Reduced charge rate of Portable Solar Panel

Mr. Fusion 2 years ago updated by Tyler Owen (Lead Developer) 2 years ago 3

I'm really not sure about this change, since it means that it's no longer possible to be power positive during EVAs at all, you will only lose charge and thus have to use backup batteries if you want to stay out for longer than about a sol (if even that). And then you might as well not bother with the portable panel at all: it will not charge the suit anyway, but it will make you unable to run, so what's the point?

I agree with that the previous rate which allowed several recharges during the daytime and constantly dumping the excess into the hab battery was cheaty, but the reduction is way too much. I'd say it should be able to restore at least 50% of the suit capacity over a full daytime period when using the scanner only sparingly in that time. This would greatly reduce the cheaty part (since the suit capacity is much smaller than the hab battery, standing around for 30 real time minutes to gain a small amount of extra for the hab is all but efficient) while still keeping the panel useful for actually, if slowly, charging the suit and not just slowing down the depletion during the day.

50% recharged would still barely cover the power use during the night even when scanner and suit light is used very sparingly, and not at all if the light is used through most of the night, so it would still likely promote using a backup battery or two, which on the other hand is not a bad thing.

Under review

The point of using the portable solar panel is that it still drastically reduces the rate that your battery is drained, which reduces the number of times you would need to use a backup battery. I would encourage you to test with the new charge rate a bit longer before deciding on if this is not a good fit currently. I think you might just be too accustomed to the very generous charge rate from before. But if it ultimately doesn't feel rewarding enough, I agree that it could still be increased without it being as much of an exploit as it was before.

From some testing Ive done, the difference is nowhere near drastic. I got apporximately 1.2% power drain per hour without a panel equipped and 1% / hour with it with. While technically it's a 20% improvement, effectively it's meaningless.


After reviewing this I agree that it's not a detail that needs to be accurate, it just needs to prevent the exploit. So for the next update I've changed the charge rate to be much greater, but it still will never be power-positive. It will cover ~75% of the standard battery decay (meaning you can go on an EVA that is roughly 4x longer than without the panel equipped), but using your scanner or headlamps will still be a significant drain on your battery.