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Automation and Power Diodes


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There are workarounds already, I know.

Nothing beats the simplicity of a diode for controlling signal and power direction. It flows one way through it and not the other.

It's no different from a pipe bridge in this regard.

Such diodes for power could allow wires of lesser integrity to supply power to larger wires without the burden of a transformer. Use cases would be common wire for sub circuits for plug slugs.

Diode protection on automation would prevent backflow of implicit AND/OR type logic on multi signal lines shared between independent default signal source circuits. ( i know, try using XOR, etc, but it is occasionally easier to let one circuit know the condition of another by simply plugging a diode between the two - this lets the dependent circuit signal within its wiring without backflow. order precedence or nearness would determine which signal the machines use on the dependent circuit ).

I favor the power diodes for the sake of not causing damage to lines where there are minor generators that con contribute to a larger line without violating the intended use of the transformers ( and without having a net, leaky storage capacity ). basically a transformer without the joule storage.

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They exist already for automation: Every logic gate doubles as a diode. (with ribbon reader/writers being the smallest diode for a non-bundled line.)

Doesn't work for bundled wires though... (Neatly, at least. You could also read each and the rewrite it onto the next section.)

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1 hour ago, JaxckLl said:

This is a good idea, specifically for the signaling. It's a difficult suggestion however, because anything which allows single-direction power would compete with the design space of Transformers.

Maybe make tiered power diodes and have them take overload damage when transmitting more than their allowed wattage ? And they should have neither storage nor automation slots.

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How does a power diode work? Is it just like a transformer that cuts the power if it goes above a certain watt limit? If so then it might cause stuff to flicker on and off one you hit the limit. I think a wattage sensor with a shutoff would work similarly.

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12 minutes ago, Sasza22 said:

How does a power diode work? Is it just like a transformer that cuts the power if it goes above a certain watt limit? If so then it might cause stuff to flicker on and off one you hit the limit. I think a wattage sensor with a shutoff would work similarly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode

It's a system where power can flow freely in one direction, but not very well in the other. The resultant flow is thus overwhelming single direction. As OP pointed out, diodes are often used to provide internal signaling within a circuit using the power line itself. Alternatively they are also used to connect circuits in a "safe" manner by preventing backflow that can spoil the functionality of circuits earlier up the line. Diodes can be overwhelmed by high load on the receiver side, causing the power to overcome the high resistance of the diode an flow backwards (this is commonly what causes damage in lightning strikes)

Think of a diode like this: 

 

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3 hours ago, Adirelle said:

Maybe make tiered power diodes and have them take overload damage when transmitting more than their allowed wattage ? And they should have neither storage nor automation slots.

This.Yes.

And...

4 hours ago, JaxckLl said:

This is a good idea, specifically for the signaling. It's a difficult suggestion however, because anything which allows single-direction power would compete with the design space of Transformers.

this becomes less of an issue.

The broad sense of it is that it's more of a power generation compliment.

It would allow small circuits to feed into larger ones - I know this can be done with transformers ( but it goes against the intended mechanics of the building according to the tool tips and bylines.

Automation, i had some uses for it at one point but they've added so much to it, it might be a loose building with too many race conditions waiting to happen.

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Ah I see what you're saying. A bunch of 500W circuits which can contribute excess to a single trunk as opposed to a 4000W single trunk which contributes to a bunch of little circuits. I'm not sure that really fits within the design philosophy of ONI where it's at right now, what with the existence of the Power Plant building and the general lack of small-scale Generators.

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1 minute ago, JaxckLl said:

I'm not sure that really fits within the design philosophy of ONI where it's at right now, what with the existence of the Power Plant building and the general lack of small-scale Generators.

WIth regards, specifically to power diodes,

While this is true with regards to the power room, the room only exists for the purposes allowing the tune up to occur within the realm of the room.

Or in my cases, the rooms, because I have several generator rooms and it doesn't matter where the tune up chips are made, they can apparently be used anywhere within the base in another generator room.

Sometimes the neatness of a grand scale generator room isn't as convenient for the needs of power generators if they are numerous enough and distant as well, a person could drop a coal generator in a sub section of the base and maybe even have a room for it, and throw any excess power at a larger power grid via the smaller power wires.

This is also true for any sort of wild plug slug population - maybe they're better off outside the base rather than venting hydrogen just anywhere - it would be nice to be able to set up a diode rated for their generating capacity ad-hoc in place of a transformer ( which as you know, also acts like a battery of 1000J ).

Another hting of note here is that the transformers do perform the task of a diode while also limiting the wattage passed through their terminals. From my experience, this also limits their outputs to 1kw and 4kw. This is an oddity these numbers they use, the 1kw makes sense for the ugle simple wires, the 4k? Not so much.

I would have thought that diodes could at least be given fuse-like failsafe for rated wire capacity - they would take damage as any wire would should it exceed the wattage limit for it's rating ( whether that's reverse current rating or forward current rating may be an interesting topic of discussion as well ). I would think 1kw and 2kw ..and so on, whatever the wire ratings are that it's expected to deliver from on the power output side if the implication of the diode is it's reverse current rating: for instance,

The conductive wire can handle 2kw, so a 2kw diode would be needed to feed power to it without exceeding the current rating of the destination circuit. this is assuming that there's not a massive surge in positive current and not a surge in demand - the excess positive power on the circuit should be a factor if the devices are proper reverse current type diodes - they would be looking at power generation rather than power load.

The basic wire would require a 1kw diode when feeding into basic wire, or a 2kw when conductive, or 20kw or 50kw.

In either case of forward or reverse current mode, they have the effect of isolating circuits the same way as transformers - so power generating room would be more important to size the wire for the power being generated ( as one might think to be common sense when batteries are a load ( and this is according to how transformers seem to treat them when they are down-circuit - as a load on the transformer )). Power Diodes would use the same kind of logic but specifically be wire load oriented.

The whole effect here is circuit load isolation. So one generator room could service many circuits without an overload on diode protected circuits - 32kw load on a heavy conductive wire wouldn't effect down circuit load on a diode protected standard circuit that may also be contributing excess power to the heavy conductive circuit to begin with.

After writing all that I can see how things might get a bit fuzzy, the diodes simply do not allow reverse current, so only power generated or stored is transfered. The problem here is batteries and how much juice they can put out - so the solution is to rate them according to the wire and perhaps help other players design circuits that are more in line with the actual theory behind why transformers are in the game to begin with ( they're almost cheaty really ) - wire load protection - while diodes are more like wire reverse load protection.

This was an awful lot to type for what amounts to a transformer of different limits with no capacity and no particular interest in source or destination loading ....unless it exceeds its intended rating.

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This is an old request I made for automation, I'll see what else I can dig up that made me think of this. Lately it has been more about power, but so it was the same with automation - I used it (automation) to at great lengths to power conjoined systems. These would have easily overloaded the common wire prior to them adding conductive wire to the game, so some interesting things were happening in automation.

I could have sworn I had an example of needing this but was away from the game until recently...so after having looked through my old posts for a hour I have not yet found the topic I thought that I had posted, so perhaps it's in one of the many discussions instead.

so instead the way I would set up a multi-building system, most commonly a pump and an electrolyzer, was to turn the pump on but not at the same time as the electrolyzer. and the pump would come on if the pressure was high enough such to keep the electrolyzer from becoming 'clogged' at max pressure. Then filter the output to a destination. Needless to say, without the gas tanks and small transformers in the game at the time this was a bit of a challenge to manage the power requirement without automation and/or heavy watt wire ( which is still a bit of a pain run anywhere you want to keep free of the mass or the tidiness of the look of it ). I would have a high pump and a low pump. these were very common setups so that I could pump out O2 to exosuit system and let the hydrogen build up.

Anyway, all this machinery added up to quite a load, but only having one of those machines running at a given time would, by implication, not overload the circuit somewhere random. So I would loop my automation wire through them all and find some default machine to be running, the catch here would be there would often be more than one positive condition for a machine to be running, to pumps two atmo switches, possible an and conditional for the gas sensors - this all piles up quickly to make sure that only one machine is running.

The work around was often a double not logic in-line with the loop ( so it's still doable like that, and as other have mentioned, there are other ways around it still with other buildings ).

ok, wow, found on old screen grab pre-automation of the gas filter...the electrolyzer is hiding behind the automation blocks at the bottom of the room. Probably not my best work - it uses at least one signal to proceed, it's working as described above. Only one machine works at a time ( except the filter. The hydrogen pump would have had priority in the signal chain here.

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THe atmo switches set the pumps on or off, they have their own states obviously, both could be on at once without a tie-in.

Spoiler alert though, didn't use a double-not here, Clearly I have failed to make a good example of a use case for a NOP gate with this monstrosity, so perhaps I will try in the next few days. I should try it again some time though, to see what happens. Probably much easier with all the auto-ports and storage mechanisms. Might not even need it, but I like a challenge.

In my mind it's like choosing one circuit or another while one has a priority signal ( similar to a preferred power producer  ) and they're all running on the same automation wire loop.

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Ugg this same, sorry, frankly stupid complaint about Transformers & wire capacity. If transformers capped to the damage cap of a wire, it would be impossible to damage your wires. The system would be unable to run in a way that can damage the system. This is NOT how realistic grids work. Constant modulation is needed to match the supply & demand, you can't just attach a flat voltage to a grid and expect every machine connected to draw the exact right amount of power. Transformers need to always provide more than the capacity of the grid for these three reasons

  • Game design. The player needs to be in charge of their base, and that includes making mistakes. Having Transformers be able to over charge encourages the player to regularly address their grid, especially as machines get added.
  • Gameplay. Sometimes running at or over capacity is a design feature, not a bug. Having fixed capacity systems for all wire types (which is already a thing with heavy watt wires effectively) would prevent players from using this strategy.
  • Realism. Modulation in grids is an extremely challenging job which has to be done constantly, all day, every day. ONI goes a very long way to abstracting this system, but it would be a shame to lose the last traces of a realistic power grid in a game where power generation is such a core motive for gameplay.

Honestly as you flesh out your idea it just sounds like you want smaller Transformers that don't need floor underneath.

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15 hours ago, JaxckLl said:

Honestly as you flesh out your idea it just sounds like you want smaller Transformers that don't need floor underneath.

That would be nice, yes. More specifically though, one without capacity per se. And one that os rated for 1kw 2kw and then the already strange 4kw.

The 1kw small prevents overloading the tiny wires, this is a nice feature.

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1 hour ago, JaxckLl said:

Did you even read what I had to say...?

Yes, I did.

And the response was to that particular part of the comment.

As the original post suggests this is a new type of power building to prevent backflow via suppressing of loading measurements on the low side, and nothing more really.

The transformers in the game don't actually transform anything, there's no voltage step down, it's more like a current limiting device already. So it really is a diode in my opinion. It just has a battery capacity to allow it to distribute a regulated positive power at however many joules it can store. ( this is clearly the implementation of that abstraction you mentioned ).

I don't disagree with you on the game design elements - if that's what you want me to say. But I was originally proposing something that actually breaks if it's overloaded, so hopefully you can see how this ties into your comment. This is also why I called the existing transformers rather cheaty - and why I think it's a 'nice feature' to have.

Realistically though, an overloading transformer should still work and perhaps generate extra heat and eventually break. I think this would bring back some of those design elements you mentioned.

Considering the design of it all with regards to power - I would essentially be suggesting an overhaul of the step-down mechanic they have. Functionally, they're current limiting with the transformers, with respect to the game, they are wattage limiting (I won't go into great detail about this, from my perspective, this is a 1 volt system and no transforming is going on ).

The only other implemented abstraction I'm seeing done, that is a visible part of the game, is in the wire load limits - everything else is very simplified, the generators don't cause overloading that I have ever seen.

So to keep a level of abstraction, I would propose several variants of 'transformers' of wattages and of design.

Two types of power-line devices, current ( or wattage in this case ) limiting, and the backflow prevention ( similar to how a diode works ).

Wattage limiting would prevent loading exceeding the rating of the 'transformer' but would allow two-way positive generating loads to flow through the circuit. This is not how transformers work in the game right now. The diodes prevent loads on the high side from overloading the loads on the low side ( this really only applies to power generators on the low side of the circuit, so there's no need for a diode to have any sort of joule capacity at all. No power flows from the high side to the low side.

What the details of those devices is and how they could all be tidied up into a coherent set of buildings is a design choice outside the scope of the original post. The whole thing would be governed by when they take damage ( this would be conveyed to the player via text, tooltips, etc. which would steer the player to work to work inside the limits of the power systems. This coherence would confer the wattage limiting devices ( for the sake or wires ) or the backflow prevention ( such that high side loads do not effect low side loads ( because the low side of a heavy-to-low wattage line being improperly joined always takes damage when there's a load above the lower rated wire - this is just how damage is working, it's almost always random as to where on the low side that it occurs.

So long as there can be unlimited positive power generation beyond the capacity of the wire wattage for generating elements, then the points you make about the complexity of power grids are not yet applicable - as you indicate, they have dumbed it down through abstraction. They have prevented power grid complexity of that magnitude by avoiding those things and by abstracting away power generators such that they would never overload a wire when sending power to a battery ( atleast this was my last observation with regard to power generators ).

My apologies if this is no longer the case.

The comment,

19 hours ago, JaxckLl said:

...it just sounds like you want smaller Transformers that don't need floor underneath

is spot on. With me adding to that point, "and no joule storage capacity". COnsider the power generators as a valid load on the line when a storage device of any type is on the same line.

This would bring back the pain and the damage and the learning process and everything the complexity can throw at a grid.

I'm thinking that positive power generation does effect load when batteries are connected, but haven't been able to verify it ( I just design my systems in line with the wire loads as I should be doing to begin with, lol ).

 

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