Portable steam engine

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Nefrums
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Portable steam engine

Post by Nefrums » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:36 pm

TL;DR
Power you modular armor the steampunk way

What ?
A steam engine for use in modular armor. Just add fuel and you get plenty of power for all your gadgets
Why ?
It is barely possible to use many of the modules for modular armor before geting the late game portable fusion reactor. Even when filling most of the space in the armor with solar panels the power is not enough to run a personal roboport, for any length of time. Mining the robots is currently the only practical way of doing this, but that feels more like an exploit.
A portable steam engine could fill this gap, and enable the use of modular armor earlier in the game. With the added inconvenience of having to refuel it periodically.

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darkfrei
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by darkfrei » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:03 pm

+1 for burner generator equipment

Sad_Brother
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Sad_Brother » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:29 pm

To burn all the woods, robot brings to you...

Mash
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Mash » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:31 am

Required material; burner inserter? (recycle unused item)

bobucles
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by bobucles » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:28 pm

This is more an issue with portable solar panels being so damn awful. NOTHING in factorio gains resource efficiency with tier, yet pocket fusion gives more output at a better resource efficiency than PSPs. That should be a glaring game design clue on just how bad they are.

The biggest and easiest fix is to fix solar panels straight up. Keep the recipe the same and boost the size to 2x2, giving 4 for the price of 1. Then have it pump out 50% more power, so 60kw instead of 10x4. That'll leave it in a good spot for players to have a useful entry level item that does useful things.

There is a secondary issue where the first, most important item you unlock for the modular armor is Night Vision. But if you try using NV, it's very obvious that solar panels don't work at night. It forces the use of a much higher tech modular battery in order to work at all, which in practice is just really dumb. While IMO it is better to remove NV and replace it with a lantern (for long winded reasons), the simple fix is to give NV enough energy to survive the night. All it takes is 120 seconds of energy storage (1.2MJ) and it'll wink out just as the sun rises.
Last edited by bobucles on Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Ace_W » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:29 pm

Mash wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:31 am
Required material; burner inserter? (recycle unused item)
Plus pipes, a red circuit or five, some steel, and maybe a boiler.

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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Sad_Brother » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:57 pm

To be fair... Steam engine need water.
Let it be burner engine instead.
Burner inserter and burner miner in recipe.

Aeternus
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Aeternus » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:00 pm

Given the 5x5 and 7x7 grids of earlier power armors, changing the panels from 1x1 is not recommended. A higher capacity panel could be useful but it'd have to be a better deal then fusion.
750kw/16 tiles = 46.88kw per tile with no drawback. Solar, to match, would need to do at least 75kw per tile (to compensate for the 2/3rds efficiency due to nightfall).

Nefrums
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Nefrums » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Aeternus wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:00 pm
Given the 5x5 and 7x7 grids of earlier power armors, changing the panels from 1x1 is not recommended. A higher capacity panel could be useful but it'd have to be a better deal then fusion.
750kw/16 tiles = 46.88kw per tile with no drawback. Solar, to match, would need to do at least 75kw per tile (to compensate for the 2/3rds efficiency due to nightfall).
Fusion should be more efficient as it is higher tech and more expensive.
A burner power source for modular armor should be the low tech variant, that needs to be manually refueled. It could probably have similar space efficiently compared to portable solar panels as boilers+steamengines has to normal solar panels.

It could even require water barrels in to run, in addition to fuel, so it would not be better than portable solar panels.

Tekky
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Tekky » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:20 pm

I think the best way to power your armor should be the ability to charge your armor from your base. This has been discussed in the following thread:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6866 Local power connector module for modular armor

Aeternus
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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Aeternus » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:49 am

I agree. A 1x1 "Base Power Connector" and a 3x3 "Thermoelectric Generator" (burner module without need for water) would be neat additions to any armor.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_generator

A TEG could also be a potential nuclear power conversion option. High material cost but would omit the problematic need for water at large nuclear power plants.

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Re: Portable steam engine

Post by Sad_Brother » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:01 pm

Nefrums wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:18 pm
It could even require water barrels in to run, in addition to fuel, so it would not be better than portable solar panels.
Do you really think you would use this? With constant flow of barrels in and out.
From he other side you have so many wood from forest cleaning...

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