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Ethroptur

More Late-Game Power Sources & Home Batteries

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Power after the electricity shuts off should be producible via means other than simply using a fuel generator. For instance, small wind turbines IRL are used to power battery chargers and mobile homes. Subsequently, they could fit the role of a power source that is both renewable and quiet, unlike the fuel generator, provided that the player could find any, or construct them once they reach a high enough mechanical and/or electric skill. The obvious trade off would be that they're less efficient. Furthermore, I think also giving the player the ability to find and/or build home batteries, again under the condition that they have a high enough mechanical and/or electric skill.

Edited by Ethroptur

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Alternative sources of power is worth exploring but one issue I have with wind turbines and solar panels (that others have suggested previously) is that they are silent. With fuel generators, the risk-reward is obvious. Zombies will be drawn to the sound of the running generator but you get to power your safe house. 

 

If not thought about properly, I can easily see them being OP and a situation where players just choose to be an engineer, run to a house in the middle of nowhere, build a few wind turbines and live a completely sheltered and hazard free life because no danger comes their way. Perhaps wind turbines could be quite fragile and would require frequent repairs in stormy weather.

 

I often think in the end of days/apocalyptic scenarios, people would revert back to old ways of doing things. Water wheels have been used since the Persian Empire. In the apocalypse, I can definitely see someone constructing a water wheel out of wood and buckets to generate some power with a dynamo, like a primitive hydroelectric dam. The drawback of water wheels is the reliance of flowing water so they could only be located next to the river.

 

I'd like to see more sources of power providing there are pros and cons for using them and none become godlike.

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3 hours ago, OffitMan said:

If not thought about properly, I can easily see them being OP and a situation where players just choose to be an engineer, run to a house in the middle of nowhere, build a few wind turbines and live a completely sheltered and hazard free life because no danger comes their way. Perhaps wind turbines could be quite fragile and would require frequent repairs in stormy weather.

 

Your statement is very true but balancing would not be hard because of the existing limitations the system has.

 

Wind Generator.

 

So there are 2 types of wind Generators basically

Industrial Generator - which needs to be manufactured with rare earth magnets which can power a few houses 

Home Made Generator - You can rig up with the parts you can find around but would take a full day to powerup a tub of batteries.

 

Simply put unless they add industrial wind generator onto the map it can't be constructed so player would have to stick to the simple one.  While it wouldn't make much noise it is too inefficient to power a household. Instead, all you would be able to do at most is charge a jury-rigged Battery pack.  

 

There would be the 2nd issue, the parts to make them would be pretty rare. So it would also take you a while to get enough parts to make enough windmills to actually be able to power your house. Which is fine, considering the amount of effort the player has to go through to even reach that stage should reward the player.

 

Essentially Wind Mills is balanced by

  1. Some parts rare to obtain parts ( Generator would be hardest to find, the rest would simply be finding enough metal and cables and batteries ) 
  2. Power output is low
  3. Dependent on Wind conditions 
  4. Medium skill in electronics and metal working
  5. A considerable amount of resources need to be gathered

 

Solar Power 

 

Solar Power Works in almost the same idea as Wind Power but has its own issues. For example, wouldn't work at night. More importantly, you can't craft most parts you have to actually find panels and the generator. While arguably easier of the two to setup, it also produces less energy per square foot.

 

A Cell phone sized panel, for example, would take 6 hours in perfect weather conditions to charge a cell phone battery. 

So if we were going for more practical applications of Small \ Medium Panels ( Large would not be practical to tranport so again would be jury-rigged solution of combining 4 medium. 

 

You would probably need Roughly 16 Large panel to power a house/

That would be;

  • 64 Medium Panels
  • 256 Small Panels 

Which again would mean balancing works out nicely

  1. The player would have to spend a considerable amount of time to find even rarer parts than a Windmill. Keep in mind this is 90s Rural Kentucky. Solar power here would be akin to black magic so the parts would be extremely rare. 
  2. Dependent on sun light
  3. Needs a lot of surface area 

 

Bio Diesel

 

Probably the easiest to and most reliable of the 3. Unlike the other Bio Diesel probably has the least amount of rare parts required and produces significantly more power.  But has its own issues

 

  1. It is loud
  2. Requires a large farm to support
  3. Has to first grow the plants, then break down the plants
  4. Time consuming to generate fuel

 

----

 

So to summarize nothing really is "overpowered" cause it requires the player a long long time to even reach the stage where a silent running base would be viable. Honestly I think it would greatly add to the game. 

 

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So much of this isn't going to happen because the game is set in 1993 and not 2000.

 

Crap solar from an 80s rv or children toy, wood gas, wind turbines. Not biodiesel, residential solar panels .ect.

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50 minutes ago, EnigmaGrey said:

So much of this isn't going to happen because the game is set in 1993 and not 2000.

 

Crap solar from an 80s rv or children toy, wood gas, wind turbines. Not biodiesel, residential solar panels .ect.

 

Biodiesel Generators back then was not something you find but instead something you make.

Keep in mind we had full scale biodiesel generators in 1980s and before that learned how to convert existing Diesel generator to a BioDiesel specific one.

 

Essentially all early Biodiesel generators were just Jury-Rigged existing diesel generator.

Of course it is not something you do easily and there are quite a few parts to replace but that is what making surviving fun having that McGuyver moment. 

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2 minutes ago, MrBlue said:

They mine coal in Kentucky, don’t they?

Nothing near Muldraugh it seems, sadly.
There is the Muldraugh Dome though, an area stretching from Brandenburg to Muldraugh where geodes appear on the surface.
Would be awesome to be able to explore a mine, even if you couldn't actually do any mining, just to descend into its' dark dank depths, fighting undead miners... :P


Biofuel is the best bet for a realistic addition. BioGas has even been in use since the 1980s, so there's that as well.

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29 minutes ago, Okamikurainya said:

Nothing near Muldraugh it seems, sadly

I'm pretty sure some of the in-game locations are entirely fictional; Riverside, Rosewood, and March Ridge. We wanted a big prison, so we created Rosewood. Why not do the same to get a coal mine?

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33 minutes ago, MrBlue said:

I'm pretty sure some of the in-game locations are entirely fictional; Riverside, Rosewood, and March Ridge. We wanted a big prison, so we created Rosewood. Why not do the same to get a coal mine?

Just a 'lil note — March ridge is real. Mostly.

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8 minutes ago, Burger_Time said:

Just a 'lil note — March ridge is real. Mostly.

My bad, was going off a thread I was reading that gave me the idea to suggest this. At any rate the other two still stand, and I think it'd be viable. Besides it's not like certain liberties cannot or are not currently taken for the sake of the game that curtail real life accuracy. Not everything is pinpoint and it doesn't need to be, especially when the gameplay can benefit from doing so.

Edited by MrBlue

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1 hour ago, ZombieHunter said:

 

Biodiesel Generators back then was not something you find but instead something you make.

Keep in mind we had full scale biodiesel generators in 1980s and before that learned how to convert existing Diesel generator to a BioDiesel specific one.

 

Essentially all early Biodiesel generators were just Jury-Rigged existing diesel generator.

Of course it is not something you do easily and there are quite a few parts to replace but that is what making surviving fun having that McGuyver moment. 

 

I'm very skeptical of that. I think you've confused it with wood gas. Civil Defense went so far as to send out pamphlets on their construction in 80s. Or maybe multi-fuel engines, such as those that can burn kerosene or alcohol, rather than biodiesel (oil treated with enzymes blended with methanol).

 

Biodiesel, though it started gaining popularity in the late 90s, really didn't come to fruition until the gas price crunch in 2005-2007.

 

Just looking it up on Google, it seems biodiesel was much more successful in Europe early on than in the US, like many things.

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We should definitely be able to convert vehicles and generators to run on alcohol. Although alcohol-powered engines tend to have problems starting in cold temperatures, so you might need an alternate source of power during the winter.

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3 hours ago, EnigmaGrey said:

 

I'm very skeptical of that. I think you've confused it with wood gas. Civil Defense went so far as to send out pamphlets on their construction in 80s. Or maybe multi-fuel engines, such as those that can burn kerosene or alcohol, rather than biodiesel (oil treated with enzymes blended with methanol).

 

Biodiesel, though it started gaining popularity in the late 90s, really didn't come to fruition until the gas price crunch in 2005-2007.

 

Just looking it up on Google, it seems biodiesel was much more successful in Europe early on than in the US, like many things.

 

As I mentioned earlier you are confusing commercial generator with Homemade generators. 

So going back to the 90s - a person would simply need to change out their rubber tubing and gaskets and filter as well as making a custom made tank with heater. 

All this can easily be done at home and in case of zomboid with scavanged parts from a car engine.

 

Biofuel is the best part.

Kentucky is famous for Moonshine

 

The only major difference between Moonshine and Biofuel is the percentage of proof has to be higher in Biofuel. 

This can be done by having multiple distillations passes to reduce water content.

 

Now you better not say 90s Kentucky decided to give up on making home made hooch. 

Edited by ZombieHunter

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5 hours ago, ZombieHunter said:

 

As I mentioned earlier you are confusing commercial generator with Homemade generators. 

So going back to the 90s - a person would simply need to change out their rubber tubing and gaskets and filter as well as making a custom made tank with heater. 

All this can easily be done at home and in case of zomboid with scavanged parts from a car engine.

 

Biofuel is the best part.

Kentucky is famous for Moonshine

 

The only major difference between Moonshine and Biofuel is the percentage of proof has to be higher in Biofuel. 

This can be done by having multiple distillations passes to reduce water content.

 

Now you better not say 90s Kentucky decided to give up on making home made hooch. 

 

So, not "biodiesel." You mean burning a blend of heated vegetable oil and solvent, such as . . . diesel or gas. No "generator" necessary unless you mean filtering used fry oil, which was popular for a time (restaurants used to just throw it out).

 

Yeah, conversion kits became popular for this in the early 2000s, as I said above when the price of gas started to skyrocket. It didn't make sense to do this before -- the conversion kits were more complicated than you're making it out to be - and if you mess it up, you end up fouling the engine with carbon deposits.

 

"Easily done ... with scavenged parts from a car engine" my arse. Easily done in 2019, with Youtube and readily available aftermarket parts, sure. That's implying a hell of a lot more technical know-how than most people ever bother to pick up in their lifetimes, let alone in 1993, when knowing about this tech made little sense. American gas was cheap as hell back then (it doubled in 2004-2005, making this popular and "common" knowledge for truck enthusiasts.) 

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1 hour ago, EnigmaGrey said:

 

So, not "biodiesel." You mean burning a blend of heated vegetable oil and solvent, such as . . . diesel or gas. No "generator" necessary unless you mean filtering used fry oil, which was popular for a time (restaurants used to just throw it out).

 

Yeah, conversion kits became popular for this in the early 2000s, as I said above when the price of gas started to skyrocket. It didn't make sense to do this before -- the conversion kits were more complicated than you're making it out to be - and if you mess it up, you end up fouling the engine with carbon deposits.

 

"Easily done ... with scavenged parts from a car engine" my arse. Easily done in 2019, with Youtube and readily available aftermarket parts, sure. That's implying a hell of a lot more technical know-how than most people ever bother to pick up in their lifetimes, let alone in 1993, when knowing about this tech made little sense. American gas was cheap as hell back then (it doubled in 2004-2005, making this popular and "common" knowledge for truck enthusiasts.) 

 

Well you could go either way

Either take restaurant oil and just filter it a couple of times to make Biodiesel - which there are many places on the map to pinch from. Or Filter Hooch enough to remove the water content. I just went with Hooch cause Kentucky is famous for it. More importantly hooch can be made by farming the materials which gives it an added advantage the down side would have course being growing it and fermenting it. 

 

As for needing conversion kits - that is only for people who didn't know how to fabricate parts on their own. Anyone with a set of instructions can fabricate the parts in their workshop. Same way players make doors or explosives.

With that said an instruction manual on fabrication is all the person would need to make the necessary changes to a generator. 

 

The reason you would salvage the cars is you want newer model cars with that came out in the 90s which had higher grade rubber hoses \ gaskets to replace and repair the ones on the generator. 

 

After all zomboid already has many instruction manuals, magazines, books to unlock recipes as well as T.V. 

With a high enough skill level in Mechanical Engineering anyone would be able to do it following an instruction manual.

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Petrol pumps have, on average, around 20000litres in their underground tanks IRL.
The average car gas tank can hold around 45litres, if I'm not mistaken.
That's a lot for one person, 444 full car gas tanks, give or take. It's impossible the tanks would run dry in singleplayer, but that's singleplayer, without any sort of simulation of other survivors having used the tanks... Multiplayer is a whole other beast, and depending on the longevity and player count of the server, I think it might be possible for the tanks to run dry. But that's only one station, and one pump... I think there are 7 petrol stations? That's 140000litres if they all have one underground tank... That's 3111 full car gas tanks with a low-ball estimate.
If we want to be realistic, not all the pump stations would be at full capacity, but even so...
I know the amount is currently infinite, but even if it was a finite source based on what is average, there would realistically be so much fuel on the map that even a large server would have trouble using it all.

Don't get me wrong, I want BioDiesel and "Gasohol" as options, they could deteriorate your engine/generator faster and I'm always up for options. I'm just running some numbers.

Edited by Okamikurainya

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Residential solar panels have been around since the early 90's but the technology wasn't wildly explored due oppressive taxes which make them more expenses, landlords who've outlawed them on their buildings, and their heavy production price due to a lack of mass production seeing as the renewable energy market simply cannot compete with the already well established fossil fuel industry. However they still did exist but the problem with solar panels is that the solar cells in the panels deteriorate over time and need to be replaced after a certain amount of time or your solar panels will cease to work. While this isn't a problem for us in the year of our lord 2019, our global market easily has the ability to produce these solar cells (If it would actually choose to do so instead of fracking and mining more), it's still a more cost efficient and waste efficient way of producing energy than coal or gas. However in 1993 solar panels weren't exactly popular so getting new solar cells for your panels would be extremely difficult in rural Kentucky in 1993, not to mention the solar power at the time was more unreliable and had a faster deterioration rate. Wind power has been around for longer but I'd like to point out that wind power isn't what I'd describe as "silent." It still makes noise depending on the speed of the wind and I do think it the amount of sound it generates could be incorporated into the game since I believe a weather overhaul is planned in the future? It would also allow for different watts of electricity to be produced dependin on the strength of the wind. That or either give them a lower overall power production rate so that you'd have to have more wind turbines to equal that of a generator but make them slightly quieter so they can seem like a more end game item to craft/steal. Or make them have overall *more* noise because after all, you don't have to constantly fill them up with gas and can leave them to do their own thing. I don't really think solar panels are feasible, but with the right amount of balancing, wind power would definitely be a cool end game addition to the game. 

Edited by DresdenBBQ

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