# electricity Electricity tutorial

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I would like to gather all info on electricity in 1 place, as this might help new people to understand how power grids work. Explaining the mechanics of power elements also feels important - specifically Power Transformer (PT), Smart Battery (SB) and Power Shutoff (PS).

POWER GRID THEORY:

• Electricity - It is like a liquid in ONI - flows through wires of different capacity(maximum safe wattage)
• Unlike liquids, it travels instantly across the power grid
• Unlike liquids, it flows in all directions
• Unlike liquids, it can surpass the wire's maximum safe wattage temporarily
• However, you cause damage to wires in that way, so you should avoid it.
• Unlike liquids, it does not generate or exchange heat with the surroundings when flowing.
• However, the wires themselves do exchange heat simply because they're a physical object.
• Generators, consumers and batteries across circuits also generate heat when active.
• Circuit - a set(group) of wires that have a direct connection with each other.
• If you enter Power overlay(PO - press F2) and click on a wire you can see info about the circuit  to which the wire belongs, as well as which other wires belong to that circuit(they are slowly pulsing).
• Each circuit has 1 simple overload condition, a set of generators and a set of consumers. Batteries are not counted to either set so they are special in this sense and can be exploited(shown below)
• Note: PT* below - belongs to 2 circuits - "high end" and "low end"
1. Maximum safe Wattage - depends on the weakest wire that belongs to that network, regardless if it connects generators/consumers or not.
• beware of loose normal wires, as they will decrease the Max safe wattage to their respective limit(e.g. 1kW instead of 2kW or 20kW)
2. Power consumed - how much power consumers are currently drawing from the network(regardless if it's from batteries or straight from generators).
• You can see a list of consumers for each circuit through the PO
• If "2 > 1", that is, power consumed more than the maximum safe wattage, then the circuit is counted as overloaded and starts taking damage in random places.
• The batteries/consumers/generators distribution across the circuit does not matter.
• The number of active generators or connected batteries does not matter.
• Note PT* below - counted as consumer on the "high end" circuit with potential 5kW/sec Power usage!
• Power transformer (PT)
• PT belongs to 2 different circuits
1. The "high end" where typically the power generators are.
2. The "low end" where the consumers are.
• Do not connect those two ends in any case, as that will cause an overload since the PT is counted as a 5kW consumer(4kW in latest version).
• PT distributes power from generators and batteries on the "high end" to batteries and consumers on the "low end";
• It is 1 directional, so it DOES NOT provide power to consumers or batteries on the high end.
• That means even if there is a consumer on the high end and a charged battery on the low end, the consumer will not use that charge or the PT's charge, since the PT is counted as a consumer on the high end and everything on the low end is "hidden" and unreachable.
• PT can hold 1kW charge, but can discharge 4-5 "ticks" per second.(should be 1kJ, as W=J/s, but I'll just use W everywhere for simplicity)
• That means PT distribute a maximum of 4-5kW per second
• On the high end PT is counted as consumer with 0-4-5kW usage;
• On the low  end PT is counted as generator with 1kW power, which, however, provides up to 5kW per second;
• This means PT can provide 1kW(or more if it's split between different consumers) of power to consumers and simultaneously charge 4kW worth of batteries on the low end
• This means 1 PT can't power machines that use more than 1kW(e.g. Metal refinery).
• However, if you connect 2 PTs to the same circuit on the low end, they each are viewed as a 1kW generator, so then you can power consumers with more than 1kW usage(e.g. again that Metal refinery).
Spoiler

Here is the basic setup - you have your generators, but 2 PT-s connect to the metal refinery. That should work, as long as you have 1.2kW of power available on the high end.

Note: you need at least conductive wires on the low end, as normal wires will overload from >1kW that the refinery is using.

See example below with switching batteries on how to decrease conductive wire usage + keep PT count at 1

• Smart battery (SB)
• No charging/discharging limits per second - same as other batteries
• Costs 200 Refined metal vs 400 Raw metal for 40kJ batteries - so both require 1kg/100J material
• Holds up to 20kJ of energy
• vs 40kJ battery, SB requires x2 the space/J compared to 40kJ batteries.
• Loses 400J/cycle(2%)
• vs 40kJ battery with 2kJ loss(5%), the SB is more efficient in power storage
• Generates 2.5W of heat.
• vs 40kJ battery with 6.25W, the SB is more efficient at heat generation at W heat/J stored basis
• Has 2 sliders X and Y that control logic output
1. Standby(logic gate is disabled and red) if charge is more than X.
2. Active(logic gate is enabled and green) if charge is less than Y.
• Initially when built it should go into Active(green) mode, since it is at 0% charge. After this it should alternate between 1 and 2 when it reaches the set amount.
• Borderline exploit usage - you can slow down Power production by ½
• Spoiler

I would consider using this as an exploit - a SB-inhibitor to decrease Power production of various generators by 50% with no loss in materials(tested for Hydrogen and Coal). Keep both sliders at 0 and hook it only logically to the generator. That way it constantly turns itself on and off, having an effective slowdown of 50%. However, material usage stays the same, so no losses, only 50% slower power production. You can increase the top value slider at any time, turning the generator constantly on and resuming normal Power production.

• Power Shutoff (PS)
• Used by automation to disable/enable one square of wire, effectively splitting a circuit into 2 or more.
1. Enabled/Green/Active/ wire is working / circuits are connected
2. Disabled/Red/Inactive/ wire is not working / circuits are disconnected
• It needs a free tile to be built on, so you can't build it on top of other buildings or tiles
• It doesn't work in the middle of bridges, but can disconnect a wire on one end of the bridge
• Borderline exploit usage - you can instantly connect/disconnect a circuit manually if you add an atmo sensor
• Spoiler

Atmo-switch connected to the Power shutoff on the right, then I set pressure threshold to 0 and by clicking below/above I instantly connect/disconnect that wire. In my case this can be used in a emergency to cut off power to non-crucial consumers.

The idea is that you can use this in any place instead of a switch, making switches basically useless(if not only for the building costs), getting the benefit of an instant result. Of course, you need to be in a non-vacuum environment, so that the atmo sensor doesn't toggle by itself. Even in that case you can set it to a very high value(e.g. 20kg).

• Switch
• Similar to PS, but controlled manually by a duplicant
• Has no logic port, but might possibly be used in logic circuits by detecting if power is on/off
• I am not using it in my examples, since you have faster alternatives(look at the Spoiler above)

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Here is an example by KittensIsAGeek of how you typically use transformers and smart batteries, ruthlessly copied from the PT thread(look below for a link)

On 6/19/2018 at 7:49 AM, KittenIsAGeek said:

Note: Smart batteries set to 50% so the transformers will kick on before there's a brownout.

Generally I set up a circuit for either an application or a load.  Example: The top transformer provides power to two transit tube access points for a combined draw of 1920 watts.  The bottom transformer runs the plumbing for my base's sanitary needs.  I have another transformer further down my power trunk that runs misc. stuff around my base, like research stations and lights, and another one that powers my oxygen supply.

On another of my bases, I have two smart batteries on the oxygen supply circuit -- the second battery switches on a dedicated hydrogen generator so that I will never have a power failure on that circuit.

OK.  Generators --> Heavi watt wire --> Transformer --> Conductive wire --> Smart battery  and Aquatuner.  The smart battery buffers the power from the transformer so that the aquatuner can operate.  Normal wire will burn out, but conductive wire can handle up to 2kw, so it'll be fine.  The smart battery can disconnect the transformer once it is charged.  Your generators should each be connected to their own smart battery on the Generator's heavi-watt wire grid.  These smart batteries will turn off the generators and conserve fuel.

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IMPLEMENTATION OF A SWITCHING BATTERY: (disclaimer: some might consider this an exploit. You are free not to use it).

OK, now that we got the theory out of the way and we saw the typical use of PT and SB, let's see what are the limits that we can achieve with those elements. Here is a more advanced example of what I managed to do: smart battery switching mechanism that is useful to transfer power without overloading even normal wires. This can be used in a huge base to prevent overloading and decrease the use of Heavy Watt wires to a minimum:

On the first picture I'm showing you the basic setup

• 2 rooms(or 20, doesn't matter) with generators(labeled (1)).
• Heavy-Watt because PT can draw up to 5kW. Here even conductive wire doesn't work. That's the only place where you need Heavy-Watt.
• You need batteries on the high end to store the potential power that will be transferred fast to consumers via the PT.
• For each generator-room you should have 1 PT that links to the main circuit(that is labeled (2)).
• More than 1PT is useless in my eyes, since even 1 PT transfers 5kW, which should recharge batteries fast enough, especially with more generator rooms.
• Finally there are the consumer rooms, 4 of them in this picture, you could have 40 in your base, again it doesn't matter(that is labeled (3))..
• The important thing here is that you have a group of 2 batteries, at least 1 of which is SB to control the switching(they can be both SB).
• The idea is to have 1 battery always connected to (3) to supply consumers with energy, while the 2nd battery is connected to (2) and charging fast via the PT.
• For that purpose you need 4 PS per circuit, 2 for each battery, that will control whether the battery is linked to (2) or (3)

Here is the Logic Overlay(Shift+F2). A few technical things to note:

• There are 5 conditions for the Power Shutoff(PS). To start, you need a green - red pair in 4 places
1. around battery 1(SB)
2. around battery 2(normal Battery)
3. facing circuit (3) - consumer side
4. facing circuit (2) - PT side
5. Finally, the PS that is between the SB and the PT MUST be connected directly to the SB (that is, without a NOT gate). This PS controls the recharging of the SB and needs to be green when SB is drained. Otherwise the circuit will fail when the SB is empty.
• This means the Power shutoffs should be red(through not gate)-green(directly)-red-green with 1 of the green being between the SB and the PT.
• SB is set to 100% Standby(X) and 5% Active(Y). that 5% is important to keep your circuit running all the time. If it is less than 5%(e.g. default 0), that circuit will become unpowered for a second when the SB is fully discharged but hasn't switched yet. The Standby can be set to almost any value, as long as X > 10%, it shouldn't matter, as the 40kJ battery is almost always charging and will have enough power to maintain the circuit running while the SB is recharging
• I am using 1 SB and 1 normal battery in all circuits. You can use 2 SB instead. however, note that the 2nd SB will have 1 extra logic port which might interfere with your logic grid if you decide to switch later and have the logic circuit already built. Therefore you might consider building the logic circuits in a way that doesn't pass through the potential 2nd logic port. In my setup I made sure those places are logic-free.

Some general remarks:

• You need 1 PT for every 5 circuits(given that circuits are 1kW each, otherwise more PTs) to keep up with the power drain.
• If 1 of your circuits runs out of power that means
• that you are not generating enough power
• that you need to add more batteries(i.e. bigger buffer) to the generator side(3), in order to store sufficient amount of energy.
• You could add more batteries to the non-smart section to increase the reliability of only selected circuits. That way when power fails they'll keep running longer than others.
• However, when there's sufficient power, they'll be wasting more power from those batteries and also generating more heat.
• You could use a SB on the high-end side(3) to turn off the generator and the PT off if you don't need that power + to save heat. That can be used for non-renewable resources, such as coal, that can be used only in an emergency.
• However, note that you need to make sure the PT has 0 charge itself.
• Cutting the power ONLY before the PT on the high end works - the PT will slowly use its 1kW charge and then stop generating heat.
Spoiler

One option is to just disable the Coal generator. That seems like the best thing to do, since you should use it only when other power sources fail. This will let the PT drain the batteries => then stop working and generating heat.

Here is an example with a manual switch. If you don't need so much power, cutting the circuit in that place(either with a switch or using automation) will stop the 2nd PT when its last 1kJ charge is used. That will save you 5W heat from that transformer, as long as the other transformer can keep up with the workload.

• Turning off the PT directly using automation does work.
• However, you lose the 1kW charge inside the PT, so you shouldn't do this very often(once/5sec means 120kW lost power/cycle, that's a dupe running the wheel 1/2 of the time).
Spoiler

Here it is - the Smart battery is set to 95% Standby, and it has turned off both coal generators and the Power transformer. It will turn them back on when it reaches the Active %(in this case I set it to 5% Active, that means when it reaches 1kJ of energy it will turn on the system. This should be enough so that fridges stay powered all the time.

• Cutting the power on both sides DOES NOT WORK
• PT holds that 1kJ of charge and heats up
• Note that the charge is not decreasing and the PT's °C rises => you're generating heat for free(anyone feeling cold today?)
• Cutting the power only on the low-side(consumers) logically does not work - PT will stay charged and continue to generate heat.
Spoiler

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TL ; DR ; How to build a switching battery in 4 "easy" steps

1. Start with wires - make a (non-intersecting) loop that goes around through both batteries and all 4 shutoffs, so that there are 2 shutoffs between Battery1 and Battery 2 on each wire that connects them. Your setup should be --- B1 - PS1 - PS2 - B2 - PS3 - PS4 ---(connects to B1)
• Spoiler

2. Build 2 wires , one between the 2 shutoffs on each side. Those 2 wires shouldn't pass through the shutoffs. They connect the battery system to consumers and to the PT. Your loop should look like --- B1 - PS1 - W1 - PS2 - B2 - PS3 - W2 - PS4 ---(connects to B1)

• Spoiler

3. Build logic circuits.
Spoiler

Careful if you want a 2nd SB, you will have to change the logic to leave that red square free, or design it properly from the start. However, If you don't plan on using a 2nd SB it doesn't matter so you can leave it like that.

1. link the PS between the SB and the PT directly to the SB, this is labeled "green"
Spoiler

Here, first connect the bottom left PS with the SB, then look at the wiring to see which should be red and which should be green.

As you can see, bottom left is connected directly to the battery, because that's where the SB connects to the PT for charging.

2. then following the wire loop in one direction, make other SP-s Red, Green, Red. You'll need 1 "Not" gate for the "Red"-s

4. Setup the SB - make the Active slider at least 5%(10% if your consumer circuit is using conductive wire and 2kW limit)
Spoiler

And that should be all. Now link the "battery pack" to the consumers and the main grid and wait until the SB charges. From then on you should have stable power.

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Smart battery pack in action:

Example 1 - Metal Refinery on steroids

Here is the metal refinery with 2 PTs from earlier, but this time equipped with a smart battery pack.

Spoiler

• Notice something strange about the PT-s? We only need 1 PT, since it can charge a battery with 5kJ/sec, whereas the metal refinery uses only 1.2.
• That means SB effectively allowed us to deconstruct 1 Power transformer without any loss in power or production.
• Look at the info box on the right - 2kW max safe Wattage on the right circuit. The only required conductive wires are those up to the outer PS-s
• I can build the metal refinery somewhere far away in another galaxy, as long as there is a switching smart battery pack next to it.
• Practically no conductive or heavi-Watt wires on long distances

Example 2 - Fridge heaven

• Normal wires (max 1kW) everywhere except for the high-end side
• everything is powered

Of course, this is in sandbox mode and 2 coal generators can't keep up with the almost 4kW fridge demand, so this test system is powered only ~ 30% of the time. but hey, who uses fridges anyways But if you have enough power behind the PTs, even 1 PT is enough to power all these fridges.

Currently the smart batteries are serving consumers everywhere, while the normal batteries are charging (with 1.2kW, which is not enough of course). However, those batteries were charged in the beginning when I connected the system. That shows that it works as it is supposed to. The problem now is providing enough juice for all consumers.

If you want to see it in actual action, here it is, much uglier, in my base. Those are 2 sets of switched batteries, one controlling 4 air pumps on my SPOM tank, the other controlling electrolyzers, water pump and sieve. I'm also thinking of adding 1 more circuit, since those generators need to work 100% and use that power somewhere. Of course, because of space constraints, I had to place the switches further away or to the sides and this made the circuits a pain to build. I even made a mistake of not connecting the proper PS directly to the SB, so my air pumps were idle while 1 of the batteries was fully charged (facepalm). I'm just trying to show that this design can fit many different setups depending on the space constraints. Note the Heavi-Watt usage - only 9 tiles. I should have another 2-3 batteries on the high end between the generators and the PT, but there's no space for that. Those batteries would provide an extra buffer in case all other batteries along the consumer circuits are full.

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Here is a post where I show off my base that uses that setup and several smart battery packs, as well as generator management tricks:

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I understand that others have discovered this setup before me and after some digging I found links to other threads. They were useful when understanding the PT mechanic, so I'll post them here as well, as some of them contain even more complicated examples.

A very useful discussion of PT:

Spoiler

A more complicated example with optimization of a large bank of SB-s:

Spoiler

Battery charging speed question:

Spoiler

A large base - exactly where the battery design can be used to prevent the 20kW overload problem. I plan to post a link to this thread there:

Spoiler

I'm open to comments and suggestions.

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I give you a +1 for your hard work, but i feel like no beginner is reading this wall ^^

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1) People having trouble with a big base and >20kW usage can also benefit from this.

2) How the PT works might be a mystery to some not-so-beginner players, so I felt like it's nice to clear the air around it. Same goes for (+) and (-) of SB usage, particularly, deleting that 1kW of energy. It might be the case that it deletes the current input of other generators as well

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3 minutes ago, martosss said:

However, people having trouble with a big base and >20kW usage can also benefit from this.

I see no need for such big grids. I play it different a bit.
Edit:
But here is someone energy hungry

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I'm also far from 20kW usage, but having that solution still helps me to stay away from expensive wiring.

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If this thread is a tutorial, with a focus on educating - why havn't you put more pictures up of a standard intended grid?

Most people struggle with even basic power grids, never mind lightly wired alternating set ups...

Personally I've never used a serial battery set-up, and probably never will. The tools we have within the game make it a time saver that realistically nobody needs. It was different back when people were first posting the earliest setups after the automation update, back then we didn't have readily renewable metals - so it was a resource saver more than anything. Now it's just a waste of time imo.

Great work on the detailed thread, but I think some more focus on "intended standard power grids" would be a much better addition to your guide, as this isn't so much an "Electricity tutorial" as a "this is how I do my grids" thread - which is using a method a lot of us were already aware of, and is no means new.

Just my 2cents.x

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Just a small piece of information I would like to add:

If you use automation to turn of a power transformer you delete the currently charged capacity, but if you would use a power shut off to disable the wire feeding the power transformer you achiev the same without deleting energy.

PS: Great work but not really a tutorial, it´s more like a wiki page to show every possible niche interaction

=> Maybe add some information to our wiki

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8 minutes ago, Lilalaunekuh said:

Just a small piece of information I would like to add:

If you use automation to turn of a power transformer you delete the currently charged capacity, but if you would use a power shut off to disable the wire feeding the power transformer you achiev the same without deleting energy.

PS: Great work but not really a tutorial, it´s more like a wiki page to show every possible niche interaction

=> Maybe add some information to our wiki

That's already covered, including 1 bit you missed - where to place the PS so that the PT is actually off and doesn't generate heat.

And regarding the wiki ... yea, I was reading the stuff there.. pretty outdated...

23 minutes ago, Lifegrow said:

Most people struggle with even basic power grids, never mind lightly wired alternating set ups...

................

a method a lot of us were already aware of, and is no means new.

Just my 2cents.x

So which one is it - people struggle with it or people are aware of it ? I certainly wasn't aware of it until I read the forum, and I had to read 3-4 threads to fully understand the details.

In fact, all those explanations in the start should serve as a pretty good tutorial to "basic wiring", even if you don't use the switching batteries.

And if you're talking about a 1kW basic grid, I don't think you need an explanation for that - just select wire, hold left click on your mouse button and let your imagination loose

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7 minutes ago, martosss said:

So which one is it - people struggle with it or people are aware of it ? I certainly wasn't aware of it until I read the forum, and I had to read 3-4 threads to fully understand the details.

Both are true observations.

1. Most people struggle with even basic power grids.
2. A lot of us (i.e. users of these forums) are well aware of everything within your post.

Wasn't trying to provoke - but it's true.

7 minutes ago, martosss said:

And if you're talking about a 1kW basic grid, I don't think you need an explanation for that - just select wire, hold left click on your mouse button and let your imagination loose

I wasn't, I was talking about a 20kw > battery > transformer > battery > 2kw set up, i.e. the generally accepted largest standard grid.

Listen, feedback is what I offered - I was saying "hey, you can make this a complete tutorial thread and probably get it stickied if you just add a few more examples". Take it or leave it, but as it stands currently your thread offers very little to the majority of users of the Klei forums. Those that are frequent users of these forums already know about power shut off automation, those who aren't frequent users of the forums probably need two steps of tutorial BEFORE your thread to even begin to understand.

If you don't believe me, go spend 5 minutes on reddit and come back to me with what you've learned

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2 hours ago, martosss said:

However, note that you need to make sure the PT has 0 charge itself.

• Turning off the PT directly using automation does work.
• However, you lose the 1kW charge inside the PT, so you shouldn't do this very often(once/5sec means 120kW lost power/cycle, that's a dupe running the wheel 1/2 of the time).

My intention was not to show that your missing something about the power transformer

=> If I read your description without further knowledge, I would just know that it´s a bad habit to automate the power transformer directly and that I should´t do it to often.

BUT: If you want to write a tutorial, why not show the easy way to automate a transformer without energy loss

(Using a power shut off on the "high" side)

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11 minutes ago, Lifegrow said:

Both are true observations.

1. Most people struggle with even basic power grids.
2. A lot of us (i.e. users of these forums) are well aware of everything within your post.

Wasn't trying to provoke - but it's true.

I wasn't, I was talking about a 20kw > battery > transformer > battery > 2kw set up, i.e. the generally accepted largest standard grid.

Listen, feedback is what I offered - I was saying "hey, you can make this a complete tutorial thread and probably get it stickied if you just add a few more examples".

Fair enough, the problem is that this thread is already humongous, even without the "typical" setup. Also, if you're a beginner, I am providing at least 3-4 links, one of which(the power transformer) contains info+pics exactly on those typical setups. I just don't want to repeat too much what has been said(although the theory is exactly repetition, but it's succinct, so it might be better than reading 4 threads). But you're right - I might steal some pics from those threads and just slap them in the middle as an example of a "simple" transformer grid, before the heavy battery stuff begins.

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5 minutes ago, martosss said:

Fair enough, the problem is that this thread is already humongous, even without the "typical" setup. Also, if you're a beginner, I am providing at least 3-4 links, one of which(the power transformer) contains info+pics exactly on those typical setups. I just don't want to repeat too much what has been said(although the theory is exactly repetition, but it's succinct, so it might be better than reading 4 threads). But you're right - I might steal some pics from those threads and just slap them in the middle as an example of a "simple" transformer grid, before the heavy battery stuff begins.

Edited just now by martosss

In my humble opinion your post is exactly what I want from a cheat sheet.

=> So it´s good for advanced players to check their knowledge

(it´s still a game in development so it´s great to have something like this)

But like  @Lifegrow said, it´s not for beginners and not really a tutorial

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6 hours ago, Lilalaunekuh said:

My intention was not to show that your missing something about the power transformer

=> If I read your description without further knowledge, I would just know that it´s a bad habit to automate the power transformer directly and that I should´t do it to often.

BUT: If you want to write a tutorial, why not show the easy way to automate a transformer without energy loss

(Using a power shut off on the "high" side)

Yea, I guess I should have pics for all the options, that way people can see the alternatives and understand the drawbacks

• Included some pics for the PT + for the switched battery tutorial steps
• added also a metal refinery example in 2 places
• how to use 2 PTs to power consumers with >1kW usage
• how to use switching smart battery pack to decrease the number of PTs back to 1
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Any battery after PT is ok right? Why 2 PT for the same effect when you can save space?

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4 minutes ago, he77789 said:

Any battery after PT is ok right? Why 2 PT for the same effect when you can save space?

Yes, any battery after PT is fine and will allow machines over 1kw draw to operate.  Usually I use a smart battery so I can turn the transformer off.  A battery also generates less heat than a transformer.  However, it is ALSO possible to power things like an aquatuner with two transformers and no battery.

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PT can only be made in raw metal but smart battery isn't.

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Small addendum but the Smart Battery only generates 2.5 W of heat, making two of them (equal to a normal large battery in storage) 5 W compared to the large battery's 6.25 W. They are more efficient both in power runoff and in heat generated (which only makes sense since that heat comes from said power runoff)

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Alright, here is a nifty little update using the Switching smart battery pack to make an Automatic Power Controller. It will automatically switch off PT or generators (whichever it is hooked to) when batteries are full.

Here is the wiring. Nothing fancy, just our Heavi-Watt for Generators-PT + normal wires for everything else

And here is the Logic, again nothing fancy with the battery pack. The new part is on the left - I added an OR gate + a shutoff for the PT on the high end.

The idea:

• when either(or both) of the batteries needs charging, the OR gate activates and the generator part starts working.
• when both batteries are sufficiently full, the generators are turned off and the power supply to the PT is also cut. That way it will discharge its remaining 1kJ buffer and stop heating the room.

What you might do is dedicate a Smart battery pack only for the generators and use that to stop them when all batteries are full, keeping the PT running and supplying the whole grid with power. I am still working on the details, as switching batteries are not needed there, you need a different setup.

1 hour ago, Sevio said:

Small addendum but the Smart Battery only generates 2.5 W of heat, making two of them (equal to a normal large battery in storage) 5 W compared to the large battery's 6.25 W. They are more efficient both in power runoff and in heat generated (which only makes sense since that heat comes from said power runoff)

Ugh, you're right, I had my numbers wrong for the SB, I'll fix the Heat generation detail. However, you still need

• x2 more space for smart batteries
• refined metal requires lots of heat for production.
• The least heat required by the metal refinery is 13.2kJ/100kg. For 400kg(the cost of 2 SBs) that's ~53kJ. Now 2 SBs produce 1.25W less heat, so 750J/cycle. That means short term(in the first 70 cycles) it's "cooler" to have normal batteries, as you'll generate less heat if you don't make the refined metal. And that's only for Gold, other metals produce 4-5 times more heat => x4-5  more time(300-400 cycles) until you reach the same amount of heat.

Of course, once you pass that point you'll have to spend that heat for the smart batteries anyways, or continue generating more heat with normal ones. But the space requirement is also important, as a small base is easier to maintain - less distance for dupes to travel => less time wasted. Those are the main reasons why I'm using normal 40kJ batteries. I'm thinking of slowly switching but that just takes time and cooling

Here's what happens when you make refined metal - I just had my metal refinery break an abyssalite pipe with hot water, as I'm feeding it 80° hot water from a geyser and then feeding the 85° waste to the electrolyzers). I just tried refining other metals than gold, since gold ore can be useful vs overheating... and that extra 20° of heating broke the pipe => scorching dupes ... hot water spillage ... blinking lights and red messages ... and I"m back to gold refining since I can't provide enough cooling. So There are your 2 solid reasons for using normal batteries.

Of course, if you can afford the refined metal - go for smart, even cooler. You get free automation support as well. If you wait a little I'll post an automation with 2 smart batteries that can turn off generators while batteries are full. That way you can mix normal and smart batteries and still use the full 40kJ capacity of normal batteries(which currently you can't use - a smart battery will charge faster and if you turn off generators with it, all your normal batteries will be charged only to 50% - effectively reducing the power buffer by ½).

Nice, Thank you.

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3 hours ago, martosss said:

refined metal requires lots of heat for production.

Smooth Hatches.

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Alright, here's the update:

Problem: SB can be used to turn on/off generators . However, If you also link normal batteries , they will charge only 50% before generators are off. We would like to charge all batteries to the max and then turn off generators until all batteries are drained.

Solution:

2 SBs that are linked together and act as 1 40kJ smart piece. The benefits:

• Mainly solves the problem above - allows using normal batteries together with smart batteries.
• Also it can provide a small heat reduction bonus, since 1 SB will be empty ¼ of the time => 0.6W less heat(who cares, right?)

Here is the setup - I am using 2 SBs and 2 PSs + logic:

• We are working on the High end of the PT, so we need heavy wires everywhere.
• The right SB is the commanding one, so its Active state begins at 10%. This ensures there is enough energy left before the generators are turned back on.

Logic is getting a bit harder. We need an XOR gate, L and R for Left and Right battery

• The action goes in the following order:
1. L fills up (L and R empty) => Generators working
2. R fills up (L full, R empty) => Generators working
• stop generators
3. L drains (L and R full) => Generators stopped
4. R drains (L empty, R full) => Generators stopped
• Start generators and repeat.
• Notice
• R is connected when only 1 of the batteries is full => use XOR gate
• L is connected during the rest of the time => use NOT gate after the XOR
• The generators are working exactly when R is empty => connect R directly to the generators

This way normal batteries will fill up almost to the top before the system goes in shutdown. You can hook up more normal batteries to increase the power buffer.

• Since normal batteries lose more energy from runoff, the normal batteries are guaranteed to drain first, meaning that you will always use the full capacity of the normal batteries.

I tried making a bit better version where batteries are even smarter and fill up / drain in the order L R R L, but the logic is too big, too expensive and too hard to explain, so I won't recommend/explain it.

Here's a picture though:

Spoiler

The general idea is that the 2 PS differ only by a NOT gate as in the previous example. The left PS is almost the same as the left Battery, but there is 1 bad case which has to be fixed and all those logic gates in the middle serve that purpose. The Memory gate in the middle controls the state of the generators(on/off). It can be decreased in size, but I think the logic gates can't be reduced. That makes it unrealistic.

51 minutes ago, Lifegrow said:

Smooth Hatches.

I actually had them, then I started thinking ... to get smooth hatches you need to feed stone hatches with metal, which sucks. Then, even with smooth hatches, you only get 75% conversion rate, so I'd rather slap one metal refinery and think about the heat later. Raw metals are limited on the map(as some wise people have noticed), so the less you waste, the better. That being said, refined metal can be gathered from volcanoes and meteors, so ... better use less metal refineries and even less smooth hatches Right now I"m gonna focus on glossy dreckos and getting plastic ladders. That seems like a better use of space than the smoothies(nom nom nom barbecue time!). Sage hatches are good for waste, though. I'm still on outhouses(cycle 100-ish), so 5-10 sages help a lot, although even only 2-3 Sage hatchlings are enough to deal with the polluted dirt - 160 kg/cycle .. = 20 dupes/sage. But hey, you might also keep them for eggs. 100 cycles lifetime is nice and long.

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I'm pretty sure you can reduce the amount of logic you need for that.  The design of a switched battery pack I've posted in the other threads does pretty much that.  The same one I came up with in R1.

By leveraging 2 NAND tied together, 2 Smart batteries can effectively be tied together as a single 40KJ battery unit.  The only thing I'd add to it is a Filter/Buffer gate across the top wire to prevent an edge case of them rapidly switching.  (This has only happened to me while first building them and never  after).  Both batteries can discharge at the same time, but the NANDs enforce only one smart battery charging at a time.  It takes up a bit more space then the standard switched pack with only a NOT gate, but you do get the benefit of the local circuit getting a larger battery buffer visible to it.  (Not that it matters too much since most circuits will be just fine with just 20KJs)

I really don't find getting refined metal that hard to get ahold of.  Most maps have way more then enough raw metal that you can use the Rock Granulator for most of your refined metal needs and not worry about the 50% loss.  But perhaps that's just me.

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3 hours ago, The Flying Fox said:

I'm pretty sure you can reduce the amount of logic you need for that.  The design of a switched battery pack I've posted in the other threads does pretty much that.  The same one I came up with in R1.

Needed for what? The last picture that is hidden in the spoiler with 8 logic gates? I'd be happy if you show me an improved version having the same behavior and using less gates. My goal is to drain 2 Smart batteries with the same speed as I would drain a normal(40kJ) battery. That is why I expose only 1 battery at a time to the outer circuit. Moreover, I want them to both recharge consecutively and then both drain consecutively in order 1 2 2 1 and then repeat the cycle. That ensures better power efficiency(2 is empty at steps 1 and 4, so ½ of the time, that is 25% less heat on average from those 2 batteries).

3 hours ago, The Flying Fox said:

By leveraging 2 NAND tied together, 2 Smart batteries can effectively be tied together as a single 40KJ battery unit.  The only thing I'd add to it is a Filter/Buffer gate across the top wire to prevent an edge case of them rapidly switching.  (This has only happened to me while first building them and never  after).  Both batteries can discharge at the same time, but the NANDs enforce only one smart battery charging at a time.  It takes up a bit more space then the standard switched pack with only a NOT gate, but you do get the benefit of the local circuit getting a larger battery buffer visible to it.  (Not that it matters too much since most circuits will be just fine with just 20KJs)

I really don't find getting refined metal that hard to get ahold of.  Most maps have way more then enough raw metal that you can use the Rock Granulator for most of your refined metal needs and not worry about the 50% loss.  But perhaps that's just me.

OK, I managed to follow the logic gates - 2 ANDs, 2 NOTs and an OR below. It will do the job. 1 question:

• Why do you need the "benefit" of larger visible battery buffer? Does it matter if consumers see 20kJ, then they see another 20(or 40)(that's my scenario above), vs if they see 20+20? I think it's absolutely the same, as long as I have a small buffer(1-2kJ) before I start recharging, so that there's no brownout, but I do have that.
• So your costs(2NANDs) vs my costs(from the first part of my post above where I have the 3 coal generators) are
• you - 5 gates + 30 cable pieces 250-300 refined metal worth of logic.... (+ 2 SB but I won't take that into account)
• me  - 2 gates + 12 cables 100-150 refined metal ... so I'm 2-3 times cheaper ?
• BTW my solution provides a possible 20+40kJ buffer, so that's bigger than your 40kJ(since you need 2 Smart batteries, I can get by with only 1 SB and a normal battery)
• Also, my goal in the above post was a bit different - it was to enable a large bank of normal batteries to be added to the generators and still be able to switch the generators off when those batteries are full. In your setup you're not using a PT or heavy wire, so you power only 1kW worth of consumers. That's fine for a while, but as soon as that coal generator needs a refill you'll be out of power until a dupe comes and refills it.

P.S. Added Borderline exploit case for the Power Switch - atmo sensor + PS = instant grid control. Also works with non-automated machinery(such as air pumps that you want to quickly start/stop just for a few seconds).

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Here is a link where I do dissection of the moment of switching between 2 batteries. It was noted that Not gate has a slight delay, which turns out to be true, but does not affect this setup, as there is only 1 logic element, so the switching happens in <1sec.

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@martosss is there a way to have more than 1kw consumers on the low-end of a small transformer that uses normal wires, and not have them overload the circuit when they all try to pull +1kw, but instead just have brownouts throughout the network? I seem to always end up with the transformer supplying more than 1kw and then getting overloads on the network.