Recommended Posts

Chthonicone    88

I've been toying around with a few ideas for power generation. I'm aware that with the wrong balance they could be completely broken in our game, but I'm more concerned with what we can do to make them work.

Gravity Generator (a.k.a. Waterwheel): This is a 5 wide by 3 tall generator that takes up to 1 ton of any liquid in it's top port and 4 seconds later drops it out of the bottom port on the same column. It's max throughput is 5 tons of fluid per second. Max operating temperature is 60C so will not work with hot liquids due to the early materials needed in it's construction.

Idea is for early game when the player has a lot of water sources they want to move downward, and this will allow them to gain a temporary power source moving a lake to a reservoir.

Problems:

  1. Easily exploitable if it's cheaper to pump water from the bottom of the map to the top of the map than the power you get from dropping water through a series of water wheels all the way down. Solution for this problem? Make it produce less than that.
  2. One method of moving water into a pipe from the world does not require power, but instead creates power. The steam turbine. Possibly not an issue as 2 kg/s of water will not produce much power at all if #1 is taken care of. As such, exploiting this would give a mild boost to the Steam Turbine's output, far less than tinkering with the turbine.

Heat Transfer Generator (a.k.a. Thermopile/Thermocouple): This is a single block generator that can be rotated in 4 directions. Depending on how it's rotated, it produces power when it transfers heat through in the direction it's oriented. Half the heat absorbed is turned into electricity, the rest is moved across or rests in the generator. Max operating temperature is 500, but it will reliably keep itself at the midpoint of the temperature difference.

Note: Does not care if the sides contain, gas, liquid, or solid, it will operate the same for all. Power generated is determined by how stark a gradient you have on either side of it, but it will not start generating power till it reaches the mid point temperature +- 20K between its two sides, so it has a warm up/cool off time before starting.

Note: Will actually attempt to equalize heat with all 4 sides equally, but power only is generated when heat moves in the set direction based on the gradient.

Problems:

  1. Could easily replace Steam Turbine. A possible solution is to make each individual one less efficient at deleting heat, and more required to achieve the same deletion. Another possible solution is to make them require expensive material processing to be made. E.g. thermium.
  2. May have more problems, I haven't thought much about this one yet.

What do you think of these ideas? They certainly seem to fit the theme of ONI, I feel.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tonyroid    246

The second one is a thing called a stirling generator. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine

I think it's a good idea and I think it could be easily distinguished from a steam turbine by not deleting any heat and just generating power from the movement of heat from one medium to another. (Like a real stirling generator). The downside to using it is that you lose those sweet high/low temperatures to entropy, and I bet it can be sufficiently nerfed by requiring a minimum temperature difference between it's cold and hot ends. It seems to be that it could be worked into gameplay as a pre-steam-turbine or as an especially late-game thing.

I think that doesn't quite match your conception, I'm just brainstorming here.

Edited by Tonyroid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Saturnus    3,322

It's relatively trivial to make infinite waterfalls of any amount of water so basically this will provide infinite free power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
1 minute ago, Saturnus said:

It's relatively trivial to make infinite waterfalls of any amount of water so basically this will provide infinite free power.

Mind explaining how? Are you talking about with temperature changes going from gas to liquid and back? How many of them happen below 60C?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Saturnus    3,322
8 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

Mind explaining how? Are you talking about with temperature changes going from gas to liquid and back? How many of them happen below 60C?

Trap two different gasses. It will infinitely displace any amount of liquid to cycle around. 

image.thumb.png.fb7a615ea7422e7359ec1a522cf508ab.png

Edited by Saturnus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
2 minutes ago, Saturnus said:

Trap two different gasses. It will infinitely displace any amount of liquid to cycle around. 

image.thumb.png.fb7a615ea7422e7359ec1a522cf508ab.png

You know, this wouldn't be the first thing exploitable by an exploit. You say easy, but most players wouldn't think to do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tonyroid    246

I've always liked the idea of having a liquid turbine generator that operates from water running downhill. I've put some thought into how it could be made to prevent it being easy to exploit.

Let's say it's a device that generates power when the pressure above it is high and the pressure below it is low and when it operates then it moves some of the liquid from the top to the bottom.

I think most of the problems can be solved by designing it this way:

  1. A minimum needed pressure difference.
  2. A maximum pressure difference (or it takes damage).
  3. Both sides of the turbine must be submerged in the same element.
  4. It leaks if it's not working. (Not working because all of these conditions aren't met.)
  5. Power output depends on the pressure difference, not the mass throughput or whatever.
  6. If the pressure direction is reversed, it takes damage.

That ought to fix the problem of putting multiple turbines in sequence down the entire map. (Because one turbine can't create pressure for the next one unless there was enough pressure for that in the first place.)

But door pumps are still a problem (and Escher waterfalls? I dunno a lot about those.) It's just too cheap to create pressure differences that way.

Edited by Tonyroid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Saturnus    3,322
12 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

You know, this wouldn't be the first thing exploitable by an exploit. You say easy, but most players wouldn't think to do this.

The only reason many people do not know about this is that it currently has no specific use (beyond making infinite liquid storages). It's been know on this forum since at least June 2017.

Edited by Saturnus
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
2 minutes ago, Saturnus said:

The only reason many people do not know about this is that it currently has no specific use (beyond making infinite liquid storages). It's been know on this forum since at least June 2017.

Maybe it'll give the devs a good reason to fix it then ;)

Seriously, most people I watch avoid anything exploity, so they probably wouldn't even care. As I said, I really don't care if exploiting it requires exploiting something else in the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Saturnus    3,322
5 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

Maybe it'll give the devs a good reason to fix it then ;)

I'm sure changing every affect of the physics engine will go down well with the devs.

Just drop the idea. It's not workable.

Edited by Saturnus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fleetfeet    18
6 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

You know, this wouldn't be the first thing exploitable by an exploit. You say easy, but most players wouldn't think to do this.

I think most things people build in games aren't original in the first place. I certainly didn't conceive of the SPOM, yet my bases will always have one or two. I know how to use steam turbines now, but only because I looked at how other people used them first. I didn't come up with any infinite element storages, but now I know a few...

I could go on, but the point isn't "People will stumble upon this themselves and break the game", it's the youtube video with big yellow letters saying "You won't BELIEVE this source of INFINITE POWER" that will bring it into peoples' games and flatten a lot of design space by potentially obsoleting other power sources.

THAT is just in defense of saturnus' point, though. Gravity generator is problematic because escher waterfalls, but there are design tweaks you could add depending on what you want its function to be in the game.

Want it to be an early game waterwheel? Add a mandatory maintenance meter to it, so while it can produce power 'for free' with an exploit, your dupes will still have to repair/maintain it every 10 gigawatts it produces (or whatever). Similar to oil wells, except without the natural gas.

Want it to be a late-game sci-fi-tech pressure-based generator? Then you're looking more at what Tonyroid is talking about, with a complex set of limitations to allow it to be cool and useful, but not render other sources of power obsolete.
 

What I want is a goofy long-legged-frog creature that will occasionally operate hamster wheels if there are hamster wheels available, and otherwise consume some food-source and poop something not-that-valuable. It'd only be for early-mid game power, and realistically it would always be more efficient to just print more dupes, but... it sounds goofy and fun, and I want it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
2 minutes ago, Saturnus said:

I'm sure changing every affect of the physics engine will go down well with the devs.

Just drop the idea. It's not workable.

Highly doubtful that it's not workable, and I'm not going to drop it just because one person decides it's too "broken"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Saturnus    3,322
3 minutes ago, Chthonicone said:

Highly doubtful that it's not workable, and I'm not going to drop it just because one person decides it's too "broken"

If you'd bothered to search the suggestions forum, you know this is the n'th time this exact thing has been suggested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
Just now, Saturnus said:

If you'd bothered to search the suggestions forum, you know this is the n'th time this exact thing has been suggested.

And it wouldn't be the first time nor the last time. Why are you so hostile tonight?

Request to have this moved back into general, as it's not yet a suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ImDaMisterL    20,026

Hey guys, just wanted to remind you to get back on topic. I moved the thread to Suggestions and Feedback due to the content of the post, and ideas can still be discussed and brainstormed over there.

Remember to be respectful and address the thread itself, not other users.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Haze33E    14

I like the idea of both generators. But I know the "waterwheel" generator would be easy mode free energy with the right setup. With geysers eventually you'll obtain enough water to make a system that loops back on itself and produces more energy then it takes to move the water back to the top. IRL that's not possible because you'd need very strong pumps to push the water back to the origin point. With ONI the pumps don't have any physical limitations as far as pumping against gravity. So you'd probably need very few pumps to make an artificial river/waterfall to step down into many waterwheel generators and produce tons of power. To balance it you'd need to make them produce so little power they wouldn't we worth building in the first place.

 

The stirling generator seems like an interesting idea.For people that know how to manage and manipulate heat and cold it should be a good power source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
35 minutes ago, Haze33E said:

I like the idea of both generators. But I know the "waterwheel" generator would be easy mode free energy with the right setup. With geysers eventually you'll obtain enough water to make a system that loops back on itself and produces more energy then it takes to move the water back to the top. IRL that's not possible because you'd need very strong pumps to push the water back to the origin point. With ONI the pumps don't have any physical limitations as far as pumping against gravity. So you'd probably need very few pumps to make an artificial river/waterfall to step down into many waterwheel generators and produce tons of power. To balance it you'd need to make them produce so little power they wouldn't we worth building in the first place.

That was the whole point of making it cost more to pump 1 ton of liquid into a pipe, than it gains from moving that liquid all the way down the map. Remember, this works by moving 5t of water at a time, but a pump only moves 10 kg or 0.01 tons of water at a time, so given a large enough body of water, it will still produce a substantial amount of power for a while.

Assuming the asteroid for example is 8192 tiles tall, since you need a space above and below the water wheels, you could have at most 2048 water wheels going down which is 6144 tiles of generation. A pump would require 24,000 J to pump up 1 ton of water, so that is how much power we need to stay under per ton of liquid. This means if it costs 3.90625 J per tile to pump a ton of liquid up to the top of the map from the bottom the pump would break even. If you set the power output at 3 J per second per ton, the water wheel would not produce more power.

Now how much power would it produce though? It takes in 5 ton per second and outputs 5 ton per second, but it takes 4 seconds to move the liquid down, so there's a 4 second delay between taking in water and outputting it. This means that at max speed it is moving 20 t of liquid down one tile each a second. That's 60 Watts.

It's lower than all the other generators, but not a useless amount, and certainly won't support a pump running forever. A few of them running to move a water reservoir down could have their output captured and stored till it is needed, allowing dupes to not use the treadmills for a few cycles. Later on when you might have an ocean to move down, you could get some bonus power as a result.

Going through all the machines that take pump from the world and put them into pipes, the normal pump is the cheapest one that consumes power, and the steam turbine is the only one to not consume power. We've defeated the pump, but now what about the steam turbine?

The steam turbine at max rate will put 2kg of water into a pipe a second, or 0.002 tons per second. It would take 500 seconds to produce 1 ton of water in a pipe. 1 ton of water produces 18432 J falling from the top to the bottom, so 0.002 tons produces 36.864 extra joules per second. That's just above 37 watts of extra power from a steam turbine.

To make it worse, the water needs to be cooled first, and then reheated for the steam turbine. You can't even do a reverse cooling system like some oil boilers as the water wheels have a max operating temperature of 60C, so whatever method you use, you're likely going to lose more energy as a result.

Result for steam turbines: Maybe you could exploit it for some free extra power, but at what cost to the efficiency of your steam turbine design?

This was all assuming the asteroid is 8192 tiles from top to bottom. If it is not, we can adjust the numbers to suit it, but as you can see, no matter what the size of the asteroid, this can be made to be a good early unmanned power supply for an early base without allowing pumps to run rough shod over it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Haze33E    14

Yeah I had a brain fart there. I'm american so the metric system isn't natural for me also I'm still a newb to the game.

But if I'm not mistaken can't mechanized airlocks be used push large amounts of water up? Sure it would take longer but it should be able to move a massive amount of water at once. I'm still learning the technical side of ONI but I'm pretty sure that would work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
5 hours ago, Haze33E said:

Yeah I had a brain fart there. I'm american so the metric system isn't natural for me also I'm still a newb to the game.

But if I'm not mistaken can't mechanized airlocks be used push large amounts of water up? Sure it would take longer but it should be able to move a massive amount of water at once. I'm still learning the technical side of ONI but I'm pretty sure that would work.

I suppose that if you want to exploit a mechanic, there's no end to the exploitation you can do. I can't help you with that really. It's just like that infinite waterfall posted above. If you want to go through that much trouble to set this up, there isn't much I can do to stop you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tobruk    302
On 15.10.2019 at 6:52 AM, Chthonicone said:

Easily exploitable if it's cheaper to pump water from the bottom of the map to the top of the map than the power you get from dropping water

Give people a tiny opportunity to use this gen and the second you look back brothgar will be pushing water up with doors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Haze33E    14
1 hour ago, Tobruk said:

Give people a tiny opportunity to use this gen and the second you look back brothgar will be pushing water up with doors

Yeah I highly doubt there will be many people who use it the "legit" way. A temporary power source isn't worth building. It's like building hydrogen generators to consume a pocket of hydrogen you uncovered and only for that. It doesn't make any of sense to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chthonicone    88
3 hours ago, Tobruk said:

Give people a tiny opportunity to use this gen and the second you look back brothgar will be pushing water up with doors

I don't really care what he does. It doesn't affect anyone else but him.

2 hours ago, Haze33E said:

Yeah I highly doubt there will be many people who use it the "legit" way. A temporary power source isn't worth building. It's like building hydrogen generators to consume a pocket of hydrogen you uncovered and only for that. It doesn't make any of sense to me. 

Who says you can't legitimately make a more permanent use for this? There are sources of liquids that allow you to use this somewhat more frequently. You'd just have to cool them down first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
StarSquid    41

I think the easiest solution would be to scale it down. Reduce the power produced, reduce the flow rate, keep the size on the large end. In the beginning of the game, where getting more space is as easy as digging out a few more tiles but getting power means wasting dupe time on treadmills or filling the base with CO2, it's an astonishingly practical source of power. But later on, the space you'd use to make the thing could be used for a whole variety of more useful things, so while you could power your base on a bank of fifty escher-wheels, or a vast cascade of waterwheels beneath your polluted water vent, you could also power it with a single room with some natural gas generators. Basically, make it resource-efficient but highly space-inefficient.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now