I frequently have people tell me that overclocking power generators is a waste or pointless, the comments I get are:
- The fuel you supply the generators is wasted and does not provide the same amount of power compared to generators at 100%
- It's a waste of power shards
- I only overclock my miners and extractors
These statements are either not valid or have no substance to them, the misunderstanding means that people do not get to experience the benefits of overclocking. So what are the benefits and facts?
- Only half the amount of generators are required, hence saving on build time and physical real-estate
- Less materials required to build the generators
- You require 3 x power shards to fully overclock a generator to receive a 200% increase in power output
- The generators display two numbers relating to output power, one of them is incorrect and the other is correct. The larger number is always the incorrect number. I am unsure if this is a feature or bug of the game.
Also, there are over 1400+ power shards on the map available from power slugs AND unlimited slugs from tamed Lizard Doggos, there's way more shards than you'll realistically ever use.
Nomenclature: In this article, the word FUEL relates to a fuel source supplied to a generator, this could be biomass, coal, liquid fuel, nuclear fuel rods to name a few.
Just me saying this here does not prove anything, any pioneer worth their salt needs the cold hard facts presented to them before they trust my word. Here are some statements from the Satisfactory Wiki:
- Clock Speed > Power generator
- Power generators overclock differently from power consumers. However their fuel consumption rate is always proportional to power production of the building. Hence, overclocking a power generator will not increase the fuel efficiency.
- For example, you cannot overclock / underclock a Coal Generator to increase the efficiency of each piece of Coal.
- SMERKIN's COMMENT: Regardless or overlocking or underclocking a generator will generate the same amount of power per unit of fuel.
- Clock speed for power generators
- Overclocking of all types of power generators provides no benefit other than saving building space.
- For power generation buildings, both power capacity and fuel consumption rate are increased at the same rate. The effect of this is that the energy produced per fuel item, or Fuel Value, stays the same, so one piece of Coal is always worth 300MJ of energy regardless of clock speed.
- SMERKIN's COMMENT: More facts that confirm overclocking simply provides the benefit of saving building space, there is no “waste” or “inefficiency".
- SMERKIN's FINAL COMMENT: See the chart below for full details on the different fuels and their consumption rates along with how much power each generator provides overclocked.
My Preferred Configuration
Ultimately there's one situation where I really like overclocking generators and that is with Coal Generators. The reason has to do with building simplicity with ratio of water extractors. As per my Coal Power Tutorial we normally use 3 water extractors for every 8 generators. An overclocked coal generator requires water @ 91m3/min and seeing as that is *close* to a water extractors 120m3/min it's really simply to have one water extractor per coal generator. Additionally a water extractor underclocked to 76% will produce water @ 91m3/min and consumes 12.9 MW, compared to the normal 20 MW for 120 water.
When using a large surface like an ocean then the generators and extractors can be at the same level. If you are space constrained then you can build the coal generators on a platform above the water extractors and use 1 pipeline pump @ 4 MW to reach the generator above.
Think about it this way, you can build 12 coal generators @ 250% OC with 12 water extractors OR 24 coal generators @ 100% with 9 water extractors (along with some fun pipe setup). Either way they will produce 1800 MW overall. Additionally if you underclocked the 12 water extractors they would require 154.8 MW compared to 9 water extractors requiring 180 MW.