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.

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 Copper. 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.

Medium Solar Panel

After researching the schematic you can also craft another kind of solar panel in the Printer module, using 2 stacks of copper. 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.

Solar Grid

A Medium Storage unit can hold 8 small solar panels, and takes up same space as 1 medium solar panel whilst generating twice the power. The grid will cost 8 copper and 2 compound, compared with only 2 copper for the medium solar panel. This is useful where resources are abundant but space is at a premium.

Wrecked 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 into a platform or module for the power from the array to be passed to a network.