# How do transformers work?

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So I have my power systems on one side of my transformer, and my output on the other side, but if normal wire can take up to 1 kw, and conductive 2, what's the point of transformers if the wiki says they only regulate to 1kw?  Please help me with this.

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wiki is outdated

the small transformer will regulate to 1kw which is good for normal wire

the large transformer will regulate to 2kw for conductive wire

Here's a pic with examples:

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Ok, but can you explain then what the point is for having one? If you're already limiting the circuit to 1 or 2k watts, what does the transformer do?

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But can you still get overload with this ? Because that happen all the time for me, on cycle 30+ when i get load of machine, i wire all the machine from the transformator with a conductive wire, and then i see overload damage, but where did that come from ? Did i need more transformers ? Did i need to do Something ?

I was like, you use the big wire on all the battery, then on the transformers and then you are good, look like i am wrong.

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10 minutes ago, ProfMembrane said:

Ok, but can you explain then what the point is for having one? If you're already limiting the circuit to 1 or 2k watts, what does the transformer do?

The Transformers allow you to have all your power production centralized onto a single network.  This lets you draw from your entire Power production volume anywhere you can run the wire to, instead of having to set up a new Generator of some description for each and every circuit you want or need to set up.  So if you're producing upwards of 10 kw of power, you can use a Transformer to split out 1 kw of it for a circuit made from basic Wire.

You could, instead, only ever build circuits that you have manually counted out to 1 kw on basic Wire, or 2 kw on Conductive Wire, and build generators for those lines totaling to the 1 kW or 2 kW requirements.  But doing so will be wasteful, as you cannot produce those values exactly.  It will always be more, or less.  It's also a much larger investment of resources to do this, because you're not just replicating power production all over the place, but you are also required to deal with waste products, like heat, or CO2 or P-H2O or whatever.  Which would have been centralized to a single disposal facility elsewhere, but is now scattered in multiple locations throughout your base.

17 minutes ago, harmonium said:

But can you still get overload with this ? Because that happen all the time for me, on cycle 30+ when i get load of machine, i wire all the machine from the transformator with a conductive wire, and then i see overload damage, but where did that come from ? Did i need more transformers ? Did i need to do Something ?

You still need to make sure that groups of devices on a given circuit are consuming less than or equal to the durability of the Wire type you are using.

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That's the thing, don't you have to count up to ensure you've got 1 kw anyway?  Because the transformers have a limit of 1 or 2 kw, so don't you have to manually seperate and count anyway? That's what I don't get? I've got a transformer with all generation on one side and stuff on the other side, but I still get overloads cause the whole circuit is more than 1 or 2 k, so if I have to ensure it's limited ,why use the transformer?

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The purpose of the transformer isn't to prevent you from overloading a circuit.  It is to allow you to draw from a much higher power circuit without blowing up all your wires.  Instead of connecting EVERYTHING in your base using heavi-watt wires, you connect the transformer to your high-power line with all the generators, then you can run normal wire or conductive wire through walls and across your base for a fraction of the cost.

What you actually connect with your normal or conductive wires will determine if you may or may not overload your system.  For example, if you have a small power transformer without a battery, you'll get brownouts any time you try to power more than 1kw worth of stuff.  Things like the aquatuner won't even run at all.  If you stick a battery on that circuit, then you could run the aquatuner -- until the battery died.  And your normal wires would burn out because the aquatuner draws 1200 watts.

To see what your maximum load is, just mouse-over the connecting power line and it will tell you your current load and the maximum on the circuit.

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The load on a circuit is determined solely by the demand of the consumers on that circuit. Transformers won't save you from overloading any single circuit. There's no reason to build just a single transformer.

The utility of transformers is to separate the grid into different circuits. The important effect is that the demand of consumers on one small side circuit won't overload the wires on a different small side circuit.

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by the time you are able to control how much power you are able to draw, you need to control what gets what and where it's needed, trust me transformers and SM's crank your power to extreme amounts of efficiency: MPT for you basic needs, BPT for the major consumers

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To make this more clear. You are eventually going to draw a lot of power. There is a wire type that can carry 20kw. However this wire is expensive and has a huge decoration hit. So the strategy is to hook your generators together with the 20kw then connect transformers to create offshoots of lighter wire. There are so many reasons to do this it would be difficult to itemize and explain them all here. Especially since you will discover them as you play the game.

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3 hours ago, ProfMembrane said:

I've got a transformer with all generation on one side and stuff on the other side, but I still get overloads cause the whole circuit is more than 1 or 2 k

Wait are you NOT using heavy watt wires to hook up your generators and batteries?

That might be your problem if you add up all your generators use large watt wires to handle a 20kw circuit

THEN use transformers to divide that circuit into 1 or 2kw circuits to power your colony

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Oh ok, so the point is to let you have one hevi-watt circuit for all your generators, and then parcel that out to different transfomers, am I correct?

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9 minutes ago, ProfMembrane said:

Oh ok, so the point is to let you have one hevi-watt circuit for all your generators, and then parcel that out to different transfomers, am I correct?

You are correct

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I use the transformer to protect my wires and make sure no more than 1kW of power enters a section of wire. I often have a line with 3kW+ potential consumers (rarely used appliances, cooking, exosuit docks, doors).  It is quite effective at preventing circuit overloads. Here is a possible example made in sandbox mode (i'd probably put my oxygen generation on it's own line, but it can go here as well). NOTE, not every appliance below can run simultaneously (you can only add 1kW at a time), but the two batteries in the top rows allow me to store some power, and the things running in the bottom 2 rows won't consume the 1kW continuously, letting the top 2 rows fill slowly over time).  Things brown out when too much consumption occurs, and then they start working shortly later. If the thing you want to power can handle brown outs, and gets used occasionally, then this would work just fine.

The key to preventing a circuit overload is to make sure there is never a way to supply more than 1kW power on a line at any time. You can have way more consumers, provided it's impossible to supply more than 1kW (enters small transformer). Batteries on the consumer side cause the biggest problem, as they allow an infinite draw. So to prevent overloads, if you want more than 1kW of consumers past a transformer, then don't use batteries on the consumer side.  The battery should go before the transformer.

In the picture above, I have a single 1kW tranformer powering 4 1kW transformers (so 4kW consumption... odd).  The bottom two transformers are full at 1000. The next one up is currently filling a battery (on the consumer side - only connected to a refinery). Notice on this row I used conductive wire to power a refinery.  The battery will fill with enough power to run the refinery for a while before the power empties.  The transformer can only supply 1kw (and currently 240W are being used by the fridges), so the max input to the refinery is 760W+Battery to make the difference.  The refinery will run, but not continuously. Once the battery fills, the power will start to fill the transfomer as well.

I put a battery on the consumer side of the rock crusher (top row).  This is because I manually made sure the max consumption will never exceed 1kw.  If you manually makes sure a line has <1000W consumer, then  a battery is perfectly fine on the consumer side.  However, if I added a battery at any point to the bottom two rows, then it would be extremely easy to get circuit overloads (as the battery can power all of the things on the line at whatever rate needed).

Key take aways:

• Small transformers CAN protect a line from circuit overloads (provided you don't add batteries on the consumer side).
• A battery on the consumer side, of a small transformer, together with conductive wire on the consumer side) can power a metal refinery or aquatuner, without overloads, provided you don't need continuous operation.

Hope this helps.  I love the small transformers, and use them as soon as I get them.

I my current base, I even used a small transformer, along with smart battery switching (not needed here - but built it for practice), to power two aquatuners after my water seive (using @Kabrutes base cooling method) to get 12C water. The thing uses way less than 1000W average power, but when it needs to work it draws over 2kW. As such I used heavy watt wire on the consumer side, but brought power to the place with regular wires. You could easily replace the entire smart battery switching with small transformer and a single battery to get the same results.

Part of the reason for 4 batteries was to abuse the battery overheating exploit to cool the hot water to 75C without anything else.