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Ethanol evaporation troubles.


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I have an irritating issue that I can't find any answer to on these forums or through google. Hopefully someone can help.

On my first playthrough, cycle 1300 or so, for reference. I have a set of 8 ethanol distillers pumping their output into a big tank, then the fuel is again pumped to the next room into some generators, beneath which is a large polluted water dump. Near the top of the room are 2 generator rooms with 2 petrol generators in each. For some reason in the lower of the two, the ethanol keeps turning into gas around the machine, but without breaking any pipes. It swirls around for a bit then condenses into the polluted water below. I realise the evaporation point of ethanol is very low, but it's running through insulated pipes, and if I mouseover the contents of the pipes the ethanol is well below evaporation point. Also I thought pipes would have to break due to state change to allow this kind of leakage, but this definitely isn't happening. The generators are no hotter on the lower level, the conditions seem identical, but this is only happening in the lower room. I've tried changing the pipe setup, keeping it away from the hot generators, but it didn't help. I can't work out what's causing this!

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Petroleum generators contain a small buffer of inputs, which they can exchange heat with. If the petroleum generator is above 78.35 C, then it would be fairly easy for the ethanol produced by the distillers to rise to that from their starting temperature of 73.4 C, especially if it is made of very thermally-conductive materials, like aluminum ore or steel.

Additionally, if your lumber was above 73.4 C, then produced ethanol would be its temperature, so this could result in ethanol output above the evaporation point. Since only 500g/s is produced by each, two distillers' output merged would not phase change within pipes without backup, and thus on entering the petroleum generator would phase change to ethanol gas.

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The input ethanol in the pipes is never reaching the evaporation temperature in my system, otherwise presumably the pipes would burst. The ethanol distillers are running quite hot, around 100 degrees at a guess, but that's not an issue as the ethanol is coming out of the production system into its tank without any problems. The only evaporation problem spot is around 1 or possibly 2 of 4 of the petrol generators, all of which are running at above evaporation point of the ethanol. I'm guessing the problem is at the input of the generator(s), but the fact it's inconsistent is very confusing. Any ideas what I could do? The polluted water is becoming increasingly tainted by ethanol. I will try deleting the offending pipe system and rebuilding it tomorrow and see if that helps. Thanks for the responses.

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No, it reaches the evaporation temperature, it just does not get high enough for the state to change (80+). AS SOON as the ethanol temperature inside the generator is greater than 78.4c the ethanol will leak straight out. If the generator is below this temp, it will escape as liquid. If above, as gas.

ethspill.thumb.jpg.90c575d3cd943a604bfa8531ac4c1db8.jpg

 

Reported to bug tracker.

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Oh so it's the temperature of the stored ethanol in the generator. My generators are all running above 78 degrees for sure, so that explains why it would leak as gas. Question is, why is this happening on only 1 generator? Also maybe the one next to it but I haven't noticed that. It has certainly never happened on the top two. Is there a way of preventing this? Should I try and switch the fuel type to petroleum? I have some nearby, although I was intending that for rockets, plastic and jetpack fuel. Not to mention I'll be left with a few hundred tons of spare wood and a tank of pointless if colourful liquid. Would relocating the lower two generators to somewhere cooler help? So the stored ethanol never reaches 80+

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1 minute ago, ZaphodCortez said:

Oh so it's the temperature of the stored ethanol in the generator. My generators are all running above 78 degrees for sure, so that explains why it would leak as gas. Question is, why is this happening on only 1 generator? Also maybe the one next to it but I haven't noticed that. It has certainly never happened on the top two. Is there a way of preventing this? Should I try and switch the fuel type to petroleum? I have some nearby, although I was intending that for rockets, plastic and jetpack fuel. Not to mention I'll be left with a few hundred tons of spare wood and a tank of pointless if colourful liquid. Would relocating the lower two generators to somewhere cooler help? So the stored ethanol never reaches 80+

I can't speak for your setup, but I don't imagine the generators causing much heat climb. Pay attention to the liquid in the pipes entering the gens to see how close they are to that temp. Maybe run the pipes through something colder before feeding the gens? Limit the pipes to 2kg flow with a valve if you do.

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Run a cooling loop (usual aquatuner-steam turbine setup) with radiant pipes behind the generators to keep the machines themselves cool. Maybe also stick a few tempshift plates made of diamond behind the generators for even better heat dissipation.

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9 minutes ago, ZaphodCortez said:

Oh so it's the temperature of the stored ethanol in the generator. My generators are all running above 78 degrees for sure, so that explains why it would leak as gas. Question is, why is this happening on only 1 generator? Also maybe the one next to it but I haven't noticed that. It has certainly never happened on the top two. Is there a way of preventing this? Should I try and switch the fuel type to petroleum? I have some nearby, although I was intending that for rockets, plastic and jetpack fuel. Not to mention I'll be left with a few hundred tons of spare wood and a tank of pointless if colourful liquid. Would relocating the lower two generators to somewhere cooler help? So the stored ethanol never reaches 80+

You may want to invest in some cooling. Petroleum generators produce polluted water at their temperature, so when you let them get hot like this, it results in a runaway effect of heat creation. A steam turbine and aquatuner will easily cool that much equipment down to 40 C (pointless to go below this, as the polluted water that comes out will always be at least as hot).

3 minutes ago, Majestix said:

Run a cooling loop (usual aquatuner-steam turbine setup) with radiant pipes behind the generators to keep the machines themselves cool. Maybe also stick a few tempshift plates made of diamond behind the generators for even better heat dissipation.

I should note on the details of setup here, that aluminum beats diamond, and radiant pipes do better inside tiles. Radiant aluminum pipes inside aluminum metal tiles with some aluminum tempshift plates would be absolutely crazy if you can afford it all (probably not, tempshift plates are 800kg each). It'll probably do fine with some lead radiant pipes inside igneous tiles with just a few diamond tempshift plates; just watch to see how the temperature of the generator behaves, cause that's the important bit.

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Here's a picture, and yes you have cracked it! Thanks a lot. What was happening as when the generators were idle, which is about 50% of the time at the moment, the ethanol stored inside the lower two generators was heating up faster than in the top two. When they start up again, the ethanol was going back to the piped temperature of about 74 degrees, but in the lower two, or at least the bottom right one, it was reaching the evaporation point and being dumped into the air before the ignition. I'll have to setup a cooling system down in this section then. I've left it the hot area of the base atm as I have the slicksters and hydrogen vent down here, and my entropy thermo nullifier things are all the way on the opposite side of the base. There is a slush geyser not too far from this area which I haven't uncapped, I might try and use that as I haven't used an aquatuner or steam turbine yet. Reckon it would work if I just radiant piped it through the ethanol storage and lowered that temp quite a bit? I don't really want to cool that area because of the slickster farm. I might relocate the ethanol to a sealed lower tank, away from all the heat sources. Fingers crossed!

20190822230058_1.jpg

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15 minutes ago, ZaphodCortez said:

Here's a picture, and yes you have cracked it! Thanks a lot. What was happening as when the generators were idle, which is about 50% of the time at the moment, the ethanol stored inside the lower two generators was heating up faster than in the top two. When they start up again, the ethanol was going back to the piped temperature of about 74 degrees, but in the lower two, or at least the bottom right one, it was reaching the evaporation point and being dumped into the air before the ignition. I'll have to setup a cooling system down in this section then. I've left it the hot area of the base atm as I have the slicksters and hydrogen vent down here, and my entropy thermo nullifier things are all the way on the opposite side of the base. There is a slush geyser not too far from this area which I haven't uncapped, I might try and use that as I haven't used an aquatuner or steam turbine yet. Reckon it would work if I just radiant piped it through the ethanol storage and lowered that temp quite a bit? I don't really want to cool that area because of the slickster farm. I might relocate the ethanol to a sealed lower tank, away from all the heat sources. Fingers crossed!

20190822230058_1.jpg

Anti-Entropy Thermal Nullifiers aren't all that powerful. One of them (-80kW) would only be able to at best cool those 4 petroleum generators (20kW x 4), although since it's 4 ethanol distillers per petroleum generator, you're probably only running each half-time, so an AETN would just barely be unable to cool the generators (40kW), distillers (36kW), sweepers, and pumps together. The wheezeworts will help some, but they're in carbon dioxide, which has terrible SHC so it's a rather pitiful amount and likely not enough to tip things back towards net cooling. The pokeshells are also probably helping a little bit but I think it's even more minor.
You're going to need a steam turbine for this.

Also, I recommend mesh tiles directly below each petroleum generator's right end. It will let their polluted water run right down so it isn't leaving a mess where they sit. You don't want them sitting in their own "pee" if they're going to be cooled externally, since it will strongly hold them at their current temperature (and greatly prevent their temperature going below 40 C).

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If the ethanol being fed is below temp, maybe use a cutoff valve for the flow with a return pipe, instead of disabling the generator and leaving the contents to heat up. You can avoid cooling everything else so low this way. Just loop the rest of the pipe to up to 5 generators with the same method.

.20190822184125_1.thumb.jpg.4b5f7df87a2344f3d3866a3540c7d66f.jpg

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1 minute ago, Blazing Falken said:

If the ethanol being fed is below temp, maybe use a cutoff valve for the flow with a return pipe, instead of disabling the generator and leaving the contents to heat up. You can avoid cooling everything else so low this way. Just loop the rest of the pipe to up to 5 generators with the same method.

.20190822184125_1.thumb.jpg.4b5f7df87a2344f3d3866a3540c7d66f.jpg

The reason I wouldn't advise only cooling the ethanol is because the petroleum generators output polluted water at their temperature and at least 40 C, so if they're at like 80 C, you're going to have some very hot polluted water to deal with. You can of course run them very hot if they're made of steel and actually run a steam turbine off their polluted water output, but that's rather involved to build properly.

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If the ethanol is within working temperatures and flow is controlled, then the machinery has a much more manageable temperature range to work with without the risk of huge clouds of ethanol gas or floods of liquid ethanol.

I'm not saying don't cool the gens, but it's a much faster and simpler solution until the bug is fixed. The time, energy, and construction of the systems to cool down the generators low enough to keep the internal reservoirs below evap temp is quite intensive comparably, and the extra piping can be left or removed once a full cooling solution with acceptable temperatures has been reached.

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Ok, so the safest option is to cool the generators to a low enough temperature so that evaporation is never an issue. Problem is I would have to repurpose the whole area. There's a massive load of hot crude oil that I'm piping in circles around a big hydrogen geyser room to cool it before the pump, the slicksters on top of it, the refineries above that, my volcano metal store, petroleum and molten slickers above that. I'll try the slush radiant pipe thing first, as I want to use it for something, and then next game try and do it more sensibly! The valve system looks cunning I'll definitely give it a try. Fortunately the ethanol is only just getting to 78 degrees before the gens kick off again,demonstrated by the fact only one of them is dumping ethanol, so hopefully lowering the temperature of that input will be enough, as well as draining the hot polluted water quicker. I actually thought that was cooling it as originally before I upgraded them to steel ones they were overheating occasionally and drenching them in water from their output and the skimmers' output worked for a while. So that is very useful information. If I'm going to relocate the ethanol maybe I could just move the generators as well, there are 6 hydrogen generators on that same loop so I'm generating far more power than I'm using. Not to mention if they were running more often the fuel would be sitting idle for less time. Yes, I'll relocate the ethanol for cooling, put in more crab people habitat for lime, delete two of the generators for now, and put in that valve system. Alright, thanks again I'm relieved I know what is even going on now. Going to have to put the space program on hold for a bit!

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I use this system which works 100%.

Arbor trees -> item rails -> distillers in 10kg of water that lumber make way through it and fed by sweeper arms, then polluted dirt is routed out in rails with as little contact as possible while incoming lumber is absorbing as much heat as possible. My gens and distillers (2 gens 8 stills) are at 40-50C since wood spawns at 20C which is great for cooling.

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