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Future tech idea (Re: power generation)


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 So, currently toward the end of the game, most folks are condensing sour gas and heating that condensate to convert it to NG.  While I understand that the various laws of Thermodynamics are necessarily made into suggestions for computational efficiency... I'd like to point out that any continuous cycle engine gains a very non-trivial amount of combustion efficiency as input temperatures (both fuel and oxidizer) goes down.  Now, I'm not demanding, much less suggesting that we modify existing existing systems, no matter how "nice" that might be in a future balance patch... entirely because finding the right balance to that would be a *very* complex task and, well, power touches everything, so I get it.  That said, it might be nice to have another tier of power gen tech that unlocks a few things, primarily an actual liquid methane burner.  You're not realistically going to get much more efficient than that short of nuclear decay and... maybe liquid hydrogen+lox generation,   I don't have any recommended wattages, consumption rates, etc  beyond "Comparable usage/output stats that resolve to the greater efficiency."... I just figured whichever dev was on the ball about the oil->Petrol->Sour gas->methane->NG loop might find the idea interesting.  

Similarly, it would be nice to actually want to condense the NG into methane instead of 20+ NG gens (which, depending on if you're sourcing your PH2O from them or petrol gens, would also mean you'd have to decide if going LCH4 is worth it... Though I'd expect if you were doing that, you'd probably barely break even, depending on how you were doing it.  Straight super coolant tuner would probably be the only way to peek above break-even and even then, possibly not by  much. I'd figure the whole point then wasn't wattage gain, but allowing for a smaller number of gens to carry the same load, thus reducing heat and the pipe snarl.

 Beyond that, having a subsequent linked tech add output piping for baseline in-game gens would be a godsend.  It's not that I disagree with the fundamental design decisions the lead devs have made, I don't, but past a certain point I'd expect even the dupes would get tired of the extra headaches and would seek to address the issue...  like a splashpan under the NG/Petrogens to collect PH2O and mufflers for CO2 output.  We can't bend time but we've had that sort of thing for ~150 years :p  That might counteract a bit of the pipe unwinding suggested above, but it will allow for significant reconfiguration of spaces and a net reduction in the usage of pumps, etc... which should trim calculation load as well.

(Note to other readers: I'm aware solar is an option.

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I think it would be nice if there was a higher consumption natural gas generator that has the same resource ratios as regular natural gas.  I normally don't build sour gas boilers just because of how much space and piping it would take to consume the natural gas.

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13 hours ago, Zarquan said:

I think it would be nice if there was a higher consumption natural gas generator that has the same resource ratios as regular natural gas.  I normally don't build sour gas boilers just because of how much space and piping it would take to consume the natural gas.

 That's fair.  At the same time, would having a more efficient gen that ate the cold methane give you enough motivation to build a condenser though? 

Side note:
 My last map was my first attempt at building a condenser... and it would have worked, for values of work.  This would make more sense knowing why I built it when I did.  There was a section in the oil biome where the normal abysallite border between it and the magma had been overwritten by a POI, so queue all the oil in the vicinity turning to sour gas, which included one of the pressurized pockets. All of it.  The breach was off-screen from where I entered the oil biome, so the first indication I saw?  A pocket filled with sour gas and what looked like petroleum.  Figured a magma tile had spawned on the wrong side and had enough energy to splat out sour gas and convert the rest to petrol... I didn't need petrol at the time so I didn't click then... I just set up the dig order and came back a minute later to find a roiling cloud of sour gas pushing everything back.  Immediately paused and checked the gas tiles on my side of the pocket. ~20+kg/tile. 4-letter words.  Lots of scrambling, tons high priority tasks later, and 100ish cycles later... I've found and sealed the breach, forcibly isolated or avoided the other sour gas pockets (they were averaging 100-200kg/tile pressure in each pocket), and now I have ~70 reservoirs full of sour gas.and ~1.4k/tile sour gas left filling maybe 1/4 of my excavated space.

 What I should have done once that was contained was concentrate on going to space because super coolant... but I saw the opportunity to try to build a condenser the hardest way possible and said "Eh, why not?"  Since I hadn't made LOX yet, double points for "New process I haven't done yet" and I'm a bit of a sucker for building new things.  So I made a LOX chiller with 2 regulators running H2.  That worked mostly-well... I learned quite a bit about LOX production in a "I just eye-balled it" kinda way... as I started cycling the LOX into the condenser loop to pre-chill piping I discovered two things: First, I'd completely screwed up the pipe configs.  I had LOX packets getting stuck against shutoffs and breaking pipes... and since my condenser was a sealed ceramic unit... and second, I realized my "eye-ball math" had been off by a significant margin by doing the actual math.  Actual math complete, I realized that if I spent the time correcting the piping issue, the condenser would function but without further modifications, it would produce less NG per second than it would take to run the aquatuner or roughly equal if the gen was tuned. So I looked at the time involved in correcting the piping, adding a heat exchanger to pre-chill the incoming sour gas to lower energy demand, and baking sufficient ceramic to do this all...  I decided that taking the lessons learned with me into a new game was a better use of my time.

  As much as it didn't work out  overall, I think for just eyeballing a "Quick and dirty, can it even do it at all" build, I did much better could be reasonably expected.

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