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Idea for a zener diode for use in power systems.

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The part is simple, It let's power flow to the machines in front of it but not behind it. But if the front sides power system puts out too much energy it will allow power the other way around. That way you can split circuits without needing a large power transformer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zener_diode

And maybe other types of passive electronics could be added into the power wiring system.

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Zeners are mostly used in voltage regulation circuitry - the only issue with them is that over volting them generally causes a waste of power in such circuits. They usually bridge positive and negative to achieve shunt regulation of a voltage.

The problem here is that there's no voltage in the ONI electrical system - so it would have to be given in terms of Watts. And if it were a Zener-like device, it would have to have a maximum reverse wattage. Which doesn't correlate well with how electricity is handled in the simulation.

For any given circuit, you will already know the maximum wattage a circuit can produce by how many generators are on a circuit. Batteries in the sim, on the other hand, give instantaneous power - and act more like capacitors ( with a high transient loss called power run-off in the game ).

This scenario where we throw voltage out and give the Zener device properties in terms of watts has an exceedingly high potential to be one which breaks constantly because any battery can overwhelm the wattage tolerance. So there's that problem - giving it a rating already sets this back to a setup where automation and switches would better handle the initial problem.

So if the zener device has no forward wattage constriants ( ideal ), and "breaks down" at 1000 watts, or sees "reverse demand" on the upstream circuit - this causes anything producing power down stream, and anything storing power down stream to want to power the upstream demand. SInce the circuitry in the game is handled as a single line source, this makes things problematic because it would cause / create a union between the two circuits unless power is teleported from providers to users up stream.

I don't really see a problem with teleporting power - it is a game after all, but the concept is one which could lead to exceedling complicated problems when dealing with large networks of power providers with highly variable supply capacities. It would be essentially defeat the purpose of line wattage constraints since a player could place zener devices all throughout a low wattage grid and never exceed the line wattage. As things are, power generation will not break wires, only active demand.

Shoving all that aside,

I imagine a breathing circuit, where this Zeener device exists between the two circuits. It would kind of be like having two transformers in an double ouroboros configuration - each head to tail connected in other words. This would let power flow both ways - but only through the transformers. So there would never be a situation in which the high side of the transformers is ever overburdened unless the demand exceeds the wattage rating of the high side wire or the power capacity of the transformer ( as in joules, so ultimately a brown-out and not a breakage occurs  ). However, this still creates a union between the circuits in terms of supply and demand.

Having one side with a weak supply would cause the other to compensate - the end result is one where line loads can be kept balanced - or where generators and batteries can be utilized in a mesh configuration while consumers exists in isolated grids.

Finally, my point here - isolated grids of consumers, unions between energy supply and generators? We have heavy watt wire and transformers for this.

I did request a no-op diode myself in the automation circuitry specifically to isolate signals. So I might fool with sparse networks of generators using transformers - problem there being heat and complete ugliness.. 

Still sounds interesting though a little exploity.

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