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SgìobairOg

Mining at Night, I need more power Scotty.

Question

My grand Mün base, Taigh Luan, is nearly complete. I have everything I need, except for 4000 units of liquid fuel.

To remedy that I sent up the first part of the solution, a mining probe module that is attached out by the fuel farm. The converter module was going to be next and then I discovered I had a bit of an issue.

My resource recovery rate is really slow. It's not the best ore location on the rock but I didn't originally plan it to be a mining base, I was going to land the fuel... which is a major pain in the :sealed:.

With nothing better to do I just started warping. Then night fell, then my drill stopped. "That's inconvenient," I thought. But I was certain it would come back on in the morning, it didn't. "That's inconvenient," I thought.

So the next planned addition to the base was going to be a big battery bank. I put together a new segment for the station with three banks of 8 of my biggest batteries 400 units of charge each for 19200 total. Curious how long that would last I checked the power draw on the drill... 15 units/second. Just over 1200 seconds of life once the sun went down, about 75,000 seconds til it comes back up.

So, question is how in the heck do I run a mining operation without having to check in on the mine every morning?

- - - Updated - - -

Actually just realised the ore converter is going to take twice as much energy. Am I basically just stuck until I can get the 1850 science I need to get the reactor? Or am I missing something?

Edited by SgìobairOg
Got a few satisfying answers

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The drills turning off with no power is ... inconvenient is a nice way to put it so I'll stick with that. Mostly because we're not supposed to swear on this board.

There's a trick. It's a dirty, low-down, cheaty trick that I personally use all the time because I feel the game forces us to due to the above drill stoppage. It's also not only easy, but actually unavoidable:

Make sure the drills and converters are running and you have plenty of space for ore and whatever you're creating. Then leave your station alone for a while. Literally go do something else, even if that "something else" is time warping at the Space Center. The important thing is that you make time pass while your base is NOT in physics range. Le hours, days, heck even months pass by. Then come back to it, but don't go to it until it's in DAYLIGHT.

The game will quickly run through all the drilling and converting that the base should have done over all the time you let pass, and because it's daylight it will assume the base would have always been in the sun. More than likely, it'll be totally full.

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What you're missing is the converter, fuel cells, and an engineer with a level or two. You need all of those for effective night-time mining.

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Thats why I tend to place my drills around poles, with gigantors placed vertically stacked, facing horizontally. With rotating hinch from infernal robotics, theres always day!

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A drill and an ISRU can be run at full capacity (with change) for just 3 fuel cell arrays. 4 arrays can almost power 3 drills and that ISRU at full bore.

Solar Panels are for bootstrapping you contraption and mining Asteroids. Use fuel cells for everything else.

Edited by ajburges

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...But only if there's enough ore. There is a break even point of ore concentration where the drilling and converting can keep up with the consumption of the fuel cells. The OP wrote that he's not picked the best spot for drilling, and there might not be enough.

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Well, I'm not sure how drill stopage with no power is confusing. I certainly can't run a drill at my house without charged batteries or a plug in the wall. Unless it's one of those hand crank versions, which takes a long time to get through solid rock.

In either case, I agree with the "go do something else" idea. The game is very forgiving when it comes to power production and running ISRU while not in focus. Though (as stated) with bad setups, it can take a very long time to harvest.

Cheers,

-Claw

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...But only if there's enough ore. There is a break even point of ore concentration where the drilling and converting can keep up with the consumption of the fuel cells. The OP wrote that he's not picked the best spot for drilling, and there might not be enough.

If the location is a problem I suggest simply moving the mine to another location.

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Thats why I tend to place my drills around poles, with gigantors placed vertically stacked, facing horizontally. With rotating hinch from infernal robotics, theres always day!

If you do that, then you're just converting electricity to ore to fuel to electricity. Quite redundant.

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How do you have the ISRU and not the 1k batteries? Also mining on the Mun is not recommend with miniums's low dv to get off and has shorter nights

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How do you have the ISRU and not the 1k batteries? Also mining on the Mun is not recommend with miniums's low dv to get off and has shorter nights

Helps to read the OP. He was making fuel for his base. He never said it was a fuel making farm for LKO or anything.

Also it is not that cut and dry re: Mun vs Minmus. If you are making fuel to bring back to LKO for example, Minmus has a lower dV to get into space. But the Mun has a much shorter transit time. The mun is also in the same plane, making rendevous with an LKO station far easier.

Either way there are many factors at work that can influence Mun vs Minmus for Ore mining operations.

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With Mun vs Minmus there's one fundamental difference that at least for me puts Minmus by strides ahead of Mun.

Delta-V be damned, you're manufacturing fuel, burning some more or a little less doesn't make much of a difference.

But delivery requires precise landing of big, heavy vehicles with large, fragile tanks. And Minmus gravity makes it vastly easier, both maneuvers to land right where you need, and the soft landing.

But yeah, a big fancy base on the Mun, as impractical as it is, is something worth having just for the heck of it.

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Well, I'm not sure how drill stopage with no power is confusing. I certainly can't run a drill at my house without charged batteries or a plug in the wall.

It's not that they stop. It's that they don't automatically start back up when the power is restored. I activated them. I did not deactivate them. They should not deactivate themselves when the power goes out, just stop running.

The way it is now, you simply cannot time warp at your ground station (which would frequently be convenient for various reasons, not the least of which if you time warp in orbit you're probably limited to 50x) unless you are positive it will never run out of power. If it does at any time, you could go days of game time before you even realize it. Assuming you didn't go get a cup of coffee.

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If you do that, then you're just converting electricity to ore to fuel to electricity. Quite redundant.

I dont get your point. You only have to adjust solar panel array angle once every few kerbin days, and rotor doesn´t take much EC. If you talk about EC->drill->ore->isru->fuel->fuel cell->EC ouroboros relationship, note that fuel cells are very, very effective, so they easily keep on both drill and isru going while leaving surplus fuel. Only catch here is drilling effectiveness determined by drilling site, which have to keep up with fuel cell demands. More ore on site means larger fuel surplus.

Back to OP: as many said already, fuel cells are way to go in this case. Just be sure to test your drill on Kerbin on similar ore density site, and correlate EC supply/demand by adding/removing drills/fuel cells. And dont forget that drills are prone to overheating...

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If you talk about EC->drill->ore->isru->fuel->fuel cell->EC ouroboros relationship, note that fuel cells are very, very effective

It's also pretty much how a lot of oil drilling operations work here on Earth. Maybe not quite so immediate, but most of the energy used to pull stuff out of the Earth to burn, is created by stuff we pulled out of the Earth and burned.

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It's also pretty much how a lot of oil drilling operations work here on Earth. Maybe not quite so immediate, but most of the energy used to pull stuff out of the Earth to burn, is created by stuff we pulled out of the Earth and burned.

To say nothing of the oil based mud, drilling fluid, etc. Needless to say, real oil rigs aren't using solar farms and typically aren't on the city power grid, so I leave the reader to guess how you power an entire derrick out in the middle of the desert (or offshore).

Quibbles about the realism of KSP's fuel and mining aside, there's nothing even paradoxical about using fuel to harvest fuel. If it took more energy to extract the mineral than the product yielded, we'd have zero interest in acquiring it in the first place.

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Well, after getting off work I managed to pull 880 science out of one trip to Minmus which put me over the cap to get the 4k batteries and the Fuel Cell Banks. More on that in a minute.

The Mun ended up being the site of the base due to a contract to put a base on the Mun. When I first started the contract I didn't have any way of scanning for ore and I didn't plan on needing to. The specs for the base were support 12 Kerbals, generate power, have 4000 units of liquid fuel. I thought for certain I would be able to land that fuel, everything else was cake. After several failed attempts I realised I wasn't going to be able to land that much fuel without a ridiculous amount of missions. That's where I re-focused on opening up the rest of the tech tree and getting to the mining components. This was now a mining mission.

Anyway, I was going to go the "do something else route" but realised I had a good bit more science I could pull out of the local area. Once I had the science for the fuel cells I put together a power module and hooked it up. All that was left was the converter module. It all worked perfectly. Not enough power to drill and convert at the same time, but I don't really need to either.

The completed base:

  • Hosts 13 Kerbals
  • 18,885 units of electric charge
  • 10,935 units of liquid fuel
  • 1,200 units of ore capacity

Next up, I've got a contract to do the same on minmus. Just got to get around on those slippery salt flats.

y3AQNEC.png

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