Energy (symbol: e) is the standard currency throughout the known galaxy. With every race having its own hard currency, usually taking the form of precious metals or limited banknotes or really, really shiny beads, it is difficult to use such currency as a means of interstellar trade. Energy, on the other hand, is easy to acquire and store, and is necessary in all transactions.
Collecting and storing eEdit
Your station acquires and maintains a store of energy through a central building: the energy collector. A single collector can hold 100,000e. It is dangerous to build more than one collector per station segment, and they can only be built on the sub level, so a single station will be able to store a grand total of 1.6 million e.
You spend and acquire e by trading with vessels through a star dock. Peeps also spend e when they use your station facilities. You, on the other hand, spend money on peeps by hiring them (as well as giving them promotions). VAL will also give you the opportunity to convert the Energy Collector to collect energy from sporadic solar flares.
Acquiring more energy than can be stored results in energy bleed-off. Collectors repeatedly lose all energy over their storage max at about the same rate it is acquired from a solar flare. This energy can be quickly spent before it bleeds off.
Synthesizing matter using eEdit
You spend e whenever you create items through the pattern buffer (hardplan or furniture) or factory. Energy is also expended whenever one of your rooms must synthesize material in order to serve its function.
- Dine-O-Mat - The standard food is "energy" food, which is synthesized on demand for a small outlay of energy. By making food supplies and mineral ores available, you can serve organic and mineral food as well.
- Sick bay - Medical supplies can be synthesized by expending energy if no actual cargo is available.
- All shops - Like the Dine-O-Mat and sick bay, the shops synthesize their goods through a built-in pattern buffer if their respective cargo is not available.
Energy is also used for another important purpose: powering your station. All the rooms in your station require power. The power level is indicated by the bar underneath the e counter at the top of the screen. As your station's power reserves are taxed, this bar will decrease, turning from green to yellow, then yellow to orange, finally orange to red. If the power drops too far, certain rooms will start randomly powering down. Those buildings furthest from the Energy Collector will power down first.
You can prevent this by several methods:
- Pro-actively powering down unnecessary rooms (such as a Factory when it is not building anything)
- Store up more energy by selling goods or raising prices
- Building power boosters, which raise your power level for a small, regularly-scheduled outlay of energy
- Building more energy collectors (if you have reached your energy cap but aren't generating enough power)
Powering buildings does not 'use' energy, if you require 10,000e to run you buildings and you have 10,000 energy stored simply powering these building will not drain this energy. Ten thousand energy stored means you are generating ten thousand energy units per second, you account total doubles as your energy rating.
However, buying/selling, hiring,promoting, synthesizing, power boosters and combat do use up energy.