Coalfuel sustainable for a mining op?

  • The last game I was playing, which I messed up by corrupting my save after switching versions of Millenaire, I decided I was against solar power. In my first IC game I set up a 9-panel solar tree and had enough power to do whatever I wanted in the lower tech tier. For a bit more challenge, I decided all my coal would be put to use producing coalfuel to fuel further refining and my basement miner.


    What I started to find, however, was that due to an unlucky spot that didn't have any magma at bedrock, I was stuck using coalfuel for the third OV miner placement, and my coal supplies were dwindling fast. Turning all my coal into fuel, I was teetering at about 30-40 coalfuel cells with no upward trend in supply.


    Was I just unlucky, or is it impossible to sustain a single miner indefinitely on its coal product alone?


    Should I cave in and instead convert all coal to dust for solar generators?


    Note: I did turn up about 8 uranium and was working to get a MFSU, then a MK-I generator going, but since I was still only running one miner resources were a bit scarce.

  • coalfuel, now that is a tricky one. one sec, checking wiki.


    right, basic math here (very, lol) ignoring processing costs you get 43200Eus for a full coal fuel can. compared to 24000 from the basic coal(6). Ignoring processing costs. This compares to a full stack of coal being 256,000 EUs. (coal or Charcoal). So to me it looks like a better for of energy is stacks of coal, as it gives more energy per stack.


    Coming back to your point I would recommend that you switch to charcoal, provided you are ok with doing a larger amount of harvesting and cooking wood, As unless you bring with you a scorched earth policy finding wood is a lot easier than finding coal (yes I know coal is really common, but you can grow trees!) A chainsaw is a good way to efficiently harvest said wood also. (makes a good weapon in a pinch)


    I would imagine that you would get plenty of energy using charcoal to both power your miners and your workshop.


    While you might not be using solar panels for power coal is still useful for many things, the other big consumer is nuclear energy, So even if I don't intend to use panels in a map I play, I still save it and use charcoal instead.


    Return to your questions in a slightly smaller nutshell:


    Coal is finite, you won't be able to fuel everything with it, including your miner and base, unless you want to expand mining operations infinitely.


    No need to cave in and use solar panels instead, alternatives are possible. Charcoal is a nice infinite supply I like using. Nuclear is another, it is really easy to get 2mill EU out of each cell, if not more, safetly, and you can make a few lapotron crystals to transport energy, (1mill rather than 43200, or a 600k energy crystal)


    Goodluck on the nuclear reactor.

    Hell, prove me wrong, Happy to be so 99% of the time, then I can learn stuff :)

  • Nuclear reactors are /horrendously/ expensive to build compared to a generator. I usually don't build a nuke until around the time I've got a quad-miner. If cooled elements stacked, I /might/ actually just use nukes instead of lapotronics + an MFSU to power things at that point. However as it stands my typical curve is to get solar going as soon as possible so I can worry about other aspects (like transporting power) instead of /producing/ power.

  • I was fueling my miners with fuel cans from coalfuel yesterday. If you have a generator directly next to your miner without a batbox inbetween there's a large amount of wastage.

  • Save your coal for industrial diamonds and carbon plates - there are so many other sorts of energy to be explored, and many of them are not as horrendously inefficient as coalfuel.

    "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." - Bertrand Russell

  • Thanks everybody for all the advice!


    If the costs on the wiki are correct... (missing the canning machine cost)
    40,000 (macerator) + 40,000 (compressor) + 20,032 (extractor) = 100,032 (processing cost) - 460,800 (yield) = 360,768 net
    <~ 104,768 more power from coalfuel than just burning the coal. Not to mention all the running around you have to do.


    It's certainly even more dismal with the canning cost subtracted out. I agree with the verdict that, even though you use 20,032 out of the total 256,000 from cooking charcoal, it's certainly far simpler and more sustainable for early game until better power sources become available.


    I also think I'll bow to the inevitability of solar for first-tier manufacturing power needs. You wouldn't believe how much time I spent hydrating coal dust and moving things from one machine to the next. :P Set-and-forget for those basic machines seems to be the funnest strategy for future industrial operations.

  • Exactly on the correct track. Your fixed operations (or at least long term ones) should be powered by the easiest methods possible. It /is/ possible to power mining with a generator; there's not much wastage as a normal drill + OD scanner will be starved (but still finish). After that you'll want to upgrade to a batbox and geo-gen for the miner.

  • Exactly on the correct track. Your fixed operations (or at least long term ones) should be powered by the easiest methods possible. It /is/ possible to power mining with a generator; there's not much wastage as a normal drill + OD scanner will be starved (but still finish). After that you'll want to upgrade to a batbox and geo-gen for the miner.


    i've got a tendency of powering miners with MFSU's and lapotron crystals when I do use them. Course I really don't use them much at all with BC quarries, just once in a while when i'm running low on something and don't want to wait for the quarry to find more.
    I don't know about anyone else but I use a *lot* more tin than I do copper. Got lots of copper lying around (like 4 rows of a diamond chest) and only a little tin.

  • I don't even use the MFSU - I use F4113nb34st's Advanced Miner, which can take a Lapotron directly.
    When I use my Quarry, I power it by teleport pipes from a trio of combustion engines in my basement, or I use an Energy Link and a Petro or GeoGen (though you have to refuel the Geo too often for my liking).
    And I agree - I use more tin than anything.

    "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." - Bertrand Russell

  • i've got a tendency of powering miners with MFSU's and lapotron crystals when I do use them. Course I really don't use them much at all with BC quarries, just once in a while when i'm running low on something and don't want to wait for the quarry to find more.
    I don't know about anyone else but I use a *lot* more tin than I do copper. Got lots of copper lying around (like 4 rows of a diamond chest) and only a little tin.

    Yes, but I tend to go directly from single miner to quad-miner + MFSU at the same time.

  • That's not a bad idea - an 18x18 area at one time? How much power do you find it generally uses for the dig? And how do you prefer to power that in the field?
    I'm sure a Quarry would be comparable but it's such a pain dealing with all the dirt and cobble it digs up. I've gotten to the point where I usually use a Filler afterwards and put it all back.
    The nice thing about Miners is, it's a neat little hole that is basically self-sealing.

    "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." - Bertrand Russell

  • It depends on the resources you're extracting. I'm going after the basalt and marble added by RP2 which easily doubles total power consumption and recovered resource volume. However a single miner back in IC2 only times would consume around 1M eU on average (note, sometimes it was very rich in minerals and that was higher, sometimes it was worse and lower). Generally with a quad miner you'll want 4 lapotronics for fully equipped miners. The H / I configuration for wiring is also about the most effective (any more miners and it becomes too much of a pain, plus you can no longer fit the mining op in to a single container)


    However I'll probably switch to a line of RP2 frame for future mining. I think 8 miners across sounds about right and that will be around 192eU/t. At 72x9 blocks of mining it should also be fairly effective. More so with the spider-web fixes.

  • That's not a bad idea - an 18x18 area at one time? How much power do you find it generally uses for the dig? And how do you prefer to power that in the field?
    I'm sure a Quarry would be comparable but it's such a pain dealing with all the dirt and cobble it digs up. I've gotten to the point where I usually use a Filler afterwards and put it all back.
    The nice thing about Miners is, it's a neat little hole that is basically self-sealing.

    I agree that the Quarry seems like a massive waste for what it picks up. I'm intrigued by the idea of setting a filler up to replace all the trash it digs up, but there's also the potential of turning its output into scrap for a mass fab. Isn't that the engame of IC now?


    I currently consider quarries as something to build to use up oil deposits and gather me some building materials, however all but the most massive builds are going to be easily satisfied by a quarry's output. When it comes to diamonds, a miner is my immediate choice. An OV miner should be almost guaranteed to pick up a diamond vein. If it doesn't, then replacing it 10 blocks over will definitely get some. Right?

  • OVs make 9x9 holes (centered block + 4 out on each side in a square). You aren't assured a diamond every hole, but the average does work out to somewhere around like 0.5 to 1 diamond per hole if you methodically punch out an entire field. Or at least that's an offhand number; it could be higher...

  • I agree that the Quarry seems like a massive waste for what it picks up. I'm intrigued by the idea of setting a filler up to replace all the trash it digs up, but there's also the potential of turning its output into scrap for a mass fab. Isn't that the engame of IC now?


    Well, that's certainly one of the things you can do with all that material. Since I started using Forestry, I find I actually have a use for all the dirt and sand I might find, though.
    Honestly, I prefer to fill any open pits I've dug - I hate turning the landscape into a giant strip mine, and usually I'm down in the Quarry while it works, mining whatever's visible on the sides and exploring any caves. So when it's done, there's literally nothing to see there, might as well get rid of it.

    "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." - Bertrand Russell

  • I quarry in the ocean, doesn't mess up the landscape that way (also lava turns into obsidian, which is then mined).

  • I do that as well - the coast near my house still has the bottom of the orange frames - to remind me that the water there is REALLY deep! But sometimes I quarry on land, too - it's a great way to clear out a cave network, sure beats exploring it! :)

    "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." - Bertrand Russell

  • I do that as well - the coast near my house still has the bottom of the orange frames - to remind me that the water there is REALLY deep! But sometimes I quarry on land, too - it's a great way to clear out a cave network, sure beats exploring it! :)

    And if you pipe the output to a filler, you can get rid of two cave networks at the same time. :D

  • As others have recommended, I think it is better to save your coal for its other uses.


    Lately I've been powering my miners with 1 wire, 1 BatBox, and 5 Solar. Use a regular drill with an OV scanner. I just set up several and let them run. Come back a few days later, collect the loot, and move them 9 squares. I have used crystals to power diamond drill mines in the past. IIRC it takes about 500,000 EU / mine. I estimate I average about 1 diamond per 9x9 mine.


    Quarries are not very efficient but are good for scrap and clearing up the "abandoned mine" mazes. I usually just use a BC Filler to put a cap on them when done.