Solar Sails are consumable items required for the creation of dyson swarms. They are used in the EM-Rail Ejector to launch them into orbit around a star. The energy collected by Solar Sails can only be collected using a Ray Receiver.
Solar Sails have a limited lifespan of 5400s. This can be upgraded to up to 9000s by researching Solar Sail Life.
The energy generated by a solar sail depends on the star luminosity. Unlike real life, the energy generated does not depend on the distance to the star. Around a star with a luminosity of 1 a single Solar Sail generates 36 kW. While on the other hand, when they'are absorbed into a dyson sphere, every structure point gives you 96 kW and solar cell ~15 kW, both multiplied by luminosity.
A single EM-Rail Ejector firing continuously can maintain a maximum of 1800 Solar Sails in orbit with their default lifespan of 5400s. Around a star with a luminosity of 1 this will generate 64.8 MW
Total Raw Materials
Costs per 4 sails:
Using Fire Ice (also produces 2 hydrogen):
Using Sulfuric Acid:
Using Oil and Water (also produces 0.75 hydrogen):
Using Optical Grating Crystal and Fire Ice (also produces 2 hydrogen):
Player Tips & Tricks
Since Solar Sails have a limited lifespan, the power production of a dyson swarm is dependent on the supply of new Solar Sails into orbit. If you stop producing or launching solar sails, the swarm's power generation will decrease as sails expire, until it reaches 0.
If you want to produce a certain stable amount of power, you must be producing and launching a certain number of solar sails per minute. The equation to calculate this is
Solar Sails Per Minute = ( Power ) / (Lifetime of Solar Sail * Star Luminosity * 600)
For example, say we want to produce 50MW (or 50 000 000 W). We haven't upgraded our solar sails yet, so their lifetime is the base 5400 seconds. Our star luminosity is 0.75. Therefore, we could need (50 000 000)/(5400 * 0.75 * 600) = 20.57 solar sails being produced and launched per minute, or about 1 per 3 seconds.