User:Sir Fendi

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Hello! Welcome to my page! I am a contributor of Alt-F4 and my reddit account is here.


Here is a new page I am currently working on, inspired by Tutorial:Transport_use_cases:

Tutorial: Comparing Power Production Technologies

Overview

In vanilla Factorio, electric power can be produced from steam engines, steam turbines, and solar panels. Solar panels directly output power obtained from sunlight, while steam engines and steam turbines run by consuming steam, which can be produced in boilers or in heat exchangers. Heat exchangers can only work by being supplied heat from nuclear reactors (including the neighbor bonus), while boilers support a wide range of burner fuels, although most often they use coal or solid fuel.

Given these machines, the following power plant types emerge:

  • Boiler power plants (many types depending on the fuels used)
  • Solar power plants (solar panels for daytime supply and accumulators for nighttime supply)
  • Nuclear power plants (efficiency depends on nuclear reactor counts and arrangements, which determine the neighbor bonus)

Within these categories I would like to focus on 6 power plant subtypes:

  • Coal power plant - Mined coal is fed directly to boilers.
  • Coal liquification power plant (via solid fuel) - Mined coal undergoes coal liquification and the heavy oil produced is cracked. The light oil and petroleum gas is converted into solid fuel before being sent to the boiler. This process has been found to [double] the energy output from the coal.
  • Oil power plant (via solid fuel) - Advanced oil processing is used and the heavy oil produced is cracked. The light oil and petroleum gas is converted into solid fuel before being sent to the boiler.
  • Solar power plant - Solar panels and accumulators are placed at an appropriate [ratio] such that solar panels provide the daytime supply and accumulators the nighttime supply.
  • Starter nuclear power plant - There is a single nuclear reactor, being supplied by two centrifuges that run uranium processing. There is no Kovarex enrichment used.
  • Large nuclear power plant - Several reactors are used side-by-side to ensure a high neighbor bonus and Kovarex enrichment is used.


Each power plant setup listed has its own strengths and weaknesses. The comparison is in terms of the following factors:

  • Technology level - This refers to which science packs need to be produced to unlock the technology for this setup (0 = unlocked at start, 1 = automation science, 2 = logistic science, 3 = chemical science, 4 = production science).
  • Setup costs - in terms of materials needed to build the setup (copper, iron, steel, stone, coal, and petroleum gas).
  • Infrastructure dependence - As a special part of setup costs, this is a check on whether you need an active belt/train/robot network to keep the setup running.
  • Running costs - in terms of raw materials needed for fuel.
  • Space usage - in terms of how many chunks of space is required.
  • Pollution generation - in terms of how much pollution is generated per minute. We look at this factor both without modules and after adding efficiency 1 modules to every available slot.
  • Design complexity - in terms of how many rules and ratios to look out for while designing the setup.


Quick Summary Table

Power Setup  Coal (Burner)  Liq. Coal (Burner) Oil (Burner) Solar Starter Nuclear Large Nuclear (at scale)
Tech Level 0 4 3 2 3 4
Setup Costs Very Low Low Low Very High Medium Medium-Low
Infrastructure Dep. Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Running Costs High Medium Medium None Low Very Low
Space Usage Lowest Low Low High Medium Medium-Low
Pollution High High High None Low Very Low
Complexity Low Medium Medium Low Medium Medium-High


Setup Costs Table

Power Setup  Coal (Burner)  Liq. Coal (Burner) Oil (Burner) Solar Starter Nuclear Large Nuclear (1/20 scale) [I]
Avg. power (MW) [II] 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Copper 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Iron 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Steel 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Stone 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Coal 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Petr. Gas 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Infrastructure [III] 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Space (chunks) [IV] 1 2 3 4 5 6*

[I] - Reducing the scale allows [II] - [III]- [IV] -


Running Costs and Pollution Table

Power Setup  Coal (Burner)  Liq. Coal (Burner) Oil (Burner) Solar Starter Nuclear Large Nuclear (1/20 scale) [I]
Avg. power (MW) [II] 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Coal 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Uranium ore 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Iron plate 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Crude oil 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Sulfur 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Pollution 1 2 3 4 5 6*
Pollution M [V] 1 2 3 4 5 6*

[V] -

Plant Designs and Calculations

(setup costs via excel sheet) (notes notes notes, eg. 40MW reference point, no modules used at all) Power consumption: measure by running in game Factorio 1.1 Pollution: measure by running in game Factorio 1.1

40MW Coal Power Plant

(blueprint here) Included: Mines, steam production Excluded: Transportation infrastructure, power poles

40MW Liquified Coal Power Plant

(blueprint here) Included: Mines, coal processing, steam production Excluded: Transportation infrastructure, power poles

40MW Oil Power Plant

(blueprint here) Included: Pumpjacks, advanced oil processing, steam production Excluded: Transportation infrastructure, power poles

40MW Solar Power Plant

(blueprint here) Included: Only solar panels and accumulators Excluded: Power poles

40MW Starter Nuclear Power Plant

(blueprint here) Included: Uranium mining, fuel cell production, reactors, steam production Excluded: Transportation infrastructure, power poles, sulfuric acid production, iron ore mining and smelting

800MW Large Nuclear Power Plant

(blueprint here) Included: Uranium mining, fuel cell production, reactors, steam production Excluded: Transportation infrastructure, power poles, sulfuric acid production, iron ore mining and smelting