Power is electrical energy that powers the operation of certain appliances, including workbenches, lights, temperature control devices, automated defenses, and more. Access to power is crucial to survival, especially in late game. The success of a colony often relies upon a fault-tolerant power grid with a reliable power flow that ensures that your appliances are working at all times, especially in emergencies.
Wind turbinewind turbine produces a variable amount of power up to 3000W, based on the current wind speed (for wind conditions see Weather). It works day and night, compared to a solar generator which only works during the day. The orientation of turbines doesn't matter, they will spin equally well in any direction. Wind turbines complemented by batteries can provide a stable supply of power since there are no wind related disasters, like the solar generator's Eclipse. A wind turbine's only real drawback is its need for a large open area clear of trees, mountains, buildings, roofs and other tall constructions.
Solar generatorsolar generator provides up to 1700W of power from sunlight. It has much smaller space requirements than a wind turbine but provides no power at night or during an eclipse. It can be placed in a wind turbine's exclusion zone with no effect on the turbine. Solar generators may be protected by surrounding them with walls, but they must stay unroofed to operate.
Fueled generatorwood-fired generator and the chemfuel powered generator.
Ship reactorship reactor is perfectly usable as a power generator. It provides 1000W, which is less than the maximum provided by any other power generator, though without their shortcomings or requirements; however, it is prohibitively expensive to build and use in most situations other than late-game. It provides power continually and can be placed on any buildable terrain where its 5x5 structure will fit. It must be researched before it can be built, but does not generate any heat nor require special venting.
Power generator summary
|Type||Cost||Size|| Max Output
|Wind Turbine|| 100
|5x2||3000||✓||✓||✓||In open ground|
|Fueled generator|| 100
|Ship reactor|| 300
(can roof over afterwards)
Power conduitbatteries to appliances up to six squares away. Conduit doesn't block the placement of other structures and isn't blocked by them, so conduit can be placed wherever it's needed, even in walls, except mountain rock and mineral ores.
Power switchconduit lines connected to it. It provides an efficient way to control power to several appliances all at once, such as a large array of improvised turrets.
The 'Toggle power' button is used to request the switch to be flipped. A colonist with the 'flick' job type will flip the switch.
To construct a switchable circuit simply place the power switch along a line of conduit between the power source and the appliances. While one of the switch's connectors must connect to conduit to a power source, any or all of the three remaining connectors can be used to create branches. A switch can be placed directly adjacent to a battery or other power source, but the player will probably find it desirable to place the switch close to the appliances it's meant to control. Appliances won't connect directly to a switch, they only connect to conduit.
When the power switch is on the inspect pane displays 'Power: On', and the center of the power switch shows a pale circle.
When the power switch is designated to turn off, the 'Toggle power' button displays a red X.
When the power switch is off , the inspect pane displays 'Power: Off', and the center of the power switch is dark.
When the power switch is designated to turn on, the 'Toggle power' button displays a green check mark.
A battery stores electricity, up to 1000 Wd (Watt-days), when there is surplus power, and provides the stored power back to the grid when there's a deficit. A power deficit is often the result from wind turbines not getting enough wind or from solar generators not getting enough light, at night or during an eclipse.
- Stores up to 1kWd of energy.
- Efficiency of 50% -- takes twice as much energy to charge than it can store.
- Excess generated power is distributed evenly among all non-full, connected batteries, charging all batteries at the same rate.
- If power consumption exceeds power generation, all non-empty, connected batteries will deplete at the same rate to fill the power gap.
- Small self-discharge of 5W.
Moving and Storing
- A battery can be uninstalled, converting it to a 'minified' version in a box. It's categorized as a furniture item and will be hauled to an appropriate stockpile. It still retains its stored charge while boxed. The battery can be installed again when needed.
- Batteries can be moved by reinstalling them. They do not lose their charge during the move, making them a portable power source.
- Conduits can be faulty, and a battery can amplify the effect of a short circuit, causing all of the stored energy to explode at the faulty power conduit. This event is well-known to players by its envelope notification, the "Zzztt" event.
- When a short circuit strikes, more stored power will create a larger explosion, which can be devastating if a large number of batteries discharge at once. Mitigate this damage by creating separate battery networks using Power switches. Disconnect the batteries when charged, and only connect the batteries when they are needed (such as immediately after the other batteries short out).
- A battery can be disconnected from the grid by reinstalling it away from the grid or by using a switch to isolate it from the grid. A disconnected battery is not affected by short circuits.
- Batteries are highly likely to explode and catch fire when exposed to rain.
- Batteries can catch fire when exposed to too much heat.
Appliances are structures or buildings that require power but don't transmit it. Most appliances don't require a direct power cable connection, they can be placed up to six squares away from a power cable or power source. When connected to the power grid, it can take a few moments before an appliance turns on.
Reconnect: Click to force an appliance to reconnect to a conduit line or power source.
Designate toggle power: Click to mark an appliance to be turned on (✔) or off (X) by a colonist set to flick.
Designate toggle power
consumption (in Watts)
|Electric tailor bench||120|
|Nutrient paste dispenser||200|
|Sun lamp||2900 during day only|