# Vehicle energy usage balancing

Regular solar panel produces 111 epower, which translates to roughly 1 battery charge per 3.5 turns of full sun.

Other vehicle parts have epower consumption values like:

• 187 for floodlight, which is almost daylight-bright
• 187 for headlights, which are far, far weaker than floodlights
• 187 for recharging station (passive), but also effectively `10*373` per item charged
• 1 (!) for stereo system
• 200 for chimes
• 100 for camera control system
• 75 for cameras, aisle lights
• 50 for scoop, but also passive `50 * item_weight / rng( 8, 15 )` per item scooped up
• 350 for V12, 400 for diesel V8
• 16000 for enhanced electric motors
• 249 for minifridge
• 25 for controls’ dome lights
• 2238 production from truck alternator

Assuming even just 50% of “daylight time” (feasible in winter), 4 panels are enough to power a floodlight turned on 24/7.

For comparison, a single truck battery has 50000 size, which translates to 18650000 `epower*turn`.
Meaning that a fully charged truck battery can power a floodlight for 166 hours or a minifridge for 125 hours.
A car battery is 66% of that, but way more common. Storage battery is 200% of that.

Since batteries can be easily stacked, this means that energy consumption very quickly becomes a non-issue, except for electric engines, which dwarf everything else combined.

What would be some good ways of making energy consumption matter?
I currently got those:

• Buff floodlight consumption to something like 1000
• Nerf solar production. Our solar car produces `13*222=2886` epower, so ~8 power = 4 HP. IRL a good solar car would probably be closer to half that.
• Nerf batteries. 1 hp h is 0.75 kwh. Our car battery has `30000 power * 6 seconds` which is 15000 `horsepower * 6 seconds`so 25 hp hours which is ~18.5 kwh. Real car battery is closer to 1 kwh.

Anything else?
Did I get the math right? Those sound like some hardcore nerfs.

Solar panel and battery nerfs would serve its purpose but it would not be good yo use today’s numbers. We have to take 20+ years of technological advancements in those fields. Nerf them yes, but make it a bit higher than today’s efficiency.

For regular solar panels and batteries they should represent modern panels (and yes, another big nerf is probably called for), there are “quantum” panels that can be significantly better than conventional panels, probably by 50% or so. I don’t there are any futuristic rechargeable batteries in the game at the moment, but that’s something that could be added.
Sonething that eould help a lot is establishing an official exchange rate for charges to a real unit, like mWh, then we can set a bunch of power sources and sinks at real values, which would establish a scale we can use to balance everything else.

So regular solar panels would represent today’s solar panels and the upgraded versions future solar panels tech then? Another issue is how is the efficiency of the solar panels to be represented in power output?

Overcast: multiply by .6
Not perpendicular: multiply by the sine of the angle of incidence, depending on time of day, time of year, and latitude. Rough approximations assuming about 45 degrees north latitude…

[ul][li]Summer: 0.9 (noon), 0.6 (midmorning/midafternoon), 0.4 (morning/evening)
Spring/Fall: 0.7 (noon), 0.5 (midmorning/midafternoon), 0.4 (morning/evening)
Winter: 0.5 (noon), 0.4 (midmorning/midafternoon), 0.3 (morning/evening)
[/li][/ul]

Solar panel efficiency: multiply by about .2 for a good solar panel.
Convert power into energy per six second turn: multiply by 6 seconds
Charging a good battery: multiply by .8

Battery to device to output efficiency should probably all be wrapped into the power draw of the device and left out of this calculation.

Approximate total energy stored in battery per turn (Joules) for a 1-meter solar panel:

The comments in epower_to_power say that 1 unit of power is 373 watt, which makes 1 battery charge (either itemized battery or vehicle battery) 373*6 watt seconds or 0.62 watt hours.

The comments in epower_to_power say that 1 unit of power is 373 watt, which makes 1 battery charge (either itemized battery or vehicle battery) 373*6 watt seconds or 0.62 watt hours.[/quote]
[me=Sean Mirrsen]uses an online calculator…[/me]

That’s… roughly 51mAh at 12 volts. Which means a standard battery cell in a flashlight holds 5100mAh at 12 volts, which is… actually quite believable for near-future batteries, 12 volts for a flashlight aside. Huh.

Yeah, alright, that makes sense, just please don’t nerf my quantum solar panels.

What about consumption for energy weapons?

I feel like everything should be changed:

• Increase all consumption
• Decrease all production (alternator, solar panel effectiveness)
• Decrease battery capacities, or at least the storage battery
• Possibly forbid installation of multiple battery types in the same vehicle slot
• One potentially mad idea is to change the storage battery into a solid impassable fridge-like component, limiting their use, adding more challenge to installation doctrine. Maybe give them some serious weight, too.
• Frankly, I think the storage battery is the major balance breaker. Its capacity is way too large compared to all the other batteries. But then again, are we going for (some resemblance of) realism, gameplay balance, or comfortable gameplay? The three might be in conflict here.

All that aside… Hypothetically, let’s say we double all consumption and halve all production, what would be the consequences of that move?

[quote=“BeerBeer, post:9, topic:11364”]- Frankly, I think the storage battery is the major balance breaker. Its capacity is way too large compared to all the other batteries. But then again, are we going for (some resemblance of) realism, gameplay balance, or comfortable gameplay? The three might be in conflict here.

All that aside… Hypothetically, let’s say we double all consumption and halve all production, what would be the consequences of that move?[/quote]

Storage battery isn’t really the worst offender here, because it takes away the storage slot.

Doubling all consumption and halving all production would only hit early electric vehicles and dome light crafters - the rest would not notice. We need more than 4x difference for auxiliary stuff (fridges, floodlights), though I don’t think electric engines need much of a nerf.

I dont think solar power generation or electric engines need a nerf at all.

Just take a look at our solar car. Its got 13 upgraded solar panels and only weights 1968lb; and yet it still can’t get to 40mph without breaking even on a sunny day.

If running a floodlight 24/7 is so much of a deal breaker we are better of increasing the power drain of those.

Solar car could use a redesign. It pretends to be useful and yet stacking extra batteries on it will almost always improve it.
Or at least that “extra light” frame could actually get extra light.

Vehicle system shouldn’t be balanced around a very unusual case of vehicle trying to balance energy production against an electric engine. Instead it should be balanced with the assumption that the vehicle spends at the very least 33% of its time with its engines turned off or otherwise not consuming any resources.

Vehicle system shouldn’t be balanced around a very unusual case of vehicle trying to balance energy production against an electric engine. Instead it should be balanced with the assumption that the vehicle spends at the very least 33% of its time with its engines turned off or otherwise not consuming any resources.[/quote]

I dunno you used it as a base for arguing the nerf to solar panels in the first post. I just pointed out that the rest of the car didnt really work well.

But I agree that the solar car should not be used as an argument for anything. I designed it horrendously.

Power to weight ratios are irrelevant, they’re hosed in general. The reason it needs a nerf is because you can fairly easily set up a solar powered vehicle that has an effectively limitless source of power and is self-propelled, this obsoletes every other form of transportation and power generation.
Likewise, it’s incredibly far out of line from a realism point of view, the performance of a solar system in the game is orders if magnitude vetter than exisring technology.

So are solar panels themselves getting nerfed or are other fuel means of transport getting a buff?

Others don’t need a buff. More: all means of transport will get a nerf related to weight capacity.
The only means of vehicle transport that may get buffed would be foot pedals, plasma engine and boats.

I agree that solars are OP right now. Building a solar car is way better than everything else…
But the best way to fix it would be to start rebalancing electricity as coolthulhu said.

Imo don’t start thinking about flashlights, but hotplates… Hotplates will never be more efficient since their efficiency much be already 1 as they use resistors (the heat delivery mechanism might be improved though)

Anyway… i will assume 500W hotplates (barely enough) and i will assume battery capacity of max 1hr at full load.

This gives 0.5KWh battery capacity for a semi-portable battery. Considering that a simple car battery is around 1KWh… this really means that the hotplate should either run on car batteries or have a car battery weight and volume added to it.

Still not helping much… but i see that the best way to balance anything power hungry would be against a car battery…

Thinking on balancing, the current system with standard 100 charges cannot work for such a wide variety of appliances. You simply cannot run an electric forge on 4.5 times the energy a flashlight needs… So we need to work with a metric that can do it… The KW/ KWh is an easy choice.

But this means that each and every appliance should be manually edited to have a specific power drain and battery capacity…
I’d say make everything ~50% more efficient (power drain & storage: game-wise ease of use + its the future). This will still nerf quite a lot of stuff that today are unrealistically efficient in-game.

It is a huge amount of work and a very great change though, and will have to apply to everything at the same time… vehicles, items, cbm’s etc…

For solars… its easy to balance them out against this by using real life values as Aluminumfoil said.
Assume 1KW/m2 (so 1KW per panel) irradiation when sunny and balancing it for every other weather type + 20% efficiency for future ‘standard’ panels + 10% Round Trip battery losses, means 1000*.2*.9 = 180W per panel per hour on sunny skies.
So the 111 per panel as it is now is a bit on the low side (or about what a very good today’s retail panel + battery can deliver) No need to nerf it… Nerf the appliances and batteries instead…

PS. But keep in mind that solars and batteries are under heavy research today and becoming better and cheaper rapidly…

Would a single ingame solar panel be counted as 1 meter squared, though? That would make most 2 or 4 passenger cars 4 meters wide.

the 1x1 square is atm whatever we want it to be… 1mx1m, 1,5mx1,5m, 0,5mx0,5m. But we mostly think of it as 1mx1m… For solars it makes sense too…

The standard is modern technology, not future technology. We can have “quantum panels” that have higher output and “whaevertainum batteries” that store more, but they should be rare finds.