SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post all other topics which do not belong to any other category.

Do you prefer solar power or steam power?

Solar Power
52
30%
Steam Power
31
18%
Combination of Both
90
52%
 
Total votes: 173

Griffon0129
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:54 pm
Contact:

SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by Griffon0129 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:06 am

I've always kinda wondered what most people went with. I've google searched this, but no good results came back; most just explained how to use them.

One game I went with solar and was great during the day, but as soon as the laser turrets fired there went my accumulator reserves.
Now I'm trying steam but with 30 steam engines still not keeping up with consumption and the fuel is barely keeping up.

Also if you pick steam please say or direct me to good ways to get massive amounts of fuel for the hungry boilers and the type of fuel used.

EDIT: After reading the comments I added a 3rd option: combination of both steam and solar (and apparently by editing the poll it seems to have erased previous votes which was 2/3 solar and 1/3 steam).
Last edited by Griffon0129 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
MeduSalem
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:13 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by MeduSalem » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:39 am

Solid Fuel+Steam it is for me.

Solar Power is way too boring in my opinion.

Griffon0129 wrote:Also if you pick steam please say or direct me to good ways to get massive amounts of fuel for the hungry boilers and the type of fuel used.
If you aren't too picky on how to use Oil then I would say use a combination of 2/3 Light Oil Solid Fuel production and 1/3 Petroleum Gas Solid Fuel production. The ratio pretty much ensures to get rid of all the Oil and allows for stall resistant oil processing.

So for example I am using 480 Steam Engines, they produce 244.8 MW of power. Together they conusme 19.6 Solid Fuel per second (1175 per minute). To drive them I use following Refining setup:

16 Refineries
4 Heavy Oil -> Light Oil Cracking
6 Light Oil -> Petroleum Oil Cracking
40 Light Oil -> Solid Fuel
20 Petroleum Gas -> Solid Fuel

With the cracking ratio I use above I get:

13.2 Light Oil Solid Fuel per second
6.7 Petroleum Gas Soild Fuel per second
19.9 Solid Fuel per second in sum

All of the items above have Efficiency Module 2's inside them to decrease the energy overhead during the refining processes.

I know It could be a little bit more efficient... it could use a bit more Solid Fuel if I wouldn't crack Light Oil to Petroleum Gas, but since I am using the above setup also to provide Petroleum gas for my factory needs (Advanced Circuits etc) I am splitting off a bit more of that.
Last edited by MeduSalem on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

BlakeMW
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:29 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by BlakeMW » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:45 am

This question is more nuanced than a binary choice. All players start with steam (unless they have a mod) and transition to solar sooner or later, except for players who refuse to use solar for ideological reasons or are doing a speed run.

As a general rule Steam will serve you well up to 50-80MW or the first 10 hours of a factory (depends a bit on your coal and oil reserves though), bigger than that and it starts to get increasingly tedious and also solar gets relatively cheaper as the factory gets larger. But bear in mind you can easily launch a rocket on only 30MW so you don't need heaps of power unless want to use a lot of speed/prod modules or are building a mega factory. Also effeciency1 modules are usually a better investment than solar panels (in almost everything which takes modules except labs, an eff1 module will save you more power than a solar panel generates in a day).

Personally I'm a big fan of Steam/Solar, that's where you just get enough solar to provide day time energy requirements and have steam provide energy at night. It cuts fuel requirements by 70% so you need to spend less than 1/3rd the effort finding fuel for the boilers, and you don't need to invest in the full cost of solar/accu and you also don't get the downsides of solar/accu (i.e. blackouts). I find it a very happy compromise up to about 200MW of generation.

plaidwalker
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:14 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by plaidwalker » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:41 pm

I assume meaning long term? I always go for the "Set it and forget it" method if possible. Besides defenses and the such, I want to set have all my systems as independent as possible. Having steam power means I need to have a constant source of fuel rolling to my engines. Whereas setting up a solar farm would be more upfront cost but less maintenance assuming your defences are up to snuff.

BlakeMW
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 949
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:29 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by BlakeMW » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:08 pm

MeduSalem wrote:Solid Fuel+Steam it is for me.
...

All of the items above have Efficiency Module 2's inside them to decrease the energy overhead during the refining processes.
I'm also a fan of solid fuel. But technically I think productivity modules give a much greater benefit than efficiency modules, I'm sure someone has calculated this somewhere already, but I couldn't find it.

I'll just take a hypothetical setup of 3 solid fuel plants

Normally these will produce a solid fuel in 2.4s, the chemical plant consumes 210kW so the total is 504kJ or 100kJ with eff2 modules.

For 3 chemical plants with eff2 modules:

3 light oil -> 3 Solid Fuel = 75MJ - 0.3MJ = 74.7MJ

Now we use 2x prod3 modules in the chemical plants and add a single 2x speed3 beacon:

The chemical plant has a crafting speed of +20% so crafts in 2s, it consume 693kW so the total is 1.4MJ
The beacon uses 480kW so consumes 0.96MJ, this is shared between the 3 chemical plants.

3 light oil -> 3.6 Solid Fuel = 90MJ - (4.2MJ + 0.96MJ) = 84.84MJ

That is a 13% increase in net energy yield for using prod3 and speed3 modules instead of efficiency modules.

(The astute reader will notice however, that I've so far neglected the fact that Boiler efficiency is only 50%, so if the electricity is coming entirely from steam power we actually need to divide the fuel value by 2 but keep the machine consumption values the same, in this case we get 36.9MJ net profit for eff2 modules and 39.84MJ net profit for prod3 modules: only a 9% increase instead of the 13% increase if we assume electricity comes from Solar).

1 speed beacon to 3 chemical plants is not a great configuration, you'd probably be using something like 8 beacons to 6 chemical plants with the beacons also benefiting refineries or other things, in this case the chemical plant has a speed of +370%, with a crafting speed of 5.875 it crafts a solid fuel in only 0.51s and even with an energy use of 1.7MW only consumes 0.73MJ per solid fuel crafted due to the productivity bonus and very short crafting time, and while the beacons are also consuming a fair bit of power it is shared over many machines and comes out to only a small amount per item crafted (perhaps 0.3MJ).

So I think with optimal usage of prod3 modules in refinery and chemical plants you can get almost 40% more net energy than with efficiency modules, or perhaps 30% if you're running purely on solid-fuel based steam power. Efficiency modules are still great to use in other machines if you want to improve your energy balance, but the argument in favor of productivity modules in oil refining line is very compelling.

zytukin
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 215
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:14 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by zytukin » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:23 pm

On my first fac still and using steam power.
Have had it up to 80MW of usage

Will I transition to solar like some people think everybody does? Have seen people say that many places and times.
Maybe, maybe not. Depends on a few factors.
Will I run out of space to place steam engines near water? Probably not as my map has plenty of it
Will gathering coal/oil ever become too tedious to make running steam engines worthwhile? Possibly, they are (nearly) finite resources
Will it be logical to place fields of hundreds of solar panels to power my factory? Depends on how I feel at the time.
Only time will tell.

Although I do feel like doing it just for the sake of building production lines set up to mass produce solar panels and accumulators.
And building/producing is honestly the thing I like most about the game.

User avatar
Tepalus
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:47 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by Tepalus » Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:45 pm

Same problem here with my laser turrets.

But has anyone ever tryed to separate laserturrets from the main power?

So you run all your laser turrets on steamengines, which can handle them better and the rest of your factory you run on solar panels and accumulators? Because your main factory don't use the energy differently, you can balance it with solar panels.

The turrets can safe your factroy because of a different electric-network even when your accumulators run out. For more bonuses you simply use the first level inserters to they can feed the boilers without electricity needed.
Factorio in a Nutshell
try and error, try and error, try and success
once again it is friday, once again i'm waiting for the news
hour for hour for hour it goes, where it stops nobody knows

NomisCode
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:29 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by NomisCode » Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:22 pm

Tepalus wrote:Same problem here with my laser turrets.

But has anyone ever tryed to separate laserturrets from the main power?

So you run all your laser turrets on steamengines, which can handle them better and the rest of your factory you run on solar panels and accumulators? Because your main factory don't use the energy differently, you can balance it with solar panels.

The turrets can safe your factroy because of a different electric-network even when your accumulators run out. For more bonuses you simply use the first level inserters to they can feed the boilers without electricity needed.

Hello, i use basic battery to erase energy problems with laser turrets
Please consider English is not my native language. :D

User avatar
MalcolmCooks
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:32 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by MalcolmCooks » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:45 pm

Griffon0129 wrote:Also if you pick steam please say or direct me to good ways to get massive amounts of fuel for the hungry boilers and the type of fuel used.
I think coal can still sustain very large steam power plants. Best way is to have coal mining outposts connected by trains. However solid fuel is also an option, but you need to start oil processing, which itself requires quite a lot of electricity. If you aim to have set up coal supply from outposts to your main base before starting large-scale oil productions you should be fine
Tepalus wrote:But has anyone ever tryed to separate laserturrets from the main power?
I would like to try this actually. Copper cable in your inventory can be used to rewire power poles manually, so you can have seperate networks close to each other.

mooklepticon
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:09 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by mooklepticon » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:21 pm

Tepalus wrote:Same problem here with my laser turrets.

But has anyone ever tryed to separate laserturrets from the main power?

So you run all your laser turrets on steamengines, which can handle them better and the rest of your factory you run on solar panels and accumulators? Because your main factory don't use the energy differently, you can balance it with solar panels.

The turrets can safe your factroy because of a different electric-network even when your accumulators run out. For more bonuses you simply use the first level inserters to they can feed the boilers without electricity needed.
I've done something like this. For my main factory, I use steam and solar. For my mining operations, solar only.

I run all my miners on solar and buffer the inventory into chests. I always end up mining faster than I can process, so I don't need them run 24/7. With inventory buffers, this helps even more. The furnaces are run on the main grid, so they run all night, as they're throughput time limited.

Laser turrets still spike my main grid. I need more petroleum for batteries!!! (Or copper mining needs to give sulfur! Copper sulfide, anyone?)

User avatar
MalcolmCooks
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:32 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by MalcolmCooks » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:39 pm

mooklepticon wrote:
Tepalus wrote:Laser turrets still spike my main grid. I need more petroleum for batteries!!! (Or copper mining needs to give sulfur! Copper sulfide, anyone?)
Could try using hot water storage instead. Set up some extra steam engines connected at the back of your main ones via some tanks. when steamies are running under max capacity the tanks will fill up with hot water, and then when your grid spikes, the steam engines at the back will draw hot water from the tanks instead. I've not tried it myself but apparantly it's a good alternative if you can't afford accumulators.

I am going to try a variation of this on my new world, by putting the extra steam engines on a seperate grid that powers the laser turrets only. What I'm hoping is that then when my laser turrets aren't firing at all, the backup engines will switch off completely and the tanks will fill up faster. Then I can roll out laser turrets faster because I can use all my batteries for laser turrets

Griffon0129
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:54 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by Griffon0129 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:47 pm

Tepalus wrote:But has anyone ever tryed to separate laserturrets from the main power?

So you run all your laser turrets on steamengines, which can handle them better and the rest of your factory you run on solar panels and accumulators? Because your main factory don't use the energy differently, you can balance it with solar panels.
That's a really good idea! I've seen other people say they like this idea too so I think I'll try this now.

zytukin
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 215
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:14 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by zytukin » Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:57 pm

ok, I made the switch.
I set up a bunch of assemblers and mass produced Solar Panels and Accumulators.

My factory now has 2,880 Solar Panels for daytime power and 4,800 Accumulators for night time power.
Total capacity, 174MW from solar and 24GJ backup.

byronczimmer
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:53 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by byronczimmer » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:18 pm

As I understand it, Laser Turrets are priority 1 on energy draw, everything else will yield power to the Laser Turrets if they want to fire.

Laser Turrets only need to fire if there is an enemy within range.

Laser Turrets that don't fire on an in-range enemy are about to become very expensive Biter food.

Why would you want to override that behavior and restrict the energy grid that the Laser Turrets draw from?

If anything, I think you'd want some way to "reroute all power" so that the only thing that stays powered besides the Laser Turrets is whatever is feeding the main power system its fuel, be it coal, solid fuel from oil processing or whatever. Let the rest of the factory come to a grinding halt, we have Biters incoming!

What am I missing here? Why do we want a "separate" energy grid dedicated to the Lasers?

User avatar
MalcolmCooks
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:32 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by MalcolmCooks » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:50 pm

byronczimmer wrote:Let the rest of the factory come to a grinding halt, we have Biters incoming!

What am I missing here? Why do we want a "separate" energy grid dedicated to the Lasers?
....because letting the rest of the factory grind to a halt is not acceptable for some :lol:

Griffon0129
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:54 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by Griffon0129 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:17 pm

byronczimmer wrote:What am I missing here? Why do we want a "separate" energy grid dedicated to the Lasers?
Yes the power does get rerouted when all on same grid, but with main factory on solar and lasers on steam they're always online 24/7 with max energy. The rest of the factory may run out of accumulator energy but lasers are still running at 100%

byronczimmer
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:53 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by byronczimmer » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:22 pm

Griffon0129 wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:What am I missing here? Why do we want a "separate" energy grid dedicated to the Lasers?
Yes the power does get rerouted when all on same grid, but with main factory on solar and lasers on steam they're always online 24/7 with max energy. The rest of the factory may run out of accumulator energy but lasers are still running at 100%
Given:
Power grid "A" (Solar) powering the Factory at 100%
and
Power grid "B" (Steam) powering the Lasers at 100%

Wouldn't Powergrid "C" (combined grids A + B) fully power everything?

MalcolmCooks wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:Let the rest of the factory come to a grinding halt, we have Biters incoming!

What am I missing here? Why do we want a "separate" energy grid dedicated to the Lasers?
....because letting the rest of the factory grind to a halt is not acceptable for some
If the factory is still running while the lasers are @ peak, wouldn't that mean that grids "A" and "B" combined would also be sufficient?

aka: "A" + "B" = "C"


So again, what is the benefit of separated power systems?

User avatar
MalcolmCooks
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:32 pm
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by MalcolmCooks » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:36 pm

Besides just the interest of creating and completing a challenge?
With steam, then it becomes easier to see when you need to increase your power production
If you have enough generators to handle the peaks from laser turrets, then remember that the load is always distributed evenly between all your steam engines, even if in your head some of them are designated as backup generators. As you expand your factory you will reach a point where your power production is not enough to handle peak demand, but you can't tell (without working it out) until you actually get attacked and your factory grinds to a halt. Seperate systems is a way that the "backup" generators actually remain switched off when they are not needed by the laser turrets.

zytukin
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 215
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:14 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by zytukin » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:47 pm

byronczimmer wrote:So again, what is the benefit of separated power systems?
A lot of things are just personal preference.

Is there a benefit to me stockpiling hundreds of thousands of iron and copper ore? no.
I could just mine the stuff as needed and let it stay backed up until used.
But, I don't like seeing backed up conveyors, etc

User avatar
tehroach
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:04 am
Contact:

Re: SOLAR or STEAM [poll]

Post by tehroach » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:19 am

I am a purest and run only Steam, because I like playing in the mindset of a 1900's industrialist; Biters are the "Greenies" and they are my enemy! :P LOL

Due to my game play preferences involving alot of trains, logic networks and attempts to reduce temporary infrastructure (a large percentage of my initial base will still be used during end-game)
ie
the factory that produces my first car will construct all my cars for the entire game
all but my first lab that researches automation, my labs will not move.
I will upgrade stone furnaces to steel ones because I will use the old furnaces to create boilers, but not upgrade steel furnaces to electric ones and only use electric furnaces in installations built after the research.
Some parts of my initial base may remain derelict until a suitable spot for a train-station and re-purpose is found.
I generally will only mass demolish mines, but leave their defensive structures and train stations intact, as these areas will provide proven safe spots to build higher tier tech.

Probably the main reason that I don't go the path of mass Solar Panels and Accumulators is because of the settings that I play on!
As going green results in a less than satisfactory biter development.

Although I so find having a solar panel or two on hand is often very handy while setting up inserters at outlying mine train-stations prior to your sparky laying the main power line :)

My settings
Map Generator:
Terrain segmentation: Normal
Water: Medium
Iron Ore: Low/Big/Good
Copper Ore: Very Low/Big/Good
Stone: Medium/Normal/Good
Coal: Very Low/Big/Good
Crude Oil: Very Low/Medium/Very good
Enemy bases: High/Medium/Regular
Starting area: Very Big

Peaceful mode: OFF

Evolution:
/c game.map_settings.enemy_evolution.time_factor = game.map_settings.enemy_evolution.time_factor * 0
/c game.map_settings.enemy_evolution.pollution_factor = game.map_settings.enemy_evolution.pollution_factor * 2
/c game.map_settings.enemy_evolution.destroy_factor = game.map_settings.enemy_evolution.destroy_factor * -0.2

byronczimmer wrote:
Griffon0129 wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:What am I missing here? Why do we want a "separate" energy grid dedicated to the Lasers?
Yes the power does get rerouted when all on same grid, but with main factory on solar and lasers on steam they're always online 24/7 with max energy. The rest of the factory may run out of accumulator energy but lasers are still running at 100%
Given:
Power grid "A" (Solar) powering the Factory at 100%
and
Power grid "B" (Steam) powering the Lasers at 100%

Wouldn't Powergrid "C" (combined grids A + B) fully power everything?

MalcolmCooks wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:Let the rest of the factory come to a grinding halt, we have Biters incoming!

What am I missing here? Why do we want a "separate" energy grid dedicated to the Lasers?
....because letting the rest of the factory grind to a halt is not acceptable for some
If the factory is still running while the lasers are @ peak, wouldn't that mean that grids "A" and "B" combined would also be sufficient?

aka: "A" + "B" = "C"


So again, what is the benefit of separated power systems?

I think the simple answer to your question lies with the order in which the networks will draw power
1. Solar Panels
2. Steam Engines
3. Accumulators

in the A B setup the Laser turrets will draw all of their power from the steam engines and the factory will draw no power from the steam engines.
Hence you will only burn fuel during bitter attacks and can simply balance Solar Panels:Accumulators in an optimal ratio based on your factory's needs.

in the C setup the Laser turrets and the factory will use the steam engines as their secondary power source.
Hence you will be burning fuel every night and only use Accumulators once steam engine output capacity is reached

In this case A B is greater than A+B=C because you get more use out of your Accumulators for running your factory and laser turrets have no effect on your factories power.

Post Reply

Return to “General discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mergele