Scree's guide to power setup

I have no idea what I am doing.

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Scree's guide to power setup

Postby Scree » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:37 am

Okay, so. The first part of this guide is mainly aimed at people who don't want to mess around learning the intricacies of power management and just want the lights to come on. The later section covers substations which are basically the best thing new bay added. Starting the engine itself is covered adequately in the wiki.

The lights are gonna die and there aren't any engineers! Wat do?
Fortunately, the station has five solar arrays for this. Unlike the old station, which had a whole lot of running around and babysitting to do, solars can be set up relatively easily and left to do their thing. All characters are assumed to be able to operate a solar tracking computer since it's really a push-button job. (though some may not be l337 haxx0rs with it comes to the doors)
The head of security, HoP and captain have the access needed to get to these, while janitors and the supply department have access to all but the final door into the solar control room itself.
They can be found, in clockwise order:
  • In arrivals maintenance, to the left of primary tool storage.
  • Just to the left of the armory - take the maintenance tunnel around the left side of the brig (there's a door into it between the vault and the gateway)
  • At the back of hydroponics, accessible from bar maintenance.
  • On the southeast corner of the station, just follow the tunnel down from the storeroom below departures.
  • On the southwest corner - without engineering access, you'll have to go around the department. With maint access you can get to it via the corridor next to the engine room.
On each of the arrays, set tracking to auto and hit the "find devices" button. On the SMES (the big white thing) set the input to auto at maximum and turn the output on. It'll start dishing out power as soon as it's got some stored. This won't power everything, but it'll keep things from running out straight away. You don't need to mess with the wiring or anything, just turn the output up a bit higher (75-100k/array is plenty) once the SMES is charged a bit. (if you don't feel like walking around them all again, use the RCON console, below. There's one on the bridge so all heads have access to it)

The RCON console is a fantastic bit of kit that allows you to remotely control all the SMESs and subgrid breakers on the station from the comfort of your own chair. If you're doing really basic station setup, you won't really have to touch it - simply starting the engine will keep the station supplied well enough. The real functionality that's added by the RCON console is the use of subgrids.

Essentially, they allow you to run each department from its own SMES, and use the grid to charge that SMES, instead of powering everything from the main grid directly. The obvious advantage of this is that the SMESs provide a power store so if a wire gets cut in maintenance somewhere, the departments on that line will have a backup power store for a while instead of going dark immediately. On the rare occasion that something is sabotaged, it will only affect that subgrid and not the entire station. That, and the power lines within the departments will be running at much lower power than they would if they were connected directly to the engine room so if someone hacks a vending machine it merely burns them a bit instead of completely incinerating them.

To set up the subgrids, follow these steps:
  • Make sure you have main power going from either the solars or the engine first, dummy. Then open the RCON console window.
  • Fire up the power monitor on the console next to the RCON console. If the engine output has power to spare (shown on the big bar at the top) then increase the main engine room SMES input.
  • Switch to the Master list on the power monitor. Keep it open.
  • Scroll down the RCON list and look for the subgrid SMESs. Turn the inputs on - you'll see the master power usage fill out.
  • As soon as you see charge in a subgrid SMES, turn the output on then scroll to the bottom of the list and turn the corresponding bypass breaker OFF.
  • Keep tweaking the numbers. Some departments - notably medbay, science and civilian east, are heavy users of power. Set the inputs (and outputs) on each SMES until the power usage is something other than the maximum output you've set.
  • Once you've flipped all the breakers (apart from the telecoms one, leave that alone), it's safe to boost the output from the main engine SMES until the power monitor stops complaining about overloads. 600kW is usually enough.
  • Generally a decent ballpark figure is 75,000W for each department except medbay and science, which will need 100k each. Civilian East will need 100 if people are using the holodeck. Command generally doesn't use more than 50k.
It's a bit of fiddling, a lot of tweaking, and it'll take a while to get a feel for what the best settings are to use, but like most things in this game - there are plenty of things that are "good enough", but only experience can teach you how to do it right. :p
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Re: Scree's guide to power setup

Postby Lobo-Branco » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:22 am

Thank you very much for the info, Scree.
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