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Automation input for fridges


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Having read a lot of complaints about food storage after the recent changes made me think about our current refrigeration options. We can either use a fridge that requires a constant 120W power and does not offer deep frozen state, or come up with elaborate builds to freeze the food and store it either in a vacuum or in a very cold space. The fridges are power hungry with their 120W power requirement, which makes then unviable if we want to power a lot of them.

In my opinion, the main issue with the fridges right now is their lack of automation. The only automation signal it currently has is an output (green when full, red otherwise). Fridges do not need constant power, and depending on their level of insulation, they might need a very small amount of power to keep the food below a certain temperature setpoint. This has been demonstrated many times with the different builds people have come up with and it is also how fridges work in real life.

The suggestion: I think it would be great if fridges had an additional automation input to enable refrigerating when it receives green and disable it when it receives red.

This way, we could use the existing automation components to keep food in fridges cold while not constantly draining 120W. This could also make using multiple fridges viable, as you would not need to provide 120W for each one of them at all times.

This is a very simple idea and I am sure it could be improved a lot, so any thoughts are welcome.

Other thoughts in line with this idea:

- could have a temperature slider to select the desired food temperature, allowing for deep frozen state. It could be 120W when working in the refrigerated range of temperatures, 240W when working in the deep frozen range of temperatures (balance needed). This would eliminate the need for a new building.

- Could also replace the current output with a signal based on the highest or average food temperature inside the fridge. This could be combined with automation to turn it on/off and minimize energy input.

Edit: I have just realized that this is currently achievable by using a power shutoff (always forget about that thing) before the fridge and automate the shutoff instead. Whether or not this should be integrated on the fridge directly is still up for debate, as well as other ideas that I have mentioned or that anyone feels like sharing.

Note that this is not meant to turn into a debate about food preservation, but rather to see if the current fridge could be modified to better suit its purpose.

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Or we could just not take the whining so seriously. People whine every time something is changed. Mostly because something has changed. The allegedly outrageous power consumption of fridges is really not that bad. And you don't multiple powered fridges until you can afford the power cost, if at all.

The automation change fridges really need is to give them smart logic

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44 minutes ago, Steve8 said:

Or we could just not take the whining so seriously. People whine every time something is changed. Mostly because something has changed. The allegedly outrageous power consumption of fridges is really not that bad. And you don't multiple powered fridges until you can afford the power cost, if at all.

The automation change fridges really need is to give them smart logic

Agreed that the drama needs to be taken with some perspective, but this is not really what the post is about. It is mostly about possibly making minor changes to the automation of the fridge so that it can be used more efficiently. Right now, it is basically treated as a storage bin when it comes to automation.

Did you have anything specific in mind when you said they needed smart logic?

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On 6/14/2021 at 8:22 AM, Steve8 said:

Or we could just not take the whining so seriously. People whine every time something is changed. Mostly because something has changed. The allegedly outrageous power consumption of fridges is really not that bad. And you don't multiple powered fridges until you can afford the power cost, if at all.

The automation change fridges really need is to give them smart logic

I have been complaining about fridges since long, long before food was changed. I do not complain about fridges because of the recent changes (IMO the recent changes are good and make fridges finally actually useful compared to ration boxes...but only as a temp/in-rocket solution).

My issues with food storage buildings are these:

  1. They do not protect food from polluted oxygen, which means instead of the logical "put the fridge next to things", we're meant to put fridges in pits. This especially makes the ration box pointless, when it even takes tech to unlock.
  2. 120W average load is a lot for ONI standards. A Thermoregulator has 120W max load, but in practice will only have something like 40W average load keeping multiple unpowered fridges at outright freezing temp in a normal base.
  3. There is no lategame tech "freezer" building to make it easy to get food frozen.

The thread is about issue 2. Seriously, it doesn't take that much power to cool things down in ONI, and even in real life, fridges may be able to draw up to 500W, but they do so for a fraction of the time, making their power draw fairly low on average. 120W is not in line balance-wise.

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