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Extra Power from Heated Petroleum Generator and Steam Turbine


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A Petroleum Generator produces 750g/s of polluted water at 40C or machine temperature, whichever is higher. The normal goal is to run them at 40C, but there is a cost to cooling anything below 125C (above 125C cooling can generate power with a Steam Turbine). Running the Petroleum Generator at 265C, which is 10C below it's overheat temperature when made of steel, the output of polluted water changes to steam immediately at a nice 265C temperature. A steam turbine with 3 inputs blocked produces about 500W from that steam.

The Petroleum Generator will need extra heat to make up for that lost from conduction into its own storage of fuel. This has a very low energy cost, but it does require an aquatuner in the build. Since this is most efficient running very close to overheat temperature for steel, you cannot use the aquatuner for general cooling without a lot of added complexity. If your fuel is very hot, such as petroleum from a boiler, I would recommend cooling the fuel first by boiling water for another steam turbine with it since that heat energy is lost when burnt in the generator, but you will have to use another source of cooling for the steam turbine.

The heat from the output CO2 can be used to boil water for another steam turbine, and may produce around 40W or so of power cooling it from 265 to 125C. You can feed it to molten slicksters (125C is a good temp for them and gives extra fuel), or vent it to space, or store it as you wish. If you are concerned about heat loss due to the door conductivity, then you could use a vacuum door lock system.

The output water from the Steam Turbine is not sent back into the steam room since the Petroleum Generator produces the steam directly. Compared to a cooled Petroleum Generator, the water is already in a pipe, and the water is clean. If you want polluted water, at a cost of a little under 120W you can feed it to a Carbon Skimmer in the CO2 vent of the system to pollute it.

In my example I am using the output from the steam turbine to run through the aquatuner to heat the Petroleum Generator, but I would recommend a closed loop solution with a buffer tank and radiant pipes to a heat sink. Likewise if you need to cool the output water from the steam turbine, radiant pipes through a cooling pond is a good choice as the cooling system for the pond can be shared with other cooling projects. Although do consider if there are things you can do with the water without cooling. The 95C output water could be fed to an oil well for more fuel or electrolyzers (cooling the oxygen and hydrogen is cheaper than cooling the input water).

You could add an autosweeper to collect the dirt dropped during the conversion of the polluted water to steam as well, although the dirt produced is only a few grams per second.

If you want to tune the generator, you would need something like a vacuumed double petroleum liquid lock and room for the power station in the steam room. The heavy watt joint plates should be joined in the vacuum between the liquid locks to prevent heat exchange. It should go without saying that atmo suits are necessary during the tuning process.

If building more than one of these, I recommend having a separate Steam Turbine for each Petroleum Generator. Using 4 inputs open on the Steam Turbine will have it more than maxed out at 265C. If building with Thermium then 360C will produce the max power from the steam turbine when operating, but if you run hotter then doing a heat Exchanger and multiple steam generators would be far more efficient, possibly 2000-3000 watts of extra power from each petroleum generator from the steam heat around 950C.

For automation, I have the Atmo Sensor at max with 5 second filter gate, the thermo sensor at 265C, and the gas element sensor at CO2 with a 5 second filter gate. Smart battery is set at 50-75, and there is extra battery buffer to store the power produced by the extra fuel in the pipes after the fuel input valve shuts off. If using petroleum as a fuel exclusively, then you could automate the generator directly.

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Yeah, although running at very close to 130C means that the extra heat generated by the hot steam from the Petroleum Generators has little additional energy available to it. At 130C the temperature gradient for 750g/s of water between 130C and 95C is 109,689 DTU, while the gradient between 265C and 95C is 532,822 DTU. So probably only producing 90-100W of additional power per Petroleum Generator due to the output temperature. Additionally due to the higher power output of the Steam Turbine in my design, self cooling would be insufficient, it would still overheat and shut down.

Mine however has no additional cooling capabilities. Running the aquatuner more than is strictly nescessary will overheat the Petroleum Generator in no time flat.

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