Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
RW-1

Solar panel to stop tracking Kerbol when occluded

10 posts in this topic

Have I missed this for so long?

I was just working on an orbital station and went into darkness, but noticed the panels were still tracking Kerbol.

I  would believe they should return to a "flat" (Installed state-extended) for that duration.

 

But I could be off ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be unnecessary addition to the game code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When If we get actual shadows maybe we'll get something like this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me that even in a real world scenario, the panels wouldn't actually be tracking the sun with an "eye" or light receptor.

More likely they are controlled by computers that are programmed with the co-ordinates of the suns position and keeps them facing that way. (Although it would be slightly wasteful of electricity to move the panels when in darkness.)

So the stock behavior feels somewhat acceptable to me since it doesn't cost EC to rotate the panels. At the end of the day it's just a video game, and this seems like a very minor issue. Perhaps someone will mod it?

 

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My telescope tracks stars even when they are not visible---because it's merely counter-rotating to the earth. ISS maintains a prograde "heading" by rotating the entire station once per orbit. OP's issue is entirely unconcerning.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ISS does align its panels edge-on to prograde during the night, but that's only to reduce drag (might also reduce micro-meteriod impacts?). At higher altitudes that behaviour is entirely overkill; first because drag becomes negligible, and second because the higher you go, the less time you spend occluded w.r.t. your orbital period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe a feature for career: when you first unlock extendable solar panels, they dont track, and you have to upgrade them later to make them track the sun. I dont know, but as far as my knowledge goes, not many solar panels on some spacecraft track the sun. This might be because turning the big entire structure (like the ISS) takes up energy and can cause problems, but on smaller spacecraft (like the Soyuz), it would be easier to just move the spacecraft because its mass is alot lower.

Im not sure though.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a good thing they track.  I'd really like them to be pointing in the direction I need them to be when the sun comes 'up'.   So if I do run out of power, they're already ready to go, or at least close enough to be efficient enough to be useful.  Yeah, it's a small power loss (IRL, In game, I don't believe it's modeled), but you would still have to expend that same amount of power to align them to the sun at the right time.    If that tiny power loss is a make or break scenario for you, add another small battery. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... I could have sworn my panels froze their rotation during the night... I guess I'll have to check that in the morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, EpicSpaceTroll139 said:

... I could have sworn my panels froze their rotation during the night... I guess I'll have to check that in the morning.

They sure did during timewarp, but that's another story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0