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How do I keep my power plants from running out of coal/oil?

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I'm starting to get pissed.  My power plants keep running out of imported resources.  It's been almost 2 sim days since power output was reduced for the 3rd time and still no oil truck in sight.  Why does this keep happening?

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Do you have import globally checked on the power plant? If you do, and your traffic is super bad, the trucks will just get held up in traffic for a longass time.

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If you have traffic issues, try putting a warehouse for coal/petroleum with 4 storage of the needed ressource near your powerplant, and import it in the warehouse instead of directly to the powerplant. It should help.

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Do you have import globally checked on the power plant? If you do, and your traffic is super bad, the trucks will just get held up in traffic for a longass time.

Nope. When you are viewing the energy overlay, trucks supplying coal/oil from the global market will be shown, and plants with clean generators (burning 24k barrels/24tons per day, I.e. requiring a supply truck every 10h) will regularly run low/critically low (I.e. reducing total power output and causing brown outs) before global supply trucks spawn.

If you are going to make a game that requires logistical micromanagement then don't leave it up to the stupid AI.

If you have traffic issues, try putting a warehouse for coal/petroleum with 4 storage of the needed ressource near your powerplant, and import it in the warehouse instead of directly to the powerplant. It should help.

That's a possibility, sure. Two problems are that

1) it shouldn't be necessary as e.g. the tutorial clearly implies that enabling global resource deliveries are sufficient to keep power plants running

2) this has the potential to badly mess up your industry if you happen to have industry on the other side of town, especially if they are using the same resource - odds are the supply trucks from your trade port which you need to keep your electronics industry running (because your budget is 100k in the red) will drive across town to pick up oil from the supply depot to take it to the power plant.

So make sure to place an appropriate power plant close to your existing trade port if you are doing oil/metals specialisation. In particular, you should place a power plant next to the trade port/depot rather than placing a trade depot near the power plant because keeping your industry running has absolute priority and the cost of plopping a few power plants is negligible at that point in the game.

[Again, that's a matter of working around the limited AI - for example, it would be nice if you could control the number of trucks supplying great works rather than having every last truck from every supply depot and supply port rush off leaving your industry short of raw materials.]

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Maybe that is what is supposed to happen but that's not always what happens - I've seen my power plants critically low (1t/20) with no coal truck in the city (again, they are highlighted when viewing the the energy overlay). Whether that is intentional or a bug is immaterial - you can't rely on it and will need a workaround.

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If you have traffic issues, try putting a warehouse for coal/petroleum with 4 storage of the needed ressource near your powerplant, and import it in the warehouse instead of directly to the powerplant. It should help.

 

This is exactly correct.  Keep your own local supply for your power plants if you want to maintain consistent power. 

 

One trade depot with one bin set to "Use Locally" will do the trick.  Make sure to have it in a location where it has no traffic access to both the highway and your power plants.

 

If you have traffic issue such that you can't get trucks in and out of your city then you need to go the train depot route for your shipments.  You will need to get the trade spec upgrade for it though.

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If you have traffic issues, try putting a warehouse for coal/petroleum with 4 storage of the needed ressource near your powerplant, and import it in the warehouse instead of directly to the powerplant. It should help.

 

This is exactly correct.  Keep your own local supply for your power plants if you want to maintain consistent power. 

 

One trade depot with one bin set to "Use Locally" will do the trick.  Make sure to have it in a location where it has no traffic access to both the highway and your power plants.

 

If you have traffic issue such that you can't get trucks in and out of your city then you need to go the train depot route for your shipments.  You will need to get the trade spec upgrade for it though.

 

Wrong!  This game is broken!  I had a coal power plant, and I went into region view to see why I wasn't getting any deliveries.  It would spawn in a neighbor city, it would then travel to the furthest point in the region freeway to make a U-turn, and then after U-turning and coming back to my city, it decides to go into the neighbor city and disappear, then it would reappear again and do the same thing over and over.

 

Nothing to do with traffic, everything to do with this broken game!

 

I also had another city, where I had imported coal, I had 40 quantity, I had local deliveries, global deliveries, and I tried combinations of both over time.  Same thing, no coal delivered to my power plant, no traffic at all either.

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Ya it seems somewhat unreliable. For a few of my cities I never had a problem, just checked global and it was done. For my current city I have to keep a trade depot full of oil, even though there's zero traffic in the city. Zero traffic as in the only time I ever see red, it goes away when the light changes.

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If you have supplies in your trading depot, traffic is the only single cause that you have  issues supplying the power plants. 

 

Also oil supply is very tough, because the sheer amount of it required. On the contrary coal needs by far the less traffic. 

Had such problem when I had a gridlock, and I was producing coal or oil locally! Best advice is build the power plant next to the resource. It will cut useless traffic. The same goes for the trade depots. 

 

As for the people who say the game is broken, is not. Traffic & supply are not just a calculations on an excel spreadsheet, but "real". You learned to have an easy ride with SC4 & CitiesXL and now the whole system is challenging, you complain that is broken. 

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Also oil supply is very tough, because the sheer amount of it required. On the contrary coal needs by far the less traffic.

Oil power plant description is wrong - with 4 clean generators, the listed burn rate is 24k barrels per day (or about 50% per hour) when it clearly uses just 100 barrels per hour. Try it if you don't believe me (place one, set it to not accept deliveries and watch how long it lasts)

Apparently, someone at EA doesn't understand unit prefixes. The real logistical requirements are exactly the same - one global supply truck every ten hours - but oil generates twice the power.

As for the people who say the game is broken, is not. Traffic & supply are not just a calculations on an excel spreadsheet, but "real"

Yes it is. If globabl supply trucks that are supposed to supply the power plant when fuel falls below 50% don't spawn then the game is broken.

If you build a game that requires micromanagement without giving the player the ability to actually manage anything then people will complain (for example, if you have a great work then every last one of your supply trucks from every trade port will probably go off to deliver resources to the project leaving your industry to grind to a complete halt).

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Nothing to do with traffic, everything to do with this broken game!

Well, global deliveries are made by going outside the region, so it seems logical that the truck disappears at some point.

When you import or export something, it's your depot trucks that will go out of the region, then come back to the depot, and at that point you'll have your delivery. I did not say that the "Import to depot instead of to powerplant" will solve the problem, but in case of heavy traffic on the highway, this will definitively help, enlarging the delay until the lack of resources.

Also another fact that poses problem with delivering directly to the powerplant, is that the ressource request will only be made after the powerplant goes below 50%, and no luck, when you reach 50% of the ressource in the powerplant, your powerplant will lower it's production to spare ressource to avoid complete blackout if possible, so basically, without depot, ressources will only be requested when your powerplant has lowered it's electricity production, which can be quite problematic, having a "buffer-depot" is still a good safety.

 

Btw, maybe you could be more constructive than just saying "everything is broken"... Game has tons of problems, that's not a scoop... But bashing with no arguments is pointless, at least argue your point (and I'm saying that, being the first one bashing on this game when it's appropriate). What exactly you think is broken in that context? Traffic problems is at least a constructive analysis... maiking hypothesis on the "why does this happen?" and so on... So, what do you think is the problem if it's not traffic related ?

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So, what do you think is the problem if it's not traffic related ?

Obviously the problem is that there is no way to manually schedule deliveries. If you could schedule a global coal delivery every ten hours then everything would be much easier - power plants consume a known and constant amount of fuel, and based on that it is fairly easy to work out how long the supply will last and when a new delivery should be scheduled to avoid power shortages.

By the way, you are not even correct about having to use depots to avoid brown outs - power production is not reduced until fuel falls below 30% (600 barrels/6t), giving the supply truck 4h to resupply the power plant and avoid interrupting the power supply.

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Nothing to do with traffic, everything to do with this broken game!

Well, global deliveries are made by going outside the region, so it seems logical that the truck disappears at some point.

When you import or export something, it's your depot trucks that will go out of the region, then come back to the depot, and at that point you'll have your delivery. I did not say that the "Import to depot instead of to powerplant" will solve the problem, but in case of heavy traffic on the highway, this will definitively help, enlarging the delay until the lack of resources.

Also another fact that poses problem with delivering directly to the powerplant, is that the ressource request will only be made after the powerplant goes below 50%, and no luck, when you reach 50% of the ressource in the powerplant, your powerplant will lower it's production to spare ressource to avoid complete blackout if possible, so basically, without depot, ressources will only be requested when your powerplant has lowered it's electricity production, which can be quite problematic, having a "buffer-depot" is still a good safety.

 

Btw, maybe you could be more constructive than just saying "everything is broken"... Game has tons of problems, that's not a scoop... But bashing with no arguments is pointless, at least argue your point (and I'm saying that, being the first one bashing on this game when it's appropriate). What exactly you think is broken in that context? Traffic problems is at least a constructive analysis... maiking hypothesis on the "why does this happen?" and so on... So, what do you think is the problem if it's not traffic related ?

 

Did you not read my entire post and just copied my last statement?

 

I'll retype it for you.  I literally watched what happened, the first time I saw the delivery truck it spawned in a neighbor's city (probably didn't spawn from there but this is when I first saw the loop which occurred).  It then proceeded to drive AWAY from my city to the end of the region's highway.  It then made a U turn on a side street that is attached to the freeways for U-turn purposes.  As it began its lost route back towards my city this time, instead of continuing to my city, it goes back into the neighboring city.  It then disappeared and then reappeared just like when I first saw it.  It continued this loop for 5 times until I deleted the region because I was so pissed off having to create a new power plant each time and watching this BROKEN GAME over and over.

 

In another of my cities, I couldn't get any delivery local or global into the plant.  I ended up buying the trade depot and importing coal for a local delivery because a global delivery was not happening.  Guess what, no local delivery either.  This city size was like 5000 at the time and trust me I had no traffic.  BROKEN GAME.

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Sounds ridiculous, but I've honestly never had any problems getting coal/oil from global deliveries. The only time my plants ran out of fuel was when I forgot to check "accept global deliveries"...

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Sounds ridiculous, but I've honestly never had any problems getting coal/oil from global deliveries. The only time my plants ran out of fuel was when I forgot to check "accept global deliveries"...

 

Not that ridiculous... I had almost no issue with that part either... Just once where my highway was overloaded, that's when I ended up using the oil depot as a "buffer" to prevent resource shortage

 

@kgpurrs:

I've read your post... But you were saying that was not a traffic issue.... and what you just re-typed definitively IS a traffic issue... even if it's not related to an overload of traffic. Never had any issue just like the one you're describing atm. Probably related to a design bug of the region and / or the city spot where you are. btw, that's still a traffic problem. as you describe it looks like the trucks just can't get out the region to "Get" the ressources. A regionnal highway is probably misplaced, cars not getting the "exit" spot to the "world", and if that's the problem, there is not much you can do except waiting for your region to be fixed by maxis. Even debug mode would not help there. Btw, if that's the problem, playing on another region should work better.

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@kgpurrs:

I've read your post... But you were saying that was not a traffic issue.... and what you just re-typed definitively IS a traffic issue... even if it's not related to an overload of traffic. Never had any issue just like the one you're describing atm. Probably related to a design bug of the region and / or the city spot where you are. btw, that's still a traffic problem. as you describe it looks like the trucks just can't get out the region to "Get" the ressources. A regionnal highway is probably misplaced, cars not getting the "exit" spot to the "world", and if that's the problem, there is not much you can do except waiting for your region to be fixed by maxis. Even debug mode would not help there. Btw, if that's the problem, playing on another region should work better.

 

To be fair, you're working pretty hard here to fit that into a "traffic problem". It's a pathfinding problem. Sure you could refer to it as a traffic problem but nobody would because that's confusing. When somebody says it's a traffic problem they mean there's too much traffic.

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Here's some pretty good evidence that this isn't working right, here's a screenshot of my power plant being below the point where it loses efficiency and the oil truck not even near the city yet.

 

http://i.imgur.com/nzTbVXA.jpg

 

Edit: Decided to watch it to see what happens when it drops below 1000/2000 (when the shipment is supposed to be sent). I started watching at 970/2000, and kept watching as zoomed out as possible on trade view until I saw the shipment appear in the distance... at 535/2000. The shipment didn't even appear in the region until well after the plant halved it's output.

 

This is with an oil plant with 3 clean generators.

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Getting bent and crying because the global delivery does not arrive on time when you have an easy solution with a trade depot is just.....  Well, you figure it out.

 

1) Create a trade depot.

2) Put a bin of coal or oil in it.

3) Turn it on import.

4) Make a medium density road go directly from your power plant to the city exit passing by the trade depot with no other connections.

5) QQ some more.

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That's not the point. Global resource delivery is supposed to be sufficient to keep power plants running (cf tutorial). It is not.

In general, right now the game is an exercise in working around bugs and dumb AI (for example, to stop resources from just vanishing you need to build storage lots for every imported resource at every last trade depot... because the AI is too dumb to return materials to a trade depot with storage capacity rather than returning to the nearest garage), which is probably not why people bought the game for.

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