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Saturnus

Introducing the split steam turbine and it's uses

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Saturnus    3549

A while ago I discovered that if you split the steam chamber of a steam turbine in two the steam turbine produces heat based on the average steam temperature and amount of all it's open input ports. And that only one open input port needs to see above 125C to function.

This has the interesting effect that you can use it to cool something below 125C without using the under 10% flow liquid pipe trick that many people don't like. What that means is that some builds that were either difficult to build or required steel can instead be made quite easily and without using steel.

Examples I'll demonstrate here are a range of vent tamers for vents that people often otherwise just closed off and didn't bother to mess with. They are a hydrogen vent tamer, hot polluted oxygen tamer, steam vent tamer, and oil fissure tamer. There are naturally other uses for the split turbine but these are some of the most obvious and relevant ones. All the vent tamers demonstrated except the hot polluted vent tamer are autonomous self-powered self-cooled units. That you can build and forget about. The steam vent tamer is also power positive but more on that later.

In the process of making these vents I did make an important discovery though: you cannot trust valves to split an intermittent stream correctly. The variance is up to +-8% which obviously is not good enough when you rely on it to return the correct amount of water so the steam chambers doesn't run dry. There is no way to make a valve based set up that does split an intermittent stream correctly. I've tried everything. In the end I settled for an automated approach with liquid shut offs instead. That works, valves do not.

Here's an example of one of the tests I ran. It makes an intermittent flow. Valve on the left is 1600g. Valve on the right is 800g. So it should split 50/50. It does not. Water level on the left output is 1007.9kg. On the right 1091.9kg. So about 7.5% more goes to the right in this case. If it's 400g for the right valve the left would be favoured by about the same percentage.

And before you ask or post a suggestion about splitting the stream with bridges and/or pipe splits. That doesn't work with intermittent streams either. In fact it can easily be even worse. Try it. 

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Here's the principle demonstrated. Steam pump in on the left is 125.8 and steam pumped in on the right is 103.8. As you can see the steam turbine outputs about 64.15W and 6.43kDTU in this case. This has been running over 400 cycles at this point.

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The practical implementation in most cases are based on this self-cooled unit where you can see the working principle of a hot steam chamber on the right with 2 open ports and cold steam chamber on the left with two open ports. The atmo sensor through a filter gate activates the liquid shut off if above 20kg/tile (the maximum setting). That means that if steam pressure on the right is above 20kg/tile for more than 100 seconds return water from the steam turbine is diverted to the left steam chamber but if at any point the steam pressure drops below 20kg/tile return water is immediately diverted to the right steam chamber. If both chambers is primed with 40-50kg/tile water then this will automatically adjust itself so you never have to worry about it.

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Note: All builds shows the minimum tiles required for the builds to function.

The steam vent tamer

The build has steam vent as far right as it will go but you can move it one or two steps to the left as needed. Or you can flip it entirely.

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The power output of the build varies with the steam vent naturally but here I've just demonstrated the self-powered self-cooled version which only outputs 95C water. If you want to use the surplus power (for electrolyzing the water output for example) note that the aquatuner is active approximately 45% of the time when the steam vent is not dormant with the settings given here. An the steam turbines give maximum power output about 99% of the time so you got about 1140W surplus power on average to play with.

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All insulated pipes in the steam chambers are ceramic. Everywhere else it doesn't matter. Output pipe on the left.

Cooling loop is primed with polluted water. I've found that water can somehow heat up to 104-105C in the pipes, even ceramic ones, during dormancy which breaks the pipes. Using polluted water eliminates this possible failure point.

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Double bridge preventing the loop from blocking close up.

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The build has fail safes for everything that can go wrong. And redirects return water from the steam turbines to the steam chambers as needed to keep up power production the whole time the steam vent is not dormant. And several cycles into dormancy as well. Thermo sensor makes sure it shuts down and starts up properly on it's own.

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The oil fissure tamer

You can use metal tiles instead of diamond window tiles.

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The build is self-powered. And self- cooled. The steam turbine produces about 108W when it runs. With the battery that is plenty to run the pump. If you care enough you can calculate exactly how much surplus power you have form the build but it's realistically below 100W on average so I wouldn't bother too much about it.

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Output crude oil temperature is around 104C.

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The hot polluted oxygen vent

This vent is primarily for making clay. And oxygen to some degree. It is not completely self-powered but it is self-cooled. It's limited to a maximum power consumption of 240W but really only uses about 80W on when active. About half the power is provided by the steam turbine.

Shipping overlay I didn't bother to make. It's a loader and a receptacle. How hard can it be?

Output clean oxygen and clay is about 104C on average if input sand is 100C. Lower or higher sand (or regolith) temperature will affect this obviously but even hot regolith from meteors shouldn't be too much of a problem. But you may need to use steel which this build otherwise does not require.

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The hydrogen vent tamer

The build is self-powered and self-cooled. The build also functions as an infinite storage, and can power other systems as well. Only one pump can be on at any one time limiting the maximum power consumption of the build to 240W (plus battery run-off).

The pipe to the hydrogen generator is 20 cycles of battery run off per pipe section so even the straight and shortest possible pipe outlast even the longest possible dormancy period by a factor two.

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Tobruk    339

I read your post twice and I still can't quite grasp it. You mention using it to cool something that is below 125 and yet you present us with builts for geysers that are incredibly hot (around 500C). Are you by any chance using the "averaging" mechanic you mentioned to trick the steam engine, thinking it is receiving (on average) 200C and not 500C by using the cold steam?

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BLACKBERREST3    235

Let me know if I have this correct or not. When you average the incoming steam through the turbine, this is enough to cool itself with its 95C water output. So in other words, it does not generate or delete heat, it simply slows the temperature transfer to the turbine while still functioning like a normal turbine. This also means that if you try to cool itself without this divide, it would overheat because it takes on too much heat for its 95C water to cool it down.

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Saturnus    3549
10 hours ago, Tobruk said:

I read your post twice and I still can't quite grasp it. You mention using it to cool something that is below 125 and yet you present us with builts for geysers that are incredibly hot (around 500C). Are you by any chance using the "averaging" mechanic you mentioned to trick the steam engine, thinking it is receiving (on average) 200C and not 500C by using the cold steam?

The source may be 500C (326.9C in the oil fissure case) but the amount of heat (except in the steam vents case) is very small and is easily cooled by a normal self-cooled steam turbine set up. However, a normal steam turbine set up would not be able to cool it below 126C thus necessitating steel pumps. And equally important, a normal steam turbine set up is in most of these cases not nearly as efficient at extracting the last bit of energy out of the heat, and thus not being able to be self-powered. In the steam vent case the steam room temperature can exceed what a steel aquatuner can tolerate (325C) if it's one with particularly powerful eruptions. That case yes, the split room makes the aquatuner sit in a separate room with lower steam temperature.

I should note the builds as presented can tame any of the vents in question. From the lowest to the highest possible output of them.

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Grimgaw    523
16 hours ago, Saturnus said:

A while ago I discovered that if you split the steam chamber of a steam turbine in two the steam turbine produces heat based on the average steam temperature and amount of all it's open input ports.

Nice discovery!

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BLACKBERREST3    235
1 minute ago, Grimgaw said:

Nice discovery!

Well turbine splitting has existed for a while and even though temp averaging within the turbine is not new, this is the first practical application I have seen.

Was already typing when you posted :p

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whodunit    14

Great post! But I'm not sure why this:

 

23 hours ago, Saturnus said:

Double bridge preventing the loop from blocking close up.

Is single bridge not a good idea? I've always been using a single one.

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Saturnus    3549
15 hours ago, whodunit said:

Is single bridge not a good idea? I've always been using a single one.

No. It's not. It's been discussed at length in other threads. Single bridges can clog up and fail when overfilled (unless you have a valve or a double bridge elsewhere). Double bridge bypasses cannot fail.

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mathmanican    3015

I posted about temp averaging and eating less than 2K steam, back when the new turbine came out. 

Spoiler

 

I also built a plan (Nov 2018), long before the new turbine came out, to circumvent this issue. 

Spoiler

 

All of these builds have been labeled as exploits by the community (no surprise).  The November 2018 build  left open the two sides, because people didn't like "port blocking".  The new turbine reduced inflow when you block ports, so it's not really a problem.  Being able to cool stuff way down to close to 100C was posted long ago.  

What I like, @Saturnus, about your recent posts on this topic are the recognition that you can greatly increase the temp of the material that comes in on one side of the turbine, provided you are willing to balance it on the other side. With 3 ports taking in 100C steam, you can get really hot steam through one port. This I have not been doing at all, but cooling stuff well below 125C I've been doing for quite a while (and stopped posting about it basically after the first few days it came out - due to exploit haters...) 

Or, you can trickle in tiny amounts of super heated steam to one vent, and let 3 other vents massively cool stuff below 125C. Or you don't have to trickle anything in.  There are lots of options. Thanks for sharing.  @Saturnus, I have enjoyed following your builds on the discord channel.  It's great to see you are quite active over there. 

 

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Saturnus    3549

@mathmanican I don't think I ever claimed that blocked ports and temperature differentiation was something I've exclusively discovered. It's been common knowledge on the forum for ages. Thanks in large part to your posts. The section on how that works is just a summary for those that might not have payed attention.

What I do claim, at least as far as I know, is the much more important discovery that valves or any other passive pipe splitting set up cannot be trusted to split the return water output of a steam turbine correctly into the split turbine chambers, and finding a practical, reliable and simple solution to the problem.

These builds presented here will also be difficult for exploit haters to object to since there's no exploits involved (unless you count the infinite hydrogen storage in the hydrogen vent tamer which some still object to). Blocking ports on a steam turbine cannot be considered an exploit as long as you feed each port the amount of steam it's supposed to take in as is done here. The builds are not using micrograms of steam on one port heated from a practically infinite heat source to trick the steam turbine or anything else involving the steam turbine set ups that could possibly be considered an exploit.

Thinking that blocking ports is somehow in and of itself an exploit is a legacy from the old steam turbine where it definitely was. The current implementation of the steam turbine correctly identifies blocked ports and the steam turbine changes behaviour accordingly so if some people think that blocking outputs of the steam turbine is still an exploit then they can stick that opinion where the Sun don't shine as it has no merit whatsoever.

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Oozinator    2570
32 minutes ago, Saturnus said:

...can stick that opinion where the Sun don't shine as it has no merit whatsoever.

When they use lubricant for it, i would call it an exploit!
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beowulf2010    642
12 minutes ago, Gamers Handbook said:

@Saturnus Please forgive my ignorance, but why not just have the pipe make a T for 50/50 water distribution?  Is it unreliable with flows that aren't constant?

Yes, it is extremely unreliable. A T junction in pipes will split the packets 50/50, which is fine if all packets are guaranteed to be identical sizes. But if the packets are 2kg-8kg-2kg-8kg-2kg-8kg, you will get 6kg one way and 24kg the other way. Bridged junctions are the same, but can actually be worse due to their ability to send 100% of a flow one way if the other way is full.

(Note: I never use T junctions anymore. I always bridge into/out of junctions. I can explain more if you'd like.)

Valve junctions also do not work as if you set a valve to 5kg (50%) but your packets are inconsistent and average only 5kg, the vast majority of the water will be sent only one way.

Saturnus found the only way to guarantee a long term average 50% split on the output water by measuring the steam volume in one chamber and diverting the excess water to the second steam chamber via shutoff valve.

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Saturnus    3549
22 minutes ago, beowulf2010 said:

Yes, it is extremely unreliable. A T junction in pipes will split the packets 50/50, which is fine if all packets are guaranteed to be identical sizes. But if the packets are 2kg-8kg-2kg-8kg-2kg-8kg, you will get 6kg one way and 24kg the other way. Bridged junctions are the same, but can actually be worse due to their ability to send 100% of a flow one way if the other way is full.

(Note: I never use T junctions anymore. I always bridge into/out of junctions. I can explain more if you'd like.)

Valve junctions also do not work as if you set a valve to 5kg (50%) but your packets are inconsistent and average only 5kg, the vast majority of the water will be sent only one way.

Saturnus found the only way to guarantee a long term average 50% split on the output water by measuring the steam volume in one chamber and diverting the excess water to the second steam chamber via shutoff valve.

I can expand on that and say that the return water mass can vary between 800g/s and 1600g/s.

I've also found that a T-junction first packet preferred direction resets after a while so if you have an odd number of packets that will also cause variance.

And since we're talking about builds that run over 100s of cycles that will eventually lead to one of the steam chambers becoming a vacuum (that's how I found out in the first place).

All builds demonstrated here have run for minimum 400 cycles.

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The steam vent build keeps having a hard time starting up. getting over pressure before the initial start has even warmed up the petroleum, drywall, or tempshifts, so the vent goes idle. Also, does the steam tamer work for cool steam vents, or is it overkill?

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Yunru    1140

If valves are unreliable for not working on Portal 3 not splitting smaller packets evenly, why not just stick a packet stacker in-line so that it only receives full packets?

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Saturnus    3549
2 hours ago, FSharpDotNet said:

The steam vent build keeps having a hard time starting up. getting over pressure before the initial start has even warmed up the petroleum, drywall, or tempshifts, so the vent goes idle. Also, does the steam tamer work for cool steam vents, or is it overkill?

What you can do is set the temp sensor controlling the steam turbines lower than 100C, and set the cooling loop temperature lower so that the aquatuner needs to run and increase temperature in the aquatuner chamber until the turbine start running releasing the pressure in the large steam room..

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Craigjw    407

For the Hydrogen geyser, the top left air pressure sensor, I'd like to confirm that you have set this at 20g of pressure?

Thanks in advance.

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Saturnus    3549
49 minutes ago, Craigjw said:

For the Hydrogen geyser, the top left air pressure sensor, I'd like to confirm that you have set this at 20g of pressure?

Thanks in advance.

No, 20kg... or 20.000g as it says. The maximum setting (in vanilla game).

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Craigjw    407

yes, 20g is definitely the maximum.... :D

Has this been adapted for a cool steam vent at all?  I tried making one in survival however it wasn't entirely successful as condensation didn't happen quickly enough and the the steam vent became overpressure too quickly.

 

 

 

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Ixenzo    62

I take it you must vacuum out the steam chambers so that lighter-than-steam gases don't block turbine ports? From what I see in sandbox, injecting CO2, ethanol gas, sour gas or chlorine into the chamber has no long-term consequences, and the tiles get eventually deleted, whereas hydrogen, natgas, oxygen, and PO2 stick around in the ceiling and block the ports.

I even pumped ethanol into the big steam chamber where it would be constantly and reliably deleted at small enough quantities per second. Though if one were to delete heat via injecting superheated gas into the chamber, heating up steam, and deleting the now temperature equalized gas, a pipe radiator with a release to space has much higher throughput without any chance of blocking the intake ports :)

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