# Taming a metal volcano.

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Tonyroid    208

This isn't the only way but it's the way I like best. Get your metal at any temperature you want and it's (basically) self-powered.

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I like your ideas there, but I'm pretty sure that even with that buffer space, it would eventually stop. I have no proof though as I never get this far without restarting just because I get bored. I'm terrible like that. I feel the correct answer is shutting off the input before every tile is full of water. E.g. instead of a bridge you use a valve you can close. That's just my 2 cents, and since I never got to tame a volcano, you can take or leave it.

Anyways, I wanted to offer a spreadsheet calculator for Vents/Geysers/Volcanos. You went over the math pretty well, but I also added in some estimation for before you actually analyze it. It also has a material lookup for all of the possible outputs and calculates the thermal capacity increase in J/s it produces which can be used to calculate how much power you can make from it max.

Mind you it's still in rough shape, and I'm still tweaking it, but feedback is appreciated for it.

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Tonyroid    208
8 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

I like your ideas there, but I'm pretty sure that even with that buffer space, it would eventually stop. I have no proof though as I never get this far without restarting just because I get bored. I'm terrible like that. I feel the correct answer is shutting off the input before every tile is full of water. E.g. instead of a bridge you use a valve you can close. That's just my 2 cents, and since I never got to tame a volcano, you can take or leave it.

You might be right. But I'm real paranoid now and I puzzled out at least one weird behavior that makes it lock up with that particular bypass, then I ran it for at least 100 cycles with it set up this way. In that experiment it didn't get stuck, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. The strategy with a shutoff might turn out to be best, but I haven't worked on it enough to say much about it yet.

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I just want to thank you, I did make some adjustments to your design. I'm using petroleum instead of water for example, which I now see is kind of questionable in choice. Water would have cooled 2x better, but I felt that Petroleum could be cooled more before freezing. Still it works.

Also I only filled all but 2 pipes full of petroleum instead of the whole thing. This way it cannot ever stop. I just realized a better method though now, but I would have to rebuild the generator area a little larger to do so. What I'd need is a liquid reservoir half full of petroleum/water. If you have this, it is guaranteed to never stop, and the heat of the coolant gets averaged out over the whole batch which can stop some spot freezing you might have due to timing. I used a similar setup in my steel production.

Using a gold aquatuner seems dooable. It took damage once, but hasn't taken damage since. I didn't choose gold there intentionally though, I was going to make it steel like everything else. Oops. The airlock there is in case the aquatuner starts to fail again and I have to replace it.

Finally, I did not make it a vacuum. Now it is all steam. It seems that the game deletes atmosphere that is compressed enough on all sides by a high pressure gas. I.e. my steam chamber has ~15 kg of steam per tile, all of the CO2 that was in it only compressed to about 4 kg in a single tile. Before long it vanished. Thus you probably don't need to worry about making it a vacuum at all.

I did have some challenges though. Sand. Yes Sand.

You see, sand melts at a reasonably low temperature. When shipping out sand, enough would pile up in liquid form in front of the volcano and block up. I had to repeatedly dig this out to get the volcano to erupt again. Make sure you ship out all of the sand or any other easily meltable before you ship anything else, or you could be pulling out your hair like I was.

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Tonyroid    208
56 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

I just want to thank you, I did make some adjustments to your design. I'm using petroleum instead of water for example, which I now see is kind of questionable in choice. Water would have cooled 2x better, but I felt that Petroleum could be cooled more before freezing. Still it works.

Also I only filled all but 2 pipes full of petroleum instead of the whole thing. This way it cannot ever stop. I just realized a better method though now, but I would have to rebuild the generator area a little larger to do so. What I'd need is a liquid reservoir half full of petroleum/water. If you have this, it is guaranteed to never stop, and the heat of the coolant gets averaged out over the whole batch which can stop some spot freezing you might have due to timing. I used a similar setup in my steel production.

Using a gold aquatuner seems dooable. It took damage once, but hasn't taken damage since. I didn't choose gold there intentionally though, I was going to make it steel like everything else. Oops. The airlock there is in case the aquatuner starts to fail again and I have to replace it.

Finally, I did not make it a vacuum. Now it is all steam. It seems that the game deletes atmosphere that is compressed enough on all sides by a high pressure gas. I.e. my steam chamber has ~15 kg of steam per tile, all of the CO2 that was in it only compressed to about 4 kg in a single tile. Before long it vanished. Thus you probably don't need to worry about making it a vacuum at all.

I did have some challenges though. Sand. Yes Sand.

You see, sand melts at a reasonably low temperature. When shipping out sand, enough would pile up in liquid form in front of the volcano and block up. I had to repeatedly dig this out to get the volcano to erupt again. Make sure you ship out all of the sand or any other easily meltable before you ship anything else, or you could be pulling out your hair like I was.

Ah yes! This is great. A gold volcano run much cooler than the other ones so I bet that's why you can get by without a steel aquatuner. I concur with your thinking about water vs. petroleum as coolant, water is more efficient but petroleum can get colder/hotter.

The phenomenon of gasses disappearing when they are crowded out is new to me, but it makes sense when I think about some experiments I've done lately, I wonder if it's a recent change. The sand thing isn't making sense to me, sand melts into glass at a high temperature (doesn't it?). Were you using polluted water to make the steam? Because when you evaporate polluted water you can get sand (or dirt, or something).

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nakomaru    1,327

You probably want to place conveyor bridge exits (ideally under two solid tiles) at each stage to avoid the thermal transfer bug

Edited by nakomaru
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3 hours ago, nakomaru said:

You probably want to place conveyor bridge exits (ideally under two solid tiles) at each stage to avoid the thermal transfer bug

GDI, that explains why I kept having empty boxes on my transport rail at times. I kept noticing it but had no clue why it was happening. Thanks for pointing this out. Too late for me to fix it this time but I can design it to avoid such a problem next time.

edit: To be clear, I have outlined exactly what is happening. I was noticing the issue last night. I have opened a bug ticket for this issue outlining it. In short, when an object enters a wall off screen on automation rail it is not actually moving on the rail for a performance improvement. The moment a player looks at it, the object is supposed to snap to where it should be, but something is preventing it from being in a wall, and then when the rail creates the crates for the object, the object is not present at that location, instead it's still at the location where it was loaded. Now the crate will move on the rail independently of the object causing a disconnect in the simulation.

edit2: Just thinking about this, @Tonyroid, we can't actually fully fix this in your setup due to how you built your heatsink. Most likely we will need to use tempshift plates instead of metal tiles there, and it won't be able to be a vacuum, instead we can have a liquid medium in the space like petroleum or crude oil. Frankly because of the bug, any time you look away for a significant time, all of the items in this area will be stuck back at the beginning of the track. I haven't done any testing yet, but it may be that when the empty crate exits the track, the item is instantly moved to the end regardless of it's current heat as well.

5 hours ago, Tonyroid said:

Ah yes! This is great. A gold volcano run much cooler than the other ones so I bet that's why you can get by without a steel aquatuner. I concur with your thinking about water vs. petroleum as coolant, water is more efficient but petroleum can get colder/hotter.

The phenomenon of gasses disappearing when they are crowded out is new to me, but it makes sense when I think about some experiments I've done lately, I wonder if it's a recent change. The sand thing isn't making sense to me, sand melts into glass at a high temperature (doesn't it?). Were you using polluted water to make the steam? Because when you evaporate polluted water you can get sand (or dirt, or something).

Thinking back, I think that having a reservoir in the steam turbine room to be the optimal correction to the cooling loop issues. Using this, you'd have a 5kg window on filling the system better, you could use a normal pipe, instead of a valve to bypass your aquatuner, and you are much less likely to have an accidental frozen pipe because the temperature of each packet will be averaged before going to the aquatuner. It makes cooling the liquid more consistent.

Edited by Chthonicone

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Dropping it on to a door like Brothgars design in a vacuum is way less material intensive what with all those conveyor lines and steel.

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Dropping it on to a door like Brothgars design in a vacuum is way less material intensive what with all those conveyor lines and steel.

Does he cool it before dropping it into a vacuum? If not then you are missing the whole point of the set up. Who is Brothgar anyways?

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2 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

Does he cool it before dropping it into a vacuum? If not then you are missing the whole point of the set up. Who is Brothgar anyways?

Missing what point exactly?  All the heat gets extracted and you are left with under 130c metal when it gets dropped by the door that you can then further cool at your leisure.

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Missing what point exactly?  All the heat gets extracted and you are left with under 130c metal when it gets dropped by the door that you can then further cool at your leisure.

Ok, in 3 sentences now you haven't elaborated on how this setup is worse than another, other than the fact that it uses more material, and does not use a vacuum.

Could you elaborate further, maybe show a mock up of what this other method looks like?

I'd like to feel that you aren't trolling here, but you haven't given any evidence or reasoning to back up  your claim, while this thread has a video and several images taken already. You're acting like everyone knows who this Brothgar is and can find his methodology online.

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Majestix    232
40 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

Ok, in 3 sentences now you haven't elaborated on how this setup is worse than another, other than the fact that it uses more material, and does not use a vacuum.

Could you elaborate further, maybe show a mock up of what this other method looks like?

I'd like to feel that you aren't trolling here, but you haven't given any evidence or reasoning to back up  your claim, while this thread has a video and several images taken already. You're acting like everyone knows who this Brothgar is and can find his methodology online.

You need to take a chill pill, dude.

He is acting like "everybody knows who this Brothgar is and can find his methodology online", because pretty much everybody here knows who "this Brothgar" is, and can find his methodology online.

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I'll forgive you for not knowing who Brothgar is.

It totally depends on what you want to optimize for.  The design you are using is smaller for sure but uses several times more steel.  They probably have about the same energy cost except yours has that extra conveyor bit.  This image is not exactly like his design but it is very close.  I have another built with a gold tuner inside the steam room for cooling but would not suggest it since it is competing with the metal for cooling time causing the gold to not cool down enough to drop before another eruption comes.

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Majestix    232

I have another built with a gold tuner inside the steam room for cooling but would not suggest it since it is competing with the metal for cooling time causing the gold to not cool down enough to drop before another eruption comes.

But you still have to cool the steam engine, right? I essentially use Brothgar's design, but in addition I ship the metal out and drop it next to the steam engine; and then the same cooling loop that is keeping the engine cool also cools down the metal to useable temperatures.

His design is my favourite combination of practical and safe: it is not completely fail safe, but it is so easy to build and to maintain in an actual game, that it's good enough for me.

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2 minutes ago, Majestix said:

But you still have to cool the steam engine, right? I essentially use Brothgar's design, but in addition I ship the metal out and drop it next to the steam engine; and then the same cooling loop that is keeping the engine cool also cools down the metal to useable temperatures.

His design is my favourite combination of practical and safe: it is not completely fail safe, but it is so easy to build and to maintain in an actual game, that it's good enough for me.

Yeah it is very nice.  The one imaged is getting cooling from the monstrosity below it.  I also pass cooling through the metal tiles below and the metal also goes through the tiles and comes out under 20c but passing the metal through the steam gen room would probably cool it about as well.  Though I would still need to cool the arm and loader.

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2 hours ago, Majestix said:

You need to take a chill pill, dude.

He is acting like "everybody knows who this Brothgar is and can find his methodology online", because pretty much everybody here knows who "this Brothgar" is, and can find his methodology online.

Pretty much "everybody" obviously doesn't include me. All I asked is for him to bring more information to the table as it was obvious I couldn't figure out what he meant. I wasn't even angry about it.

I'll forgive you for not knowing who Brothgar is.

It totally depends on what you want to optimize for.  The design you are using is smaller for sure but uses several times more steel.  They probably have about the same energy cost except yours has that extra conveyor bit.  This image is not exactly like his design but it is very close.  I have another built with a gold tuner inside the steam room for cooling but would not suggest it since it is competing with the metal for cooling time causing the gold to not cool down enough to drop before another eruption comes.

That was similar to my past attempts at taming a gold volcano, but they never worked out too well. Always had problems with things getting gummed up, heat getting lost, and no real power being created. Not exactly sure what I was doing wrong. Still it looks like you are dispersing far too much heat, rather than concentrating it into the turbine. Maybe it picks up after a while. Also, the amount of temp shift plates and metal tile makes it still a pretty heavy metal investment, though I never saw the point of that argument anyways. Make it out of gold, after all, you're going to get a ton of it back, right?

Maybe I got a little heavy handed with the steel. I think I spent about 2500 steel on the build as not every rail was steel, just those behind the volcano, most were just refined metal. Still, I had plenty more steel in reserve as I had pretty much automated all I could with that before.

My gold volcano was 10.3 kg/s at 2626.9C. It erupted 39 seconds every 702, and was active 81.2 cycles every 121.7. By my calculations, bringing the gold's temp down to 25C it should have been able to provide about 128 Watts max. 129 Watts if I go all the way to 0, but I was averaging about 15C. I think my build was getting an average of 90-100 Watts. I was hoping for more, but with the absolute heat cap of 128-129 Watts, I guess I shouldn't complain.

Then again, my small volcano should have capped out at about 1.1 kW and I hadn't gotten around to taming that either. I just needed a source of metal first as my asteroid seemed to be 90% tide pool biome... I pretty much mined the oil at the bottom to get all my refined metal and iron I could.

Anyways, I have another question for you, how are you cooling your turbines? I see a pipe sticking out which I assume to be your cooling, but I don't see any aquatuners to dump the heat back out into the steam. Well two questions I guess, how efficient is it to dump the heat back out into the steam? Maybe I can answer that one here right now.

10 kg water * 4.179 * 14C = 585.06 Watts of power dumped

10 kg petroleum * 1.76 * 14C = 246.4 Watts

The aquatuner uses 1200 Watts, so using water it's 48.755% efficient, and petroleum it's 20.533%.

Still, you gotta cool your coolant some how.

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The turbine gets all the heat from the metal down to around 130c and it can't really get much more heat out of the metal by leaching and still drop it out before the next eruption.

There is another aqua tuner offscreen that is cooling the steam turbine and the line of metal on the bottom that the gold drops on.  The other tuner is in a larger room with steel batteries, transformers, the output of glass making, and tries to boil salt water and act as a steam battery by building up the steam pressure while I have excess power.

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The turbine gets all the heat from the metal down to around 130c and it can't really get much more heat out of the metal by leaching and still drop it out before the next eruption.

There is another aqua tuner offscreen that is cooling the steam turbine and the line of metal on the bottom that the gold drops on.  The other tuner is in a larger room with steel batteries, transformers, the output of glass making, and tries to boil salt water and act as a steam battery by building up the steam pressure while I have excess power.

Well, I feel that if you put the aquatuner in the steam chamber for the turbine, you'll get more out of the heat you produce. I mean you're spending the joules to cool the coolant either way, but this way you produce a little more power with it.

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I do have another one that is in the steam chamber.  It isn't a good idea for this setup when you can send in cooling from somewhere else.  This one in particular competes with the heat removal by the rest of the system resulting in it missing the drop window and piling up more gold.  I've had to manually turn it off during those periods.  I plan on breaking back in there and using the signal from the temp sensor to turn off the aquatuner while it is cooling down metal.  I removed the door so I could analyze the geyser while it was dormant.

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Ahh, I see. I suppose that makes sense, but that is also why the OP's system has a 3 stage cooling system on a timer.

Also, do you use this to purify your polluted water? Doesn't that leave dirt behind?

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You do get dirt yeah but I have not done that in a long time.  I have just been stock piling the polluted dirt from from a sieve.  I should let it off gas to make some clay since I need a lot more of that.

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You do get dirt yeah but I have not done that in a long time.  I have just been stock piling the polluted dirt from from a sieve.  I should let it off gas to make some clay since I need a lot more of that.

I just had an idea for a pollution room. Have a shipping rail split it's output to a dozen vents equally dropping polluted dirt on the floor evenly. It doesn't seem to matter much how much match a dirt pile has, it always seems to off gas at the same rate.

Tried something like that before with a large pool of polluted water, and it didn't work very well. Poor pufts kept starving.

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5 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

I just had an idea for a pollution room. Have a shipping rail split it's output to a dozen vents equally dropping polluted dirt on the floor evenly. It doesn't seem to matter much how much match a dirt pile has, it always seems to off gas at the same rate.

Tried something like that before with a large pool of polluted water, and it didn't work very well. Poor pufts kept starving.

That is a pretty good idea.  Or maybe leave it on the rail in a long snake to offgass.

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22 hours ago, Tonyroid said:

Ah yes! This is great. A gold volcano run much cooler than the other ones so I bet that's why you can get by without a steel aquatuner. I concur with your thinking about water vs. petroleum as coolant, water is more efficient but petroleum can get colder/hotter.

The phenomenon of gasses disappearing when they are crowded out is new to me, but it makes sense when I think about some experiments I've done lately, I wonder if it's a recent change. The sand thing isn't making sense to me, sand melts into glass at a high temperature (doesn't it?). Were you using polluted water to make the steam? Because when you evaporate polluted water you can get sand (or dirt, or something).

I just had another thought. If you have a naturally cold coolant, you could use this to warm it and not use an Aquatuner. E.g. a slush geyser or CO2 geyser. Just run the pipes through like normal, but instead of a loop, you just pump your stuff through.

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Tonyroid    208

All builds have strengths and weaknesses, this one is a good design but it deletes much of the heat instead of turning it into power. There's nothing wrong with that, but I prioritized power-generation in my build. To understand how the heat gets lost, have a look at this part of this video here. In your screenshot (for example) if molten gold were to fall on the piece of gold sitting on the airlock door then about 933C of heat in the molten gold disappears.

That said, I really like the design and I know ways to stop that problem from happening, but if you save the heat then cooling the metal gets much trickier.

7 hours ago, Chthonicone said:

My gold volcano was 10.3 kg/s at 2626.9C. It erupted 39 seconds every 702, and was active 81.2 cycles every 121.7. By my calculations, bringing the gold's temp down to 25C it should have been able to provide about 128 Watts max. 129 Watts if I go all the way to 0, but I was averaging about 15C. I think my build was getting an average of 90-100 Watts. I was hoping for more, but with the absolute heat cap of 128-129 Watts, I guess I shouldn't complain.

That sounds about right for the heat-deletion phenomenon I describe above.