Solar Panels are for generating a small amount of power. Power generated depends on the angle to the sun and whether or not the panel is in shadow. It's best used when it is perpendicular to the sun and tracking it as it moves while being completely unobstructed, anything including other ships and floating debris can obstruct sunlight and therefore reduce output. Solar Panels produces a small amount of power compared to Reactors, but can be enough to keep core systems (e.g. the Medical Room) running in case of a fault. A key component is Solar Cells, which requires considerable amounts of Nickel to fabricate.
The panels are best used with Batteries set to recharge or auto mode, so as to create MW power output when required, for short periods. For example two Batteries charged by solar panels is able to power a 5MW required machine (refinery, assembler etc) for as long as the batteries remain charged.
For more information, see Electricity.
- When building with solar panels add batteries so that when the panels are off the grid will still have power.
- At this time, there is no way to assign where the power of the solar panels go to. The solar panels currently power the entire grid.
- When multiple grids are connected together, the power management systems sometimes become confused leaving some solar panels underutilized and while depleting batteries or using reactors. This should not be happening when there is free solar capacity available.