Guide: Power

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Space Exploration presents many new tools and challenges for creating power across your local interstellar cluster.

by Watchmaker#7148 as of 0.5.36

Entity Description[edit]

Stand-Alone Generators[edit]

Stand-alone generators require no water, making them suitable for arid environments. They're also simple to setup and use, and compact. The downside is that they have lower efficiency.

Burner Turbine Generators burn solid fuels, and Fluid Isothermic Generators burn liquid fuels.

Stand-Alone Generator Efficiencies
Generator Efficiency Electricity Generated (MW) Fuel (MW)
Burner Turbine Generator 85% 2.0 2.35
Fluid Isothermic Generator 75% 2.0 2.66

Heat Exchangers[edit]

Heat exchangers consume water and fuel and output steam at precise temperatures. Space Exploration adds the High-Temperature Heat Exchanger, which lives up to its name by consuming more heat and outputting higher temperature steam.

Boilers are fueled by inserters, but Heat Exchangers and High-Temperature Heat Exchangers are fueled by nuclear reactors, antimatter reactors, energy beam receivers, or heat pipes connected to any of the above.

Heat Exchangers
Entity Water (units/sec) Fuel (MW) Steam (units/sec) Temperature
Boiler 60 1.8 60 165 C
Heat Exchanger 103 10 103 500 C
High-Temperature Heat Exchanger 562 560 562 5,000 C


Turbines consume steam and output electricity. Space Exploration adds the Condenser Turbine and the High-Temperature Turbine Generator.

The Condenser Turbine is similar in function to the Steam Turbine. However, rather than consuming 500 C at 60 steam / second, it instead consumes 80 steam / second while outputting the same amount of power. In exchange, it will return 99% of the original water. This is essential for arid environments. Unlike the Steam Turbine, which operates at a lower rate if insufficient steam is delivered, Condenser Turbines will pulse on and off as sufficient steam for one operation is collected. Additionally, please note that Condenser Turbines can handle steam up to 1,000 C while the Steam Turbine is limited to 500 C. The below table displays operation using 500 C steam as this is the most common usage (produced by Heat Exchangers and High-Temperature Turbine Generators).

The High-Temperature Turbine Generator consumes 5,000 C steam and outputs 1 GW of power. Additionally, it also returns condensed water and 500 C steam, which can be further processed into either a Steam Turbine or a Condenser Turbine. Note that the High-Temperature Turbine Generator, similarly to the Condenser Turbine, loses 1% of input fluid, returning 78% water and 21% steam. This means that, for example, a fluid cycle that consists of a High-Temperature Turbine Generator working at full capacity, chained with three Condenser Turbines required to process the low-temperature steam, would lose 1000*0.01 = 10 units/s of water on the High-Temperature Turbine plus 210*0.01 = 2.1 units/s on the Condenser Turbines, so a full tank of water should last for about 25000/12.1/60 = 34.44 minutes.

Entity Steam (units/sec) Steam Temperature Electricity Generated (kW) Water Returned (units/sec) Additional Notes
Steam Engine 30 165 C 900 0
Steam Turbine 60 500 C 5,800 0
Condenser Turbine 80 500 C 5,800 79.2
High-Temperature Turbine Generator 1,000 5,000 C 1,000,000 780 Also returns 210/sec 500 C Steam

Solar Panels[edit]

Space Exploration also provides three upgraded versions of solar panels. Although slightly larger, they can be walked on and generate significantly more power.

Solar Panel
Entity Electricity Generated (kW) Tech Level
Solar Panel 60 Terrestrial
Flat Solar Panel 400 Rocket Science
Flat Solar Panel Mk 2 800 Energy Science 1
Flat Solar Panel Mk 3 1600 Deep Space Science 1

Solar panels placed in orbit or on spaceships will run at half efficiency but will always have access to sunlight. A common strategy is to place flat solar panels around a star's orbit and then beam the power to where it is needed. Representative solar values are presented below.

Solar Efficiency
Location Solar Efficiency Beam Transmission Efficiency
Solar Orbit 1,519% 94.79%
Nauvis 100% 63.90%
Nauvis Orbit 466% 64.31%
Asteroid Belt at Mid-System 172% 63.86%
Asteroid Belt at Edge of System 20% 51.62%
Asteroid Field 1% 15.69%
Interstellar Spacecraft 1% N/A

Steam Batteries[edit]

Production / (Consumption) Table[edit]

Common Ratios[edit]

For every 1gw of heat available from, say, an antimatter reactor setup, you will want 2 high-temperature heat exchanges, 1 high temperature turbine generator and 3 condenser turbines.