Solar panels...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by andrew box, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. andrew box

    andrew box Commander

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    I tried fixing up the survival camp and find that the solar capacitor doesn't charge even if I turn almost all my devices off. That normal? I tried replacing the capacitor and making more panels, no change. Devices turn on, but the capacitor stays at 0.

    Also, are there plans to tweak output/consumption of devices? It would be cool if one could power the constructor with maybe 10-12 panel modules. As it stands, it takes what, 50 or so? Sort of makes a fully solar powered base impractical unfortunately.

    Am I doing it wrong?
     
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  2. Xango2000

    Xango2000 Captain

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    That's been my experience as well, they never charge the battery even with 20 panels unless you tweak the config file.
     
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  3. WolfEyes

    WolfEyes Captain

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  4. andrew box

    andrew box Commander

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    Thanks! I'll check it out.
     
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  5. andrew box

    andrew box Commander

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    Sorry, what sort of tweak to the config file? Thanks!
     
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  6. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Around lines 4558:

    Block Id: 1494, Name: SolarPanelBlocks
    Group: cpgSolar
    PanelAngle: 30
    SolarPanelEfficiency: 1.5
    Material: metallight
    Category: Devices
    Mass: 250, type: int, display: true, formatter: Kilogram
    MaxCount: 20, type: int, display: true
    Info: bkiSolarPanel, display: true
    IsOxygenTight: varies, display: true
    UnlockCost: 0
    UnlockLevel: 1
    TechTreeNames: Base

    Here I guess you could change the MaxCount and the SolarPanelEfficiency.


    The "capacitor" is just a deco device, I think it only needs to be "present" for the whole chain to "work". It's the first item in the config file but only has "power in" as value.
     
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  7. WolfEyes

    WolfEyes Captain

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    The capacitor is the battery and holds the charge. It needs to be connected to the build to work.


    https://empyrion.gamepedia.com/Capacitor_(Solar)

    It isn't necessary to tweak any config files. You just need a little bit of patience.
     
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  8. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Yes, like I wrote, but it is part of the "deco blocks" class and has no adjustable parameter apart from "power in". So as answer @andrew box, if he wants more efficiency/ speed to charge his battery, he can either put more panels (MaxCount) or boost the efficiency (SolarPanelEfficiency). This is what @Xango2000 meant by "tweaks to the config file".

    And wait.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  9. andrew box

    andrew box Commander

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    I have 8 panels I think. Now that I added a generator I see a whopping 4% in the solar capacitor. That's after several days/nights. That doesn't seem right, with the generator, shouldn't all the solar go straight to the capacitor? The 4 leds are green on the panels during the day.

    Edit - on a related note, can one customize the length or relative proportions of day/night? I'd like to make it 'summer and make nights a bit shorter than day. They're 15' each now, right?
     
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  10. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    The angle/ orientation of the panels is important. I put mine facing East, South and West to maximize capture, with the majority facing south.

    The playfield.yaml only shows "DayLength" of 24, and it seems split in two equal parts for day & night, since they plan to add "planet tilt" in 8.0 to allow longer days or nights to simulate seasons.

    One workaround could be to comment out (put # before lines) all "SpecialEffectsGlobal" other than "Clear" weather, since solar energy input varies with sky conditions... but that would also remove part of the challenge.
     
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  11. WolfEyes

    WolfEyes Captain

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    Ah. I see. So if he doesn't fill up his fuel tank (over time as I did) and have patience for a handful of days the capacitor won't charge very fast even with tweaks to the config. Correct?

    It took me a couple of days to figure out I needed to fill the fuel tank for the generator while the capacitor charged. Once I did that the capacitor charged fully in less than 48 hours.
     
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  12. WolfEyes

    WolfEyes Captain

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    So you know, I used a total of 12 solar panels on the Opportunity. 9 on top, 2 facing west and 1 facing east since there isn't any southern exposure to speak of without completely blocking that end of the build for me. lol
     
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  13. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    I just built a small base with 8 solar panels (facing south), 1 capacitor, 1 small generator, 1 fuel tank. Although I did not put any fuel in the tank, when I placed the generator it was already running, so I removed it. With the debug menu I sped up the game to 100 and the capacitor charged no problem. In fact it went to 57% in less than 24 hours.

    NewGame_0_2018-04-13_22-12-31.png
    At start with no fuel for the "magic" generator:

    NewGame_0_2018-04-13_22-12-49.png

    I added some fuel and started the base, then changed my mind and simply removed the generator. After some time passed, with generator removed earlier :

    NewGame_0_2018-04-13_22-14-28.png
    In the next morning I was at half capacity. But that's a "barebone" base... All devices draw energy, even "passive" devices like cargo boxes, so it's possible to exceed the solar panels capacity and see the capacitor charge not growing.
     
    #13
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  14. stimdealer0001

    stimdealer0001 Captain

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    Solar panels definitely need some fine tuning. You should be able to get plenty of juice from 6 panels as long as you're just running the basic starter base setup of consructor, food proc, lighting, etc.

    I'll be modifying this on my server's config file for sure! Maybe even up the limit to 30 or 40 panels too to make it more viable for late game.
     
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  15. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    OK. I removed the fuel tank and generator and the capacitor's charge is still building up.

    NewGame_0_2018-04-13_22-38-36.png
    NewGame_0_2018-04-13_22-38-44.png
    It went from 58% to 59% in less than two minutes. All we have to do is keep an eye on power consumption, and the capacitor should charge event without a generator & fuel.
     
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  16. andrew box

    andrew box Commander

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    Wait a minute, I'm a dumb ass. I've been looking at the "power" meter, not Battery. I'm not certain I even have a battery icon in the control panel. Let me run back to my base and take a look. So glad you posted pics!
     
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  17. andrew box

    andrew box Commander

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    Ok, yeah, battery is 40%, so apparently it's been charging a bit each day since installing the generator. Thanks for the help! I haven't played in a while and for some reason was looking at the power meter without even seeing the battery icon.
     
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  18. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    I think the power mechanics are somewhat funky... I added a generator and fuel tank, filled it and "started" the generator at night, and power for the base shows nothing...

    I put 1 lantern in front of each solar panel (at night) when battery is at 94%, I then add 6 T2 fridges, and the capacitor shows 94% all night (before I added the gen+fuel tank)... jumps at 100% as soon as sun rises.

    NewGame_0_2018-04-13_23-11-46.png
     
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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  19. WolfEyes

    WolfEyes Captain

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    I usually don't need the generator at all as long as I keep a close eye on consumption and don't go crazy with the constructor until the capacitor fully charges. Apparently, it was winter when I crashed so the weather was not being cooperative. Thus, the reason for the generator. Not enough sunlight to give much of a charge and I was tired of being in the dark and freezing my ass off at night. :p
     
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  20. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    I have to correct something I mentioned above: the first item in the config file is the "CapacitorMS" (MS = "mother ship" or CV) and it is not related to the solar panels / capacitor wee have for bases, which are at line 4558 & following.
     
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