Power generation is vital to a healthy ship as most equipment in the game requires power to operate. The most basic power system consists only of a reactor and a loader, with a steady supply of fuel canisters. However, this system’s shortcomings become apparent as a ship’s power requirements grow, and keeping a constant flow of power becomes more important.
If a ship with a reactor-based power system runs out of fuel, the ship is effectively dead in space, unable to produce power to run the FTL drive. To allow for fuel rationing in case of emergencies, players can purchase a generator and energy cells to inject power into a system without the need for fuel. Reactors can be temporarily disconnected from fuel pipes during this time.
Constant Power Flow
One of the first shortcomings players are likely to notice is a loss of power when a fuel canister runs dry, and it takes time for a crew member to retrieve a new tank. This delay will depend on the availability of crew members to retrieve a new tank and the distance between the fuel storage and the loader. This kind of delay can cause significant problems during a time-sensitive mission.
The issue can be solved by introducing a tank and a battery into the system. The tank can store more fuel, and crew members will continue to replace fuel canisters until the tank is full. This means that fuel will be available even as a canister is replaced. It takes some time for a battery to fill and distribute power, but once it has started, it will provide a constant power flow to the equipment until it drains completely. The battery will constantly refill from available power sources. As reactors take time to increase or decrease power production, batteries help to keep sudden increases in power demand from overwhelming them.
The more equipment is installed on a ship, the faster power drains from batteries and reactors. Eventually, the power demand will be higher than a reactor or battery can contain, and the player will need to add additional units to supply enough power. This will require faster fuel usage and more space used by generators. A fusion reactor can provide the same output as several reactors while using much less space. Fusion reactors use deuterium instead of fuel, ensuring fuel can be saved for engines.
Fusion reactors need a small starting charge to spin up. This charge can be provided either by a reactor connected to fuel, a generator and power cell, or a battery with sufficient capacity.
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