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Oxygen Not Included Wiki
This article has not been revised for the current version (U40-494396). It was last updated for an unknown version. It may contain inaccuracies.
This article has not been revised for the current version (U40-494396). It was last updated for an unknown version. It may contain inaccuracies.


Power is the rate at which energy is generated or consumed and hence is measured in units (e.g. Watts) that represent energy per unit time. The amount of energy generated or consumed over a given period of time is equal to the average power times the duration.

A Watt-second is a unit of energy, equal to one Joule:

  • 1 Watt-second (W*s or Ws) = 1 Joule (J)
  • 1 Watt (W) = 1 Joule per second (J/s)


Generator Power Output [W, J/s] Requirement
Manual Generator 400 Duplicant operation
Coal Generator 600 Coal: 1kg/s
Wood Burner 300 Lumber: 1200g/s
Hydrogen Generator 800 Hydrogen: 100g/s
Natural Gas Generator 800 Natural Gas: 90g/s
Petroleum Generator 2000 Petroleum: 2000g/s

The Manual Generator generates 400W no matter who is running on it or what their Athletics skill is. But it does train the dupe's Athletics skill. If no batteries are connected to the Manual Generator, dupes will just keep running on it until they need something. This assumes other machines are connected to the circuit.


Machines consume Power. A Ceiling Light consumes 10W, or 10 Joules per second in the game (your common household light bulb however, is 40 to 60 W. A household LED light bulb uses 4 to 13 W)


Batteries consume Power, but do not count in the wattage limit of the wire, even though they are listed as -200W. They store Joules.

Battery Capacity [kJ] Leak [kJ/cycle]
Battery 10 1
Jumbo Battery 40 2
Smart Battery 20 0.4

Batteries consume only excess Wattage: If you're powering 40 Ceiling Lamps off your Manual Generator, the battery may appear to spark, but it won't be charging.

Tiny Batteries generate the same amount of heat as large batteries while active.

Batteries have no apparent limit to their charge rate or their discharge rate.

Batteries lose charge over time.

As of the cosmic upgrade, the length of wire does not matter (unlike real world power lines that lose power over long distances). So if you have the metal to spare, it can't hurt to set up large battery banks far away from the base.


Wires in this game are not exactly like pipes. A circuit is all the wires connected to each other. If even a single wire is "low-wattage" then the whole circuit is low-wattage, meaning you will "overload" the circuit if your machines try to consume over 1000W total at any given moment. When you look at the Power Grid Overlay, White indicates a healthy circuit, yellow indicates the power draw is approaching/hitting the max, red indicates the circuit is overloaded, and blue indicates the circuit is inactive.

Heavi-Watt Wire[]

Heavi-Watt Wire circuits top out at 20kW worth of machine draw. It comes with the disadvantages of causing very negative decor effect, and they can't pass through walls or doors. But you can use Heavi-Watt Joint Plate to jump over a wall tile. Heavi-Watt Conductive Wire is an upgraded version, increasing its max power at 50kW and a having a reduced negative decor effect.

You cannot connect Heavi-Watt Wire directly to standard Wire because as soon as the total consumption on that grid rises above 1kW it will damage the Electrical Wire tiles. Instead use a Power Transformer here, which will limit power to a maximum of 1kW.


To interrupt the power flow through a wire build a Switch on top of it. When switched "Off", the wire under the switch is disconnected. A switch does not turn off an entire circuit. Place a switch on a wire between power generators/batteries and the machines you wish to turn off. Multiple switches can be used on a circuit at different branches. Since a switch turned off essentially "removes" that wire from the circuit, this alters the circuit's properties. Turn off a switch and you have essentially split a single circuit into two.

A great use for a switch is to set up an emergency battery bank. Charge the bank to full, then turn the switch off between it and the circuit. Now you have backup power when the coal runs out or whatever the case may be.

A Power Shutoff is a switch that allows automation, increasing its usability.


Not using smart batteries is the number 1 cause of electricity problems in your colony. Without a few connected to your generators, you will be wasting huge amounts of power, resulting in a shortage of fuel, a surplus of heat, and, in the case of the coal, wood, natural gas, and petroleum generators, a huge amount of co2.

However, there is an easy solution to this issue. Smart batteries will use automation to activate your generators when the batteries are empty, and turn off the generators when the batteries are full, therefore saving huge amounts of electricity from being wasted.

To set up a smart battery, just connect it to the generator like you would a regular battery, and run an automation wire from the output port on the smart battery to the input port on the generator. You can still have regular batteries on the same circuit, because all batteries on a circuit will charge and discharge at the same rate.

Lastly, select the smart battery and set the Logic Activation Parameters to 99 (high threshold) and 5 (low threshold). Setting it up this way prevents frequent switching between on and off.

Now, your smart battery is set up and you'll be saving a significant amount of power.


  • Have as many power generators as you desire on a circuit, just make sure to supply the appropriate number of batteries.
  • Have at least 3 batteries on a circuit to maximize fuel efficiency, but keep in mind the more batteries, the more heat generation. But hey, maybe you want to generate ridiculous amounts of heat?
  • A single battery connected to any generator on an inactive circuit will result in wasted energy.
  • Hydrogen generators produce the most power, assuming you can supply them with a regular feed of at least 100 grams per second of hydrogen. But the electrolyzer is a fickle beast. Theoretically you might be able to feed one generator per electrolyzer, and switch from coal to water power.
  • Thermo Sensors are very handy for hot machines. Place a thermal switch next to your machine, run a wire through the thermal switch and then to the machine. Now set the thermal switch to activate IF COLDER THAN 80 °C (depending on building material). Now your machine won't be constantly running and heating up your base. Apply to all hot machines.
  • Dupes refuel Coal Generators or hop on the Manual Generator when ANY of the circuit's battery's power stored is below 50% - unless you change the setting on the power generator itself. But generally all batteries stay equally charged, so its safe to just consider multiple batteries as a single "battery bank".
  • Coal generators create lots of heat and CO2. Plan accordingly.