Lifepod Solar Cells

Aurora_SurvivorAurora_Survivor Naperville Illinois Join Date: 2018-01-04 Member: 234809Members Posts: 61 Advanced user
I have noticed a difference between the charge rate of the solar panel on a seabase and the one on Lifepod 5. The PDA databank entry for the lifepod said something about the pod having some solar cells for power. One solar panel provides 75 energy about the same power reserve as the Lifepod. But somehow during certain times of the day and light level determine the recharge rate of solar panels but the lifepods recharge rate does not charge faster at midday than at night. They should really fix this.

Comments

  • VectorMaster22VectorMaster22 Join Date: 2018-04-23 Member: 240271Members Posts: 53 Advanced user
    It's not supposed to be a bug. If your lifepod lost power immediately, you wouldn't be able to craft anything at the beginning of the game.
    Vec·tor
    /ˈvektər/
    noun
    noun: vector; plural noun: vectors
    MATHEMATICS/PHYSICS
    a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another.
  • Aurora_SurvivorAurora_Survivor Naperville Illinois Join Date: 2018-01-04 Member: 234809Members Posts: 61 Advanced user
    It's not supposed to be a bug. If your lifepod lost power immediately, you wouldn't be able to craft anything at the beginning of the game.
    I am only talking about how the lifepods power supply is supposed to behave the same way as a seabase solar panel.
  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 856 Advanced user
    Actually, it's not solar. The PDA entry and the models in the lifepod itself reference "self-regenerating power cells" which are, unsurprisingly, not removable. So it's not so much solar charging as unobtanium/phlebotinum energy supply. (Which makes sense, since they'll recover power even at night - solar cells won't.)

    From a game design perspective, it's an elegant solution to an annoying problem: how to give players enough of a "nest" to be able to start the game, but a strong incentive to get them out of that nest. Since you can't add anything to the lifepod, it means that you have to give up its unlimited internal power feature and move into a proper base - which you have to power externally - to get all the shiny stuff you really want.
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
    RezcajeodTarkannen
  • jamintheinfinite_1jamintheinfinite_1 Jupiter Join Date: 2016-12-03 Member: 224524Members Posts: 971 Advanced user
    The power cells in the pods got renamed to solar power cells couple months ago.
    I am TerranHawk I am also that one guy who post bad pictures and doesn't talk much in school. I am lazy. I'm the creator of this Creature Evolution Chart

    I live in the Subnautica side of the forums. IF you have seen me you probably know I suk at speling log wrods and that I'm very sarcastic


    I'm called jamintheinfinite_1 because I was an idiot and made a typo on my email address for the account jamintheinfinite and I was too dumb to know how to fix it.




    s̮̮͇̲̱̻͕͈̠ͪ͐̇̾͒̀͌i̖͈͚̘͈̐̀̈́̃̒̇̀͊ͧ̔̏͒ͅḿ͎͉̜̦̦͓̟̞͗̇͒ͨ̏͌̑ͨͬͬͧͭͥo̩̞̰̮̞̮̼̫̩̳̘͆ͯͣ̓̍͆ͣ̎ͫ͂ͪṅ͖̪̫̘̼̙̪̙̳̰̊̒͋͗ͪͥ̅̑ͤ̆̅ͬͥ̑ͫ ̲̳̟̰̭̖̞͓̙̘͓͔̣͇ͭͥ̂̎̋́͂̋̈́̌͐ͤͨ̀̐̂ͦi͍̫͔̟̰͖͚̫͎̞͚͌ͤ̀͗ͥ͐̂̓ͧs̭͈͙̱̹̬͓̦̝͔̘̼̤͍͎̞̥̎̅̉͛ͦ͒̇͛̎ͬͨ́̍͒̀ͦͅͅ ͙̱̖̳̻͚̳̘̯̲͚̭̟͎̩̤͔̼̩̈́ͤ̋ͪ̿͛ͤͥ̅̒̆̉̓̒̓̅̈̈́̉t̖̞͓̥̤̪̯̘͓͌ͨͮͮͅh̰̙̮̖̆ͬ̎ͫ̿̽̾͋͗̍ͪ͑̀e̳̟̭͇ͤ̃͊̀ͤ̅ͫ̅̒ ̰̗͔̟̼̺̫̲͍̯̥̼͚̦̜̯̣̇̀̅̂̋ͧͦ̊ͥͮ͛̾͐̌͆̔́̎͋ͅb͍̣̲͇͙̞̘̰̫̪̖͔̈̅̃ͬͬḙ͖̠̬͇̦̰̪̟͊̀͐̍̾̓̊s̬͍͈̲̦̥͉̦̼̥͕͍̲̝ͪͬ͆͆͛ͩ̎̓̊̐͗̿̾̊̊t̪͉̝͖̫̼̤̼̩̰ͧ̐̽̋̈́̉̏̃́




    Aurora_Survivor
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brazil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 327 Advanced user
    Best solution would be to also modify it to work as a solar cell. The energy requirements in the early game are insignificant compared to what solar will produce.
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 4,768 Advanced user
    I really think they should make the pod not regenerate at night, or regenerate at a much slower rate (maybe the solar is supplemented with unobtainium). It's an early intro to power management.
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  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 856 Advanced user
    The power cells in the pods got renamed to solar power cells couple months ago.

    Well, then I guess I need to throw this out there: that was a dumb change.

    If that's what they're going with - and only they know why on Earth or any other planet they'd pull such a boneheaded move - then you're all right: night-time recovery needs to be removed.

    *smh*
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
    Rezca0x6A7232the_marinerTarkannen
  • RezcaRezca United States Join Date: 2016-04-28 Member: 216078Members Posts: 1,008 Advanced user
    edited May 19
    The power cells in the pods got renamed to solar power cells couple months ago.

    Well, then I guess I need to throw this out there: that was a dumb change.

    If that's what they're going with - and only they know why on Earth or any other planet they'd pull such a boneheaded move - then you're all right: night-time recovery needs to be removed.

    *smh*

    Dumb and confusing. Imagine a new player coming in, reading that it says Solar-charged, then wondering why their solar power doesn't charge at night too. Then imagine if a few come here to report Solar Panels being bugged since they're not recharging at night when the Solar charger on the lifepod does?

    Options:
    1 - Don't call it solar.
    2 - Make it stop recharging at night.


    Either is fine by me, but if they're going to call it Solar then it really needs to play by the same rules as the solar panels you make.
    A Great Jaggi under the sea~

    0x6A7232scifiwriterguy
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 4,768 Advanced user
    The power cells in the pods got renamed to solar power cells couple months ago.

    Well, then I guess I need to throw this out there: that was a dumb change.

    If that's what they're going with - and only they know why on Earth or any other planet they'd pull such a boneheaded move - then you're all right: night-time recovery needs to be removed.

    *smh*

    Actual Solar Cells? Ah, these must be TIE-fighter levels of magi*cough, cough*efficiency. I mean, can you imagine some unforseen interstellar hazard ripping apart a capital class craft in the depths of deep dark space and floating around in your little lifepod with only enough power to maybe pulse the radio once in a while?

    Actually, @scifiwriterguy -- in the worst case, how much energy could you expect from true solar in deep space, assuming a magical 100% efficiency?

    This aughtta be interesting *rubs hands gleefuly*. It's scifiwriterguy time!
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    scifiwriterguy
  • jamintheinfinite_1jamintheinfinite_1 Jupiter Join Date: 2016-12-03 Member: 224524Members Posts: 971 Advanced user
    Im guessing that the solar cells thing is just a developer oversight. the power cells were changed to solar cells for no reason, and who ever did it forgot to make it not recharge at night. Same thing with the camera drones, they were made to have infinite range, but the scanner room's Data bank still says they only have 500 max range and the drones still get fuzzy when too far away, making the infinite range thing useless
    I am TerranHawk I am also that one guy who post bad pictures and doesn't talk much in school. I am lazy. I'm the creator of this Creature Evolution Chart

    I live in the Subnautica side of the forums. IF you have seen me you probably know I suk at speling log wrods and that I'm very sarcastic


    I'm called jamintheinfinite_1 because I was an idiot and made a typo on my email address for the account jamintheinfinite and I was too dumb to know how to fix it.




    s̮̮͇̲̱̻͕͈̠ͪ͐̇̾͒̀͌i̖͈͚̘͈̐̀̈́̃̒̇̀͊ͧ̔̏͒ͅḿ͎͉̜̦̦͓̟̞͗̇͒ͨ̏͌̑ͨͬͬͧͭͥo̩̞̰̮̞̮̼̫̩̳̘͆ͯͣ̓̍͆ͣ̎ͫ͂ͪṅ͖̪̫̘̼̙̪̙̳̰̊̒͋͗ͪͥ̅̑ͤ̆̅ͬͥ̑ͫ ̲̳̟̰̭̖̞͓̙̘͓͔̣͇ͭͥ̂̎̋́͂̋̈́̌͐ͤͨ̀̐̂ͦi͍̫͔̟̰͖͚̫͎̞͚͌ͤ̀͗ͥ͐̂̓ͧs̭͈͙̱̹̬͓̦̝͔̘̼̤͍͎̞̥̎̅̉͛ͦ͒̇͛̎ͬͨ́̍͒̀ͦͅͅ ͙̱̖̳̻͚̳̘̯̲͚̭̟͎̩̤͔̼̩̈́ͤ̋ͪ̿͛ͤͥ̅̒̆̉̓̒̓̅̈̈́̉t̖̞͓̥̤̪̯̘͓͌ͨͮͮͅh̰̙̮̖̆ͬ̎ͫ̿̽̾͋͗̍ͪ͑̀e̳̟̭͇ͤ̃͊̀ͤ̅ͫ̅̒ ̰̗͔̟̼̺̫̲͍̯̥̼͚̦̜̯̣̇̀̅̂̋ͧͦ̊ͥͮ͛̾͐̌͆̔́̎͋ͅb͍̣̲͇͙̞̘̰̫̪̖͔̈̅̃ͬͬḙ͖̠̬͇̦̰̪̟͊̀͐̍̾̓̊s̬͍͈̲̦̥͉̦̼̥͕͍̲̝ͪͬ͆͆͛ͩ̎̓̊̐͗̿̾̊̊t̪͉̝͖̫̼̤̼̩̰ͧ̐̽̋̈́̉̏̃́




    Rezcascifiwriterguy0x6A7232
  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 856 Advanced user
    edited May 22
    0x6A7232 wrote: »
    Actual Solar Cells? Ah, these must be TIE-fighter levels of magi*cough, cough*efficiency. I mean, can you imagine some unforseen interstellar hazard ripping apart a capital class craft in the depths of deep dark space and floating around in your little lifepod with only enough power to maybe pulse the radio once in a while?

    Actually, @scifiwriterguy -- in the worst case, how much energy could you expect from true solar in deep space, assuming a magical 100% efficiency?

    This aughtta be interesting *rubs hands gleefuly*. It's scifiwriterguy time!

    Depends very heavily on a few factors.
    You've already established one: we can pin the cell efficiency at 100%. Not realistic, but hey, it's your question. Your nickel, your parameters. Now we're down to two factors.

    The first is the distance to the nearest star and the type of star it is. A red dwarf has a very low solar output (comparatively speaking) even up close, while a blue-white hypergiant really pumps out the joules. The net result is that you'll be able to capture meaningful energy from a hypergiant further out than you will from a main sequence or a dwarf.

    The second element is how much solar acreage you're willing to build and loft. As with anything, the more you're willing to put up, the more you're going to get out of it. On Earth, a good 1m solar cell can be expected to put out about 150W per square meter, but those are only 15% efficient. At 100% efficiency, that's 1000W per square meter...on Earth. In broad daylight.

    So, to build a comparison, we need to figure out the amounts of light we're talking about.
    Light levels are measured in units called lux, which are lumens per square meter. (You don't want to go into all the details on lumens and how they're calculated, believe me.)

    On Earth on a bright, sunny day, we top out at 100,000 lux. Cool. But at night, without the moon, that drops to 0.002 lux. (Uh-oh.) And that includes a ton of airglow - basically, the conduction of light by the atmosphere from the dayside. Removing that from the equation, you drop down hard, and that's going to ruin your day. Taking away airglow and all other contaminants, with other stars so far away, we drop down to about 0.0001 lux. That's about the amount of light you'll get to play with from pure starshine, so that's about how much, on average, you're going to have as you fly between stars.

    Ugh, 0.0001 lux. That means that for every 10,000 square meters of perfect solar cell we're harvesting about...1W. One crappy watt from a solar cell bank the size of a New York City block.

    So what does that mean in real terms?
    Well, the ISS generates (and uses) about 120,000W. Which means you're going to need...um, calculator...ah, 1.2 billion square meters...of...yikes. You're going to need a little more than twenty times the area of Manhattan of perfect solar cells to generate enough power to make the ISS work, and that has no propulsion, no long-term provisioning capacity - really, it's a pressurized human Habitrail, and you can't survive a trip to another star in that thing. And you're going to need to nail 20.305 Manhattans of solar cells to it just to make it work in interstellar space as it is. Add on all the other stuff you'd need for an interstellar journey and your power needs will quadruple at a minimum, more like octuple. At eight times the power consumption, you're going to need enough solar panels to almost completely cover the United States to run the dang thing.

    In other words, make sure you buy it on a credit card. You'll have frequent flyer miles for generations to come. Of course, there are more problems.
    Namely, it's not a brilliant idea to be cruising through space with a fragile set of wings the size of a major country. Even in interstellar space, there's still trace gas and dust, and they're going to damage your panels. Get anywhere near a solar system and you're going to start encountering more dust and debris, and that'll cause even more damage. And, let's not forget that those solar panels aren't massless, either: you're going to need to get that huge ship moving, and the sheer amount of torque strain on solar wings that big will probably snap them like pretzel sticks. Oh, you can reinforce them, but that'll add kilotons of mass, which will further increase your propulsion needs, which increases your energy needs, which increases the amount of solar panel you need, which increases the amount of reinforcement you need...and so on until your head explodes or MasterCard stops answering the phone.

    Soooo...yeah. Not the best plan ever. :)

    So what about the lifepod?
    Well, there's no stated amount of power consumption for the lifepod. But let's assume it's about on par with a small studio apartment. It's about the same. You have a radio that doesn't run on nice thoughts, that fabricator is like a small kitchen on its own, the lights you can't turn off, and all the computer and avionics stuff. That works out to about 19.4KWh, so 19.4KW of generation per hour at a normalized value. (In reality, consumption would bounce around depending on what you're doing and when, but we'll normalize it to a steady value to make the math sensible.) For our perfect, 100% efficiency cells, that means we'll need 19.4 square meters in full sun at all times to generate that kind of power, or about five times the area of a king-size bed. Now, I'm pretty observant, and I don't recall a solar panel the size of a small room sticking out of the lifepod. So, either the solar cells are actually about 500% efficient (and they're not), or solar isn't the deal at all.

    Net-net? A solar-powered lifepod just doesn't work. Sorry.
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
    0x6A7232TarkannenWiirlak
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members Posts: 4,768 Advanced user
    0x6A7232 wrote: »
    Actual Solar Cells? Ah, these must be TIE-fighter levels of magi*cough, cough*efficiency. I mean, can you imagine some unforseen interstellar hazard ripping apart a capital class craft in the depths of deep dark space and floating around in your little lifepod with only enough power to maybe pulse the radio once in a while?

    Actually, @scifiwriterguy -- in the worst case, how much energy could you expect from true solar in deep space, assuming a magical 100% efficiency?

    This aughtta be interesting *rubs hands gleefuly*. It's scifiwriterguy time!

    Depends very heavily on a few factors.
    You've already established one: we can pin the cell efficiency at 100%. Not realistic, but hey, it's your question. Your nickel, your parameters. Now we're down to two factors.

    The first is the distance to the nearest star and the type of star it is. A red dwarf has a very low solar output (comparatively speaking) even up close, while a blue-white hypergiant really pumps out the joules. The net result is that you'll be able to capture meaningful energy from a hypergiant further out than you will from a main sequence or a dwarf.

    The second element is how much solar acreage you're willing to build and loft. As with anything, the more you're willing to put up, the more you're going to get out of it. On Earth, a good 1m solar cell can be expected to put out about 150W per square meter, but those are only 15% efficient. At 100% efficiency, that's 1000W per square meter...on Earth. In broad daylight.

    So, to build a comparison, we need to figure out the amounts of light we're talking about.
    Light levels are measured in units called lux, which are lumens per square meter. (You don't want to go into all the details on lumens and how they're calculated, believe me.)

    On Earth on a bright, sunny day, we top out at 100,000 lux. Cool. But at night, without the moon, that drops to 0.002 lux. (Uh-oh.) And that includes a ton of airglow - basically, the conduction of light by the atmosphere from the dayside. Removing that from the equation, you drop down hard, and that's going to ruin your day. Taking away airglow and all other contaminants, with other stars so far away, we drop down to about 0.0001 lux. That's about the amount of light you'll get to play with from pure starshine, so that's about how much, on average, you're going to have as you fly between stars.

    Ugh, 0.0001 lux. That means that for every 10,000 square meters of perfect solar cell we're harvesting about...1W. One crappy watt from a solar cell bank the size of a New York City block.

    So what does that mean in real terms?
    Well, the ISS generates (and uses) about 120,000W. Which means you're going to need...um, calculator...ah, 1.2 billion square meters...of...yikes. You're going to need a little more than twenty times the area of Manhattan of perfect solar cells to generate enough power to make the ISS work, and that has no propulsion, no long-term provisioning capacity - really, it's a pressurized human Habitrail, and you can't survive a trip to another star in that thing. And you're going to need to nail 20.305 Manhattans of solar cells to it just to make it work in interstellar space as it is. Add on all the other stuff you'd need for an interstellar journey and your power needs will quadruple at a minimum, more like octuple. At eight times the power consumption, you're going to need enough solar panels to almost completely cover the United States to run the dang thing.

    In other words, make sure you buy it on a credit card. You'll have frequent flyer miles for generations to come. Of course, there are more problems.
    Namely, it's not a brilliant idea to be cruising through space with a fragile set of wings the size of a major country. Even in interstellar space, there's still trace gas and dust, and they're going to damage your panels. Get anywhere near a solar system and you're going to start encountering more dust and debris, and that'll cause even more damage. And, let's not forget that those solar panels aren't massless, either: you're going to need to get that huge ship moving, and the sheer amount of torque strain on solar wings that big will probably snap them like pretzel sticks. Oh, you can reinforce them, but that'll add kilotons of mass, which will further increase your propulsion needs, which increases your energy needs, which increases the amount of solar panel you need, which increases the amount of reinforcement you need...and so on until your head explodes or MasterCard stops answering the phone.

    Soooo...yeah. Not the best plan ever. :)

    So what about the lifepod?
    Well, there's no stated amount of power consumption for the lifepod. But let's assume it's about on par with a small studio apartment. It's about the same. You have a radio that doesn't run on nice thoughts, that fabricator is like a small kitchen on its own, the lights you can't turn off, and all the computer and avionics stuff. That works out to about 19.4KWh, so 19.4KW of generation per hour at a normalized value. (In reality, consumption would bounce around depending on what you're doing and when, but we'll normalize it to a steady value to make the math sensible.) For our perfect, 100% efficiency cells, that means we'll need 19.4 square meters in full sun at all times to generate that kind of power, or about five times the area of a king-size bed. Now, I'm pretty observant, and I don't recall a solar panel the size of a small room sticking out of the lifepod. So, either the solar cells are actually about 500% efficient (and they're not), or solar isn't the deal at all.

    Net-net? A solar-powered lifepod just doesn't work. Sorry.

    Better be a fuel cell or something then? Charging some sort of capacitor or regular battery power cell?
    UWE Community guidelines | Guide to play in VR with Google Cardboard or Gear | Increase Subnautica view distance | Useful info to post with error reports | Recovery of corrupted saved games
    Crashing, lag problems? Or maybe your old save didn't get the latest update? Upload your saved game folder to help the devs troubleshoot, then try clearing your cache directories | Automatic Cache cleaning tool here | How to use the Debug Console | How to play any version of Subnautica using Steam | Tips for Subnautica beginners | Why can't the devs "just fix it"? - a modding session for you to educate yourself with Want more frames? Try adding this to your launch options: -window-mode exclusive
    Slow loading / textures popping in? Try moving Subnautica to an SSD | How to switch Subnautica to Experimental mode (clear cache afterwards) | How to run chkdsk on your drive | How to verify integrity of your game cache (in the "Installation" section) | Blue screens or computer freezing up? Try this fix (updates a corrupted DX10 compatibility file in the graphics driver that sometimes doesn't get updated)
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  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brazil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 327 Advanced user
    Net-net? A solar-powered lifepod just doesn't work. Sorry.
    Just playing devil's advocate here...
    Assuming the entirety of the pod surface doubles as solar cells, and that it has better efficiency than current cells. If we approximate the lifepod to a sphere with a radius of 2m, its surface area will be ~50m and a large portion of it will be exposed to the sun.
    High tech equipment should also be more energy efficient.
    I say it's fictionally viable.

    Imho just change it to work as a regular in-game solar cell and it's all cool.


  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-α Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Members Posts: 856 Advanced user
    0x6A7232 wrote: »
    Better be a fuel cell or something then? Charging some sort of capacitor or regular battery power cell?

    Capacitors tied to a nuclear battery. There are several different designs that would work - thermocouple/thermophotovoltaic, thermionic, alpha/betavoltaic, a handful of others - but a constant-production low-capacity generator tied to a supercapacitor bank would be the most feasible answer; it'd produce energy constantly, independent of environmental conditions, and be a reliable power source for a very long time.

    Unless you crack it open, and then your name better be Bruce Banner or life is going to suck in short order. Luckily, it won't bother you for long.
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    Just playing devil's advocate here...
    Assuming the entirety of the pod surface doubles as solar cells, and that it has better efficiency than current cells. If we approximate the lifepod to a sphere with a radius of 2m, its surface area will be ~50m and a large portion of it will be exposed to the sun.
    High tech equipment should also be more energy efficient.
    I say it's fictionally viable.

    Imho just change it to work as a regular in-game solar cell and it's all cool.

    Fair enough. :)

    If we assume the pod is a rough sphere 2m in diameter, surface area works out to 50.27 m2. About, say, a quarter of that is flotation skirt and underwater, so that's functionally useless, leaving us with roughly 37.7 m2. You're never going to get light exposure on all sides of the pod because the star is a single-point source, so there will be, at most, half of the pod in direct sunlight, or 18.8 m2, which is a little short. Water is highly reflective, though, so let's assume the rest of the pod gets...say, 30% nominal exposure, giving us an effective secondary area of 5.655 m2, for a grand productive total of...24.455 m2, more than the 19 m2 dirt minimum I calculated originally. Taking away the big, gaudy, light-up 5 and other odd bits will shave off maybe two square meters or thereabouts, so, in terms of area, it looks like we're good.

    Now, another hitch is the pod itself: the thing's white. Classically, solar panels are dark - blue or black.
    The color tells you what they are. Nearly all panels are made from silicon, but purity varies, and that changes the crystalline structure of the silicon. Blue panels are polycrystalline, black panels are monocrystal. Between the two, monocrystal panels are more efficient but costly (the silicon must be high purity), while polycrystalline panels are cheaper.
    However, in 2013, a paper was published outlining a method to potentially produce colored solar panels, and a year later, CSEM actually managed to pull it off. (It's a pretty cool process, involving a sandwich of multiple super-thin layers of doped silicon to convert photons into electrons and then harvest them. The nifty bit is that you can make them white, so that's another problem off the checklist.

    Lookin' good! Plus, solar cells are really fragile, so we...um...uh-oh.

    A lifeboat is going to take some knocks, and that's just lifeboats on oceans here on Earth. A lifepod on a spaceship? You're going to be using them in all kinds of environments. High heat to near absolute zero. Vacuum to crushing pressure. Toxic and corrosive environments. Hard rads. You're going to be dropping them on rock, bouncing them off asteroids or ring systems, peppering them with shrapnel. Heck, just take a look at what happened to our pod in the span of about twenty seconds: it was launched out of a burning ship, smashed into an ocean at high speed, and - tiny detail - was way too close for safety to an exploding freaking starship. And yet, that pod comes through looking like a new penny. The clear implication is that those pods can take some abuse without losing capability. (NOTE: Guarantee does not apply to alien quarantine squids sawing pods open. Any alien interaction voids warranty.) One problem the colorized solar panels have is durability: they cannot handle punishment. After everything Old Number 5 has been through, if it were coated with solar cells, it should look shaggier than a shedding buffalo as huge chunks of the cells have been ripped off.

    But, hey, let's just handwave that and say "they figured out the durability problem." They can't make a battery that lasts longer than a sneeze, but they can make a pocketknife that can poke a hole in a submarine, so clearly Alterra quality control is a mixed bag. Let's assume they somehow fixed the solar cell durability problem.

    Sooooo...yeah! It's technically theoretically plausible. Change it to work as a regular in-game solar system, let it serve as an intro to the solar power mechanic as @0x6A7232 suggested, and it's all cool. :)
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
    Tarkannen0x6A7232narfblatWiirlak
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Brazil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 327 Advanced user
    There is active research going into diamond solar cells. They are supposedly more efficient than Si cells and, while they should remain fragile, it's not hard to assume that more resilient designs could be achieved.

    Regarding the batteries, I think it's another problem deriving from the accelerated game time notion. While on the subject of unrealistic mechanics, how can we justify the Stasis Rifle ?
    0x6A7232
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