay wise :/ As a mod it would be great and hell, if I was able to 3d model right now (I should be able to do that in a few months) and make it work in game I would :3

But theres a system that could be made by the devs and this Would be even better than heliostat solar power and would provide 24/7 power indefinetly: Geothermic plant! of course it would have to be large but I think it would be cool to have a 20x10 tile geothermic plant that would generate reliable energy! I think that this would actually be worth it if the devs did add this but it would have to be EXPENSIVE to build and it would have to be large so that size would have to be a factor to take into consideration.

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