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Make electricity great again

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:09 pm
by Gouttfi
the realism of the electricity could be increased without destroying the main gameplay mechanics of the game, introducing new basic physical rules.

What ?
I note that the game does not respect any of the fundamental physical rules related to electricity, I show you a simple example:
The 116MW produced by the plant passes only in this small copper cable, which in our world is pure madness.
The idea would be to introduce a power limit on the power grid. This limit could possibly vary depending on the type of electrical support,
if too much energy travels in a small cable, then it heats up and breaks (as in real life).

Here is a small example in pictures if the idea was developed:
This production line is powered by a single copper cable on a wooden pole. if I click on this pole, I can see, in addition to the general consumption throughout my plant, consumption directly downstream of this support, the screen would look like this:
At the top right is the power consumed downstream of the wooden pole, and its charge rate. If it exceeds a certain value, the electric wire breaks.
We can also see the addition of two buttons to choose a vision of "Global" or "Downstream" consumption.
Note : for this example, the break limit of electric wire was determined to 6141 kW.
Why ?
I am an electrician on high voltage grid, and it saddened me to see a feature so little exploited in this game. Adding these functions would make it easier for the player to better manage his power grid. The goal is of course not to make the management of electricity hard and unpleasant, In any case, I have simplified my idea to make it easier for those who do not know electricity in detail. However, it would still add a little difficulty, the problems could not happen only biters, but also the design of its own factory.
Just a small example of what can be made taking into account this system, in order to prevent electrical wires from breaking, we sectorise the power supply:
Note: I have so far not found a mod that realistically improves the power grid.

If you have questions, I stay close!
Forgive me for my uncertain english.
Thank you :)

Re: Make electricity great again !

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:33 pm
by Xeorm
There's other topics on the subject too if you want to look for them. TLDR of the issue is that the issue gets really complicated really quickly depending on how people build. Building a system that works 100% no matter how it's built, and that can be displayed to the user in a way that any user can grok is way beyond what they want to do.

Re: Make electricity great again !

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:31 pm
by MasterBuilder
There was actually an old mod that accomplished something similar to this: viewtopic.php?f=190&t=46715

It's for 0.15.x though. I don't know if anyone's tried to make an updated version though. It probably also has a large impact on UPS so use at your own risk.

Re: Make electricity great again !

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:23 pm
by Tekky
OP's suggestion has already been suggested in the following threads:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=57163 Power Management
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=55637 More realistic power grid
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=42652 Poles limit
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15543 Power Conductor Limit

Also related:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=61502 power switch to expose power transferred to circuit network
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=51585 Electric System Rework (thread with developer response)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=51050 energy transmission should have a diminishing return
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=42648 Watt limiter

As I have stated in some of these threads, simulating power flow would have a significant performance impact (bad UPS). For this reason, one of the Factorio developers stated that it is unlikely to ever get implemented (see thread with developer response).

Re: Make electricity great again !

Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:32 pm
by Gouttfi
Thanks for all theses links ! :)

Updated power distribution for 1.1

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:43 pm
by wosthisdo
There are lots of mods that play with power generation (most overpowered), but I'm hoping that Factorio 1.1 might update the power distribution system.

[Selectively copied from General forum since the idea is apparently not 'fun']
It seems silly to me to have GW of power going down a single thin copper string on a wood pole. If the power lines had a range of max throughputs it would give the incentive to upgrade to medium & big poles, put in step-down transformers, buffer with capacitors or pump storage etc. as power generators were expanded or uprated.

I expect it would be a challenge to code efficiently enough to keep ups up, but it would add a new dimension to planning and upgrading. We've all had brown-outs, but having to go around and replace all the copper wire that had vapourised under the load from a laser defence would concentrate the mind wonderfully .

I guess I just like the idea of having to plan and upgrade a proper power grid in the transition from startup - mid - end - megabase. The trade-off between robust/redundant grids and their logic vs brittle but cheap appeals to me. Maybe as a compromise the poles could take steady damage if their wires are overpowered so that bots could handle the maintenance most of the time, maybe with power switches wired as circuit breakers to protect from transients. I still think a major overpower event should vanish some of the wires (maybe the >50% damage ones).


" DarkShadow44 wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:03 pm

I don't think that will become part of the base game. It can be modded though... Do you mean something like ? I planned to bring that up to 0.18 at some point... "

Certainly something like that. Obviously 'fun' is different for different folks! I just think it's very overlooked - apart from poles I'm not sure it's been updated since the dark ages. I have no LUA experience but would be happy to devote some time to help develop a mod.

Re: Make electricity great again !

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:03 pm
by Koub
[Koub] Merged into older topic with same suggestion.
Also this dev answer to a loosely related suggestion about making the electric system more realistic lets me think it will never be in vanilla, and will have to remain in the mod realm :
Rseding91 wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:05 pm
Fuller wrote:... i still think that it's possible to rework the electric network with only a slight performance impact. ...
Then it's not likely to ever happen. Unless it can be done with zero additional overhead it's most likely never going to happen.
Source : viewtopic.php?p=301132#p301132

There is 0 chance one can add complexity without adding overhead.

Re: Make electricity great again !

Posted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:23 am
by ssilk
viewtopic.php?f=80&t=15546 Cable Resistance / Non-looseless Power Transmission

Re: Make electricity great again !

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2021 6:20 pm
by DarkShadow44
AFAIK this would require solving the complex graph problem of connecting any consumer to any producer. Every tick, since load changes.
Does anyone have / already proposed an idea to keep the computational complexity low?