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Using steam generators for actual power?


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I know everyone uses steam generators to delete heat, but I'm playing in a magma world and I want to harness that massive heat for power. But I can't for the life of me make a steady, efficient steam power generator. They always seem to stabilize at about 30% or about 250 watts, which is barely worth the effort. Even then I have to use sub-zero hydrogen cooling just so they don't overheat. Is there a sweet spot for steam temperature and pressure, and which is more important? 

 

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2 minutes ago, Soylent said:

Is there a sweet spot for steam temperature and pressure, and which is more important? 

The amount of power produced depends on the temp. Having more generators, operating and lower temps, is just efficient as fewer generators at higher temps. Trying to hit the max temp (to get the max power per generator) will lead to power loss. 

Also, remember that a fraction of the heat (is it 10%) gets transferred to the machine itself  If you keep the temp inside around 140C (somewhere close to this), then you can use the 95C output water to actually cool the turbine. If you get things too hot above the turbine, then you have to waste power to cool it.  

Pressure inside needs to be enough to make sure you never see an "underpressure" warning. Increasing the pressure makes it easier to quickly flash boil return water into steam, without seeing massive temperature changes. To much pressure, without proper insulation, will heat up your walls and leak heat.

 

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1 minute ago, mathmanican said:

The amount of power produced depends on the temp. Having more generators, operating and lower temps, is just efficient as fewer generators at higher temps. Trying to hit the max temp (to get the max power per generator) will lead to power loss. 

Also, remember that a fraction of the heat (is it 10%) gets transferred to the machine itself  If you keep the temp inside around 140C (somewhere close to this), then you can use the 95C output water to actually cool the turbine. If you get things too hot above the turbine, then you have to waste power to cool it.  

Pressure inside needs to be enough to make sure you never see an "underpressure" warning. Increasing the pressure makes it easier to quickly flash boil return water into steam, without seeing massive temperature changes. To much pressure, without proper insulation, will heat up your walls and leak heat.

 

I've also seen some people block one or two of the inputs of the generator. What effect does that have?

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Blocking input ports increases the steam temperature needed to run the turbine at full bore.     I believe the wiki has the right numbers. 

https://oxygennotincluded.gamepedia.com/Steam_Turbine

Based on a recommendation I saw on the forums, I usually cool my turbines using an aquatuner stationed in the steam room below it.   It's actually kind of overkill.  A single tuner will only run a small fraction of the time to keep even a fully engaged turbine cool.  In fact, one AT is keeping four turbines cooled (without itself running full time) in my volcano generator.  

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The temperatures will always be different, depending on the location for your Steam Turbine. It makes sense to use Automatic Doors right under your 5 Inlets and put a Temp Sensor under every door/inlet. Then just adjust the temps for every Sensor, so that you always have 850W and ca. 100 kDTU/s to 110 kDTU/s (on the turbine), just figure out good numbers for your location and temps.If you use f.e. an Volcano as heat source it will cool down over time and then your sensors will open more doors, as you need more doors when the temps are colder.

You´ll need either 8 Wheezworts or an Anti Entropy Thermo-Nulifier ( https://oxygennotincluded.gamepedia.com/Anti_Entropy_Thermo-Nullifier ) to cool the turbine down.There are also Aquatuner setups, but this need extra power for Tuner. The AETN needs only 10g Hydrogen per second, you can easily take this with an valve from your electrolyzer as the electrolyzer puts out 112g/s and 1 Hydrogen Generator needs only 100 g/s.

Just put Radiant Gas or Liquid Pipes into the top layer of the Turbine to cool it all down with coolant coming into from the AETN.
I just used Oxygen for this and it works good enough, although oxygen is one of the worst coolants, but I had an overabundance of it and my AETN is really far away from the base, so I was in need for an coolant in huge mass.

You dont need to drop a lot of water into the steam chamber, a little bit is most often enough. Watch out for the hot steam if you need to open the steam chamber, I recommend using a waterlock. In my first attempt I used far too much water and when I opened the steam chamber and didnt had a waterlock I got like 100kg of hot Steam, slipping throgh my doors and went directly into by base, destroying everything :D .

I just used normal Obsidian tiles directly over the hot magma from an volcano to transfer the heat, as I hadnt any better materials and it works pretty fine.

HTx5c3x.png

1Dvtwgm.png

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12 minutes ago, Rucki said:

The temperatures will always be different, depending on the location for your Steam Turbine. It makes sense to use Automatic Doors right under your 5 Inlets and put a Temp Sensor under every door/inlet. Then just adjust the temps for every Sensor, so that you always have 850W and ca. 100 kDTU/s to 110 kDTU/s (on the turbine), just figure out good numbers for your location and temps.

You´ll need either 8 Wheezworts or an Anti Entropy Thermo-Nulifier ( https://oxygennotincluded.gamepedia.com/Anti_Entropy_Thermo-Nullifier ) to cool the turbine down. The AETN needs only 10g Hydrogen per second, you can easily take this with an valve from your electrolyzer as the electrolyzer puts out 112g/s and 1 Hydrogen Generator needs only 100 g/s.

Just put Radiant Gas or Liquid Pipes into the top layer of the Turbine to cool it all down with cooland coming into from the AETN.
I just used Oxygen for this and it works good enough, although oxygen is one of the worst coolants, but I had an overabundance of it and my AETN is really far away from the base, so I was in need for an cooland in huge mass.

You dont need to drop a lot of water into the steam chamber, a little bit is most often enough. Watch out for the hot steam if you need to open the steam chamber, I recommend using a waterlock. In my first attempt I used far too much water and when I opened the steam chamber and didnt had a waterlock I got like 100kg of hot Steam, slipping throgh my oors and went directly into by base, destroying everything.

I just used normal Obsidian tiles directly over the hot magma from an volcano to transfer the heat, as I hadnt any better materials and it works pretty fine.

HTx5c3x.png

1Dvtwgm.png

That looks like a good idea... I didn't even think of using doors to change the inputs

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I hooked up steam turbines in sequence to self cool and generate about 390W each. I made individual chambers and piped super coolant in until the temperature hits >143C at which point the coolant is redirected to the next turbine chamber to heat up that steam. The turbines are in hydrogen to transfer heat and buffer heat management. The whole system can be nicely sealed off and forgotten about once set up.

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49 minutes ago, Rucki said:

The temperatures will always be different, depending on the location for your Steam Turbine. It makes sense to use Automatic Doors right under your 5 Inlets and put a Temp Sensor under every door/inlet. Then just adjust the temps for every Sensor, so that you always have 850W and ca. 100 kDTU/s to 110 kDTU/s (on the turbine), just figure out good numbers for your location and temps.If you use f.e. an Volcano as heat source it will cool down over time and then your sensors will open more doors, as you need more doors when the temps are colder.

You´ll need either 8 Wheezworts or an Anti Entropy Thermo-Nulifier ( https://oxygennotincluded.gamepedia.com/Anti_Entropy_Thermo-Nullifier ) to cool the turbine down.There are also Aquatuner setups, but this need extra power for Tuner. The AETN needs only 10g Hydrogen per second, you can easily take this with an valve from your electrolyzer as the electrolyzer puts out 112g/s and 1 Hydrogen Generator needs only 100 g/s.

Just put Radiant Gas or Liquid Pipes into the top layer of the Turbine to cool it all down with coolant coming into from the AETN.
I just used Oxygen for this and it works good enough, although oxygen is one of the worst coolants, but I had an overabundance of it and my AETN is really far away from the base, so I was in need for an coolant in huge mass.

You dont need to drop a lot of water into the steam chamber, a little bit is most often enough. Watch out for the hot steam if you need to open the steam chamber, I recommend using a waterlock. In my first attempt I used far too much water and when I opened the steam chamber and didnt had a waterlock I got like 100kg of hot Steam, slipping throgh my doors and went directly into by base, destroying everything :D .

I just used normal Obsidian tiles directly over the hot magma from an volcano to transfer the heat, as I hadnt any better materials and it works pretty fine.

HTx5c3x.png

1Dvtwgm.png

I just tried this on the 800 C area in my map, and it works perfectly. Thanks!! All I needed was a single non-insulated tile to heat the steam in the chamber to about 270 C and the generator is flying at maximum capacity. I've run it a few cycles and with cooling the generator is going between 65-70 C. Now I'm wondering how I can automate it so the doors open or close depending on the generator's temperature.

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3 hours ago, Soylent said:

I've also seen some people block one or two of the inputs of the generator. What effect does that have?

The steam turbine will continue pulling the maximum steam flow, even after reaching 850W peak output. It wastes potential energy and the turbine will need more cooling to stay functional. Blocking the ports reduces the speed that steam can be absorbed, allowing you to pull the power generation below 850W and thus get energy out of every kDTU possible.

It's an efficiency tweak. There is no essential need to do it but every bit helps.

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6 minutes ago, bobucles said:

The steam turbine will continue pulling the maximum steam flow, even after reaching 850W peak output. It wastes potential energy and the turbine will need more cooling to stay functional. Blocking the ports reduces the speed that steam can be absorbed, allowing you to pull the power generation below 850W and thus get energy out of every kDTU possible.

It's an efficiency tweak. There is no essential need to do it but every bit helps.

There is another part to this too. The input steam is cooled to 95 C and the energy is used for power production. However 10% of the energy is "used" on heating up the steam turbine building itself and that part is uncapped. This means the steam turbine consumes enough heat to produce 1200 W, it will only produce 850 W, but it will heat itself like it's producing 1200 W. This means if you expose all 5 inputs to 500 C steam, you will not only lose a lot of potential electricity, you will also get a very hot turbine.

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If your turbine only get to 30% load, it means the turbine delete heat faster than you transfer the heat to the steam chamber. 

If the steam you get is higher than 200C, you can choose to close 1 inlet or you can have second turbine connect to the same steam chamber.

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