Chemfuel powered generator

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Chemfuel powered generator

Chemfuel powered generator

Produces power by consuming chemfuel. Must be periodically refueled by hand.

Base Stats

Market Value
295 Silver [Note]
Path Cost


2 ˣ 2
pass through only
Cover Effectiveness
Blocks Wind
Terrain Affordance
1000 W
Light Radius
Heat Per Second


Required Research
Skill Required
Construction 6
Work To Make
2,500 ticks (41.67 secs)
Resources to make
Steel 100 + Component 3
Deconstruct yield
Steel 50 + Component 1 - 2
Destroy yield
Steel 25 + Component 0 - 1

The chemfuel powered generator produces power from chemfuel. The generator is an exact analog to the wood-fired generator, only the type of fuel is different.


Chemfuel powered generators can be constructed once the Electricity research project has been completed. They require Steel 100 Steel, Component 3 Component, 2,500 ticks (41.67 secs) of work, and a Construction skill of 6.

Once constructed, a chemfuel generator cannot be moved, it can only be deconstructed.


The chemfuel powered generator consumes Chemfuel 4.5 chemfuel per day and generates a constant 1000W as long as it is switched on and fueled. It can hold up to 30 fuel at a time, for a maximum run time of 6.66 days. Fuel consumption is not dependent on how much power is actually drawn. Fuel has to be delivered to the generator by a hauler colonists. It can be switched off; in the off state it will neither consume fuel nor produce power.

Light & heat

It outputs light in a 6 tile radius, with the nearest 3.485 tiles being above 50% light level and considered lit. Note that the light source is centered at the bottom-left tile of the generator, rather than the "true" center of the generator.

It heats at a rate of 6 heat per second[Exact mechanic unclear]. Unlike many other heat sources, it does not appear to have a maximum temperature and will continue to heat up rooms indefinitely.[Confirmation needed].


If it is damaged below one third of its hitpoints, or 100 HP, it has a chance[What chance?] to explode. The generator will spark and emit a hissing sound shortly before exploding between 70 ticks (1.17 secs) and 150 ticks (2.5 secs) later. The explosion deals 10 Flame damage in a radius around itself that depends on the quantity of fuel in the generator. At 0 fuel, the explosion has a radius of 0 and only destroys the generator, and expanding this radius proportional to the square root of the fuel times 0.95 up to a maximum radius of 5.34 tiles when fully fueled. This explosion leaves Chemfuel puddles which will then ignite and burn.


Fuel and energy economy

A chemfuel powered generator holds 30 chemfuel, consuming Chemfuel 4.5 chemfuel per day A completely fueled-up generator will run for 6 days and 16 hours without refueling.

For comparison, a wood-fired generator, which produces the same wattage, uses Wood 22 wood per day, while it only takes 9 wood to create a day's worth of chemfuel (4.5). However, it also adds another step to create that chemfuel, slightly increasing the amount of dumb labor required per day on top of collecting wood by 257 ticks (4.28 secs), and requires the creation and powering of a biofuel refinery (-170 Watts, 17% of the output, equivalent to approximately another 1.5 wood-worth of chemfuel).

The bottom line is that it cuts wood consumption by about half vs. wood-fired generators, which is worth a little extra labor to most colonies.

Using boomalopes for fuel

A boomalope produces at most Chemfuel11 chemfuel per day. In theory that's enough to run 22 generators indefinitely from a herd of 9 boomalopes (one boomalope can fuel ~2.44 generators). In practice this is not entirely attainable, because milking the animals and refueling the generators will not be an instantaneous, perfect process.

Using the Infinite Chemreactor

The Infinite chemreactor is a world quest item that generates Chemfuel75 chemfuel every ten days (effectively Chemfuel7.5 chemfuel per day) at a cost of 300 watts. This is more than enough to power a single chemfuel powered generator, providing a net +700 watts of power, while leaving Chemfuel30 chemfuel after a 10 day cycle (an average of Chemfuel3 chemfuel excess per day). 3 infinite chemreactors are exactly enough to power 5 chemfuel generators (22.5Chemfuel/day), providing an excess of 4,100 watts of power (5,000w -900w).

Assuming a small buffer of chemfuel to start, this is easily attainable, because the supply side is reliable, and refueling can be done well in advance.

Growing plants for fuel

Chemfuel generators together with hydroponics greenhouses and biofuel refineries produce a significant net energy profit, if the colonist workforce is available to run the setup. The (simplified) conversion chain is

Power (for greenhouse) → food (for refinery) → chemfuel (for generator) → power

A lot of excess power is generated at the end of the chain.

A single hydroponics basin can produce ~0.61 raw nutrition per day (growing rice, and assuming a perfect grow operation). This converts into ~6.1 chemfuel per day at a biofuel refinery. Therefore, the produce from a single basin fuels about 1.3 chemfuel generators. This is not attainable in practice, but will serve as a guideline. Theoretically, a single hydroponics basin lit by a sun lamp (in a group of 24 basins) uses 130W of power on average, including the sun lamp (190W if you assume day-time power draw). This results in a theoretical net gain in energy of about 870W (810W during the day) per dedicated hydroponics basin. However, the power draw of the refinery is not taken into account (it can be micro-managed if chemfuel is produced in batches, and will not play a big role in the overall economy).

With adequate batteries to handle the day-night cycle of sun lamps, 3.1 generators are needed to power a full hydroponics setup, which will require ~14.1 chemfuel per day, or about 2.3 hydroponics basins dedicated to producing rice to turn into chemfuel. This means that with 4 generators, you can grow plants in 21 of the 24 hydroponics basins for free, with an average of 870W of power spare. Note that this assumes 100% harvest efficiency - as harvest efficiency decreases at higher difficulties, the number of basins that must be dedicated to chemfuel production will increase in direct proportion.

Corn can also be grown to feed chemfuel generators, with 8.6 tiles of corn plant in 100% fertility soil needed for each generator.

Version history

  • Beta 18 - Added.
  • 1.1.0 - Refueling is now toggleable.