I just attempted to use data from the wiki to calculate how many refineries are required to feed a nonstop flow of ingots into a large reactor under full load, and the numbers I came up with seemed way, way off (over 20k refineries per reactor...). Can anyone help me through this?
Never trust a wiki article you didn't vandalize yourself. So I just checked the times myself using a stopwatch.
- A large/large reactor running on full load takes 12 seconds to burn 1 kg of Uranium Ingots
- A refinery with no upgrade modules takes 90 seconds to produce 1 kg of Uranium Ingots (which, by the way, consumes 90 kg or 33.3 l of uranium ore).
So if you want to permanently run a large reactor on full load, you need 7.5 refineries. You can reduce that number when you use speed- or yield-modules, but it still seems intuitively much.
But remember that you will likely not run a large reactor on full load at all times. Those 300 Million Watt are a huge amount of juice. The only thing in the (non-modded) game which consumes power in that order of magnitude are large/large ion thrusters running on full power (33.6 MW each). And they will only consume the energy while running on full power. Most of the time your thrusters will be idle (hint: If you want to travel a longer distance, accelerate to max speed, switch off inertia dampeners and just coast).
The fuel consumption of your reactors is linear to their current load. So while your refineries will run nonstop for hours after feeding them a cargo container full of uranium ore, your reactor will only have to provide its full output during short and rare peak moments. So unless you are doing something crazy which requires to run lots of large ion thrusters on full power permanently, or you have any mods which add some very energy-demanding blocks to the game, one dedicated Uranium refinery will be all you need.