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This article refers to the Solar Panel in IndustrialCraft, for producing EU. For the RedPower Solar Panel, please see Solar Panel (RedPower).
The Solar Panel is a variant of renewable power generators that utilizes the energy of the sun to generate EU. This means that they cannot work during the night, during rainstorms, underground, underwater, in the Nether, or the End. However, transparent blocks (such as glass blocks or panes) allow sunlight to pass through, hence still allowing the panel to produce power. Some half blocks, like snow, will not affect the solar panel's productivity.
Solar Arrays are upgraded versions of the Solar Panel. They are useful if a smaller space is required, or if one needs faster power.
Solar Panels output power at a rate of 1 EU/t during daylight hours (from 6:20 to 17:45). Power will output to any side except the top. Inclement weather (i.e., storms) affects energy production. For example, you could charge an Extractor for a large amount of Rubber instead of wasting coal in a Generator, or you can transfer your power into a BatBox, MFE or MFSU to conserve your power for a later use. Artificial light sources cannot be used to replicate sunlight for the Solar Panel.
|Output||1 EU/t (13050 EU/day)|
Due to the relative weakness of power generation, Solar Panels are often assembled into so-called Solar Flowers (when using Copper Cable), whereby as many Solar Panels as possible are connected to a power storage device (such as a BatBox) using cable lengths of four segments or less. These constructions provide the benefit of compact and relatively cheap Solar Panel arrangements without energy losses. This was the most efficient design that existed in IC1 and earlier versions of IC2. The addition of Tin Cable, which allows voltages of 5 EU/t or less to be carried 40 blocks, has made other arrangements equally feasible. Now, solar flowers are outdated because they are very inefficient compared to solar farms with Tin Cable ( -1 EU/40 blocks), Copper Cable ( -1 EU/5 blocks) and Glass Fibre Cable ( -1 EU/40 blocks).
When you have a steady Energy condenser a solar flower is easier to make.
A flower can now contain 13 panels.
13 Solar Panels
Coal = 3x13 = 39x128 = 4992
Glass = 3x13 = 39x1 = 39
Refined Iron = 10x13 = 130x256 = 33280
Redstone Dust = 6x13 = 78x64 = 4992
Furnace = 1x13 = 13x8 = 104
Tin = 4x13 = 52x256 = 13312
Copper = 6.5x13 = 84.5x13 = 7182
Rubber = 4.333x13 = 56.33x24 = 1352
Total EMC value = 65253
If attempting to reclaim a Solar Panel do NOT use any type of pick, as this has adverse effects on the fragile components of the block. This will revert the panel back to a Generator. Use a Wrench (IC2) or Electric Wrench to remove the panel properly. The safest method is using the electric wrench in "Lossless" mode (Activated by M + right click). However, Solar Arrays can be mined safely with a pick.
Solar Panels are one of the two generators that do not require a resource to maintain effective power output (like the Wind Mill). However, they must remain in use for a very long time to "pay off" the resource cost incurred in creating the panel. In addition, the effects of weather will completely stop Solar Panels, which can make Solar Panels less cost effective. Upgrading to Solar Arrays will compact 8 Solar Panels into one block, but the costs to do so are prohibitively expensive. (A single LV Solar Array, for instance, outputting 8 EU/t, will cost 10 times as much as a single charcoal generator, outputting 10EU/t). However, if the setup has sufficient access to light, Solar Panels can prove to be a reliable way to keep lower tier machines powered, even while large EU is drawn to fulfill other tasks.