Author Topic: Power Generation  (Read 1972 times)

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Offline Father Tim

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2019, 06:03:22 PM »
I would hate a power system that was simply another version of "input X minerals + Y wealth to output Z power."

BUT!

I would LOVE a power management system if it featured a widely diverse set of generators.  (As Zincat suggested above.)

For example:

Fossil fuel plants cost only wealth, not minerals to run, but produce Greenhouse gas-- excuse me, Aestium.

Nuclear plants cost only wealth, not minerals to run -- and, no GHGs.  BUT cost much more to build.

Solar plants base their output on stellar class and planetary albedo.

Wind plants based on planetary climate and/or dominant terrain.

Geothermal plants vary functionality widely by dominant terrain.

Raw Sorium reactors require Sorium, but very little (or no) wealth.

Refined-Sorium-fueled reactors more efficient than Raw Sorium, but requiring refined fuel.

etc.

Then, too, plants that vary in size and efficiency, allowing one to trade off between extra TNE to build but requiring fewer workers, and manpower-intensive plants that allow one to 'get by' with more conventional tech.

Basically, if I have to build a five-dimensional matrix to figure out the 'best' power plant for any particular colony, I'll like it a lot better than if the system is "Ordnance Factories for Electricity."
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2019, 11:15:19 PM »
How about a more abstract idea of power?
Planets can have anomalies which affect research, what about factors which can boost production?
A colony situated somewhere with geothermal energy could get a bonus to factory production, somewhere with a healthy biosphere could get a bonus to agriculture, the solar flux reaching a colony could affect both.
There could be a range of factors so that every type of production can have a bonus, it could provide more reasons to choose certain sites for colonization, as well as give some basic RP potential.
I wouldn't suggest such bonuses should be major, maybe capped at 50% if that, but once such a system is in place bonuses and the opposite could then also be applied as a result of battle damage in a more granular and interesting fashion.
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Offline Rabid_Cog

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2019, 11:51:30 PM »
Perhaps power's role is as a trade good instead of a fixed game mechanic? Specifically, a trade good that has an influence on the rest of your production, similar to Infrastructure: Power Cells.

Industry (Factories, Shipyards, mines) consume power cells. Every planet produces power cells based on:
Current population
Distance from the sun
Water coverage
Tidelocked or not
Up to a certain maximum based on all of the above as well as planet size.

Idea is that smaller colonies with little industry function as net exporters. Large, industrialized planets are net importers.
If you dont have enough power cells on your planet, you suffer up to a 20%(?) production efficiency loss, modified by what percentage of the requirement you do have.
Or maybe just a bonus if you have enough.
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Offline alex_brunius

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2019, 12:21:31 AM »
I would rather see power generation and management made more integrated into starship design instead down the line anyways. Full power to shields!
 

Offline DIT_grue

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2019, 12:45:59 AM »
Okay, Steve's already backed off from the idea, but I have to express my fundamental disagreement with an assumption almost everyone is making, apparently without thinking about it.

Any form of power generation that consumed sorium fuel (or raw sorium) would be a major change in the game and its lore.

Up to this point, reactors do not use up any TNEs in the course of their operations; the things that do - engines and shields - use fuel to transform power into work. My headcannon is that processed sorium affects the properties of the Aether - likely something such as viscosity or surface tension - and these components spray careful patterns of fuel out of the ship to achieve their effect.

(I tend to go further, and have TN engines use astonishingly little energy compared to what we are accustomed to consider necessary for spaceflight. This meshes unfortunately poorly with the dependence of engine techs on the reactor tree, but I'd rather ignore that than give up this interpretation, and haven't yet come up with a good reconciliation. And you can always require the expelled fuel to be activated by arcing energy through it, if you need shrieking generators in your ships' engines.)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 12:50:02 AM by DIT_grue »
 

Offline TMaekler

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2019, 03:27:21 AM »
Power could be an interesting option for military actions and sabotage. A very well fortified planet could be overrun by a sabotage action which switches off the power so none of the planetary defense does work.
Other than that I agree that its probably too unnecessary micromanagement. And this sabotage surely can be simulated differently.
 

Offline Whitecold

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2019, 12:10:52 PM »
Power could be an interesting option for military actions and sabotage. A very well fortified planet could be overrun by a sabotage action which switches off the power so none of the planetary defense does work.
Other than that I agree that its probably too unnecessary micromanagement. And this sabotage surely can be simulated differently.
And planetary defenses have separate independent power generators that don't rely on the planetary network, for exactly that reason besides battle damage. All STOs come with a built in power plant
 

Offline Barkhorn

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2019, 12:23:55 PM »
I've always been a big fan of huge, exoatmospheric construction projects, so I would love to include power as a mechanic.  You could have dyson spheres or other power generation satellites beaming power to your industrial centers.

I also would have power use heat planets up; even if you're not creating greenhouse gases, industry will generate waste heat.  And on an inter-stellar empire scale, this will be a LOT of heat.
 

Offline TCD

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2019, 02:18:48 PM »
If we're suggesting late game options around power then I think one interesting idea would to have anti-matter as the fuel for most advanced technology, and make it a "mineral" that needs to be produced. At lower tech levels then it can be assumed that standard micro TN reactors power pretty much everything. But as tech levels increase then energy density requirements would begin to limit tech improvement.

A new technology can unlock "Stabilized anti-matter production", where you discover the new anti-matter mineral. Most higher tech (weapons, engines, shields etc) consume anti-matter in addition to their usual requirements.

Anti-matter itself would require enormous amounts of power to produce. You could build basic fusion plant installations which would produce a trickle of anti-matter, but meaningful production would require large scale orbital facilities, or deep geothermal plants on certain worlds only, or solar farms close to a bright star etc.

I suppose it would be a bit like Civ where you're going along great, and then suddenly discover you need a source of coal to really advance to the next level.

And of course becoming dependent on a handful of gigantic but fragile anti-matter forges, perhaps on the edges of your empire, would be a very interesting new strategic challenge.

(This is C# 2.0 stuff I know, but as we're talking about it).
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2019, 11:44:15 AM »
Yeah, I agree that while it would be neat to have an additional mechanic, it should be more complex than just "build X facilities on every colony" thing, and it shouldn't be more micro-intensive than existing planetary/colonization mechanics. Having to ship Sorium or Fuel to every colony, or even just every manufacturing colony would be quite a pain.

Perhaps power's role is as a trade good instead of a fixed game mechanic? Specifically, a trade good that has an influence on the rest of your production, similar to Infrastructure: Power Cells.

Industry (Factories, Shipyards, mines) consume power cells. Every planet produces power cells based on:
Current population
Distance from the sun
Water coverage
Tidelocked or not
Up to a certain maximum based on all of the above as well as planet size.

Idea is that smaller colonies with little industry function as net exporters. Large, industrialized planets are net importers.
If you dont have enough power cells on your planet, you suffer up to a 20%(?) production efficiency loss, modified by what percentage of the requirement you do have.
Or maybe just a bonus if you have enough.
That's pretty good idea! It would be far less of a hassle for Steve to introduce an extra trade good, and it would be another incentive to settle planets/moons without TN minerals on them, as they would still produce infa and power cells for other colonies to consume. It doesn't even need to have have malus/bonus effect. Have the size of the manufacturing sector determine the demand for them.
 

Offline Whitecold

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2019, 11:57:19 AM »
Yeah, I agree that while it would be neat to have an additional mechanic, it should be more complex than just "build X facilities on every colony" thing, and it shouldn't be more micro-intensive than existing planetary/colonization mechanics. Having to ship Sorium or Fuel to every colony, or even just every manufacturing colony would be quite a pain.

Perhaps power's role is as a trade good instead of a fixed game mechanic? Specifically, a trade good that has an influence on the rest of your production, similar to Infrastructure: Power Cells.

Industry (Factories, Shipyards, mines) consume power cells. Every planet produces power cells based on:
Current population
Distance from the sun
Water coverage
Tidelocked or not
Up to a certain maximum based on all of the above as well as planet size.

Idea is that smaller colonies with little industry function as net exporters. Large, industrialized planets are net importers.
If you dont have enough power cells on your planet, you suffer up to a 20%(?) production efficiency loss, modified by what percentage of the requirement you do have.
Or maybe just a bonus if you have enough.
That's pretty good idea! It would be far less of a hassle for Steve to introduce an extra trade good, and it would be another incentive to settle planets/moons without TN minerals on them, as they would still produce infa and power cells for other colonies to consume. It doesn't even need to have have malus/bonus effect. Have the size of the manufacturing sector determine the demand for them.

Making trade more important would be a worthwhile undertaking. Energy is the least useful tradegood though. If you are talking electricity, producing it in situ is always the best option. Effects to other trade goods could be added without twisting logic too much.
Since TN reactors produce unlimited energy using Sorium and seems to break thermodynamics anyway, civilian energy needs are a nonstarter. Why ship material when you could just ground the ship and use power from the engine for all your energy needs instead?
 

Offline Bughunter

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2019, 01:12:08 PM »
Increasing power demands as your civilization grows eventually leading to Dyson spheres.. at least partial ones. Regardless of if we get a  power system or not gigantic constructions like that would be cool as end-game projects. If nothing else so just for the achievement of getting there.
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2019, 09:20:13 PM »
If I did power generation for buildings, I'd probably keep it simple.

Give each world a baseline power capacity. This is the combination of solar (based on distance from the sun, planet's surface area, and atmosphere) and any other "conventional" power like geothermal, and maybe tidal; wind is basically just solar power at a planetary level. This level of energy is "free" - if you have a colony on the planet it can draw on this power, maybe split for multiple colonies. You don't need to build solar/geothermal/etc plants because that would just be micromanagement. Maybe there could be a tech line, renewable power sources, that gives % increases.

If you want more buildings than the baseline power provides, you'd build sorium power plants - these wouldn't be too expensive, but would require refined sorium fuel to run, and would massively increase the available power. They could scale based on your reactor tech.

The end result of this would be more motivation to spread to other worlds, and not keep all your industry just on your home-world (something I admit I tend to do). I think it could work out.

If ever implemented this sound like a good way to do it. It would encourage spreading out heavy industry. I understand that factories obviously would be expensive and consume allot of energy in comparison with most other facilites. This is how it is in real life... industry (and mining) and its logistics consume by far the most energy.
 

Offline Rabid_Cog

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2019, 01:54:21 AM »
If power generation scales up so much with TN tech, won't power consumption also scale up? Also, sorium is valuable and relatively scarce compared to things like sunlight and wind, especially when you have multiple planets to access. Especially when you have TN materials to improve your efficiency in generating from these sources.

But Sorium would form a good fallback if the risk becomes reduced productivity. Modeling Sorium consumption due to lack of power will be a pain, though. Rather just make it a trade good with supply and demand generated as previously discussed with no other special mechanics. Just a way to make wealth, basically (it powers your civilian economy!).
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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Power Generation
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2019, 08:42:52 AM »
In my opinion I think Steve should not dismiss the use of power so easily.

If each planets have access to a certain level of "free" energy and we make mining and factory (including naval yards) production very power hungry we would have some nice effects from thing.

First thing is that you would need to consider both energy and mineral availability in the overall economic calculations. You would not just put 10.000 mines on a world and strip mine it and move on the the next one. You would be forced to really think when you want to over mine a world past the energy capacity based on availability of free energy versus the cost of using fuel to increase the industry/mining there above certain levels.

Things like labs, financial and other academic institutions are cheap and once you reach a planets free energy from heavy industry you would start adding these less energy consuming industries to have the local population occupied.

You might also try to keep population low and ship it of to the next mining or factory world.

In my opinion this would make the game add more options and choices and "force" us to build more realistic colonies that are less of a rock/parer/scissor type construction method with all mines, all factories etc... Smaller colonies would run mostly factories and mines, that makes sense but as population increase there should be more cultural and academic facilities showing up, this make sense.
 

 

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