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Is Using A Centralized Power Grid A Good Idea

Discussion in 'General FTB chat' started by rolander68, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. rolander68

    rolander68 Guest

    This may need clarification, but I'm going to try and explain as best as I can.

    I recently thought about trying to connect everything to a "grid" where all machines and stuff that runs on RF will be connected to the same power storage, sort of like how all the buildings in a town/city are powered on the same energy grid (sort-of). Basically, I'm considering having a giant power bank (most likely a bunch of EnderIO capacitor banks in a square shape in the center of my base) with all the energy from all my assorted generators running into it (like the constant energy supplies from biofuel and random bits of energy if I end up having a surplus of coal or something that can generate RF). Running out of the mega-power-bank will be fluxducts or something that run underground and power the whole base.

    I'm asking that since I'm still kind of a noob at tech mods, would this be a good idea, because I have thought about it and it seems like if everything was being charged by fluxducts, then would the RF transfer limit slow down the charge rate of machinery? (I'm not sure if "RF transfer limit" is what it's called but I'm talking about the amount of RF that can travel per tick). Also are there any other problems I haven't foreseen yet?

    I just started using the FTB forums so if I put this in the wrong category or something, let me know please.
     
  2. Techly88

    Techly88 Guest

    Having a central bank of capacitors or whatever is not a bad idea. The only thing you will be throttled is the limit of power per tick. In case this becomes an real issue just connect another line and start splitting up your machines accordingly. Or just replace the ducts that your using to better ones if they exists and your able to afford that.

    Either way your are future proof.
     
  3. Someone Else 37

    Someone Else 37 Forum Addict

    It's certainly fine if you want to do that; in fact, most people use centralized power grids. Both Thermal Dynamics and EnderIO have several tiers of cables, increasing in cost and transfer rate. So, when you start out, you can use the lowest tier of conduits or fluxducts, and when you start running into the maximum transfer rate on those, you'll probably have enough resources to upgrade to the next tier.

    Also note that all TD ducts and EIO conduits (not just the RF-transferring ones) are limited per connection, not per conduit. Which means, if you are running out of power and can't or don't want to upgrade your batteries or conduits, you can just stick another conduit on the side of your energy cell or capacitor bank, and all that power will flow through one line of conduits just fine.

    It's also worth noting that (with only a few exceptions from Buildcraft, Railcraft, and Forestry) machines will not consume energy when they're not running (and even those exceptions don't draw much power when they're idle (except the Thermionic Fabricator, which runs at full tilt all the time)), so you don't have to be able to fully supply all of them at once if you're not using them all at once. In addition, virtually all the machines you'll run into have sizable internal capacitors, so even if your whole power grid goes down, your machines will still run for a while.

    One final note: If you use Applied Energistics to automate your powergen, it's probably a good idea to set up some backup engines with fuel stored outside of AE, since if your main powergen runs out of fuel, your ME network will run out of power and go offline, and then neither you nor your automation will have access to your stuff. And if all your backup fuel and whatnot is stored within AE... you're going to have trouble restarting your network. That said, if you completely automate your powergen (with, say, a treefarm), you'll probably never need to bootstrap your AE system unless it manages to outstrip your powergen entirely.
     
  4. rolander68

    rolander68 Guest

    Thanks for the tip.

    I considered this because my machine setups were dying randomly, and there would always be something out of RF. I thought that if everything was centralized, then when my power goes out completely, it will be easy to get it back online (I keep biofuel around just in case, as well as maybe 3 stacks of TNT for the ExU TNT generator). Plus I don't think I have any big power suckers, ME system to constantly fret over, so the main reason I run out of energy is because everything isn't connected, so usually I plop down an energy cell and leave to do something else.

    Another big reason I'm considering it is because I can keep a stable supply of energy. From the middle, if I see that I have very low amounts of energy left, I'll just burn up some biofuel or TNT and bring it back (because my main energy source is a tree/charcoal farm that feeds into maybe a million survivalist generators). I was going to consider it, because the charcoal produces energy slowly, so if I had a energy problem, I would have to generate on-the-spot biofuel energy, and power it to whatever machine is dying. This way, I can power up my entire base with the quick-use energy until I'm sure that nothing's going to die on me. Heck, if I had the spare time, I could make it so that the biofuel starts to generate power whenever my RF supplies are low. Or I could just have some spare emergency energy cells lying around.

    I guess that since my base is all underground and not very big (length-wise) I could easily use the more expensive wiring to power up my base, so the RF/tick problem wouldn't be as annoying.
     
  5. Inaeo

    Inaeo New Member

    I usually aim for centralized power. I've found that mirroring the real world works pretty well.

    So, I try to have my power gen (various setups, each using different inputs from various overflow products) all feeding into a central Capacitor Bank. I try to have a main system of passive generation constantly feeding in as a first step. A EIO Power Monitor turns on each tier as my Capacitor Banks drain, aiming to top them back off. This means that any large draw that suddenly hits the system is met with more power to replace what is taken.

    I try to keep smaller Capacitor Banks spread throughout the base (as real life uses power stations about the grid). I use my higher tier conduits between the central power bank and these outlying stations, then step the power conduits down from the stations to the machines. These lines can be upgraded as materials become available, but as long as the machines are getting enough power to run when needed, it's not usually a priority. This is similar to real life using high voltage lines from power facilities to power stations, which transform the power down into commonly used levels (granted, they usually have a few more steps than I do).

    Disadvantages include throughput limits choking off areas occasionally (brownouts) and the occasional creeper incident which can disconnect areas from the grid if redundancy is not ensured, but the ability to view your network status and adjust power generation to suit your needs highly outweighs the disadvantages, in my mind.

    All this said, I usually have a small base or two off the grid, but power needs at those locations are usually minimal, so a small self-contained system is usually enough to get by. If power needs are greater than that, Tesseract or Dimensional Transceiver can do the job. As an added bonus, I've been reading recently that an EnderIO power grid hooked up to a Dimensional Transceiver will chunkload the entire grid, which helps if your other chunkloading options are limited.
     
  6. Azzanine

    Azzanine New Member

    Yes, in fact it's standard practice and an expectation player have on packs.
    Mods are even developed around enabling this.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
     
  7. Baaleos

    Baaleos New Member

    I implemented this sort of plan for a town in my Server.
    A town in the middle of the wilderness, was being harassed by zombies, skeletons and spiders, so I installed a forcefield system that prevents hostiles getting inside the city walls.
    Powering the system became the problem.
    I decided to put solar panels - low tier, on all the roofs of the buildings, and each one fed into an underground power line that then fed into a Resonant power cell.
    I then tinkered with the settings of Input RF vs Output RF, so I could make it that the powercell always discharged at a rate that would keep the forcefields up, during the day, but also have enough energy left over to discharge during the night when the sun was not powering the solar panels.

    To this day, the town remains safe. :)
     
  8. Someone Else 37

    Someone Else 37 Forum Addict

    Also note that your cables and capacitors can bottleneck RF transfer. Leadstone energy cells, for instance, have a fairly low per-face RF/t limit, so even if you're using, say, Hardened Fluxducts everywhere, you might still have trouble powering a bunch of machines at the same time even if your powergen is sufficient and your energy cell is full. Similarly, if you've got a Hardened Energy Cell and Leadstone Fluxducts, you could get brownouts in much the same way. In either case, if you don't need a lot more RF/t, you can attach another cable to another face of your energy cell. Once you run out of faces, though, you'll need to upgrade your cables or your batteries (or both), whichever is the bottleneck.

    TE energy cells can only be upgraded by wrenching your existing cell and crafting it into a higher-tier cell. Do note that this upgrade preserves the RF stored in the cell (at least for the upgrades where the lower-tier cell is a crafting ingredient), so no worries there. It also preserves all the energy cell's settings, including (last time I checked, at least) the configured input and output RF/t rates... so you'll want to make sure that those are maximized after you place down the new cell.

    If even a resonant energy cell is insufficient for your purposes, you can hook up more than one cell in parallel. This works, but is slightly less than ideal, since one cell will be preferentially drained- that is, they won't all be drained at the same rate. This will rarely actually cause any problems, but if it does, you could do something like Inaeo and spread several energy cells around your power grid, each servicing a subset of your machines.

    It's also worth noting that Tesseracts and Cryo-Stabilized Fluxducts have virtually infinite throughput (about 2 billion RF/t), but the closest EnderIO equivalents don't. Not that you're likely to run into the limits of vibrant energy conduits or dimensional transceivers unless you're doing something patently insane. But if you are, TE's got your back. And the two mods' conduits and batteries are compatible with each other, so you won't need to replace your whole system.

    EnderIO capacitor banks can be upgraded simply by placing another capacitor bank next to one of your existing ones- they form a multiblock with the RF storage and per-face RF/t limit of all the individual capacitor banks combined. You can also upgrade them to higher tiers to save space; I don't know offhand how that changes the overall cost of the multiblock or if you can combine higher-tier capacitors with lower ones.
     
  9. Scottly318

    Scottly318 New Member

    For me... I set up a large "central" bank of capacitors and the use tessaracts to fill smaller banks in the buildings where my machines need it. I'm also a huge loser and keep track of how much rf each machine uses and build the correct conduits for the building. And yes... I've filled up notebooks doing this
     
  10. Lordlundar

    Lordlundar New Member

    It depends on what you want for power generation and power consumption. A good rule of thumb is if your consumption in one are exceeds your generation or transfer (mining lasers are notorious for this but not alone) then setting them up with an isolated power network can be more beneficial. Likewise just starting out each machine having a separate power generator is a good idea. Centralized power is ideal for when you can guarantee all your systems can be supported by a single power source even when running at full blast.
     
  11. epidemia78

    epidemia78 New Member

    Seems like a no brainer to me.
     
  12. rolander68

    rolander68 Guest

    Thanks for all the help guys. I've decided to go with the centralized power because most of my machines are only on occasionally except for a few (like my mining setup and auto-tree farm) that are always on, but I've decided to have a separate energy storage for those by hooking up maybe a million ExU survivalist generators that constant feed power to a few resonant energy cells that only power the tree farm, which receives power from the cells. The cells get charged by the survivalist generators and the main power supply at the same time, so even in a blackout, the tree farm will still run, and I can transport the charcoal to generators to get my base back on.

    Genius idea with the Power Monitor setup, I need to try and incorporate that, where my tree farm generator setup auto burns the entire charcoal supply when my energy is low, instead of slowly burning it as usual. If only I had enough free time...
     
  13. GreenZombie

    GreenZombie New Member

    I think this question if phrased badly.

    Lets try again.

    "Is using a centralized power grid a fun idea?"

    Yes. And that is all that matters.
     
    PierceSG likes this.
  14. Inaeo

    Inaeo New Member

    I read the question more as "Is using centralized power grid feasible and efficient?"

    The answer is also yes. Ends up being fun too, so that's a win.
     
  15. Pyure

    Pyure Not Totally Useless

    The only time I've found decentralized power to be a positive thing is in Gregtech packs, where lossiness is a thing. In those instances, especially in the early-electrical game, its extremely beneficial to generate power close to where you need it. Electricity is just too valuable to waste.

    As a result, my bases tend to feature "pods" sorts, where 10-15 machines will be supplied by a buffer which is filled by, say, a couple of steam or gas turbines.
     
  16. Mr.Birk

    Mr.Birk Guest

    I always wind up with central power. As to the more in depth of power loss, rf/t which cables to use etc this really depends on what modpack your playing or even within a modpack what you preference for generation/wiring is.

    Lately its been infinity unleashed for me so this involves me building a draconic storage and using tesseracts for in /out from there. I then use tesseracts near groups of machines and use wiring from there. At least from middle to end game. At the start I use Leadstone and higher battery packs and run them from my starting power gen to machines as they recharge/drain.
     
  17. BIG mac

    BIG mac New Member

    Fun > efficiency.
     
    GreenZombie likes this.
  18. RealKC

    RealKC Popular Member

    Unless building efficient stuff is fun for you.
     
    PierceSG and Inaeo like this.

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