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2014-01-30 20.18.04

RotaryCraft Solar Tower

The solar tower is a multiblock structure comprised of Solar Tower blocks and solar mirrors. It generates shaft power from water and solar energy.

Rotarycraft Handbook DescriptionEdit

"The solar power plant is unique in that its size, and therefore its output, is scaleable.  Simply build a tower of tower blocks, and surround the base with mirrors.  More mirrors and taller towers mean more power.  Note that the power comes out of the bottom of the tower, and water must be provided.  Mirrors must be connected (possibly via other mirrors) to the tower to function."

UsageEdit

The tower blocks must arranged to form a 1x1 tower that is at least 2 block high, the bottom block will not count towards the height of the tower in power output calculations.

Solar mirrors must be attached to a solar tower block either directly or through another solar mirror. It is preferable to attach the solar mirrors to either the first or second tower blocks, attaching them to the second tower block from the bottom allows room for a water pipe to be run underneath the mirrors and into the solar tower. At least one solar mirror must be attached to the solar tower for it to function.

According to experimentation, the precise limit beyond which power will not scale is 20 blocks in height for the tower. Mirrors are a little more complicated. Although the system may well scale beyond 4 concentric circles of mirrors, it's difficult to tell because the blocks immediately under the mirrors become lava when the 5th is added, including any pipes or pumps. That way, it is possible to get In addition, the combined lag caused by the 120 mirrors (8 on the interior circle, 16 in the second, 24 in the third, 32 in the fourth, 40 in the fifth) is crippling. A possibility to work around the limitation of 4 concentric circles is to have a line of 3 mirrors going from the tower in one of the 4 directions and adding mirrors outside of the 7x7 area around the tower and add more than 1 stage of mirrors (caution: if upper mirrors obstruct the view of the sky of lower mirrors this will have a negative impact on the efficiency) it was already possible to get 12 MW of Power out of one solar power plant.

A tower of 20 blocks and 80 mirrors (4 concentric circles) outputs 5.175 MW at noon (919 RF/t if run through a rotational dynamo). For the vast majority of machines, this is sufficient. Indeed, even at midnight such an apparatus generates 1.034 MW (183 RF/t).

Since tower blocks are cheaper than mirrors (due to the curcuit board in the recipe for the latter), as well as generating less lag (likely due to a lack of animation), it may be better to build multiple towers in your own power systems, rather than adding mirrors to existing ones. Even a mere 8 mirrors around a 20 block tower outputs a respectable 589 KW at noon (104 RF/t)

The water required for the solar tower to function must be piped into any one of the actual solar tower blocks. Finally the power output of the solar tower is from it's bottom and therefore usually requires a Bevel Gear to reroute to power to a horizontal plane.

SpecificationsEdit

Torque

Scaleable

Speed

1024 rad/s

Power

Varies (about 16kW per mirror)

Power Source The Sun
Requires Consumables Water
Risks Igniting nearby flammables

Tips & TricksEdit

  • As of v13, The bottom block (at the same height as the mirrors) does not appear to contribute to the tower when calculating power generation.
  • As of v13, the maximum useful height of a tower appears to be 6 tower blocks.  More than that does not appear to contribute to increasing output. (not accurate - it requires more tower blocks to increase torque output as the tower becomes higher. ie: testing shows steps for increase are initial 6, 10, 18, 34 - after this it became too laggy for further tests)
  • A tower of 34 with a total of 511 mirrors (at noon in clear weather) produces enough watts to max out a rotational dynamo using a cvt unit with 8 belts (speed) or 8:1 gearbox (speed) - but this is prohibitively expensive in materials for inconsistent returns.
  • A high density of mirrors close to the tower can cause the entire area to get hot enough to light anything and everything nearby (including the player!) on fire.  The number is somewhere around 25-30 within the first few 'rings' of blocks around the tower.  Further testing is needed to determine the exact conditions.
  • The output adjusts with sun position (and possibly visibility).  Each mirror appears to add up to 16 kW of output power.

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