Chemfuel powered generator
Chemfuel powered generator
Produces power by consuming chemfuel. Must be periodically refueled by hand.
- 2 × 2
- pass through only
- Cover Effectiveness
- Blocks Wind
- Terrain Affordance
- 1000 W
- Light Radius
- Heat Per Second
Chemfuel powered generators can be constructed once the Electricity research project has been completed. They require 100 Steel, 3 Components, 2,500 ticks (41.67 secs) of work, and a Construction skill of 6.
Once constructed, a chemfuel generator cannot be moved, it can only be deconstructed.
The chemfuel powered generator consumes 4.5 chemfuel per day and generates a constant 1000W as long as it is switched on and fueled. It can hold up to 30 fuel at a time, for a maximum run time of 6.66 days. Fuel consumption is not dependent on how much power is actually drawn. Fuel has to be delivered to the generator by a hauler colonists. It can be switched off; in the off state it will neither consume fuel nor produce power.
Light & heat
It outputs light in a 6 tile radius, with the nearest 3.485 tiles being above 50% light level and considered lit. Note that the light source is centered at the bottom-left tile of the generator, rather than the "true" center of the generator.
It heats at a rate of 6 heat per second. Unlike many other heat sources, it does not appear to have a maximum temperature and will continue to heat up rooms indefinitely. .
If it is damaged below one third of its hitpoints, or 100 HP, it has a chanceticks (1.17 secs) and 150 ticks (2.5 secs) later. The explosion deals 10 Flame damage in a radius around itself that depends on the quantity of fuel in the generator. At 0 fuel, the explosion has a radius of 0 and only destroys the generator, and expanding this radius proportional to the square root of the fuel times 0.95 up to a maximum radius of 5.34 tiles when fully fueled. This explosion leaves Chemfuel puddles which will then ignite and burn.to explode. The generator will spark and emit a hissing sound shortly before exploding between 70
Chemfuel generators are compact, can be placed anywhere, and offer a consistent source of power, making it one of the easiest generators to use. Most other power sources scale much worse; they are either inconsistent, have a location requirement, or take up lots of space. With chemfuel generators, you can easily place as many as you want, so long as you can fuel them.
However, these generators require upkeep, both to create the chemfuel, and to haul the fuel to the generator. The exact amount of work depends on which source of chemfuel is used - infinite chemreactors are very limited, but require no work to create. Many colonies will have to research Biofuel Refining to actually make some.
In general, any source of chemfuel is less work than what a wood-fired generator would take. The workload is reasonably low, so using chemfuel does not bring excessive burden to a colony.
Using wood for fuel
With a biofuel refinery, chemfuel generators consume 9 wood of chemfuel per day, less than a wood-fired generator's 22 per day. Both generators produce the same amount of power. Converting wood to chemfuel takes work, but harvesting wild trees takes longer when considering the time to walk and haul. When cultivating your own plants, using corn takes much less work than growing trees. Note that the refinery itself requires 170 W of power, but you only need 1 refinery for many generators. In specific:
- Converting wood to chemfuel takes 2,000 ticks (33.33 secs) of work for 7.78 days of fuel, or 257 ticks (4.28 secs) for 1 day of fuel.
- Just harvesting the wood depends on biome, growth of the tree, and Plants skill.
- As it only takes a base 517 ticks (8.62 secs) to fuel a chemfuel generator for one day, the wood-fired generator is often less efficient.
- When considering tree cutting, note that you will need to go further and further to cut more trees. A wood-fired generator requires you to cut more trees, which means more hauling time.
Using boomalopes for fuel
In theory, a herd of 9 boomalope can fuel 22 generators indefinitely. However, milking is not an instant process, so it is difficult to reach an optimal amount.
Using the Infinite Chemreactor
The Infinite chemreactor is a world quest item that generates 75 chemfuel every ten days (effectively 7.5 chemfuel per day) at a cost of 300 watts and no work. This is more than enough to power a single chemfuel powered generator, providing a net +700 watts of power, while leaving 30 chemfuel after a 10 day cycle (an average of 3 excess/day). 3 infinite chemreactors are exactly enough to power 5 chemfuel generators, providing an excess of 4,100 watts of power (5,000w -900w).
Assuming a small buffer of chemfuel to start, this is easily attainable, because the supply side is reliable, and refueling can be done well in advance.
Growing plants for fuel
Chemfuel generators together with hydroponics greenhouses and biofuel refineries produce a significant net energy profit, if the colonist workforce is available to run the setup. The (simplified) conversion chain is
|Power (for greenhouse) → food (for refinery) → chemfuel (for generator) → power|
A lot of excess power is generated at the end of the chain.
A single hydroponics basin can produce ~0.61 raw nutrition per day (growing rice, and assuming a perfect grow operation). This converts into ~6.1 chemfuel per day at a biofuel refinery. Therefore, the produce from a single basin fuels about 1.3 chemfuel generators. This is not attainable in practice, but will serve as a guideline. Assuming the full area of a sun lamp is occupied by 24 hydroponics basins in the optimal configuration and accounting for the basin's share of the sunlamps power consumption, each individual basin effectively consumes 136W of power on average, or 191W peak. This results in a theoretical net gain in energy of about 1211W on average or 1156W peak per dedicated hydroponics basin. While, the power draw of the refinery is not taken into account, it can be micro-managed if chemfuel is produced in batches, and will not play a big role in the overall economy.
With adequate batteries to handle the day-night cycle of sun lamps, 3.3 generators are needed to power a full hydroponics setup, which will require ~14.7 chemfuel per day, or about 2.4 hydroponics basins dedicated to producing rice to turn into chemfuel. This means that with 4 generators, you can grow plants in 21 of the 24 hydroponics basins for free, with an average of 736W of power spare. Note that this assumes 100% harvest efficiency - as harvest efficiency decreases at higher difficulties, the number of basins that must be dedicated to chemfuel production will increase in direct proportion.
Corn can also be grown to feed chemfuel generators, with 8.6 tiles of corn plant in 100% fertility soil needed for each generator.