Guide to Power
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Power is one of the biggest and most important concepts of engineering, and the sooner you learn about it, the smoother your rounds as an engineer will be regarding how power is distributed and contained.
Interns that were somehow put in charge of what the VORE uses as a power source can't seem to stop arguing, therefore the engine is changed every shift, currently between the supermatter and the tesla, though there's word of more engines being utilized in the rotation.
The supermatter is basically a highly unstable crystal made up of exotic material, which is able to emit radiation and certain gasses once energized. It can be energized by pretty much anything, but is mainly powered by an emitter. This particular setup uses the SM to heat up gas in the core to be extracted and piped into TEGs, which is utilized in tandem with the cold gas from heat exchanging pipes in space to produce power instead of using radiation collectors. A familiar but somewhat unforgiving engine if allowed to delaminate.
The tesla is the engine that started the rotation. It's similar to how the singularity engine functions in that there is a containment field holding an unstable, moving, power generating anomaly, except that it is a ball of energy instead of an angry swirling black hole, but the particle accelerator is still present. Power is generated whenever the ball of energy arcs electricity into a tesla coil, harnessing and transferring the energy into the power net to charge the SMES. A rather safe engine, the only thing that could go wrong would be if the grounding rods weren't secured or if the containment field fails due to a lack of power.
The R-UST fusion reactor is an experimental nuclear fusion engine that, on it's own, utilizes fusion to generate power, though the proposed setup will involve TEGs as well, much like the supermatter setup. Usually deuterium and tritium are fused in a super heated field into helium, releasing a large amount of energy once it occurs. Very safe, will explode if the field is turned off, though, which would probably release super heated kill gas everywhere and EMP a large amount of the equipment surrounding the core.
A seemingly popular engine, this setup generates a black hole and keeps it contained by means of a containment field after being shot with particles from a particle accelerator with the resulting radiation being captured by radiation collector arrays. A lot can go wrong with this setup if the singularity is fed carelessly, particularly when it's set loose and begins consuming the station, which would probably warrant an evacuation order.
Secondary/Backup Power Sources
See also: Solars
Out west of Surface 1 is the large solar farm, which is always present. The panels are already setup, all that's required is to scan for panels, turn on auto tracking, connect the output wire to the SMES units, and turn the SMES on. Most engineers will deconstruct two of the three SMES units to consolidate the coils into one single SMES, which helps with power management.
The PACMAN generators are normally used for emergencies when power goes out and must be restored quickly, usually used for the engine room if a crisis strikes there. Wrenching a generator on top a wire knot and turning it on will supply power to that power net. Note that setting their power level to max will generate a lot of heat, and remaining at 300 Celsius (800C for Mrs. PACMAN) will cause the generator to explode. It should also be noted that PACMANs have stock parts and can be upgraded by Research. There are three types of PACMAN generators:
- P.A.C.M.A.N.: Utilizes phoron to generate power. Rated for 80 kW, can output 100 kW max.
- Super P.A.C.M.A.N.: Consumes uranium. Rated for 80 kW and can output a maximum of 100 kW, but the fuel lasts twice as long with the side effect of emitting low levels of radiation.
- Mrs. P.A.C.M.A.N.: Uses tritium for fuel. Rated for 200 kW and can output a maximum of 250 kW, and the fuel lasts twice as long.
The power net can pretty much be summed up as the nervous system of the station, with wires running all throughout the entire facility, connecting everything and powering important rooms. Below are headings that give a rough idea as to how power flows.
See also: SMES Manual
A SMES (Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage) unit is basically one large rechargeable battery, capable of storing several megawatts of energy for later distribution, depending on the coils installed inside the unit. These large storage devices are basically what (safely) controls the flow of power throughout the station, determined by how much energy it has and what the output level is set to. In order for a SMES to receive power, a wire must be knotted under the terminal connected to the unit and input must be turned on. In order for a SMES to output the energy it has stored, a wire must be knotted under the unit itself and output must be turned on.
The level at which a SMES can output energy and how much energy it can store is based on the coils installed inside the unit. There's no penalty for mixing different coils. To place coils inside a SMES, unscrew the maintenance panel and simply place them inside, but the SMES has to be completely discharged, otherwise the safety mechanism will prevent you from placing any coils inside (and it's probably a good thing, otherwise you'll explode from arc flash). To remove coils, unscrew the maintenance panel, wirecut the terminal wires out, and crowbar the internal mechanisms out, then just retrieve the coils that you want and rebuild the SMES. A SMES can hold six coils, but all pre-built SMES units around the station will have a couple coils inside already. The following are the types of coils that can be installed:
- Basic Superconductive Magnetic Coil: The most basic of the coils that can be installed in a SMES. Adds 20 kWh to capacity and 150 kW to transmission ability.
- Superconductive Magnetic Coil: The standard coil that you'll be seeing in a lot of units. Adds 100 kWh to capacity and 250 kW to transmission ability.
- Superconductive Capacitance Coil: A coil suited for storing large amounts of energy. Adds 1000 kWh to capacity and 50 kW to transmission ability.
- Superconductive Transmission Coil: A coil suited for taking in and distributing larger amounts of energy. Adds 10 kWh to capacity and 1000 kW to transmission ability.
There are quite a number of SMES units around the station that are easy to overlook, but the purpose of these units is to provide power to particular areas of the station (medbay, security, etc.), which will divide the grid into sub-grids, which carries a few nice reasons for using these:
- Grub damage/power draw localization
- Control over specific department power usage
All pre-built SMES units (except for the AI Core SMES) have something called RCON (Remote CONtrol) enabled, which allows for anyone with access to a RCON console to adjust the input and output of a SMES unit remotely, which is rather convenient given how many units are present on the station, but the console is also used to control the breaker boxes next to the substations which, when toggled (bypass disabled), will separate the area from the main grid, relying on the area's SMES for power.
Wire cables are what transfer power throughout the entire station, usually from a SMES unit to an APC. The amount of power they can transmit is restricted only to what the power source they're connected to is generating, and the power currently in the cable can be measured by using a multitool on it.
An APC (Area Power Controller) is a console localized to any room that supplies power to equipment, doors and peripherals, and lighting. All APCs have an interface that allows you to control the three categories mentioned, but they all remain locked unless you swipe an engineering ID over it. APCs have terminals connected to them that are, in turn, connected by wire to the power net. Based on the charge of the cell and how much power the APC is receiving, as long as the categories are set to auto, it will automatically turn off equipment to conserve power, starting with turning off equipment, then lighting, then environment once the cell eventually runs out of charge. Conveniently, the screen color on an APC will change depending on it's status:
- Green: Receiving power, cell at full charge.
- Blue: Receiving power, cell charging.
- Red: Not receiving power, therefore not charging.
There are also lights on the side of the APC that show what equipment is receiving power:
- Black: APC breaker turned off.
- Blue: Category is set to auto and is turned on.
- Green: Category is set to on.
- Red: Category is set to off.
- Orange: Category is set to auto but is turned off.
Power cells are most commonly found inside APCs, but are certainly found in other pieces of equipment as well. Without cells, the APC would quickly cut power to all equipment it's in charge of the moment there's a discrepancy in the grid. Below are the different types of power cells as well as their charge capacity:
- Potato Battery: 0.3k
- Heavy Duty Cell: 5k
- Default Borg Cell: 7.5k
- Charged Slime Core: 10k, plus passive recharging.
- High Capacity Cell: 15k
- Super Capacity Cell: 20k
- Hyper Capacity Cell: 30k
- Infinite Capacity Cell: Infinite charge, duh.
Below is a list of RCON settings for the multiple SMES units around the station. Ensure the substation bypasses are disabled when you turn the input and output on for the substations.
Note that these are only one configuration, and that others can be perfectly acceptable. Feel free to experiment.
|Engine||250||250||Powers the engine room. Draw is variable depending on the engine, though these two values should remain maxed.|
|Main/Distribution||1000||950||Powers anything not covered by a substation. This is considered the main grid, though care should be considered regarding the input based on how the engine was setup. It should also be noted that this SMES unit takes priority when drawing power from the engine over the Engine SMES.|
|Atmos||200||250||Powers atmospherics. Draw is variable depending on how atmospherics was configured that shift.|
|Cargo||40||80||Powers the cargo department. Normally draws 8 kW, has 1 recharger.|
|Civ West||40||80||Powers surface EVA, tool storage, and first aid station. Normally draws 7 kW, has 2 rechargers.|
|Civilian||80||160||Powers laundry room, holodeck, cryo pods, and library. Normally draws 32 kW, can raise higher than 80 kW if holodeck is in use.|
|Command||60||120||Powers bridge, CD and HoP offices, teleporter, meeting room, IAA office, and EVA. Normally draws 18 kW, has 3 rechargers and 1 cell charger.|
|Engineering||80||160||Powers the engineering department, including the three space-side telecomms relays. Normally draws 37 kW, has 4 rechargers and 3 cell chargers.|
|Medical||100||200||Powers the medical department. Normally draws 36 kW, has 2 rechargers and 1 gas cooler. Given high input due to value to the facility.|
|MedSec||40||80||Powers surface triage and surface drunk tank. Normally draws 8 kW, has 1 recharger.|
|Mining||40||80||Powers the mining department. Normally draws 7 kW, has 1 recharger and 1 cell charger.|
|Research||100||200||Powers the research department. Normally draws 46 kW, but has a lot of different rechargers, hence the high input.|
|Science Outpost||40||160||Powers the toxins outpost. Normally draws 15 kW, but houses atmospherics equipment which can increase power usage greatly. Otherwise it is mostly unused.|
|Security||80||160||Powers the security department. Normally draws 32 kW, has numerous wall rechargers.|
|Surface Civilian||60||120||Powers hydroponics, the bar and kitchen, reading rooms, phoron shelter, and backup shuttle landing pads. Normally draws 23 kW, has 1 cyborg recharger.|
|Telecomms||60||120||Powers surface telecommunications. Normally draws 22 kW.|
|Mining Station||250||200||Powers the off-station mining outpost. Normally draws 5 kW, has 1 recharger, 1 cell charger, and 1 mech charging station. Maxed input is for miners to turn on the PACMAN to power the SMES.|
|AI Chamber||200||200||Powers the AI Core. Normally draws 10 kW, but increases to 60 kW if an AI is present. This SMES cannot be accessed remotely.|