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."


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.

Consistent doubling of torque occurs from a 2-high solar tower until a 6-high tower. With 8 concentric rings, here are the values for the torque, approximately:

  • 05 solar tower = 1116 kNM
  • 06-09 solar tower = 2233 kNm
  • 10-17 solar tower = 4474 kNm
  • 18-33 solar tower = 8945 kNm
  • 34+ solar tower = 16384 kNm

According to experimentation, the precise limit beyond which power will not scale (as of v19c for 1.7.10) is 34 blocks in height for the tower. Even solar towers of 100+ blocks did not appear to generate more.

A tower of 34 blocks and around 289 mirrors (8 concentric circles) outputs 8389 MW (2^23 watts) at noon. This is an enormous amount of power, akin to 4 microturbines running at once. Slightly fewer mirrors will generate the same maximum torque of 16384 kNm, but the more mirrors are added the longer the "window" of time around noon it will generate its maximum power.

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.

The solar power can also function at night. However, this greatly reduces its output. At a full moon, it generates roughly 1/8th of the power. No-moon generates almost zero power.





512 rad/s


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 contribute to the tower when calculating power generation.
  • 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.