Techtonica Water Wheel

How to Use Techtonica Water Wheel: Step-by-Step Guide 2023

Techtonica is a popular factory-building game currently in early access where players create efficient production networks. One key element in Techtonica is powering your structures and devices, which requires electricity. The water wheel is an excellent electricity source but it must first be unlocked. This guide will explain how to obtain the water wheel, how to utilize it properly, and provide tips on integrating it into your power grid.

  • Unlock water wheel blueprint by scanning remains near rivers
  • Connect water wheel to generator to produce electricity
  • One water wheel powers two basic generators simultaneously
  • Must place water wheel in close proximity to generator
  • Water wheel works independently once set up

Unlocking the Techtonica Water Wheel

The water wheel blueprint is not immediately available when you first start playing Techtonica. To unlock the ability to craft and use water wheels, you must locate and scan the remains of water wheel machines scattered near rivers on the map.

You can scan water wheels in this river above Terminal Victor.
You can scan water wheels in this river above Terminal Victor.

Keep an eye out for fragments of water wheels as you explore areas along rivers. Approach the pieces and use the scan function when prompted. Scanning will add the water wheel to your tech tree under the “Power” section.

It requires 180 purple research points to unlock the water wheel after scanning. You must also have reached level 2 of the Terminal Victor region to meet the unlock requirements.

How to Use the Water Wheel Guide

Once unlocked, you can begin crafting water wheels. However, water wheels will not function correctly if simply placed without connecting them to power generation.

To utilize water wheels properly:

  • Craft water wheel
  • Place water wheel in a river or other body of water
  • Craft generator (start with basic version)
  • Position generator on shore within close proximity to water wheel
  • Connect water wheel to generator

This will complete the setup and the water wheel will now produce electricity transmitted to the connected generator. One important tip is that the generator must be in close range of the water wheel for maximum power generation.

Power Generation

A single water wheel can transmit electricity to power two basic generators simultaneously. This makes water wheels a very efficient early-game power source.

However, for improved generators, one water wheel can only power a single unit. In this situation, you would need to build and connect additional water wheels to properly supply enough electricity.

Here is a breakdown of the power output of water wheels based on the connected generator:

Breakdown of power generated per water wheel based on crank type.
Breakdown of power generated per water wheel based on crank type.
  • Basic Generator – 300kW per water wheel
  • Improved Generator – 400kW per water wheel

So a single water wheel can generate 300-400kW. To power structures that require higher energy demands, you will need to build multiple water wheels and connect them to generators positioned within close proximity.

The component and raw costs as well as build times for water wheels.
The component and raw costs as well as build times for water wheels.

Tips for Setting Up Water Wheel Power

When establishing a water wheel power plant, keep these tips in mind:

  • Scout rivers to find areas wide enough to accommodate water wheels
  • Build sturdy floors near the shore to place generators
  • Start with basic generators, then upgrade as electricity demands grow
  • Add water wheels incrementally to correspond with increased power requirements
  • Monitor electricity transmitters to ensure optimal power generation

With the proper setup, water wheels provide a steady, renewable power source in Techtonica. Unlock the blueprint as soon as possible and integrate water wheels into your power grids for self-sufficient factories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many water wheels can I connect to one generator?

One generator can be connected to multiple water wheels. However, there are diminishing returns if adding too many water wheels per generator. Generally add in increments of 2-3 water wheels at a time.

Do I need to manually activate the water wheels?

No. Once connected to a generator, water wheels will automatically turn and produce electricity continuously without any manual activation needed.

Should I use water wheels or steam engines?

Water wheels are an excellent early-game power option before you advance to coal power. Steam engines require finite coal resources versus water wheels which are free and infinite. Use water wheels first, then transition to steam once your factories have grown.

What tech level do I need to unlock water wheels?

You need to have Terminal Victor at level 2 unlocked to meet the tech requirements for water wheels after scanning the fragments. It will then cost 180 purple research points.

How can you calculate how many crank generators can be run by a water wheel?    

Here are a few ways to calculate how many crank generators can be run by a water wheel in Techtonica:

  • A single water wheel can power 2 basic (Mark 1) crank generators simultaneously, generating 300kW per wheel.
  • For improved (Mark 2) crank generators, 1 water wheel powers 1 generator, generating 400kW per wheel.
  • So for basic crank gens, divide the total power output needed by 300kW. For example, if you need 900kW total, 900 / 300 = 3 water wheels needed to run 6 basic crank gens.
  • For improved crank gens, divide the total power output needed by 400kW. So for 900kW total, 900 / 400 = 2.25 water wheels. Round up to 3 water wheels to run 3 improved crank gens.
  • When in doubt, check the power consumption of your structures. Add up their combined consumption, then divide by the kW per water wheel based on crank gen type to determine the number of water wheels required.
  • Monitor your power grids – if power is flashing red, add more water wheel/crank gen combos incrementally until electricity production matches or exceeds consumption.

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