Solar panels

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The solar panels you can craft in your backpack (left) and on the printer (right).
The solar panels you can craft in your Backpack (left) and on the Printer (right).

Solar panels are items that produce power out of nothing when they are exposed directly to the light of the sun.

You can craft them or find them in the environment.

Crafted from the Backpack

→ See Small Solar Panel

A solar panel on the left slot of the backpack, oriented toward the sun.
A solar panel on the left slot of the backpack, oriented toward the sun.

Right from the start of the game you can craft a small solar panel in your backpack's printer, using 1 stack of Compound.

This kind of panel can be placed on any one slots, but in the backpack, it will only produce power when placed on one of the side slots (see image on the right).

When exposed to light, the panel will orient itself automatically toward the sun (if possible) and produce 0.5 units/sec, or 8 secs/bar worth of energy.

When not exposed to light, the panel will orient itself completely upward (or perpendicular to its slots).

Without any other source of energy (other than the backpack's default regeneration), a single panel will fill a backpack's internal battery in about 12 seconds (it would be 20 seconds without the backpack's regeneration). So even with 2 of these panels, a backpack will lose energy slowly when mining continuously.

Unlike when placed in the backpack's 8 main slots, the panel will produce energy even when placed on Storages, except if they can't orient themselves toward the sun because the Storage is not properly oriented.

Crafted from the Printer

→ See Solar Panel

Right from the start of the game you can also craft another kind of solar panel in the Printer module, using 2 stacks of compound.

It can be placed on any two adjacent slots except in the backpack or on Storages.

When exposed to light, the two panels are open and produce 2 units/sec, or 2 secs/bar worth of energy. This is 4 times more than the solar panel you can craft in the backpack.

When not exposed to sunlight, the two panels are folded.

Discovered in the environment

→ See Solar Array

A crashed, but usable solar array.
A crashed, but usable solar array.

When exploring, you can come across a large, crashed solar array with a bent girder segment embedded in the surface of the ground (see image on the right).

This solar panel can be completely dug out then hauled to your base when attached to a rover or truck with a winch.

Exposed to sunlight, this array yields a minimum of 1 bar/sec of power. Solar arrays only have panels on one side, and must be facing upwards to work. Upon placing solar arrays at your base they are prone to movement, especially during storms. Currently, upon saving and re-entering the game solar arrays will become stationary. This is great for holding them in place, but can be a issue if not placed properly beforehand.

There is a connection point at its base which can be plugged into a vehicle which itself must be plugged in a platform or module for the power from the array be passed to a network.