TD's Guide to the World of Solar Power Plants! -1.4 Update-

General discussions about the games by Egosoft including X-BTF, XT, X², X³: Reunion, X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

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wormer311
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Post by wormer311 » Sat, 14. Feb 04, 23:43

I'm quite aware of how the economy is flawed........ all i'm saying is that you don't have to build an empire of SPP's to make money in the game. The point is if I have 83 factories and 12 are spp's, then how do I constantly build up enough cash for more factories and corvettes for each sector I have.(NO SETA) It's because all my other factories make plenty of money.


and as for this
By the way.... it's not a very good idea to have 6 manta's selling your energy.... your actually making a lot less then what you think you are making. A lot less. For more info on 450% sunlight and why having multiple selling ships is a bad idea, check out the original post.
This spp will stay stocked at maximum capacity and stops producing before the other tp's can return to pick up more. Having 6 mantas selling makes sure that it will not be stuck at capacity.
This factory makes more money than any other factory I own. When I withdraw money for corvettes the spp in akeelas beacon has 2x more than every other factory I own including all the other spp's. Tell me again why it's not a good idea to have 6 mantas selling?
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BFWibble
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Post by BFWibble » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 00:24

wormer311 wrote:This spp will stay stocked at maximum capacity and stops producing before the other tp's can return to pick up more. Having 6 mantas selling makes sure that it will not be stuck at capacity.
This factory makes more money than any other factory I own. When I withdraw money for corvettes the spp in akeelas beacon has 2x more than every other factory I own including all the other spp's. Tell me again why it's not a good idea to have 6 mantas selling?
If your Solar Power Plant is producing energy so quickly that 6 mantas can’t dwindle the stocks then it must have an incredible demand for crystals. How can you satisfy such a demand with the local economy or is it a must in this case to create your own Crystal Factory and supporting factories?

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Post by Dscaper » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 00:28

BFWibble wrote:I’m very confused about the success everyone seems to be getting with Solar Power Plants. I am really struggling, one moment it seems to be going fine and the next thing my entire SPP industry is on the verge of collapse.

I’ve had a successful SP in Red Light, but again it's those crystals, there are almost none available, my TP is travelling 3 sectors just to bring back 14 crystals, once my SPP was topped up fine now its down to 200, by the time my TP arrives with crystals I’ve used more than it has collected. I’ve got three SPP, one in Kingdoms End (just built), one in Red Light and one in Herrons Nebula. Herrons Nebula SPP is the only SPP that has a full stock of crystals, my SPP in Red Light is having to travel to three worlds for crystals and my SPP in KE is also going to three worlds, once they are gone I will be out all over. Faster TP’s are not the issue, it does not matter if they were going one million miles and hour there are simply almost no crystals for them to rush to.

It seems as though I should be constructing crystal factories, Cahoona bakeries and Cattle Ranches to help with this problem but I notice many people are earning mega credits with just SPP economies. What am I doing wrong? I’m more than happy to restart if I’ve made fundamental mistakes.

Extra Info:
- Each SPP has 2 Argon Express as sellers and 1 Argon Express as a Crystal purchaser (All have max engine tuning)
- Energy selling for 20
- Crystals buying for 1684 (buying only from Trading Stations)
- Using no Scripts
The energy selling at 20 may have a bearing. I'd tweak it down a little and see if that helps. If you are also relying on people coming to you for energy as well, then there's a very high chance that a nearby (within 1 jump) SSP that belongs to the computer will be selling at less than that. i.e. By the time the SSP on one side of you is selling for more than 20, the one on the other side has restocked and is selling for less. That means you're getting no visitors.

Another factor is to tell the SPP to jump less. It might be the case that the SPP is getting resources from miles away and from a place that is being used heavily by computer traffic. Knock down the distances that they're having to travel, and that might help.

A good value for selling is 13. It might seem low, but it's a good way of seeing if it's your price that is affecting things, and it means that you're not losing money (sell at 12 and you're down by 0.2 credits per unit... it's costing you to sell).

The energy loops system works very tho, so it may be worth trying one out when you've gathered together a little cash. The good thing about a loop is that you don't have to leave the sector to make cash, and you never have crystal issues. :)
When I find that pesky Suzy, I'm gonna stick her in an air lock, tell her to wave at the cameras, and then lob her out into space so that the pirates nearby can have her, then tell the salesman in the... toy shop... that I've 1.. 9.. 2... 2... 'ed her.

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Post by BFWibble » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 00:50

I’ve been examining my factories and it turns out that the problem with my Solar Power Plants was the number of selling ships. I am selling energy sells at such a rate that my crystal stocks are being consumed faster than the local economy can replace them. Instead of two ships if I put one on standby and have only one selling ship, the rate at which my factory consumes crystals will then half, the local crystal economy will then pickup again.

The problem with this is that the SPP is doing nothing most of the time, it refills it’s stock before the selling ship even reaches its destination. This of course means that my factory is wasted 95% of the time, I can have three ships selling crystals and the factory will restock before they return, the only thing preventing me from doing this is the fact that the required crystals are not available.

Therefore I think it’s definitely a great idea to have your SPP as the front end of your economy. However the SPP can be enhanced by a few slow profit factories like Cahoona Bakeries, Cattle Ranches and Crystals, not necessarily a closed loop but selling reasonably to the local AI to improve the availability of crystals. I’m going to try and help the AI economy as much as possible, I’m sure if I can turn Kingdoms End into a crystal-manufacturing powerhouse then it will be possible for my SPP to have many seller ships.

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Post by wormer311 » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 01:31

If your Solar Power Plant is producing energy so quickly that 6 mantas can’t dwindle the stocks then it must have an incredible demand for crystals. How can you satisfy such a demand with the local economy or is it a must in this case to create your own Crystal Factory and supporting factories?
All my spp's are supported by my own crystal and support factories..
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Post by -TD-13- » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 02:11

wormer311 wrote:I'm quite aware of how the economy is flawed........ all i'm saying is that you don't have to build an empire of SPP's to make money in the game. The point is if I have 83 factories and 12 are spp's, then how do I constantly build up enough cash for more factories and corvettes for each sector I have.(NO SETA) It's because all my other factories make plenty of money.

Fine. If you want to make the least amount of profit as possible with the highest risk of loss, then go right ahead. No one will stop you.

But for those who want to excel in the business aspect and like the fact that with risk should come the possibility of greater profit, then X2's not gonna do it. Most people are going to look at the crappy profits and pay off times of all of the other factories and say... why bother? Supply and Demand have no great effect! You can supply a high demand all you want, but your never going to make any good profit at it! So really there is no point to them, unless your using them to help support your SPP, or for convenience when you've reached the higher levels of profit, and need very very large amounts of supplies. I should be able to become a spaceweed tycoon, and if I do a good job at it, make good money at it. That is never the case!

If you are aware of X2's flawed economy, then you must be aware of this as well.
wormer311 wrote:
TD wrote: For more info on 450% sunlight and why having multiple selling ships is a bad idea, check out the original post.
Tell me again why it's not a good idea to have 6 mantas selling?
:|
Having multiple ships selling Energy:
Not a good idea. There is a big problem when using multiple ships to sell products. Both ships will go to the station to sell their products. Whichever one gets there first will drop off its energy, lowering the demand and cost for energy at that station. The second transport won’t realize this, and when it arrives at the station, it will sell its energy for the much lower price. Try to only have one ship doing the selling.

@Darshu I see what you mean. I have a drone factory as well. Only use is to help supply my ships with fighter drones.... all for the good of trying to get my SPPs opperating near their best. :D

But just keep in mind, if all you need to do is fit a titan, building a high tech factory isn't a good idea. The weapon and Sheild factories are so highly unprofitable, that you would need to build over 200-300 lasers/sheilds in order to even save 20,000 credits. (which can rack up to 400 hours...) Good I guess for really really really later in the game when you have several 100 million and want to place a corvette/destoryer every couple of sectors or are planning on taking over the universe.

Works ok though for fighter drones and possibly 5 Mw sheilds.

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Post by DEADBEEF. » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 02:34

TD005013 wrote:But just keep in mind, if all you need to do is fit a titan, building a high tech factory isn't a good idea. The weapon and Sheild factories are so highly unprofitable, that you would need to build over 200-300 lasers/sheilds in order to even save 20,000 credits. (which can rack up to 400 hours...) Good I guess for really really really later in the game when you have several 100 million and want to place a corvette/destoryer every couple of sectors or are planning on taking over the universe.

Works ok though for fighter drones and possibly 5 Mw sheilds.
**GRINS** :D

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Post by Dscaper » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 02:39

Very good point regarding the 6 sellers (presumably on one SPP). By the time the first one has unloaded at the destination (and driven the buying price down), the sixth one is on the way to sell at the very same destination. If it's producing as fast as that, then when the 6th ship arrives at it's destination with its cargo, it'll be selling it at (or very close) to 9 credits per unit. In some instances, the target factory may not have used up enough energy for the 6th ship to be able to unload all its energy.

If anything, the maximum number of mantas on one SPP that are selling, then it'd be three. More than that, and you run the risk of selling perfectly good energy at a price that's not really any good. If that SPP over in Akeela's Beacon is so good, then throw 2 crystal fabs onto the back of it, and then use the one SPP to "over-power" additional factories on the front-end of it.

You think you may be getting more money out of it because it's producing faster, but because of the travelling delays between the first seller arriving at a destination and the last seller leaving the point-of-sale, you are actually gaining very little.

All because you're producing energy at 450% doesn't mean you are speeding up the usage of energy by factories that are NOT affected by the sun value. ;)

My advice... forget selling from a 450% SPP, and use the energy for personal reasons, i.e. powering a "Super-Loop". If you do your calculations, I reckon you could fit somewhere between 11 and 14 factories onto a 450-SPP.

(EXAMPLE)

Manta A loads up 1000 and sets off for Factory A, who require Energy at 23.
.
Manta B loads up 1000 and sets off for Factory A, who require Energy at 23.
.
Manta C loads up 1000 and sets off for Factory A, who require Energy at 23.
.
Manta D loads up 1000 and sets off for Factory A, who (still) require Energy at 23.
.
.
Manta A arrives and sells 1000 energy for 23,000 credits.
.
Manta B arrives and sells 1000 energy for 19,000 credits.
.
Manta C arrives and sells 1000 energy for 16,000 credits.
.
Manta D arrives and sells 1000 energy for 13,000 credits.

The more mantas you add, the worse it goes. Add another Manta, and it'll be selling 1000 at 11 per unit. Add yet another, and the Manta will be selling at close to base. God forbid that some computer AI transports get there before Manta A arrives, then you're looking at clogging up your SPP.

Goes to show that 450% isn't all that it is cracked up to be, and that extra sunlight should ideally be used for self-usage in my book.

*feel free to comment, flame, add, amend, delete, etc* ;)
When I find that pesky Suzy, I'm gonna stick her in an air lock, tell her to wave at the cameras, and then lob her out into space so that the pirates nearby can have her, then tell the salesman in the... toy shop... that I've 1.. 9.. 2... 2... 'ed her.

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Post by Dscaper » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 03:03

Might be an idea to use Iguana's to do the remote selling. Smaller hold, faster speed. Stand more chance of getting in before the AI, and you'll be shifting energy to a new target faster. Also, stick 2 25Mw shields on, and they'll cover it for long enough that it can fly past a Khaak (mine here usually drop to about 35% then the Khaak is out of range and not lost one yet).

6 Iguana means that you'll never sell below 16, and they'll be selling the stuff at the same speed as it's being made, which I presume is what you are attempting with your mantas at the moment.

Remote delivery is all about getting in there quick... it's not always about getting in there with the most. ;)
When I find that pesky Suzy, I'm gonna stick her in an air lock, tell her to wave at the cameras, and then lob her out into space so that the pirates nearby can have her, then tell the salesman in the... toy shop... that I've 1.. 9.. 2... 2... 'ed her.

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wormer311
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Post by wormer311 » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 04:03

Having 1 manta selling energy is just plain dumb. It can't possibly sell fast enough to keep up with the production from any spp especially one in akeelas beacon. Ya'll can do the math all you want but i'm talking from game experience.......the factory makes more money and it makes it faster because of the 6 mantas selling.

You try it ....pop an spp in akeelas beacon and have 1 manta slling energy........play a few hours and check your credits in that factory.......then load up a previous save and try it again ......this time have 4-6 mantas selling......i gurantee you the second time around your factory will have a lot more credits.
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Post by -TD-13- » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 04:05

BFWibble wrote: Therefore I think it’s definitely a great idea to have your SPP as the front end of your economy. However the SPP can be enhanced by a few slow profit factories like Cahoona Bakeries, Cattle Ranches and Crystals, not necessarily a closed loop but selling reasonably to the local AI to improve the availability of crystals. I’m going to try and help the AI economy as much as possible, I’m sure if I can turn Kingdoms End into a crystal-manufacturing powerhouse then it will be possible for my SPP to have many seller ships.
Exactly, exactly, exactly! :D

That’s what I'm talking about. That is the key to this economy. And ONLY key mind you. Most people will be doing this, as it is the only sound way of making money. It's a shame however that you can't place any other factory at the front of your empire. But it just wouldn't work out if you did. They aren't profitable enough. That's what’s limiting the player's choice and economic freedom.

Now, back on topic, Solar Power Plants! :D

Now, I hate to say it, but by "looping" your SPPs and making free energy, doesn't really make you any more money. Maybe just a couple thousands here and there. Because all the factories use ratios to make and use stuff, the math works out that when you’re done the amount of energy you put into the other factories to make the crystals leaves you with just enough energy left over to make the same amount of money you'd have made with out the loop buying the crystals for average! (Give or take a couple thousand) :)
----------------------------------------------------------
To run a pure profit loop, it requires 492 Energy cells for every 8 crystals made (or 1 crystal Fab cycle). 8 Crystals will make you 1104 crystals.

1104 (Ecells made)
-492 (Ecells needed for loop)
---------
612 (Ecells left over that you can sell outside the loop)

612 * 18 = 11,016 * (7.5) = 82,620cr an hour
Cycles Per hour

Max Profit with a SPP in a pure profit loop: 105,570
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is this worth it?
Lets look at the initial starting cost.

Crystal Fab: 629,000cr
Solar Power Plant: 250,000cr
Silicon Mine: 445,000cr
Bofu Lab: 990,000cr
Bio Gas Fab: 779,000cr
Transports: 1,200,000cr

Total Cost: 4,293,000cr
(And then there is the risk factor... ships destroyed)

Time until you make any profit: 40 and up hours
Profit amount afterwards: 80,000-105,000 an hour
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Err... I don't know about you guys, but I think I'll skip the profit loops for SPPs. They make about the same amount of money as a non-enclosed one. It's all due to these proportionate factory ratios.

I think it would be much better to help out the local economy (their SPPs don't need crystals) then to make your own mini economy. But I also only recommend you "fix" the local economy where they really need it, basically where your SPP is nearly always out of stock of crystals, and yet it's energy sells for top price constantly. Otherwise it would cost too much. More then always, Crystal Fabs will need the foodstuffs, as the Cycle times are a little off. However, if your thinking of fixing this, remember that the food stuff factories are not cheap.



As for Akeela's Beacon... I don't see how you could produce that fast anyway..... The only difference between suns is this:
Sun Light:
A sector's sunlight only changes the production time of your SPP.
100% Sunlight = CycleTime: 1:58 minutes
150% Sunlight = CycleTime: 1:46 minutes
200% Sunlight = CycleTime: 1:38 minutes
450% Sunlight = CycleTime: 1:30 minutes
So, in effect, you're only able to get 6 more cycles then the average %150 sun... that’s only 1656 energy extra energy cells an hour. 2 extra manta trips an hour. It does bring in a tidy profit if you can sell it at a high price (although there are already 5 solar power plants in that sector to compete with).

So, because of the good sunlight, I will put Akeela's Beacon on the list. :D

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Post by -TD-13- » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 04:21

wormer311 wrote:Having 1 manta selling energy is just plain dumb. It can't possibly sell fast enough to keep up with the production from any spp especially one in akeelas beacon. Ya'll can do the math all you want but i'm talking from game experience.......the factory makes more money and it makes it faster because of the 6 mantas selling.

You try it ....pop an spp in akeelas beacon and have 1 manta slling energy........play a few hours and check your credits in that factory.......then load up a previous save and try it again ......this time have 4-6 mantas selling......i gurantee you the second time around your factory will have a lot more credits.
Like I've said, the difference between Akeela's Beacon 450% sun and the average %150 sun is 16 seconds. Thats only 1656 extra Ecells an hour. So, only 2 extra manta trips are needed an hour.

However, Akeela's Beacon already has 5 or so solar power plants in it.
The market may already be staturated with Energy cells. Could it be that you ships are having to travel long distances to sell the energy at your selling price limit? Also, if the ships can't find a place to sell your supplies, they will just wait around. It could be a good reason why you stocks keep getting filled up. And remember, you don't need your stocks always completely empty. Even halfway or 3/4 full is good. As long as it stays at that level and you are constantly selling them.

Using 6 mantas is not a good idea. Each time you sell your energy for less and less. Imagine how much more money you'd make if you were selling all of that energy for a steady high price! :D Alot more then you are making now!

Like Dscaper said, you should try to experament with other ships such as the Split Iguana or Boron Dolphin and see how they fare you when it comes to keeping your stocks down and bringing in profits. :)

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Post by wormer311 » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 04:56

I'll admit that 6 mantas selling is probally overkill....:D

but i hope you can admit that 1 manta selling energy is not enough. Stocks would stay full and profit will be wasted.

The spp in akeelas beacon started out with 2 mantas selling as do all my spp factories by default. It was my #3 profit maker behind lucky planets and kingdoms end. I noticed it's stock stayed full all the time even though the 2 mantas were always picking up new energy to sell....so i added 2 more. The factory became my #1 profit maker shortly after this but the stock still stayed above 4000.....so I added 2 more. :D Now the stock stays below 2000 and wow this factory blows all the others out of the water when it comes to making profit! :D :D :D

The factory is set to max jumps 2......by crystals at 1432......sell energy at 22.
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Post by Dscaper » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 05:03

The phrase "Horses for Courses" comes to mind. :)

There are three camps... one is the Wheat Farm Camp who believe that diversity reaps rewards, and all tho not as profitable as the other camps, it's diversity brings greater interest. The next group are the Energy Loopers who feel that the macro management and self-reliance methods are a long-term investment (of which I'm a believer), and there's the third camp who are the SPP'ers, that want to rake in money at the cost of diversity and they judge their game upon the number of digits in their balance. I won't include the pirate hunters in this, as they're a breed unto themselves. ;)

To me, that's quite clever of Egosoft, and they should be applauded for trying to provide a diverse system that allows the player to decide on the future they want.

Now we have to look at the context of this thread against the context of how people play the game.

What this thread is trying to do (and doing well) is explaining AN OPTION. Whether or not you (the reader) take this option and use it, is entirely up to you. What would be helpful is that if people wish to respond to threads that have taken a long time to produce, then they respond in a like way... make your opinions valuable and provide data. Just visually giving feedback may seem right, but by providing both practical AND theoretical reasoning as to why you believe an option to be open for further exploration.

The SPP is a proverbial can-o-worms. Study all the facts, figures, experiments, and maybe even try a few out.

I will say this tho... Wheat Farms ain't for me. Next thing I'd know I'd be wearing Hunter wellies and a Barbour jacket. :)

*goes to look for a sheepdog...*
When I find that pesky Suzy, I'm gonna stick her in an air lock, tell her to wave at the cameras, and then lob her out into space so that the pirates nearby can have her, then tell the salesman in the... toy shop... that I've 1.. 9.. 2... 2... 'ed her.

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Post by Dscaper » Sun, 15. Feb 04, 05:06

wormer311 wrote:but i hope you can admit that 1 manta selling energy is not enough. Stocks would stay full and profit will be wasted
I don't think anyone said that it would. ;)

Give the Iguana's a go and see what happens. If you've got the cash, then set up two exact same SPP's.. one supported by Mantas and one by Iguanas... now those results I'd like to see. I reckon you could try it with 6 of them and you'd probably see more profit.
When I find that pesky Suzy, I'm gonna stick her in an air lock, tell her to wave at the cameras, and then lob her out into space so that the pirates nearby can have her, then tell the salesman in the... toy shop... that I've 1.. 9.. 2... 2... 'ed her.

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