Solar Array Modules should be buffed, and here's why:

CT [Squared]

Member
Nov 13, 2019
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So I did the math.
(tl;dr at the bottom)

The Problem
Simply put, the new solar panels you can obtain from getting solar ore on Venus, the Solar Array Modules (SAMs), are extremely underpowered for their cost. Using solar array modules instead of Advanced Solar Panels (ASPs) you will be spending around 7 times more diamonds for about the same energy output. Remember, SAMs can only be accessed after reaching Venus, a tier 3 planet. ASPs can be accessed without even leaving Earth. Because of this, you'd expect SAMs to be a bit better, being end-game machines, right? Unfortunately, no. Instead, you are using up way more diamonds (and silicon, but I'm going to ignore that) than you should be.

The Proof
First, let's assume some things. Let's assume that a.) You are on Earth (meaning no solar panel boosts/debuffs, no Circuit Fabricator boosts) and b.) It is always noon, meaning that all solar panels are at their max energy production.
SAMs require 2 diamonds per module: 1 for the advanced wafer, and 1 for the 3 solar array wafers. Similarly, ASPs require 2 diamonds per machine: 1 for the advanced wafer, and 1 for the 9 blue solar wafers. However, a singular SAM produces ~6 gJ/t, whereas a single ASP produces ~44 gJ/t. With this data, I created a graph that shows the amount of diamonds spent in correlation to amount of gJ/t produced.

problem.PNG
This makes it pretty clear how much more proficient and cost efficient ASPs are than SAMs, to the point that SAMs are so underpowered that there is no point in using them whatsoever.

The Solution
So what's a problem without a solution, right? I was coming up with different solutions and I came up with a few, but this was the best one I came up with.

First off, I would alter the circuit fabricator recipe so that instead of getting 3 solar wafers for one diamond, it gives you 9 instead. This way, you now have enough solar wafers for 3 modules for the price of one diamond, as opposed to 3 diamonds.

Second, alter the crafting recipe of SAMs so they require a basic wafer, rather than an advanced wafer, simply because you receive 3 basic wafers for one diamond, rather than 1 adv. wafer for 1 diamond. Now, with the addition of the first change, you are now spending 2 diamonds for 3 SAMs rather than 2 for 1 SAM.

Now these changes still would not make SAMs compare to ASPs by themselves, so I propose the third change to add to the previous 2: The crafting recipe for SAMs should give you 3 instead of one. With these changes, you are now spending 2 diamonds for 9 SAMs, and now they are good enough to compare. However, this seems slightly overpowered, so as a final change I would reduce the amount of energy gained per SAM from 6 gJ/t to 5 gJ/t.

With all of these changes in place, here is what the new graph looks like:
solution.PNG
Now that looks much better. I do realize that this does mean that you need way fewer solar dust to create SAMs, so maybe make solar ore on Venus a bit more rare, like around the rarity of diamonds? That way it would still be somewhat difficult to make, but you wouldn't be using so many precious diamonds, as diamonds can be used for other things, whereas solar dust cannot.


Conclusion
So those were just my ideas for a solution. Again, there are probably many other (and possibly simpler) solutions to this, such as simply just buffing the amount of gJ/t that single SAM produces to match that of a ASP. Whatever the solution will be, my main objective was to simply bring this to the attention of the Galacticraft devs, as I believe this to be something that definitely needs to be changed. I am in no way hating on this mod, in fact it is probably the best MC mod I've played to date, and it always has a special place in my heart. It just kinda sucks to see such a cool concept for a machine to be almost utterly useless. That's all I've got to say. Thanks for reading, and I hope this post does something!

tl;dr
Solar array modules are very underpowered when compared to more efficient and cost efficient advanced solar panels.
Crafting recipe should give you 3, use a basic wafer instead of advanced, circuit fab should give you 9 solar wafers rather than 3, and reduce amount of energy per module from 6 gJ/s to 5.