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Xenologist    1,247

How hard could it be to make a battery that generates steam when demand is low and processes that same steam when demand is high? Also, how hard could it be to make it stackable?

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Craigjw    332

You'd need to use a steam turbine, in combination with a heat source, which could be an exploited tepidizer to heat the water to a useable temperature.  I don't think that this would be a particularly efficient way of storing energy though and it would also be really bulky.

It's more efficient to just not produce the energy in the first instance, by placing batteries automating your generators, with settings to kick in more generators when the demand is higher, etc and just store the energy as natural gas, which is way more efficient that using that natural gas to power a steam making device converting to store the energy as steam.

Edited by Craigjw

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Tonyroid    242

The math says that an aquatuner cooling super coolant can produce enough heat for a steam turbine to turn it back into power at 95% efficiency. That number can be nearly hit if you carefully manage other sources of inefficiency. If you don't use super coolant the next best thing is water, but instead of 95%, you only get 47%, so it's not great but it might be better than nothing if your power spikes are too much to deal with in other ways.

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Craigjw    332

I think this solution is quite simple.

Have a standard aquatuner and steam turbine setup but with an input for water from a water reservoir.  Have the turbine automation attached to a battery on the main grid and have another battery also attached to the main grid with a not gate connected to the aquaturner.  Have a temperature sensor which activates the valve to the water supply when temperature goes above 200 or something adding more water and keeping temperatures down. The output from the turbine should ideally be sent back to the reservoir.

When demand is high, the steam turbine kicks in to charge the battery and provide power.  When demand is low, the 2nd battery kicks in and activates the aquatuner, while adding more water.

More turbines can be added, which will increase the power output, likewise, more AT's can be added for quicker storage.

The only issue is, what are you going to use all that cooling for?  An obvious choice is O2 cooling, there are plenty of things that need cooling, so we're not really constrained by that to be fair.

I've mocked up a setup for someone to try, but it might take a while to build in survival, so I'll post it when it's ready.

Edited by Craigjw

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Yunru    1,127

I've seen this before. 

I even commented in this exact thread. 

Let me dig it up for you. 

 

Edit:

 

Edited by Yunru
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Craigjw    332

Not a bad post, although I'm not convinced the cooling is being used efficiently by running it through the rocket exhaust while also placing an AT in the rocket heat exhaust cone (9x9 below), well, that's really not going to last long if the steam runs out.

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Sturm58    41
21 minutes ago, Yunru said:

I've seen this before. 

I even commented in this exact thread. 

Let me dig it up for you. 

 

Edit:

 

Good to see that my post is still alive :D

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Xenologist    1,247

Hmm. Nice to see that there is such a thing. Quick question, would it be possible to use refinery coolant to heat up the steam?

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Craigjw    332

Yes, of course, I thought this was how everyone powered their steam rockets? it's the same thing, just quite literally swap out the AT for the refinery.

Here's one I knocked up that's quite compact.  This would have a limited capacity governed by the number of reservoirs.  The main power grid is on the right and the thing to cool is an arbitrary metal block.

Untitled.png.9124186de4afb55295db03310134345c.png

Untitled.png.c45f8cb439cd1543b8f81de1b7fa9ffa.png

Untitled.png.2c0e166e3e035abed9125f1b97ab0e0e.png

Untitled.png.6ace17ebc2634bf23aae677f49c77ad7.png

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KittenIsAGeek    1,194

I've used circulating pipes to move heat to boil water into steam without using an aquatuner.  I've also used the same method to heat a chamber of steam to the point that it will fully power a turbine.  It takes a lot of space, or it takes a lot of time.  It also requires a source of heat that is well above the working temperature of your steam chamber.   An aquatuner, obviously, reduces the space and time necessary to do the job, at the cost of a lot of power.

If I were going to make a steam "battery," I'd start with something like a hot steam vent.   Continually pump the steam into a chamber with one or more turbines.  When you need extra power, turn the turbines on.  When you don't, turn them off and let the hot steam build up.  You could even do a multi-stage system for more efficiency.  The first stage stores the 500c steam from the vent.  A pump pushes hot steam into a secondary chamber that maintains, say, 10kg of pressure.  This chamber heats a closed turbine system.  When the temperature of your second chamber drops below a certain threshold, the steam gets pumped into a third chamber where it directly operates another turbine.  As the pressure drops in the second chamber, more hot steam gets fed into it, bringing the temperature back up.

If you don't have a hot steam vent, then you could use a volcano to boil water into steam, or any number of other massive heat sources.  If you can get steam into the operating temperature range of a turbine without using an aquatuner, you're going to be able to store power as heat energy.

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