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Solar Panels?

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Order66x, Nov 16, 2013.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Order66x Trainee Engineer

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    I looked around a bit and did not notice anything about this but if there is i do apologize in advance...Basically plain and simple like in the title could we get solar panels implemented? There could be all sorts of styles long, shorts, flat, etc. or you could make them exactly like windows just solar panels and each panel produces X number of power. These could replace the Nuclear Generators to some extent...So you could have two different power sources depending on what people prefer. Correct me if I am wrong I haven't done any research on these but i would imagine Nuclear Power is more powerful than solar so they could have a smaller radius that powers nearby objects... Picture similar to what I am talking about is below... Feel free to post additions or questions below!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Vermillion Senior Engineer

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    Since Nuclear Reactors need fuel, we don't know how long each fuel rod lasts, how power is expended by a fuelled reactor or how rare Uranitite is since we can't actually identify it from the other materials in asteroids (And before someone comes along as says "Durrr... Uranium is green". Uranium is NOT green. It's a silver-colored metal like most metals. Uranium can be mixed with other materials to make a lime-green ceramic dye which is where the stereotypical "green uranium" color comes from.).
    Back on track: Solar panels are rather flimsy and probably wouldn't be able to withstand the force of acceleration that crafts would put on them. As such, i'd say that they should be attachable to Space Stations only. With an addition of a portable Charge Grid and Power Cells for storing power for Ships in the event that Uranitite is rare/doesn't last long. Solar panels don't make much power as it is, so you'd probably need a lot of them.
    An example of a possible layout for power cells can be seen in Pitch Black and the new Riddick movie.
     
  3. frostee Trainee Engineer

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    It's space, there is no resistance (for the most part). The ISS with all it's solar panels is flying along at almost 8000m/s right now.
     
  4. YtramX Apprentice Engineer

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    He said acceleration, not speed. Acceleration would definitely cause issues with something like the solar panel arrays in the picture. They'd be a viable option for stations though. And there's no reason the panels couldn't be integrated into armor blocks. Perhaps we could use some alternative armor blocks that don't provide as much armor rating, but give us some supplemental power generation. It'd be enough to limp home of you run out of fuel for your reactors.
     
  5. Evis Apprentice Engineer

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    Solar panels are a great idea, although they would have advanced by 2077.

    I saw give us the truss, solar cells, wires, and batteries and let us design our own.
     
  6. RustedKitsune Trainee Engineer

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    Acceleration would only cause an issue with solar panels if they weren't properly braced. Of course, that also assumes maximum accel from the get go, building up to it allows said solar panels to remain in place.
    Ok, here's why acceleration is an issue, but not as much of one as people think it is. Take something slightly flexible (like a car antenna), then start moving one end around. Notice how the other end lags slightly behind? Part of that is due to air resistance, but the other part is that that end is not accelerating as fast and therefore not having the same velocity. There are ways around this: the more flexible the part, the less acceleration (and therefore velocity) an unattached end obtains. On the other end of the spectrum, the stiffer the part is, the more the applied acceleration is distributed evenly across the structure.
    By slowly increasing acceleration instead of going max power all the time, the acceleration/velocity difference in the various bits that stick out is decreased, with a corresponding decrease in the probability of structural failure. The other solution is to increase the stiffness of the part (eg, bracing). And yet another solution: put the part inline with the direction of acceleration, such as on the side.

    I do like the idea of solar panels. SO there's that too.
     
  7. Kamoba Senior Engineer

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    I like the nuclear reactors and the thought of a limited resource...
    Never mind
     
  8. RustedKitsune Trainee Engineer

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    Ah, but we're space engineers! Efficiency is Our Fetish! And using the sun for power? Rather efficient. Of course, we could make solar panels station only and point out that ships have higher power requirements that would require an inefficient amount of solar panels to supply.
     
  9. SpeedyB Trainee Engineer

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    Solar panels on ships would be great to have. You probly wouldn't use ones that stick out really far, just use flat mount panels on the ship's exterior. This would allow you to slowly limp home if you ran out of fuel rods. It would also allow defense satellites without having to constantly go out and refuel them. You could also shut down your station or ship's reactors when you log off and still have the weapons able to defend it.
     
  10. Gheiter Apprentice Engineer

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    Solar panels would be great for powering something like lights, but I hardly think they'd provide enough energy to effectively power thrusters.
    But still, it'd be cool to have them. Especially if one could decide where to allocate the power they output.
     
  11. FishBrains Apprentice Engineer

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    solar panels would definitely be an awesome thing to have. That way far out stations would not need to have supplies ran out to them whenever they are needed they could just have enough solar panels to keep themselves running.
     
  12. TechyBen Junior Engineer

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    In most instances, they would be for emergencies only. For flight, if you have nuclear/fusion, your safe. Panels become very delicate in transit if your mining (fine for interplanetary flight).

    Capacitors and general generators would probably be much better and easier. The game already has mini-mini nuclear plants on the shuttles/fighters.
     
  13. Order66x Trainee Engineer

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    I probably should have been more clear...I mainly meant as a space station item not really for space ship for reasons stated above but still could be implemented somehow into ships...
     
  14. Ubiqanon Trainee Engineer

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    Begin transmission.

    Good afternoon, forum.

    I am in agreement that solar panels for the space stations would be a good idea, an entertaining design element, but it begs the question of the overall approach to how the game deals with power.

    Since we currently have unlimited, and for its size, virtually super efficient and effectively waste free power that generates no heat, why would we need an alternative? Build 50 solar panels (for fun) or put in one reactor that generated 1000x the power that the panels do?

    One could argue that from a design standpoint the panels would be an enjoyable thing to build with. Agreed. Effectively they are an aesthetic choice.

    If there is a serious enough cost to running the reactors - heat management, waste disposal, risk of meltdown / explosion, expensive and scarce fuel resources, costly maintenance that, if neglected would lead to catastrophic failures, etc... then solar panels would be not merely aesthetic but functional. This would make them much more interesting.

    As to solar panels on ships, I think that the efficiency ratio of the size of the panel in relation to the energy provided, in our current level of technology, makes them extremely inefficient for small and medium ships (read more maneuverable), and they are much more prone to failures of efficiency. Highly maneuverable ships would need to reinforce the panels significantly, and the constant reorientation of the ship to the nearest star would require the panels to be constantly adjusting their orientations. This, I think, would be taxing your systems calculations - each panel would need to run algorithms in order to determine optimal orientation to the nearest star.

    End of Line.
     
  15. IamUSER Trainee Engineer

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    +1 and agree that the panels would be more advanced by 2077. But i doubt free solar energy will have lost its place. Perhaps for satellites or small stations. I like the one block reactor, but it kinda feels like cheating. Besides when multiplayer is active many of us will want to cripple power supplies. single small reactors hidden in walls are too difficult to find.
     
  16. IamUSER Trainee Engineer

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    Panels would also provide a backup means of power generation, just in case you run out of reactor fuel.
     
  17. Order66x Trainee Engineer

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    A lot of you need to remember the time frame this game takes place and this game is in Alpha still. Power supply along with anything else can completely change before this game is officially finished. Settings, radius, power layout, etc. of Nuclear Gens or any other power source added in the future could change this game just on if they implement ideas that we throw at them...And just think in the past 10 years how fast technology has grown, some of you guys are saying solar panels are obsolete and couldn't withstand being on sides of space ships in which is a plausible situation but in this time era its hard for any of us to imagine what we would have by then. If technology increases as its been by 2077 it would be so complex that very few people would completely understand it...

    Technological Singularity - "The technological singularity, or simply the singularity, is a theoretical moment in time when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence that will "radically change human civilization, and perhaps even human nature itself."[1] Since the capabilities of such an intelligence may be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the technological singularity is often seen as an occurrence (akin to a gravitational singularity) beyond which—from the perspective of the present—the future course of human history is unpredictable or even unfathomable."

    It goes on saying many predicts this will happen near year 2040...If that's the case we are 37 years after that and anything could happen. AI controlling ships, Shields, Skynet 2.0 or whatever...Keep an open mind about this people...Anything could be present at this era and this is a Suggestion Forum...
     
  18. demonocolips Apprentice Engineer

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    i see not problem with solar panels as they would (mostly) be free energy.

    sure unless their armored plates they will be relatively fragile to micro meteorites, bullets, ships and just about everything else. i can see stations having these or slow mining ships that pass through sector by sector using very little uranium except when they need alot of energy for refining or just topping off their capacitors when they hit 50% or something.

    they wouldn't be the best or the worst power solution but they would be an option and if nothing else people would love options.
     
  19. Razeth Trainee Engineer

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    To be honest, I just want solar panels so I can make a Dyson Sphere. Yes, we have radioactive materials and they are spread throughout the universe. We also have MASSIVE BALLS OF COMBUSTIBLE GAS ON FIRE EXPELLING ENERGY EVERY DAY.

    Freeman Dyson predicted that a technologically advanced race would extract their energy from stars. So my idea of an efficient station would either be a shell encompassing a small star or a collection of satellites orbiting a large star, storing solar energy into capacitors to be transferred to ships. After all, why produce more energy when the energy is already being produced? It just needs collecting =P
     
  20. Gentry Senior Engineer

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    2,167
    you won't be able to make a Dyson sphere in this game
     
  21. Glargh Trainee Engineer

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    I think small and large solar sails would be nice, both from an aesthetic and utilitarian view. perhaps with an ability to fold flat for tight maneuvering. it would enable players to build small ships with intricate solar sails, or perhaps a "solar galleon" (nautical vessel). purely from an aesthetic viewpoint more blocks= better, and solar panels fit the space theme perfectly.
     
  22. Sims_doc Junior Engineer

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    So, What year are you in? it must be mid 80's because solar panels can be coated onto metal or any surface now. they aren't theses bricks that everyone thinks they are they can be bent constrained and warp into any shape.

    even in the 90's a house was build with solar tiles, like actual tiling that was solar cells.

    Nuclear reactor rods can last depending on when there half life started 4.2 billion years, so yeah um..

    as for solar power and other green sources of energy i wouldn't mind it, because those things are the way of the future.. and considering power grids won't have resistance in them because superconductors are advancing pretty quickly every year.. they can currently run at room temperature so by then we will be able to run them in extreme environments and hot areas.

    Mind explaining why we can't? or is it just a nope, can't do round things in this game this is a block game.
     
  23. Kamoba Senior Engineer

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    @Sims Re Vermillion quote:
    He meant the in-game mechanics, not the real life theory.
     
  24. Sims_doc Junior Engineer

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    You better clarify that statement and do it fast, because i've got two mentions to his name.
     
  25. Kamoba Senior Engineer

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    Originally Posted by Vermillion
    Since Nuclear Reactors need fuel, we don't know how long each fuel rod last


    Nuclear reactor rods can last depending on when there half life started 4.2 billion years, so yeah um..


    ^
    That.

    Also bollocks to your 'clarify that and fast' demand, manners go a long way arsehole.
     
  26. Sims_doc Junior Engineer

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    thanks for bring that to my attention i guess in the future I'll pay more attention to my actions.
     
  27. Kamoba Senior Engineer

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    Okay I lol'ed :)
     
  28. Vermillion Senior Engineer

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    Half life means diddly-squat unless the fuel rod is sitting on a shelf in a storage locker. But it's not, it's being used inside a reactor. How long it lasts depends on the amount of energy being produced.

    The worlds currently largest nuclear reactor generates 6 Gigawatts from it's 7 reactors. With just one reactor, running on one rod it uses up a single fuel rod every 2.5 minutes.
    That's a current reactor today, they're big. Assuming we can get a reactor to the size we have in SE with the output it generates, it must be using up uranium at a ridiculous rate to get that amount power out of it.

    Half-Life Decay for power generation isn't a Nuclear Reactor, it's an Atomic Battery, and if I recall correctly, the "machine" we use in Space Engineers is titled "Nuclear Reactor".
     
  29. Sims_doc Junior Engineer

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    Huh, OK. But um just curious question if we are in space what do we do with the waste from the reactors? because i know most nations store waste believing that it may be useful for power generation of weapons and in some cases it is but again. What do you think we could do with the waste in space or maybe this better suited for another topic considering this is Solar Topic.
     
  30. SaturaxCZ Senior Engineer

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    1,718
    Rename nuclear reactor on nuclear fusin reactor ( problem solved + no material waste ) :p
     
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