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Difference between revisions of "Energy and work"

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(Work: capitalisation: unit names (but not symbols) are lower case, even though named after people)
(rewrite to correct some falsehoods and give more info, see talk)
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Energy and work are directly dependent.
 
Energy and work are directly dependent.
  
== Game physics is not reality ==
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For another explanation, see the [https://forums.factorio.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=33963 Forum].
  
The Factorio Game physics is quite realistic, but simplified. Please do not compare this definition to those of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_%28physics%29 real physics]. See also the [[Talk:Energy and Work|Talk-page]].
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== Definitions ==
  
Another explanation can be found in the [https://forums.factorio.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=33963 Forum]
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* '''Energy''' can be thought of as stored work. It is measured in joules (symbol J).
 +
* '''Work''' is the result of converting one type of energy to another. It is also measured in joules. (See the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_%28physics%29 Wikipedia article on work].)
 +
* '''Power''' is the rate of work - the amount of work done over a unit of time. It is measured in watts (symbol W). One watt is equal to one joule divided by one second, i.e. one joule per second.
 +
* '''Efficiency''' is the ratio between ''useful'' work done and the energy expended. It usually expressed as a percentage. Its unit would be joules per joule, but dividing something by the same thing cancels them out, so it is dimensionless.
 +
* '''Waste''' is the difference between energy consumed and useful work done.
  
== Work ==
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If you have a source of power and apply it over some time in order to perform some physical task, you have performed work, using a quantity of energy.
  
'''Work is "stored energy" or the "result of using power". If you divide the work into parts and release the parts over some time you have energy.
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See also [[Units#Work]].
  
Work is measured in [[Units#Work|joules]] (symbol J), which is one watt over the time of one second.
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== Types of energy ==
 +
Energy is available as:
 +
* [[Fuel]]. The energy contained in a unit of fuel is described as its ''fuel energy''. Each [[Fuel#Burner devices to be fueled directly|building or vehicle that can be fuelled]] generally consumes fuel at a rate according to its power rating as long as it's working. For example:
 +
** A car's power is 250 kW, meaning it consumes 250 kJ worth of fuel per second while it's accelerating (or driving at maximum speed).
 +
** [[Nuclear reactor]]s consume uranium fuel cells at a rate of 40 MW. Like most other fueled appliances, this is constant as long as it has fuel to consume.
 +
** Conversely, [[boiler]]s consume fuel at a rate according to their ''load'' (rate of steam being carried away), up to a ''maximum'' of their power rating.
 +
* [[Electric system|Electricity]] taken from the electric network.
 +
* Charge in [[accumulator]]s, [[Battery MK1|battery armor modules]], and flying robots.
  
See [[Units#Work]].
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Abstractly, energy also exists as:
 +
* The potential energy of a piece of ore or unit of oil/water on the ground or on/in a belt/pipe, compared to the same piece/unit under the ground/in the sea.
 +
* Kinetic energy in robots, vehicles, and items, and the player's avatar while moving.
 +
* The damage dealt by weapons, vehicles and fire.
 +
* The additional order (i.e. reduced entropy) in an assembled item compared to its components.
  
=== Types of work ===
+
== Types of work ==
 +
One can observe work being done in Factorio in numerous ways. Mostly these are abstract and not measured in game in joules. For example:
 +
* The player avatar moving his body and equipment around, mining, building, and crafting, performs work. Unlike in real life, this doesn't require any energy (i.e. your avatar doesn't need to eat); its efficiency is therefore infinite. On the other hand, biters and their spawners apparently absorb pollution and use its energy to move, bite, spit, and reproduce.
 +
* Transport belts and offshore pumps perform work by moving their contents from one place to another. [[Turret]]s perform work by rotating to aim and pulling the trigger. Unrealistically, but as a conscious design decision, none of these require a source of energy, and so their efficiency is also infinite.
 +
* Turrets (and other projectiles) also perform work by converting the chemical energy of a bullet's propellant to kinetic energy in the bullet itself, which itself proceeds to do work in the form of damage. [[Laser turret]]s convert electricity into damage rather more directly. [[Flamethrower]]s and [[flamethrower turret]]s convert the chemical energy of oil into damage.
 +
* Vehicles ([[car]]s, [[tank]]s and [[train]]s) convert the chemical energy of fuel into kinetic energy (i.e. motion). When they collide with things, they convert some of this kinetic energy into damage (which is why they then slow down).
 +
* [[Inserters]] and (non-offshore) [[pump]]s perform work by moving items and fluids from one place to another. This requires energy, either in the form of fuel (for a [[burner inserter]]) or electricity (for other types).
 +
* [[Burner miner]]s and [[electric mining drill]]s convert energy (in fuel and electricity respectively) into potential energy held by a piece of ore on the ground; [[pumpjack]]s do the same thing to put crude oil in a pipe.
 +
* [[Lab]]s perform work by converting science packs and electricity into research.
 +
* Machines that produce items, converting input products into output products ([[refinery|refineries]], [[assembling machines]] etc.), do work by assembling the components into a more ordered form, as a product. The resulting increase in order is a form of potential energy. Most use electricity to do this; the major exceptions are [[stone furnace]]s and [[steel furnace]]s.
  
Work is available (or storable) as
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The types of work that ''are'' measured in joules in game are:
* [[Fuel]].
+
* [[Boiler]]s convert the chemical energy of fuel into heat, which it transfers into [[water]] to produce [[steam]]. Boilers have an efficiency of 50%, meaning half the energy of the fuel is wasted rather than put into steam.
* Capacity in [[accumulator]]s.
+
* [[Nuclear reactor]]s convert the nuclear energy in [[uranium fuel cell]]s into heat. [[Heat exchanger]]s then transfer this heat, conveyed by [[heat pipe]]s, into water, producing steam.
* [[Steam]]. It can be created in [[boiler]]s or [[heat exchanger]]s and stored in a [[storage tank]].
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* [[Steam engine]]s and [[steam turbine]]s turn the energy stored in steam into electricity.
 +
* [[Solar cell]]s convert sunlight into electricity. ("Sunlight" isn't an expendible resource, so this effectively has infinite efficiency.)
  
== Energy / Power ==
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== Waste and pollution: differences from real physics ==
 +
A process with higher efficiency (useful work per unit energy consumed) produces less waste. In real life, ''total'' work done is always equal to energy consumed, but the amount of ''useful'' work done cannot be more. In other words, a process can't have an efficiency greater than 100%, meaning it would do more work than the energy you put into it. This is known as the principle of conservation of energy. The difference between useful and total work is ''waste'' or ''entropy'', usually in the form of heat; the impossibility of using (all) waste energy to perform work is known as the second law of thermodynamics.
  
'''Energy is the "ability to do work". The speed of this doing needs more or less power. The faster something works, the more power is needed, but the result (the work) is the same. In Factorio this is also used a lot to [[Mining drill#Mining_Speed_Formula|calculate, how much time is needed to produce stuff]].
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The actual amount of work done by most processes in game is not quantified, but nonetheless they are generally not 100% efficient. This abstract inefficiency is represented by '''[[pollution]]''', produced by almost all machines when they do work. One exception is the electric network. In real life electric cables, transformers etc. hum and get hot, but in Factorio the electric network does not produce pollution.
  
Energy is measured in [[Units#Power|Watts]], nearly every device in Factorio needs energy to work. Energy is produced by  [[Electric system|Generators]], [[Boiler]]- or other burner- (or motor-driven) devices (like the car or train).
+
In Factorio, some things do however have greater than 100% efficiency: transport belts and offshore pumps move stuff without needing to be powered, turrets rotate and shoot without power, and players move around and build things without needing to eat.
 
 
See [[Units#Power]].
 
 
 
=== Types of energy ===
 
 
 
==== [[Fuel|Fuel-based]] (Boiler, Burner) ====
 
 
 
[[Fuel]] contains a certain amount of energy. The fuel is burned and produces energy (which is converted into movement or heat) and [[Pollution]] is emitted.
 
 
 
There are [[Fuel#Burner devices to be fueled directly|some devices]], which can use fuel directly.
 
 
 
==== [[Electric system|Electricity]] ====
 
 
 
[[Electric system|Electricity]] is produced by [[Electric system|Generators]]. The [[Electric system|distribution]] is made over an [[Electric system|Electric network]], and it is used by [[Electric system|Consumer]]s.
 
 
 
That's the single parts! The whole process is also explained as [[Electric system|Power Production]].
 
 
 
Electricity is the only way to transport energy over long distances. [[Electric system|Electricity]] itself doesn't pollute, the pollution comes either from burning fuel or consuming electricity.
 

Revision as of 03:31, 6 February 2018

Factorio simulates many aspects of real physics and the quite correct use of energy is one important aspect.

Energy and work are directly dependent.

For another explanation, see the Forum.

Definitions

  • Energy can be thought of as stored work. It is measured in joules (symbol J).
  • Work is the result of converting one type of energy to another. It is also measured in joules. (See the Wikipedia article on work.)
  • Power is the rate of work - the amount of work done over a unit of time. It is measured in watts (symbol W). One watt is equal to one joule divided by one second, i.e. one joule per second.
  • Efficiency is the ratio between useful work done and the energy expended. It usually expressed as a percentage. Its unit would be joules per joule, but dividing something by the same thing cancels them out, so it is dimensionless.
  • Waste is the difference between energy consumed and useful work done.

If you have a source of power and apply it over some time in order to perform some physical task, you have performed work, using a quantity of energy.

See also Units#Work.

Types of energy

Energy is available as:

  • Fuel. The energy contained in a unit of fuel is described as its fuel energy. Each building or vehicle that can be fuelled generally consumes fuel at a rate according to its power rating as long as it's working. For example:
    • A car's power is 250 kW, meaning it consumes 250 kJ worth of fuel per second while it's accelerating (or driving at maximum speed).
    • Nuclear reactors consume uranium fuel cells at a rate of 40 MW. Like most other fueled appliances, this is constant as long as it has fuel to consume.
    • Conversely, boilers consume fuel at a rate according to their load (rate of steam being carried away), up to a maximum of their power rating.
  • Electricity taken from the electric network.
  • Charge in accumulators, battery armor modules, and flying robots.

Abstractly, energy also exists as:

  • The potential energy of a piece of ore or unit of oil/water on the ground or on/in a belt/pipe, compared to the same piece/unit under the ground/in the sea.
  • Kinetic energy in robots, vehicles, and items, and the player's avatar while moving.
  • The damage dealt by weapons, vehicles and fire.
  • The additional order (i.e. reduced entropy) in an assembled item compared to its components.

Types of work

One can observe work being done in Factorio in numerous ways. Mostly these are abstract and not measured in game in joules. For example:

  • The player avatar moving his body and equipment around, mining, building, and crafting, performs work. Unlike in real life, this doesn't require any energy (i.e. your avatar doesn't need to eat); its efficiency is therefore infinite. On the other hand, biters and their spawners apparently absorb pollution and use its energy to move, bite, spit, and reproduce.
  • Transport belts and offshore pumps perform work by moving their contents from one place to another. Turrets perform work by rotating to aim and pulling the trigger. Unrealistically, but as a conscious design decision, none of these require a source of energy, and so their efficiency is also infinite.
  • Turrets (and other projectiles) also perform work by converting the chemical energy of a bullet's propellant to kinetic energy in the bullet itself, which itself proceeds to do work in the form of damage. Laser turrets convert electricity into damage rather more directly. Flamethrowers and flamethrower turrets convert the chemical energy of oil into damage.
  • Vehicles (cars, tanks and trains) convert the chemical energy of fuel into kinetic energy (i.e. motion). When they collide with things, they convert some of this kinetic energy into damage (which is why they then slow down).
  • Inserters and (non-offshore) pumps perform work by moving items and fluids from one place to another. This requires energy, either in the form of fuel (for a burner inserter) or electricity (for other types).
  • Burner miners and electric mining drills convert energy (in fuel and electricity respectively) into potential energy held by a piece of ore on the ground; pumpjacks do the same thing to put crude oil in a pipe.
  • Labs perform work by converting science packs and electricity into research.
  • Machines that produce items, converting input products into output products (refineries, assembling machines etc.), do work by assembling the components into a more ordered form, as a product. The resulting increase in order is a form of potential energy. Most use electricity to do this; the major exceptions are stone furnaces and steel furnaces.

The types of work that are measured in joules in game are:

  • Boilers convert the chemical energy of fuel into heat, which it transfers into water to produce steam. Boilers have an efficiency of 50%, meaning half the energy of the fuel is wasted rather than put into steam.
  • Nuclear reactors convert the nuclear energy in uranium fuel cells into heat. Heat exchangers then transfer this heat, conveyed by heat pipes, into water, producing steam.
  • Steam engines and steam turbines turn the energy stored in steam into electricity.
  • Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. ("Sunlight" isn't an expendible resource, so this effectively has infinite efficiency.)

Waste and pollution: differences from real physics

A process with higher efficiency (useful work per unit energy consumed) produces less waste. In real life, total work done is always equal to energy consumed, but the amount of useful work done cannot be more. In other words, a process can't have an efficiency greater than 100%, meaning it would do more work than the energy you put into it. This is known as the principle of conservation of energy. The difference between useful and total work is waste or entropy, usually in the form of heat; the impossibility of using (all) waste energy to perform work is known as the second law of thermodynamics.

The actual amount of work done by most processes in game is not quantified, but nonetheless they are generally not 100% efficient. This abstract inefficiency is represented by pollution, produced by almost all machines when they do work. One exception is the electric network. In real life electric cables, transformers etc. hum and get hot, but in Factorio the electric network does not produce pollution.

In Factorio, some things do however have greater than 100% efficiency: transport belts and offshore pumps move stuff without needing to be powered, turrets rotate and shoot without power, and players move around and build things without needing to eat.