Thermal Power Plant
Thermal Generators are a descendant of the old 20th century powerplants. Burning fossil fuels heats and boils water into steam, which spins generator turbines. Modern Advancements have allowed the water to be recycled, and more energy to be captured from the combustion process. Even with modern improvements, these generators still suffer from an 20% efficiency loss, reducing the amount of energy captured from fuel. Even with the efficiency loss, thermal generators are very compact, allowing only a few of them to power large factories. In the same space that 2 wind turbines take up, Thermal Generators produce over three times the power. They also run full time, unlike solar panels which are restricted to daytime operations.
Player Tips & Tricks
The duration a piece if fuel will last is based on its MJ value. Thermal generators suffer a 20% loss due to inefficiency. to calculate how long a Fuel unit will last, multiply the MJ rating by 80% (or 0.8), then divide it by the 2.16MW that the generator produces per second. The resulting number will be how long one unit of that fuel will last.
Example 1: Coal has a energy density of 2.7MJ. take away the efficiency loss (2.7 * 0.8) and you are left with 2.16MJ. Divide that by the thermal generators max production (2.16MJ / 2.16MW) and you get that one piece of coal will burn for one second at full use.
Example 2: Hydrogen Fuel Rods has a energy density of 40MJ. take away the efficiency loss (40MJ * 0.8) and you are left with 32MJ. Divide that by the thermal generators max production (32MJ / 2.16MW) and you get that one Fuel Rod will burn for 14.8 seconds at full use.
Fuel Production Costs
Since fuel production has its own energy cost, dedicated power production should take into account whether denser crafted fuels are a net gain over the components to make them.
Example 1: Coal has an energy density of 2.7MJ. Coal can be smelted into Energetic Graphite at a 2:1 ratio, which has an energy density of 6.3MJ, 16% more joules. However, smelting Energetic Graphite requires 720 kJ, and the sorters to access the smelter adds ~36 kJ. This leaves a mere 5.6kJ over coal when processed, while increasing the overhead usage. Which requires more thermal generators for the same available wattage.