Energy Sources

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This article should be cleaned up or improved. The reason is: Broaden the scope - add all energy sources here, and have Fuels as a subsection.

Dyson Sphere Program has several ways of generating power. From the wind turbine you start with, to fusion generators, artificial stars and of course the Dyson Sphere itself. Some of these generators and your mech, Icarus, run on one or more different fuels. This page lists all fuels in the game and explains the stats they use.

Fuel stats

All fuels have two stats that tell you how good they are: Energy, and Fuel chamber gen.

Energy is the total energy each item contains. When used in your mech, the Mini Fusion Power Station and the Artificial Star, this is the total energy it generates. Thermal Power Stations incur a 20% energy loss for all fuels they use.

Fuel chamber gen. marks how efficient your mech's Fuel Chamber is at converting the fuel. This only changes how fast energy is recharged, not how much total energy is produced. Note that Coal with 0% is the only fuel that matches your Energy Circuit upgrade level. Both positive and negative percentages are relative to this. For instance, both a Hydrogen Fuel Rod and the 5 Hydrogen it requires to produce contain a total of 40MJ (before patch 0.6.17.5972, Hydrogen Fuel Rod now contains 54MJ), but the fuel rod has a Fuel chamber gen. of +200% instead of the +100% of regular hydrogen, meaning you will use the fuel rod 50% faster (300% total charge rate compared to 200%) than the regular hydrogen and therefore recharge energy 50% faster. The time a fuel item lasts and your recovery speed both depend on your Energy Circuit upgrade level. The "fuel chamber gen." stat only affects your mech; it has no effect on Thermal Power Plants.

Burn Time

Burn Time is calculated with the following formula:

(Energy * Efficiency) / Rate == burn time (in seconds)

Energy is the amount of energy stored in the fuel, in Joules.
Efficiency is the conversion efficiency of the generator burning the fuel. For a Thermal Power Station, this is 0.8 (80%).
Rate is the rate at which the generator is supplying power (in Watts) to the grid.

Example: To calculate the burn time of 1 Energetic Graphite in 1 thermal power generator at 100% load:

Energy * Efficiency / Rate == burn time (in seconds)
(6.3 MJ * 0.8) / 2.16MW  == 2.333 seconds

The table below has been calculated at 100% load for all fuels/generators. Fuel typically takes longer than this to burn in practice, because it is abnormal to keep a power grid at 100% load at all times.

List of Fuels

Fuel Stack Size Type Energy Energy per stack Fuel chamber gen. Generator Generator Burn Time Units per minute in generator
Icon Plant Fuel.png 500 Natural Resource, Chemical 500 kJ 250 MJ -30% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 0.185 s 324.32
Icon Log.png 100 Natural Resource, Chemical 1.50 MJ 150 MJ -10% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 0.556 s 107.91
Icon Organic Crystal.png 100 Rare Resource, Material, Chemical 1.80 MJ 180 MJ -20% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 0.667 s 89.96
Icon Coal.png 100 Natural Resource, Chemical 2.70 MJ 270 MJ 0% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 1 s 60
Icon Energetic Graphite.png 100 Material, Chemical 6.75 MJ 675 MJ +50% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 2.5 s 24
Icon Crude Oil.png 20 Natural Resource, Chemical 4.05 MJ 81 MJ +20% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 1.5 s 40
Icon Refined Oil.png 20 Material, Chemical 4.50 MJ 90 MJ +30% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 1.67 s 36
Icon Hydrogen.png 20 Rare Resource, Material, Chemical 9.00 MJ 180 MJ +100% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 3.33 s 18
Icon Deuterium.png 20 Rare Resource, Material, Chemical 9.00 MJ 180 MJ +100% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 3.33 s 18
Icon Diamond.png 100 Material, Chemical 900 kJ 90 MJ -50% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 0.333 s 180.18
Icon Graphene.png 100 Material, Chemical 96.0 kJ 9.6 MJ -70% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 0.036 s 1666.67
Icon Carbon Nanotube.png 100 Material, Chemical 84.0 kJ 8.4 MJ -80% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 0.031 s 1935.48
Icon Fire Ice.png 50 Rare Resource, Chemical 4.80 MJ 240 MJ +40% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 1.778 s 33.75
Icon Hydrogen Fuel Rod.png 30 End Product, Chemical 54.0 MJ 1.62 GJ +200% Icon Thermal Power Plant.png 20 s 3
Icon Deuteron Fuel Rod.png 20 End Product, Nuclear Energy 600 MJ 12 GJ +300% Icon Mini Fusion Power Plant.png 66.667 s 0.9
Icon Antimatter Fuel Rod.png 20 End Product, Mass Energy 7.20 GJ 144 GJ +500% Icon Artificial Star.png 100 s 0.6
Icon Full Accumulator.png 20 Power storage [1] 90.0 MJ 1.8 GJ +100% Icon Energy Exchanger.png 2 s 30
  1. Will return an empty accumulator when used in the Energy Exchanger. If used to power Icarus, the accumulator will be destroyed.

Efficient Power Production

The following chapters describe by example the best ways to utilize the different basic fuel resources Coal, Crude Oil, and Fire Ice, taking the power consumption of required buildings like smelters, refineries, sorters etc. into account.

Coal vs. Energetic Graphite

Assumptions

Burning Coal

  • Coal production: 24 Veins * 0.5 Coal/s = 12 Coal/s.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 12 Coal/s: 12 * 2.7 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 12 Stations.
  • Power production: 12 Stations * 2.16 MW = 25.92 MW.
  • Power consumption:
  1. Mining Machines: 4 * 420 kW = 1.68 MW.
  2. Sorters (1 per Station): 12 * 18 kW = 0.216 MW.
  • Net power production: 25.92 MW - 1.68 MW - 0.216 MW = 24.024 MW.

Burning Energetic Graphite

  • Smelting 12 Coal/s needs 12 Smelters, and results in 6 Graphite/s.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 6 Graphite/s: 6 * 6.75 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 15 Stations.
  • Power production: 15 Stations * 2.16 MW = 32.4 MW.
  • Power consumption:
  1. Mining Machines: 4 * 420 kW = 1.68 MW.
  2. Smelters: 12 * 360 kW = 4.32 MW.
  3. Sorters (2 per Smelter, 1 per Station): 39 * 18 kW = 0.702 MW.
  • Net power production: 32.4 MW - 1.68 MW - 4.32 MW - 0.702 MW = 25.698 MW.

Conclusion

The increased effort of smelting Energetic Graphite from Coal results in ~1.7 MW more net power production.

  • Coal: 24.024 MW
  • Energetic Graphite: 25.698 MW.

Crude Oil vs. Refined Oil vs. X-Ray Cracking vs. Hydrogen Fuel Rods

Crude Oil can be converted to Refined Oil and Hydrogen. Using the X-Ray Cracking recipe, this can be converted to Energetic Graphite and Hydrogen. Finally, Hydrogen and Titanium Ingots can be crafted to Hydrogen Fuel Rods.

Energy change from conversion

As for Coal-to-Energetic-Graphite above, we can do a quick math of the energy difference from converting the different stages of fuel to their next possible outcome. Note that for each case, if your system is not perfectly balance to maximize factory usage, each second spent idle is extra energy loss and the results given are only an upper bound of the best you could get but you most likely will get less.

  • Crude Oil to Refined Oil and Hydrogen for 1 Oil Refinery and extra sorters over 4 seconds: (8MJ + 2 * 4.4MJ) * 0.8 - (2 * 4MJ) * 0.8 - (960kW + 4.1 * 18kW) * 4s = +2.9048MJ or +726.2kW.
  • Refined Oil to Hydrogen and Graphite for 1 Oil Refinery and extra sorters over 4 seconds: (8MJ + 6.3MJ) * 0.8 - (4.4MJ) * 0.8 - (960kW + 6.25 * 18 kW) * 4s = +3.63MJ or +907.5kW.
  • Hydrogen and Titanium Ore to Hydrogen Fuel Rods for 1 Smelter and 2 Assembling Machines MkI and extra sorters over 4 seconds: (50MJ) * 0.8 - (5 * 8MJ) * 0.8 - (2 * 270kW + 360kW + 6.25 * 18kW) * 4s = +3.95MJ or +987.5kW.

Assumptions

Burning Crude Oil

  • Power Stations needed to burn 1.5 Oil/s: 1.5 * 4 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 2 Stations.
  • Power production: 2 Stations * 2.16 MW = 4.32 MW.
  • Power consumption:
  1. Oil Extractor: 1 * 840 kW = 0.84 MW.
  2. Sorters (1 per Station): 2 * 18 kW = 0.036 MW.
  • Net power production: 4.32 MW - 0.84 MW - 0.036 MW = 3.444 MW.

Burning Refined Oil And Hydrogen

  • Refining 1.5 Crude Oil/s needs 3 Oil Refineries, and results in 1.5 Refined Oil/s and 0.75 Hydrogen/s.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 1.5 Refined Oil/s: 1.5 * 4.4 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 2 Stations.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 0.75 Hydrogen/s: 0.75 * 8 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 2 Stations.
  • Power production: 4 Stations * 2.16 MW = 8.64 MW.
  • Power consumption:
  1. Oil Extractor: 1 * 840 kW = 0.84 MW.
  2. Oil Refineries: 3 * 960 kW = 2.88 MW.
  3. Sorters (3 per Refinery, 1 per Station): 13 * 18 kW = 0.234 MW.
  • Net power production: 8.64 MW - 0.84 MW - 2.88 MW - 0.234 MW = 4.686 MW.

Burning Energetic Graphite And Hydrogen (X-Ray Cracking)

  • Cracking 1.5 Refined Oil/s needs 6 Oil Refineries, and results in 1.5 Graphite/s and 1.5 extra Hydrogen/s (2.25 Hydrogen/s in total).
  • Power Stations needed to burn 1.5 Graphite/s: 1.5 * 6.3 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 3 Stations.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 2.25 Hydrogen/s: 2.25 * 8 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 6 Stations.
  • Power production: 9 Stations * 2.16 MW = 19.44 MW.
  • Power consumption:
  1. Oil Extractor: 1 * 840 kW = 0.84 MW.
  2. Oil Refineries: 9 * 960 kW = 8.64 MW.
  3. Sorters (3 per Refined Oil, 4 per X-Ray, 1 per Station): 42 * 18 kW = 0.756 MW.
  • Net power production: 19.44 MW - 0.84 MW - 8.64 MW - 0.756 MW = 9.204 MW.

Burning Energetic Graphite And Hydrogen Fuel Rods (With X-Ray Cracking)

  • Crafting Hydrogen Fuel Rods from 2.25 Hydrogen/s needs 2 Assemblers, and results in 0.45 Fuel Rods/s (5 Hydrogen per Fuel Rod).
  • Smelting the required 0.45 Titanium Ingots/s for the Fuel Rods needs 1 Smelter (max. output 0.5 ingots/s). It consumes 0.9 Titanium Ore/s which ban be mined by 1 Mining Machine covering 2 Titanium Ore Veins.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 1.5 Graphite/s: 1.5 * 6.3 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 3 Stations.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 0.45 Fuel Rods/s: 0.45 * 50 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 8 Stations.
  • Power production: 11 Stations * 2.16 MW = 23.76 MW.
  • Power consumption:
  1. Oil Extractor: 1 * 840 kW = 0.84 MW.
  2. Oil Refineries: 9 * 960 kW = 8.64 MW.
  3. Mining Machines: 1 * 420 kW = 0.42 MW.
  4. Smelters: 1 * 360 kW = 0.36 MW.
  5. Assemblers: 2 * 270 kW = 0.54 MW.
  6. Sorters (3 per Refined Oil, 4 per X-Ray, 2 per Smelter, 3 per Assembler, 1 per Station): 52 * 18 kW = 0.936 MW.
  • Net power production: 23.76 MW - 0.84 MW - 8.64 MW - 0.42 MW - 0.36 MW - 0.54 MW - 0.936 MW = 12.024 MW.

Conclusion

Each step in the production chain increases the net power production.

  • Crude Oil: 3.444 MW.
  • Refined Oil: 4.686 MW.
  • X-Ray Cracking: 9.204 MW.
  • Hydrogen Fuel Rods: 12.024 MW.

Fire Ice vs. Hydrogen vs. Hydrogen Fuel Rods

Fire Ice could be converted to Hydrogen or Hydrogen Fuel Rods.

Energy change from conversion

  • Fire Ice to Hydrogen and Graphene for 1 Chemical Plant and extra sorters without burning the graphene over 2 seconds: (8MJ) * 0.8 - (2 * 4.8MJ) * 0.8 - (720kW + 2.42 * 18kW) * 2s = -2.807MJ or -1.404MW.
  • Fire Ice to Hydrogen and Graphene for 1 Chemical Plant and extra sorters when burning the graphene over 2 seconds: (8MJ + 2 * 96kW) * 0.8 - (2 * 4.8MJ) * 0.8 - (720kW + 2.42 * 18kW) * 2s = -2.730MJ or -1.365MW.
  • Hydrogen and Titanium Ore to Hydrogen Fuel Rods: check the line above made for the crude oil section.

Assumptions

Burning Fire Ice

  • Fire Ice production: 24 Veins * 0.5 Fire Ice/s = 12 Fire Ice/s.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 12 Fire Ice/s: 12 * 4.8 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 21 Stations.
  • Power production: 21 Stations * 2.16 MW = 45.36 MW.
  • Power consumption:
  1. Mining Machines: 4 * 420 kW = 1.68 MW.
  2. Sorters (1 per Station): 21 * 18 kW = 0.378 MW.
  • Net power production: 45.36 MW - 1.68 MW - 0.378 MW = 43.302 MW.

Burning Hydrogen

2 Fire Ice (9.6 MJ) can be converted to 1 Hydrogen (8 MJ) and 2 Graphene (0.192 MJ) which is already a loss of energy without taking any buildings into account.

Burning Hydrogen Fuel Rods

  • Crafting Hydrogen from 12 Fire Ice/s needs 12 Chemical Plants, and results in 6 Hydrogen/s and 12 Graphene/s.
  • Crafting Hydrogen Fuel Rods from 6 Hydrogen/s results in 1.2 Fuel Rods/s and 12 Graphene/s.
  • Power Stations needed to burn 1.2 Fuel Rods/s: 1.2 * 50 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = 22 Stations (one more than needed for burning Fire Ice).
  • The produced Graphene cannot satisfy a single Power Station: 12 * 0.096 MJ * 0.8 / 2.16 MW = (exactly) 0.43 Stations.
  • The 1.43 extra Power Stations produce 3.08 MW more power, compared to burning Fire Ice directly.
  • The 12 Chemical Plants needed to produce Hydrogen already consume 12 * 720 kW = 8.64 MW.

Conclusion

Burning Fire Ice directly in the Thermal Power Station is more efficient than converting it to Hydrogen or Hydrogen Fuel Rods. So unless you need extra graphene from Fire Ice, this is highly discouraged.

Production overview

Source Explanation Build cost Upkeep cost
Icon Coal.png Mining Coal on deceint sized Coal Vein may give you around 18 coal/second, requiring 18 Power Stations to burn and producing 36MW net power.

Since low power in grid will slow down the miners, it may be better to use seperate power network for miners

3000 ores / 100 MW Uses 50 Coal from Coal Vein per 100MW

Each 500k Coal Vein will last for 8 hours at 18 coal/s

Icon Solar Panel.png

Solar is decent early/mid-game power source, easily scaleable to ~500MW on a planet.

Most obvious layouts are building circles on both poles or 4-wide stip en equator.

By standing on the pole and with using god-build-mode(Settings/Gameplay) you may place Solar Panels at 5/second (~3sec per 15-long row).

To build Solar Panels on poles without overlaying errors while building a long row, place first panel 2 tiles from pole.

Producing Silicon from Stone: 55000 ores / 100MW

A big 600k Stone vein will give you a full 1 GW, which is more then enough for a single planet

Producing from Silicon: 7500 ores / 100MW

Free
Icon Deuteron Fuel Rod.png A way to send fuel to other stars.

Production, Oil Hydrogen/Fractionator: 1500 ores / 100MW

Production, Gas Giant Hydrogen, Particle Collider: 12000 ores / 100MW

Production, Gas Giant Deuterium : 80000 ores / 100MW (10 Orbital collectors)

Consumption (MF Power Plants): 7000 ores / 100MW

Production, Oil Hydrogen/Fractionator: 1.5 oil, 6 ores, 20MJ / 100MW

Production, Gas Giant Hydrogen, Particle Collider: 6 ores, 27MJ / 100MJ

Production, Gas Giant Deuterium : 6 ores, 9MJ / 100MW

Icon Solar Sail.png Dyson Swarm

One Sail costs 4.5 ores, 1 oil, 12MJ

With no research one Sail gives total of 52MJ (32kw*5400s*(100%-70%)) Dyson Swarm power.

With only Yellow Cube researches, each Sail produces a total of 127MJ (32kw*(5400s+3*900s)*(100%-70%*0.9^3))

~ one Sail / 100MJ
Icon Small Carrier Rocket.png Shell structure, using rare ores: 350000 ores and 5000MJ per additional 100MW (on 1L sun)

Shell panel, using rare ores: 8500 ores and 170MW per additional 100MW (in 1L sun)

Icon Full Accumulator.png 42000 ores and 56000MJ per 100MW transfered Used only for energy transfer, so 100MJ / 100MJ
Icon Antimatter Fuel Rod.png 0.6 ores and 2MW / 100MW