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Author Topic: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1  (Read 14766 times)

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Offline samielb

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Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« on: January 06, 2010, 04:34:44 PM »
I have seen several threads complaining that Nuclear Power Plants(NPP) simply do not compare to the production of the Solar Arrays (SA). Additionally, they complain that the cost of nuclear isn’t fair given its limited usability. From a cursory glance I can see why some come to this conclusion; however, careful analysis is necessary to get to the truth.

In an effort to make this easy to read, and avoid a long boring post that no one will read, I will be posting several chapters over the next few days analyzing the costs, production and efficiency of the solar array and nuclear power plant.  

And while I am sure there will still those that I will never reach nuclear enlightenment, I simply feel the need to at least give everyone a opportunity. Bottomline, if you need more fields on your colony, and don't want to spend the credits to get them, nuclear will is the way to go.  Today, we will look at the Solar Array (SA) and begin our journey to nuclear nirvana.

Analysis: Solar Arrays
Solar Arrays (SA) are a cheap source of power.  The formulas for their construction and production are very straight forward, and easy to understand.  In fact, they are such a simply formula that a simple easy to read table can be found on the Solar_Array wiki page.  For all intents and purposes, this information could have been hard-coded into the game assuming space considerations were not an issue and BFG didn’t see the simplicity of using a formula.

Construction Costs
I will spare you the details of explaining the formulas; just refer to the chart if you have any questions.  Keep in mind that these values are cumulative so building a level 2 array is actually going to cost a total 187 ore, and a level 20 array has a total cost of 498,629 ore. Same with crystal level 2 costs 75 crystal and level 20 costs 132,939 crystal. A SA is a very inexpensive energy production facility; its limitation is the total amount of energy it produces compared to the number of fields it requires.

Energy Production
Once again the formulas for the SA are very cut-and-dry and the aforementioned table demonstrates it very easily. A level 2 SA produces 48 energy, and a level 20 SA produces 2,690 energy. There are no external factors that affect these numbers.  No matter what slot you are in or what maximum temperature you planet may have you will never have a change in energy production from a SA.

Efficiency
Because a SA requires no resources to operate its efficiency is affectively 1 or 100%, meaning that for every resource in you get 1 energy out, and at the moment this does not change.

Stay tuned tomorrow when we explore the costs of Nuclear Power Plants.
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Offline Optimus Octavius

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 05:11:25 PM »
Quote from: "samielb"
 .....No matter what slot you are in or what maximum temperature you planet may have you will never have a change in energy production from a SA.

Not gonna lie, at first I didn't believe you b/c on the wiki, it talks about the energy vs. hdryo otput, depending on where your planet lies within the system........

But, I have a slot 1, and a slot 15 planet, both with lvl 10 SA, and much to my dismay, you're right- they have the same enery output....

This makes me want to defenstrate many things...
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Offline Atuin

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 05:47:11 PM »
the difference in temperature and power output is for solar satalites not the array
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Offline Optimus Octavius

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 05:48:26 PM »
ah ok, thanks!!
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Offline Matt

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 09:25:08 PM »
The Solar Satellite should be mentioned too. At some point you will probably use it for all further energy needs, including totally replacing your Nuclear Plant. But it requires much defense to be built.
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Offline Vienneau

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 02:01:19 AM »
I can't wait for Chapter 2 of this page-turner!  How will I sleep tonight!?!?!

 :D

Looking forward to the analysis.
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Offline Llewelyn

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 09:05:38 PM »
Agree about the satellite, especially on low-slot planets - once you get to fairly high levels of solar or nuke, the cost of adding a bit more energy gets high, whereas solar sats still cost the same, provided you don't end up buying them every day 'cos they get destroyed.
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Offline poeticmotion

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2010, 06:55:49 PM »
My energy strategy:

Solar arrays and nukes can't be destroyed, solar sats can.

Nukes are undesirable due to their hydro consumption, but still useful for certain applications.

I don't build solar arrays past level 22. Up until 22, they're my preferred energy source. They can't be destroyed and they use no hydro. A lvl 23 costs 561k ore and 224k crystal, though; at that point, I'd rather spend my resources elsewhere.

At that point, I switch to solar sats and defenses to cover them. I put hard turtle shells around my main mining worlds. I use Laggynate's defense ratio of:

50 missile, 50 laser, 5 pulse, 5 particle, 4 gauss, 1 plasma, 10 ABM.

I continue to double this as needed.

Then I switch to solar sats as my new source of energy.

However, I build nuke plants as a back-up. I set them to 0% so they don't use hydro, and build them up to level 8 or 9. This provides partial backup for my solar satellites; If I get attacked and lose them, I can switch my nukes on and get some of that power back so I don't kill my mine production. A level 9 nuke replaces 22 solar sats; right now, I have 25-30 around my major worlds. So it helps, but after lvl 9, I don't want to spend more resources than that on essentially  a backup system.

I've never lost a solar sat; I fleetsave, so there's never enough at one of my worlds to be profitable. However, if someone's an idiot and attacks me anyway, or if my alliance is at war and someone hits me to take down my sats, I like being able to flip my nukes on and replace that power. Obviously, this is only viable with high-field planets.

It's probably overkill since my defenses are heavy enough that the debris from an attack would allow me to replace my sats pretty quickly, but nuke plants as backup works for me.
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Offline ThatOneGuy

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2010, 08:01:00 PM »
If you add up the cost of your Defenses, ignoring Hyrdrogen:
100K Ore
75K Ore 25K Crystal
30K Ore 10K Crystal
10K Ore 30K Crystal
80K Ore 60K Crystal
50K Ore 50K Crystal
60K Ore 60K Crystal
80K Ore

With all those resources, couldn't you INSTEAD just build one more level of Hydrogen Synthesizer and run your Nuke plant at full out?!

What am I missing?
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Offline poeticmotion

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2010, 08:06:59 PM »
My defenses are more than that, that's just the ratio that I use.

My defenses also protect my mine production. And, in case of emergency, help protect my ships.

I always fleetsave. No defenses will protect your ships. But if I have an internet outage or miss a fleetsave, my hope is that my defenses will deter some attackers and slow down an attack by forcing prospective attackers to group attack or gather more ship. I would never let my fleet sit on a regular basis, but if I miss a fleetsave once, it *might* help deter an attack long enough for me to get back and save them. There's plenty of people who can punch right through my defenses and take out my ships. There's a lot of people, though, who might be able to take my ships, but can't take them AND my defenses. It's limited protection, but it might help.
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Offline ThatOneGuy

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2010, 12:06:43 AM »
So your defenses have nothing to do with your Energy production, and thus your whole first post was... pointless? You said you used Helios with Nuke backup, and this was possible because of your great defenses. Now you say your great defenses are only a backup system in case fleet saving fails.

It seems you have an explanation for everything, but it ignores what you are explaining.

Bottom Line: Building Nuke plants to back up your Helios is a really stupid idea, even more stupid than building Helios in the first place.
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Offline poeticmotion

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2010, 12:44:50 AM »
ThatOneGuy = my defenses are also there to protect my Helios. They perform more than one function. My nukes are there in case someone throws a massive attack in and takes them out anyway, so that I can save my mine production and rebuild faster. After a certain level, I no longer find solar arrays to be worth the money. It's cheaper to do Helios with defenses, and a nuke backup, and my defenses also protect my overnight production and give my fleet a limited screen.

Once you build your solar array 12, come talk to me. I make enough in one raid to pay for a nuke 8 and it's worth it to have a backup. Solar array 23 costs the same as 5 proms and 6 Athena. No longer cost-efficient. Once you get past your Poseidons and play with the big boys, you'll understand more how the game works.
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Offline emailkanji

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 11:17:44 PM »
I am very curious to see what you have written about the usage of Nuclear power. I am always unsure about when to use it.
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Offline azzaron

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 10:28:53 PM »
Long story short:
Solar Arrays are way better than Nuke Plants when your Energy tech is low.
Nuke Plants are better than Solar Arrays once you get your Energy tech really high. For example, at Energy level 15, Nuke Plants outperform Solar Arrays (even taking into account the hydrogen consumption).
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Offline Perseus

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Re: Solar vs. Nuclear - Chapter 1
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 02:35:40 AM »
Quote from: "azzaron"
Long story short:
Solar Arrays are way better than Nuke Plants when your Energy tech is low.
Nuke Plants are better than Solar Arrays once you get your Energy tech really high. For example, at Energy level 15, Nuke Plants outperform Solar Arrays (even taking into account the hydrogen consumption).


Energy tech 15 costs over 13 million crystal, and I doubt anyone even has energy tech level 12. The players who could afford that just built another solar array on every planet.


I'll answer the solar vs. nuclear question for you guys:


1. You need both.
2. If your reactor produces more energy than your solar array, you did it wrong, and probably have a HUGE hydrogen shortage and find yourself unable to get enough for techs that require it.
3. Use sats to keep your reactor turned down. If you're afraid of your sats being wiped, build defenses.
4. Yes, high level solar arrays are expensive, but you need production power.
5. Using a reactor to power a hydro synth is a waste of resources unless you build sats later to relieve the reactor.
6. Use the reactor to power ore and crystal mine upgrades at first so that they can produce more OC for the solar upgrades.
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