The Solar Panel is a generator crafted with the Habitat Builder that converts sunlight into Energy. It is the only power generator available by default and is best used on Seabases close to the surface, being relatively ineffective in deeper biomes. It will not convert the bioluminescence of deep sea life forms to energy, even one as large and bright as the Giant Cove Tree.
It is constructed with the Habitat Builder and can be placed on any surface at any angle. It can also be damaged and destroyed by striking it with the Survival Knife three times.
One solar panel is enough to power a seabase with basic energy needs. More solar panels or another kind of generator is required to power other equipment, such as Water Filtration Machine and Moonpool.
A Solar Panel can transfer power up to 20 meters to a Seabase or Power Transmitter only with a direct line of sight. It can store up to 75 energy.
Energy Collection Rate
Day and Night cycle
Subnautica simulates a day and night cycle. 24h in game correspond to about 20 minutes of real time.
During the day the Solar Panel receives the most sunlight and charges the most. During the evening it decreases in charge since it receives less light as the sun goes down. At midnight there is no charge at all.
The table below contains the results of testing Solar Panel collection rates. All tests were done at midday. Please note that these are approximate results, and not exact (Sunlight % can vary slightly since the player can only see the percent to the nearest whole number).
|Sunlight %||Energy per
|Time to Collect
1 Unit of Energy
|Time to Collect
25 Units of Energy
of Solar Panel
|100%||.255 Energy||3.916 Seconds||97.9 Seconds||0m|
|90%||.229 Energy||4.364 Seconds||109.1 Seconds||16m|
|80%||.204 Energy||4.904 Seconds||122.6 Seconds||42m|
|70%||.178 Energy||5.628 Seconds||140.7 Seconds||61m|
|60%||.154 Energy||6.512 Seconds||162.8 Seconds||98m|
|50%||.128 Energy||7.816 Seconds||195.4 Seconds||123m|
|40%||.102 Energy||9.772 Seconds||244.3 Seconds||148m|
|30%||.077 Energy||13.052 Seconds||326.3 Seconds||173m|
|20%||.052 Energy||19.280 Seconds||482.0 Seconds||198m|
|10%||.025 Energy||40.160 Seconds||1004.0 Seconds||224m|
Each Sunlight % appears to collect around .0025 units of energy per second.
Data Bank Entry
Solar power is the most prevalent power source in the galaxy, and so it is no accident that the standard solar panel is the default means of powering a habitat. A power source is a requirement of habitat oxygen generators and other onboard modules.
- The player used to be able to place Solar Panels on top of the Cyclops. This was removed to encourage the player to go deeper.
- https://imgur.com/a/k6e6XUf Dated May 5th, 2016.