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GoHereDoThis    14

What's the best material to make the refinery out of?

My refinery also keeps breaking and the coolant leaks out.  At first I thought it was the pipes but on a quick search here, it seems that the coolant (pH2O) turns to gas which breaks the refinery.  Looking at cooling loops here, people seem to favor running the pipers through the chamber where the aquatuner is, but not really running the coolant THROUGH the aquatuner.  But this means the coolant will get to whatever temperature the chamber is at and won't cool down, so really, that config is only good for when you have late-game coolant liquids, right?  For using pH2O, should I just run it through the aquatuner too to cool it down?

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Steve8    230

Try ceramic. Ceramic is 275°. Regular stone has 75°C and some stones give you an extra 15°C for 90

But your real problem is probably here:

Quote

pH2O

I assume you keep using the same batch of water. Water can't get hotter than 100°C! So of course everything breaks right away. The metal dumps its heat into the water. A lot of heat.So your water becomes steam if you keep using the same batch. 

There is actually a way for water to work. And that is to pick a large pool of polluted water like in a slime biome. And then dump the coolant right back into the pool. Don't fill your refinery with water and use that same 800kg all the time. The pool will heat up a bit over time, but it takes a while. All that mass dilutes the heat you pick up from the metal.

I generally start with that to get some early small scale metal. Then I move down into the oil biome and use crude (you need a steel pump for that). Same thing there. Dump the oil back into the pool. If you keep recycling the same bit of oil things become nasty too. The refinery also dumps its heat into the CO2 there, which is fine, since it's already hot there.

Quote

but this means the coolant will get to whatever temperature the chamber is at and won't cool down

It will cool down. It doesn't need to be cool per se. But the coolant dumps the heat it picks up from refining the metal into the steam and quickly looses many degrees. The steam turbine deletes that heat and regains some of the power the refinery costs. With some metals it's even power positive. You can use petroleum for that, which can get very hot before it turns into gas

If you don't want to use steam turbines like that you can still use petroleum and burn it off in a generator when it gets too hot. But long term you need an aquatuner setup anyways to cool down your industrial area (unless you use a sauna setup where the heat from the machines heats up the steam directly). So you might as well dump the heat from the refinery right into it. That aquatuner can easily cool down all your industrial machinery and the power plant

Edited by Steve8

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GoHereDoThis    14

But the chamber has to be 120C or above for it to run the steam turbines which means if I run pH2O through that loop, it'll be too hot for anything else.  I don't recycle the immediate liquid, I have a liquid reservoir with a couple of tons of liquid in it.  However, I now realise that pH20 is really my problem.  What's a better coolant to use?  Maybe a couple of tons of petroleum would be better?

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JRup    134

Hi!


Think of cooling the refinery and caring for the "coolant" as two different problems to solve. So yes, pH2O is just a gateway coolant to get some quick steel...

So it goes like this: water/polluted water in a pinch; crude oil, petroleum or naphta for steam turbine use.

The refinery itself generates heat that will need to be cooled and any liquid you choose as coolant will have some use before needing care.

The liquid/coolant inside the refinery will not exchange heat with the refinery itself and the surrounding environment for that matter and will stay at the same temperature once inside the refinery. The pipes that provide entry and exit of liquid coolant will exchange their temp with the environment, however.  So when your coolant has been heated beyond an evaporation point it will bust the pipes once outside the refinery ...

Insulated ceramic pipes are the best you'll get before space materials... (insulated igneous rock if in a pinch) and either copper / gold / iron for radiant pipes inside the steam chamber for the turbines...
 

Spoiler

Unless you're messing around with "coolants" that may not be so temp friendly with the ceramic itself. Obsidian would help before space age materials but will more readily heat up and exchange heat with the environment than ceramic. But then again, you wouldn't be using those to directly heat a steam turbine...

When selecting a recipe to refine go ahead and hover above "heat" and this will show you the increment in temperature that the liquid inside the refinery will gain. This will help you decide when to "care" for the coolant... Either "discard" it somewhere before it boils or cool it with a steam turbine... One way or the other, taking care of the heat will be inevitable.

I'm currently dabbling with a metal refinery made of granite. I've smudged the liquid I'm using as coolant so it's not misleading.  The amount of degrees by which the coolant's temperature is raised will vary from liquid to liquid as well as from recipe to recipe.

Gold is one of the the least "rewarding" and steel is the temperature heavy hitter...

1246030287_heatraise.jpg.0318f5633bbe80d95d82005b183428d0.jpg

 

There is a gamepedia wiki that has a table with a reference of how many times a coolant could be used (search metal refinery)... It also has a table with temperature increments per liquid coolant used. IMO, that one's more useful ... You could also just jot down lots of stuff as you discover it from the game itself if that's your thing.

Hope this helps...

 

 

14 minutes ago, GoHereDoThis said:

But the chamber has to be 120C or above for it to run the steam turbines ...

Steam turbines kick in above 125C and are good up to 200C-ish
Otherwise it's wasted power through heat that's instead transmitted to the turbine itself. Go ahead and disregard the "overheat" temperature of the turbines, you'll have to keep them under 100C at all times or they'll just not work properly...

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Steve8    230
51 minutes ago, GoHereDoThis said:

But the chamber has to be 120C or above for it to run the steam turbines which means if I run pH2O through that loop, it'll be too hot for anything else.  I don't recycle the immediate liquid, I have a liquid reservoir with a couple of tons of liquid in it.  However, I now realise that pH20 is really my problem.  What's a better coolant to use?  Maybe a couple of tons of petroleum would be better?

Petroleum is very good. It has good properties and only becomes sour gas at 538°. And it's easily available. Oil works too, but has a lower maximum temperature (where it turns into petroleum) and is a bit worse because of its heat capacity. Naphta has a slightly higher heat capacity, but you need to melt plastic for it. Not difficult, but it's not a readily available material.

As said, water can work. But only in a temporary setup where you have a pump in a large pool and dump the water right back into the pool. Not sure if it works with Reservoirs. Reservoirs do even out the temperature between input and the existing liquid. So it may work in some loop. No idea. But over time the water heats up as you don't get rid of the heat in any way. You just store it. In a large pool that's negligible for a long while and there is plenty of stuff you can do with warmer water later.

Of course you can't run water through a steam chamber as you now realized. You actually heat it up that way if the refinery itself doesn't boil it.

Edited by Steve8

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8 hours ago, GoHereDoThis said:

What's a better coolant to use?  Maybe a couple of tons of petroleum would be better?

Petroleum or even crude works well. Use a temp sensor with a liquid shutoff to detect when it gets over 200C, and send it through the steam chamber of a steam turbine in radiant pipes. This setup drives the turbine quite efficiently, and still have enough heat capacity to produce steel without breaking.

You still have too cool the turbine and the refinery machine itself; since the turbine must be kept under 100C, the basic solution is an aquatuner loop with (p)water (let the machines stand in a small amount of liquid and run the water in radiant pipes through this liquid). You can put the aquatuner inside the steam chamber, but it also works if you submerge the AT in petroleum/crude, and cool it to 200C using the same coolant as inside the refinery.

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impyre    104

Here's my setup. Petroleum dumps the heat into a steam room, which uses a steel gas pump to feed steam to the sauna. It works pretty well, but make sure to use ceramic pipe in the exposed sections... don't want 150-200C pipes leaking heat into your base. I chose this setup because it's pretty compact as opposed to using a steam turbine, and I didn't feel like the heat generated by occasional refinement was worth capturing the energy from. Of course, if you already have a steam cooling setup running, it makes sense to tie into that. To get the initial steel, I build the refinery in a cool biome, used plain granite/igneous pipes, piped in 28C pH2O from a nearby slime biome, and dumped the output back into the same pool. If you're only doing a few runs it doesn't get too hot... but it's a *very* temporary solution.

EDIT: The automation is just there to ensure that the steam doesn't get so hot that it overheats the gas pump... which if you have a particularly busy refinery can happen quite quickly in a room this size. Of course, since the sauna outputs water at 80C... even the occasional use can keep the refinery operating almost continuously.

image.png

Edited by impyre
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Steve8    230
10 hours ago, Urist McPilot said:

let the machines stand in a small amount of liquid and run the water in radiant pipes through this liquid

Or build the floor out of granite and run the cooling loop through the floor. You can still put some water on the ground to spread cooling around, but it's not needed.

There are many ways to do things. In some cases ONI has unfortunately one solution that's clearly better than others, but not here

Edited by Steve8

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Lifegrow    1710

This is by no means the best way of doing your refining, but it works for us in our current stream playthrough

Keep the refineries in a vacuum, use dual reservoirs for a buffer, dump the heat into your steam and use a spot of surface oil to cool the refineries (cooled by the input coolant as it enters the refinery). Disclaimer : I use the rotate everything mod as symmetry matters ;) 

1992685000_refinery1.thumb.png.958948af8e0670c0e35ad218f2e6093c.png

412068202_refinery2.thumb.png.7ae17420e675d96cd878e639b452e29d.png

35860884_refinery3.thumb.png.87e78d8b9f6a44b8e66c3d46dcb1e262.png

image.thumb.png.bc982572f507c959111848f8655e3556.png

Edited by Lifegrow
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impyre    104

Brothgar did a power experiment to find out how much power the steam from the refineries generates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvhKKTEFTyE

I'm not sure if it's applicable still, or if things have changed... but it seems like I might've been wrong about it not being worthwhile. Most of the metals broke even, produced very little excess power... but basically the power generated covered the cost of running the refinery, which is a nice bonus by itself. Gold refining consistently cost external power, no excess power was able to be generated. Iron generated a fair bit of power, but steel seemed to generate the most (about 3 times what was required to actually run the refinery). @Lifegrow have you noticed a net return on your power? Is your build self-powering?

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nakomaru    1926

It depends on the skill of the dupe and the light buff quite greatly. A maxed speed dupe will use very little power, and generate the same heat per load.

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Lifegrow    1710
1 hour ago, impyre said:

@Lifegrow have you noticed a net return on your power? Is your build self-powering?

Yeah, to echo @nakomaru above, the lit workspace + highly trained dupes maximise the return, but it was always widely known that refining steel in this way is easily power positive, as soon as turbines settled down in the current format we knew this to be the case. 

Ol' slothgar is generally 20 steps behind as he predominantly reacts to his youtube commenters - who in turn are often regurgitating something they've seen elsewhere etc etc :D 

Ultimately the idea with refineries is generally to just offset the cost of running it, especially if you're planning to conquer space and need a metric crapton of steel. Some people use their coolant for actively boiling other materials instead of course, refineries can be used for all sorts. I just gave an example of a functional layout to give a working refinery in it's most standard form really. 

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GoHereDoThis    14

I was going to ask why do people seem to run refineries 24/7 and I guess "space" is the answer.

Thanks for all the input guys!  Lots to think about and I'm glad there is no single best way to do this as I get to experiment a bit.

Bottom line -- when using petroleum or crude oil, there's no need to cool down the coolant as running it through the steam chamber will cool it down, correct?  Since the steam chamber will most likely be cooler (at 120+C!!) than my liquids?  I guess I only had this *coolant-too-hot* issue because I was using pH2O which is a poor choice for a coolant.

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Steve8    230
33 minutes ago, GoHereDoThis said:

Bottom line -- when using petroleum or crude oil, there's no need to cool down the coolant as running it through the steam chamber will cool it down, correct?

That's the whole point. The power you get from it is a bonus. The heat from the refinery coolant is what drives the turbines. You can easily see it cooling down as it runs through the loop. Just go to the liquid overlay and check out the pips of coolant

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Cipupec2    47
12 hours ago, GoHereDoThis said:

Bottom line -- when using petroleum or crude oil, there's no need to cool down the coolant as running it through the steam chamber will cool it down, correct?  Since the steam chamber will most likely be cooler (at 120+C!!) than my liquids?  I guess I only had this *coolant-too-hot* issue because I was using pH2O which is a poor choice for a coolant.

Steam turbine operates at +120c.  Most radiator cooling loops work at lower temp, so using a radiator on the steam turbine side do nothing (at best or heat it up at worst), instead you use aquatuner that shed heat regardless of the environment.

Metal refinery can sustain a much higher temp, upwards of ~ 275c, so you don't need a power hungry aqutuner and can make use of a simple radiator loop and have the steam turbine use the heat. But you do need a liquid that can sustain such heat without evaporating. 

Edited by Cipupec2

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impyre    104
13 hours ago, GoHereDoThis said:

I was going to ask why do people seem to run refineries 24/7 and I guess "space" is the answer.

Thanks for all the input guys!  Lots to think about and I'm glad there is no single best way to do this as I get to experiment a bit.

Bottom line -- when using petroleum or crude oil, there's no need to cool down the coolant as running it through the steam chamber will cool it down, correct?  Since the steam chamber will most likely be cooler (at 120+C!!) than my liquids?  I guess I only had this *coolant-too-hot* issue because I was using pH2O which is a poor choice for a coolant.

Yes, though you do need to cool down the steam because it *can* get too hot.

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GoHereDoThis    14

Getting back to this now, and my refineries are still overheating.  The liquid coolant is okay now, I figure it's the actual machine itself that's overheating.  I've made it out of obsidian.  Is there a better material?  Ceramic?  But then it'll take forever to cool down?  Or is it necessary to put a layer of liquid + metal floor?

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psusi    307
23 minutes ago, GoHereDoThis said:

Getting back to this now, and my refineries are still overheating.  The liquid coolant is okay now, I figure it's the actual machine itself that's overheating.  I've made it out of obsidian.  Is there a better material?  Ceramic?  But then it'll take forever to cool down?  Or is it necessary to put a layer of liquid + metal floor?

The machine itself should not be overheating unless you built it in a very hot area, like the magma biome.  If you are making steel and trying to cool it with pH20, that is very tricky since to avoid boiling the ph20, it basically has to be nearly frozen going into the refinery.  Switch to petrol.

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Steve8    230
1 hour ago, GoHereDoThis said:

Or is it necessary to put a layer of liquid + metal floor?

It should work fine without

If you want some more cooling there is no need for metal flooring though. Granite has a pretty decent thermal conductivity. Granite floor + cooling loop through it provides plenty of cooling

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GoHereDoThis    14

I'm using obsidian for the refinery and petroleum crude oil for coolant.  I guess that's not enough and needs further cooling via floor+pipes?

It's not on a hot biome, it's just outside the main base although the area has become hot due to other machines/power generators but nowhere near magma or the oil biome at the bottom.

 

EDIT: I found out that the crude oil inside the refineries are sitting at 150-200C.  Is this supposed to be the case?  I'm now going to run radiant gas pipes with hydrogen all over the refinery area to see if that'll help cool it down.  So far, normal pipes with hydrogen + metal floor + petroleum on the floor isn't enough to cool down the refineries.

Edited by GoHereDoThis

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psusi    307
8 hours ago, GoHereDoThis said:

EDIT: I found out that the crude oil inside the refineries are sitting at 150-200C.  Is this supposed to be the case?  I'm now going to run radiant gas pipes with hydrogen all over the refinery area to see if that'll help cool it down.  So far, normal pipes with hydrogen + metal floor + petroleum on the floor isn't enough to cool down the refineries.

Again, it is the oil you need to cool, not the refinery.  Once the coolant is inside the refinery, you can no longer cool it; you have to cool it off before you load it into the refinery.

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Steve8    230

Have you tried ceramic? That adds +200°C overheat temperature. Generally it's normal that the coolant in it is still pretty hot. Steam has more than 100°C so you won't get below that

The steam chamber should be enough. You can see the temperature dropping as the coolant runs through. Use radiant pipe out of gold, iron or copper, for the best heat transfer

A reservoir isn't really needed though. The refinery holds 800kg which is enough for two uses. If you have one make sure it doesn't contain too much liquid. You probably don't want to have tons of hot coolant just sitting around doing nothing.

Edited by Steve8

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psusi    307

You want a reservoir for the oil along with a bypass to allow it to keep circulating through the steam room to keep cooling off until you fire up the refinery after letting it cool for a while.  Just letting it go through the steam room one time and back to the refinery isn't going to cool it off enough.  Also, switch to petrol instead of crude oil, which will flash to petrol and break the output pipe if it hits 400 C.

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