Power Generation, Water Processing & Heavy Machinery

Providing for the needs of your expedition’s settlers is one of the core elements of OC, and good infrastructure is absolutely essential. All heavy machinery requires electricity, making a functional power grid indispensable. Potable water is needed to survive, making water processing and conveyance mechanisms essential. Skill in maintaining and calibrating the associated heavy machinery is needed among your labor pool to ensure these facilities continue to run efficiently.

Machinery

Summary

  • Power generation is a fundamental requisite for nearly all activities in OC. With no electricity, your expedition can’t do much.
  • OC provides a variety of options for generating power, ranging from solar arrays to nuclear reactors.
  • Power generation is driven by simulation-derived logic. For example, solar arrays won’t generate any electricity during night or when cloud cover is excessive. Wind turbines won’t work without wind. As such, the utility of some generation types is highly dependent upon an expedition’s environment.
  • Potable water is another necessity for any expedition. Without it, your NPCs will die of thirst.
  • OC provides options for obtaining and purifying water, including desalination, fresh water pumps, and humidity condensers.
  • Power plants, water processing stations, manufacturing stations, and other heavy equipment requires daily maintenance and calibration. Specialized skills are needed to keep machinery in working order, and any expedition should have at least one person who’s capable in this regard.

Power Generation

Nearly all stationary machinery, from computers to weapon manufacturing equipment, runs on electricity. This section covers a few of OC’s options for power generation and provides some recommendations for how to effectively build the right power grid for your expedition.

Lights_On

Your settlers will expect basic amenities, like working lights in their rooms. Of course, these consume electricity.

One of the most important decisions when building a power grid is what sort of power generator to use. Players can use a variety of generator types that compliment each other’s weaknesses, but it’s important to build a grid that’s both reliable and capable of meeting your expedition’s needs.

Some power generators run on renewable sources, like wind and solar.

  • A chief advantage of these sources is that they consume no fuel. Once it’s built, all it needs is regular maintenance to keep functioning.
  • These power plants are also fairly lightweight and have simple material requirements. They’re easy to build with simple technology.
  • A primary downside is that they need sunlight or wind to run. Neither can be built indoors.
  • Both require certain environments to maximize productivity. Solar arrays are great in a desert with minimal cloud cover, but are nearly useless in a temperate rain forest. Wind generators are great on a windy mountain ridge, but are useless in a calm, stagnant location. Solar panels have the further disadvantage of not generating power at night.
  • Neither can generate very much energy compared to fuel-consuming generators. Unless you have huge numbers of these kinds of power stations, they’re unsuitable for mega-engineering projects or other activities with extreme power requirements.

Some power generators consume fuel, like fossil fuel generators and radioactive reactors.

  • These power generators need to be fed fuel in order to produce energy. Without a supply of fuel inputs, they won’t run.
  • This means you’ll need a steady supply chain to keep your grid operating, derived either from mining or trade. Either approach can be a strategic liability.
  • These power generators have more complex construction and maintenance requirements. Fossil fuel generators are pretty simple, but nuclear reactors are not. They have subcomponents that call for significant quantities of fairly specific materials, like boron and osmium, making them technically challenging to construct.
  • These power generators have vastly higher production capacities than their renewable counterparts. Ten kilograms of refined nuclear fuel will produce orders of magnitude more energy than a solar grid can in a day. This means fewer power stations and less overall maintenance work.
  • Given their capacity to produce large amounts of electricity, these options are better suited for mature expeditions embarking on major projects.

As a final note, power generators must be connected to power consuming equipment or structures with power lines. It is essential that these be built in defensible positions, or that an expedition’s power grid be decentralized or have redundancy as it expands. Lengthy stretches of power lines are easy to sabotage and sever during the opening phases of an attack.

Water Processing

Without potable water, your expedition’s personnel will die of thirst.

Water_Processing

A water processing station and humidity extractor with pipes running to a subterranean structure.

OC provides three main routes for attaining potable water.

  • Ambient Moisture Condensation: Humidity condensation untis work by extracting moisture from the air.
    • Their chief advantage is that they can be run anywhere, even if no surface water is available.
    • Their main downside is that they’re very energy intensive and work comparatively slowly.
    • If your expedition is in a desert with no water nearby, they’re the only option you’ve got. The humidity in a place like this will be low, though, meaning you’ll need many of them and they’ll take a lot of electricity to run.
  • Fresh Water Purification: Water processing stations, placed next to fresh water sources are ideal.
    • They don’t take as much electricity to run as condensers.
    • They produce large amounts of potable water.
    • The only downside is that they need a lake, stream, or river to work.
  • Desalination: Water processing stations, placed next to salt water sources, can function as desalination plants.
    • They can produce much larger amounts of potable water than condensers.
    • They do require large amounts of electricity to run.
    • Salt water is often readily available, so all you need is shoreline adjacent to an ocean for this method to be used.

Machinery Maintenance

Maintenance_Event

All types of heavy machinery have some maintenance and calibration requirements. At least once a day, someone from your expedition will have to access and work on equipment to keep it functioning at maximum efficiency. As such, building equipment in remote areas imposes a significant labor requirement and can place maintenance personnel in dangerous circumstances. Keep this in mind when choosing where to build your expedition’s heavy machinery.

Posted in Industry