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"Lazy solar panels bug" (Main Issue discovered)

Discussion in 'Bug Reports' started by FluffyAlyx, Jan 9, 2017.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. FluffyAlyx Trainee Engineer

    So i've came to a bug , where solar panels would show their energy output capabilities , yet would output 0 wats of power.
    after some research , and not being able to find any fix , i did some testing concerning this matter , as in previous saves i had it work somehow.
    I quickly arrived to the conclusion that makes up this thread's title: Solar pannels get energy drained from them two times , if you use batteries.
    Here's how i came to a conclusion:
    I did a clean test , just to confirm it with solid data , outside of my survival worlds , and it behaves the same way.
    1st i made a simple test grid , with 1 solar panel , 1 battery and 1 energy consuming block (i used gravity generator in this test , as you can change power required for it, it represents however all your power demand of a grid)

    To begin with , i confirmed that the bug still occurs , as you can see in folowing screenshots.
    You can see here the so common issue of 0 output.
    What is suposed to happen here , is that 118.9kw of power should be coming from solar panel , into gravity generator , but does not , as we can see in folowing screenies:[​IMG]
    here we see the total system required power.
    and on this screenie above we can clearly see that all the power required to feed the system comes from battery , rendering solar panel completely useless in this situation.
    To be honest , i did quite elaborate research spending literary hours trying to figure a fix for this bug on the internet , browsing steam threads , googling around , and even this site.
    However most of suposed causes of the bug i've seen were priority issues , and unworking fixes trying to fix it.

    This gets more intresting however when we start to adjust required input.
    so here i lower the gravity pull , rendering grids power requirement ounly 50.54kw.
    lets see what your solar panel does.
    Wait a minute , it started giving up some power , not all however , and more than the grid is required to run. Why 68.36kw tho? is that a random number panels decided to share? not at all. lets see what battery got in this situation.
    So here we can clearly see , that 50.54kw is going from battery to supply energy's demand , while 68.36 from solar panel is being used to charge the battery? why not all the power it can provide tho? max input is whole 12mw , right?
    Turns out there is a single reason for all of this:
    Game calculates your energy needs , and subtracts it from real output from solar panels. thats is.
    it acts as energy is being used WITHOUT actually useing it.
    how did i find it out , when no one seems to have done it? Easy , just do a quick math in your head:
    Energy need in this situation is just 50.54kw.
    Solar panel makes 118.9kwh
    so in this case , 50.54 kw out of 118.9 should go to gravity generator , and the rest get stroed in batteries.
    this rest is 118.9-50.54 , wich equals to 68.36.
    Wait , but that does happen already , right? indeed it does , and it works correctly.
    the whole situation here is that those 50.54kw from solar panels are instead used from battery, because game subtracts it from solar panel output , but doesnt actually register is as being used. (at least in my narrows understeanding of things).

    so in first scenario , required power was way above of what panel could produce , setting its output to 0.
    So if you want your solar panels to work in current game , you just need to top all your power demands with them , and ounly after they will start to produce any effect.

    I ineed ran this test more than one time , as well as in survival , but in order to prevent scrollwheel abuse i decided not to post anymore screens.
    you can do this easy test yourself , the real solar panel output (assuming there's something to provide energy to) is currently simply (max panel output) - (Energy demand) , and its 0 if the number is negative in that calculation.
    so in order to have working solar panel ounly energy , you just need to make it double (say you got 1mw requirement , put 20 panels ,that produce roughtly 2mw , and you should see that you have around 50 kw incoming from each )

    I belive this is not how the game was intended to be , and that this bug will be soon fixed , now that i pointed out the cause.

    i'll go ahead and point out the solutions too , as from my research i belive this bug is in the game for more than a year now.

    This situation need either a fix in a way that it actually powers blocks , or just make them ounly be able to charge batteries , both would do much MUCH better than now , as people already accept this game laggy , so if it works somehow , its good enough.
    Remoove demand energy remooval from panels output or just fix it so it does it in correct manner.

    Best wishes and luck , for both the developers and this greate game itself.

    ps. If you find me wrong here in any way , please let me know.
    and i can finaly play freely , knowing exacly whats wrong with my panels, oh well , time to farm some more silicon i guess.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  2. Atophy Trainee Engineer

    Apparently this is an old bug... I've read posts on it as ald as 2014...
    Logically the energy grid should load share, other energy sources charging batteries on the grid first then spilling into the grid to power other devices with solar having priority over reactor. Basically turning batteries into an uninterruptable power supply.
    Needs to get fixed... I'm hating batteries because of this bug.
  3. Gnarles Trainee Engineer

    I think there are 2 bugs at work here.

    #1. If your solar panels do not have enough total output to power the needs of the grid then they don't output anything. e.g. if you have 100kw output from the solars and your grid needs 105kw then the solars will output nothing and it will all come from battery power.

    #2. If you have enough solar output to power your grid both the solar panels and the batteries are used resulting in double the power usage.

    It is incredulous to me that we've not had a working energy grid on dedicated servers, ever! I remember posting a few bugs about these and other issues about a year ago. We even had some good suggestions on what order power should be used.

    1. All solar power should be used first and foremost.
    2. Batteries should be used to make up the difference if the solars are insufficient.
    3. Reactors should be used to make up the difference if the Solars + Batteries are insufficient.

    Not knowing the code I don't know the problems associated with implementing this. There seems to be a problem using different energy producing blocks to partially power the grid so maybe there is a bit of work to do to get this up and running but it's such a fundamental part of building any grid that it really should be looked at. It essentially results in us having to put way more solars, batteries and reactors on a grid to make sure it stays powered while you are offline on a dedicated server.
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