Electric energy

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izawwlgood
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Re: Electric energy

Post by izawwlgood » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:46 pm

Wow, there is a lot of scaremongery misinformation about nuclear power in this thread.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by Wyrm » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:26 pm

izawwlgood wrote:Wow, there is a lot of scaremongery misinformation about nuclear power in this thread.
Yes. With no disrespect to bobucles, he has essentially swallowed hook, line and sinker the anti-nuclear FUD that has been going around. One of the big advantages of nuclear is that, because the fuel has high energy density, you don't need very much of it, and you don't have to process very much of it to get what you need. This exposes much fewer people to the risk of routine accidents. No matter how you look at it, biomass is going to call for the processing of tens of billions of tons of materials in some way, and the notion that this can be done without risk or significant injury is folly.

And, yeah, if we want to get that energy from the current biosphere, we would in fact have to burn it. Otherwise, we would have to create a new biomass of comparable size tailored to our needs which can only come at the expense of the current biosphere — leading to the basket case scenario I described earlier.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by bobucles » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:49 pm

What? There are legitimate places where nuclear power is the way to go. It does NOT belong in every single corner of the world.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by izawwlgood » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:40 pm

Sure - some undeveloped regions should continue burning peat, because it's close and available. Then they should be connected to the grid and given things like antibiotics and vaccines and welcome with open arms into to the 21st century.

The anti-nuclear rhetoric you were spouting bob was a mess of misinformation.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by Raulfin » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:33 am

I just started playing the game a week or so ago and figured I would join the conversation on what the devs are proposing and the first topic I look at is 3+ pages and months of arguing over the potential real world misuse of nuclear power and fears surrounding it and only 2-3 passing mentions of in-game potential.

As a new user the Development Proposals forum is an early stop to see and weigh in on the direction/future of the game, this topic has literally turned me off from ever wanting to join a conversation on this forum, whoever the moderator here is should be completely ashamed of letting the designated area for dev/user discussion get to such a state, let alone let it stay this way for months.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by bobucles » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:26 pm

You are certainly free to carry an optimistic view where everyone is friendly and smart and plays nice, izawwlgood. It's good having people who look towards a better future. But humanity at large is still pretty shitty. No matter HOW safe the components are, nuclear power does not play nice if the people are not nice. So a nuclear powered particle accelerator or mobile command base is pretty cool because everyone's probably on the level. If you suggest nuclear as a viable option for a miserable war torn hellscape like Detroit, you're only gonna get slapped. Other options are needed in this world, not just low risk options but options that can never become high risk no matter how hard some idiot wants to try.
only 2-3 passing mentions of in-game potential.
Why not try it for yourself? Atomic power is an old mod that has the player harvest atomic ores and purify them to power large scale steam engines.
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=64

As an energy source it requires more steps, more factory, and ultimately produces more energy than classic coal burners for probably less land space. The four major balance hurdles are:

1) Map generation already provides enough coal to power a reasonable base for a good length of time. Coal too good.
2) After coal is exhausted, the player can provide a decent amount of power from depleted oil wells. The estimate is around a steady 1.8MW per empty well.
3) Solar power 3 good. There are no cloudy days or eclipses or anything like that which alter the reliability of solar panels. They work all day every day and there is no need to have a backup power source.
4) Smaller real estate isn't that big of a bonus because the player has infinite land that is basically free. The map expands forever.

TLDR: The player simply doesn't NEED new types of power generation because the classics never become obsolete.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by Vin » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:58 pm

bobucles wrote:3) Solar power 3 good. There are no cloudy days or eclipses or anything like that which alter the reliability of solar panels. They work all day every day and there is no need to have a backup power source.
This is the only issue with base game power. Solar and the storage for solar is basically cheating. There are no moving parts, no maintenance, no resources to gather, and is 100% reliable. Power generation is a bit of a letdown because the entire rest of the game is about moving parts and factories and automation, but the process of generating infinite power is simply click for panel, click for accumulator, enjoy 42kw until the end of time.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by ssilk » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:57 am

Raulfin wrote:this topic has literally turned me off from ever wanting to join a conversation on this forum
I'm sorry for that, but controversial themes are most often being discussed .... controversial. :)

I wondered for example, that this is discussed so deep, while other themes like the "Peace with Aliens" topic are not. I mean, we are playing here a game, where you can only win fast, if you make a genocide to the natives. If that is not controversial, what else? ;)
whoever the moderator here is should be completely ashamed of letting the designated area for dev/user discussion get to such a state, let alone let it stay this way for months.
Indeed I'm very proud to a community, where it is possible to have - even as moderator - an opinion, without having to fear about the fights or to split up the community. The result of the current discussion is, that there are very different opinions about this subject and that some might not accept the other opinion.

Much more, than other discussions.

Or how do you understand "letting the designated area for dev/user discussion get to such a state"? The direction of the devs are clear, the rest are opinions. Who am I, to delete others opinions, if they are discussed in the right topic?
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Re: Electric energy

Post by Fatmice » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:52 am

Koub wrote:I won't enter the debate of nuclear, clean energies, and all that IRL.
But gameplay wise, Nuclear in itself could be clean, BUT should produce wastes that would not be destructible, and would continuously and endlessly produce pollution.
I'm talking nuclear fission. Nuclear fusion would not have these drawbacks. It produces energy out of hydrogen and helium, with no radioactive byproducts. But it needs a shitload of energy to kick in. A nuclear fusion power plant could need a few 10s MW to start, and produce the double or triple as long as it's fueled with helium an deuterium.
I would be happy to indulge your idea if you can tell me how to implement such thing in lua without killing the script update. :P

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Re: Electric energy

Post by MalcolmCooks » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:35 pm

Vin wrote:
bobucles wrote:3) Solar power 3 good. There are no cloudy days or eclipses or anything like that which alter the reliability of solar panels. They work all day every day and there is no need to have a backup power source.
This is the only issue with base game power. Solar and the storage for solar is basically cheating. There are no moving parts, no maintenance, no resources to gather, and is 100% reliable. Power generation is a bit of a letdown because the entire rest of the game is about moving parts and factories and automation, but the process of generating infinite power is simply click for panel, click for accumulator, enjoy 42kw until the end of time.
Agreed :D
Compared to the rest of the game solar panels are just too easy. If nuclear power was added, then there would be room to reduce the effectiveness of solar panels to something more realistic and balanced. Night-time could be extended, cloudy/stormy weather could be added, and solar could be relegated to it's proper place: as only a backup source to take the load off your other power plants.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by orzelek » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:05 pm

MalcolmCooks wrote:
Vin wrote:
bobucles wrote:3) Solar power 3 good. There are no cloudy days or eclipses or anything like that which alter the reliability of solar panels. They work all day every day and there is no need to have a backup power source.
This is the only issue with base game power. Solar and the storage for solar is basically cheating. There are no moving parts, no maintenance, no resources to gather, and is 100% reliable. Power generation is a bit of a letdown because the entire rest of the game is about moving parts and factories and automation, but the process of generating infinite power is simply click for panel, click for accumulator, enjoy 42kw until the end of time.
Agreed :D
Compared to the rest of the game solar panels are just too easy. If nuclear power was added, then there would be room to reduce the effectiveness of solar panels to something more realistic and balanced. Night-time could be extended, cloudy/stormy weather could be added, and solar could be relegated to it's proper place: as only a backup source to take the load off your other power plants.
If you would be going in that direction then two more things would be missing:
1. Wind power - it's quite frequently used and would match up nicely with proposed terrain height (only effective at high terrain).
2. Something akin to current pump hydro plants - they are currently used for energy storage in large quantities. It can be simulated in game now with storing hot water but we are missing electrically heated water to be able to store energy at peak into water.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by ssilk » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:13 pm

orzelek wrote:...we are missing electrically heated water to be able to store energy at peak into water.
Small note:
There is a mod for that https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 93&t=13381 Electric boiler
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Re: Electric energy

Post by Rwn » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:13 pm

A relatively simple suggestion to make power management a little bit deeper. Also heavily based on real challenges faced in the power industry.

Currently, managing power is very straightforward : build a lot of coal-based steam engines (boilers and steam engines should be merged by the way, currently there's little point in having two different items whose sole purpose is to work together), always with far more power generation capacity than your consumption, then add accumulators to face power spikes due to laser turrets, then build huge layers of solar panels that take precedence over boilers to save on fuel and reduce pollution during the day (and if you're good, during the night too).

What I suggest is to add a property to power generation engines : flexibility. This property reflects the fact that power generation is not always reactive enough to match changes in consumption. To keep things simple (we don't want to mess with slopes in power generation), flexibility would be a scale between 0 and 100% and represent how much of the maximum power output of the engine is actually flexible.

Say the current steam engines have a 10% flexibility, with a 510kW generation capacity, this would means that 51 kW is flexible and 459kW is not. When the engine is supplied with fuel, it has to generate at least 459kW, then, depending on the consumption, it will generate anything between 459 and 510kW (instead of anything between 0 and 510kW as currently).

How would that affect gameplay?
- First it means that brainlessly building lots of boilers will make them eat far more fuel than necessary, even if you don't use up the power they generate. So it's something you can safely ignore early on or if you discover the game. But if you want to run things a bit more efficiently, you'll start to pay attention to how many boilers you build.
- Second, it makes you think about your flexibility needs and rewards steady consumption over spiky consumption. Say you have a steady base consumption of 8000 kW, with 17 engines, you'll have each of them running at 471kW and eat the corresponding amount of fuel. Now, because your factory isn't running perfectly seamlessly (some inserters are stopping then running all at once, you have laser turrets...), imagine that your consumption is usually at 8000 kW, but spikes occasionnally at 12000kW. To ensure security of supply, you'd need 24 boilers (24*510 = 12240), but those boilers will always run at least at 90% of their capacity, which is equal to about 11000kW. In other words, outside of the consumption spikes, you'll burn nearly 40% (11000/8000) more fuel than necessary. The higher your spikes are, the more boilers you'll need, the more fuel you'll waste outside of spikes. A smooth, regularly working factory will be easier to supply in power than a factory with lots of irregularities, congestion, manual interventions to pick up/drop items, etc. Again, it's not something that will overwhelm the new player (at worst it means wasting fuel), but will make building a clockwork factory more rewarding.
- Also, as a side effect, it would make laser turrets less of an obvious choice to replace gun turrets since they have a high "hidden cost" due to their spiky consumption.

Now, once you have this flexibility property, you can implement a range of new ways to generate and manage power each offering interesting variations :
- Basic steam engine, 510kW, 10% flexibility -> good for early game, where you have a low consumption and don't really care about wasting fuel in a few steam engines.
- Large steam engine, 2500kW, 10% flexibility -> replaces 5 basic steam engines on the paper, so you save a bit on room, but be careful, it's still only 10% flexible, but with 5 times the capacity, so if it's underused, you'll waste a lot more fuel.
- Oil/gas turbine, 510kW, 50% flexibility -> In addition to using a different type of fuel (heavy oil, light oil or petroleum gas), this engine offers more flexibility and is thus a good complement to the basic engine.
- Nuclear plant, 50 MW, 0% flexibility -> Behemoth of production, but no flexibility, so it's only something you want to use if you have a really big factory otherwise you'll waste a lot of energy.
- Solar panels/wind turbines, ???kW, 0% flexibility -> no fuel consumption, so flexibility is mostly irrelevant. However, unlike thermal plants (in which it's easy to disconnect a turbine or reduce the actual power generation while the steam is still there), with renewables you have to consume all the power generated - if consumption is not sufficient to eat up all the renewable production, those renewables will slowly get damaged. Ultimately, this means that renewables will be excellent to supply most of the "baseline" consumption of the plant, but covering a spiky consumption with excess renewable capacity won't be a good idea; you can't just cover huge areas with solar panels to solve all your power problems.
- Accumulators, 100% flexibility -> an easy way to solve flexibility issues in complement to designing a healthy production mix and a steady consumption, but they don't come cheap (or at least, shouldn't). They could possibly also have an efficiency cost (say, to store 1MJ in accumulators, you'll need 1,1MJ, and when discharging, you'll inject only 0,9MJ on the grid - nearly 20% of the energy is wasted in the storage process) to put a price on their use.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by bobucles » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:29 am

A relatively simple suggestion to make power management a little bit deeper.
That's not simple at all! Simple is just giving steam plants a few hundred kJ of accumulator capacity. Like a second's worth. Consider it some kind of spare inertia in the motor.

Accumulators explicitly exist to handle frequent, medium term spikes in demand.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by ssilk » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:34 pm

Quite interesting idea. It is more or less like having a power drain (most devices in Factorio have a standby power drain).

I think for an updated version (5 times the power or so) of the steam engine it could make sense: It cannot stop imediatelly, it takes a minute or so to heat up and also to cool down, so it is quite inefficient, if you let it just run on demand; like in real world we have smaller power supply, which can react very fast on changing demand and big power plants, that are only efficient, if you manage them to run around the clock with the same power output.
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Re: Electric energy

Post by Rockstar04 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:10 pm

ssilk wrote:Quite interesting idea. It is more or less like having a power drain (most devices in Factorio have a standby power drain).

I think for an updated version (5 times the power or so) of the steam engine it could make sense: It cannot stop imediatelly, it takes a minute or so to heat up and also to cool down, so it is quite inefficient, if you let it just run on demand; like in real world we have smaller power supply, which can react very fast on changing demand and big power plants, that are only efficient, if you manage them to run around the clock with the same power output.
I've always wished that even normal steam engine had a ramp up period.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by ssilk » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:03 pm

Well, they have. More or less it's the "weight of the water". It takes some milliseconds until the water flows if you go to the limits of what a pipe can handle. You can see this effect barely, only in extreme situations. It is much lower, if you put some storage tank at the end of the line.

Sorry. And it's also not what's wanted. But I wanted to mention it. :)

But I've a bit different opinion to this. I don't think the current steam engine should take a ramp up period, cause the current game as it is is complicated enough for beginners. And it adds at this stage of the game just some hassle without making more fun. My opinion.
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Re: Electric energy

Post by Smarty » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:22 pm

ssilk wrote:But I've a bit different opinion to this. I don't think the current steam engine should take a ramp up period, cause the current game as it is is complicated enough for beginners. And it adds at this stage of the game just some hassle without making more fun. My opinion.
keep the basic steam engine the same but have another steam engine which you have to unlock through research, that has a ramp up time but produces more energy. The basic steam engine produces 510kj and the upgraded steam engine produces 1mj but has a ramp up time

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Re: Electric energy

Post by jacob021302 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:23 pm

I like this idea.

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Re: Electric energy

Post by ssilk » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:16 pm

I like it too, because see above:
ssilk wrote:I think for an updated version (5 times the power or so) of the steam engine it could make sense: It cannot stop imediatelly, it takes a minute or so to heat up and also to cool down, so it is quite inefficient, if you let it just run on demand; like in real world we have smaller power supply, which can react very fast on changing demand and big power plants, that are only efficient, if you manage them to run around the clock with the same power output.
;)
... Ok, I didn't just double the output, I made it 5-10 times larger. In that case the ramp-up time also increases (of course). In the end it's a matter of balancing. But that idea as whole makes sense, cause it is a good reason to use more circuits and power switching, but doesn't force the player to do anything.
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