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Automated Self Cooling Plastic Factory


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In case you have a situation like mine

Spoiler

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also already having a big buddle of water, here's a pretty steamlined solution to the problem:

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This automation will process 10 kg/s petroleum having temperature ranging from -57°C to +240°C into 3600 kg/cycle plastic; theoretical max power draw is 5780 W with 4000 W average consumption, while producing steady ~1800 W at full whack using 240°C petroleum (+ occasional 250W from the cooling aquatuner).

Easy to build in survival and won't turn your home into a hothouse. It ran through 400 000 kg petroleum @ 240 °C over more than 110 cycles without overheats or naphtha beign produced.

It's divided into three sections:

1) Cooling loop

2) Production chamber

3) Carbon skimmer loop

The cooling loop is pretty standard (I've repurposed a Steve Raptor build) and keeps the steam turbines, the carbon skimmer and the sieve at low operating temperature, fluids included. Polluted water is used as coolant and a full reservoir is kept as a heat buffer, liquid temp sensors are set to above 10 °C. Turbines room atmosphere is 2000 g/tile hydrogen, not precooled (fresh 80°C from the electrolyzer).

The production chamber must be vacuum then filled with ~100 g/tile carbon dioxide (two 10kg canisters). On the floor there is ~50 kg/tile clean water to kickstart the steam production, needed when using high temperature petroleum: it is important to not exceed with the water, otherwise it will take excessive time to evaporate. Machines will overheat, things will melt.

For petroleum under 95°C the carbon dioxide is necessary to transfer heat, preventing a sudden increase in temperature of the polymer presses that would break this automation after few cycles. While hydrogen (or oxygen) will block the turbines inlets if the steam atmosphere is generated, CO2 will be eventually pushed to the bottom and won't interfere with the process. The hydro sensor is set to above 60 kg and will remove any excess water when operating at low temperatures.

With 240 °C petroleum, sweepers are necessary because plastic is going to be really close to its melting point (>150 °C) and needs to be taken out quickly and cooled somewhere else. A cooling pool (with possibly a cooling loop) can be made near the production site, covering the conveyor rails with insulated tiles to prevent most of the heat beign dissipated into the environment.

 

System operating with 240°C petroleum:

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The four steam turbines used in the production chamber have all the inlets open and will process 8 kg/s steam. These turbines must neve be disabled otherwise everything will overheat in seconds.

The system almost uses no automation grids, the liquid vent is set to close at above 6000 g to keep a constant atmosphere. 100 g/s excess 95°C water is going to be produced once the system has become stable, you can feed it to electrolyzers, oil wells, etc. etc.

Carbon skimmer room is also filled with 2000 g/s hydrogen, you can pressurize it at the same time of the turbines room, then build the wall in between. The carbon dioxide produced from the presses is cooled to <15 °C using radiant pipes. If you have a slickster farm you can remove the skimmer loop, the sieve, replace some of the radiant pipes to raise the output temperature, saving 240 W and the (only) labour requested to replace the sand if you're not using a sweeper.

A double liquid airlock is used to prevent heat from propagating outside if you send a dupe in while in operation: steam is going to fill the left side of the second airlock, transferring heat through crude oil outside the system if you don't have another liquid airlock separated with vacuum. The steam itself will not become liquid thanks to the mechanized airlock conveying heat.

Plumbing:

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Ventilation:

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Power:

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Automation:

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Materials used

Polymer press, aquatuner, liquid shutoff (inside cooling loop), liquid pipe thermo sensor (inside cooling loop), liquid pump, auto-sweeper, conveyor loader – Steel

Steam turbine, liquid shutoff (outside cooling loop), liquid pipe thermo sensor (outside cooling loop) – Iron

Insulated tile, insulated liquid pipe – Igneous rock

Radiant pipe, metal tile – Gold

Mesh tile – Copper

Tempshift plate, drywall – Granite

Liquid bridge – Ceramic

If you have 60k to spare you can use diamond tempshift plates to provide better heat transfer.

 

This is my very first automation I decided to publish, if you have any advice or questions please reply to this thread.

 

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29 minutes ago, SharraShimada said:

Question: Why do you build the bridges from ceramic? Bridges do not transfer heat in any way. You can build them from obsidian and get the same result.

Because I completely forgot about it... :mrgreen:

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You can also just use the input petroleum for cooling. If generated manually, that works directly. If generated via boiler, just cool it down enough. Oh, and just place the press in a bit of water, no need for temp-shift plates. It does not actually generate a lot of heat, it just does not have a thermal contact tile that transfers to the solid tile underneath. It does transfer to liquid though.

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1 hour ago, Gurgel said:

You can also just use the input petroleum for cooling. If generated manually, that works directly. If generated via boiler, just cool it down enough. Oh, and just place the press in a bit of water, no need for temp-shift plates. It does not actually generate a lot of heat, it just does not have a thermal contact tile that transfers to the solid tile underneath. It does transfer to liquid though.

Thanks for all the suggestions. The idea is to not cool the petroleum coming from the boiler (or if used as coolant), instead using its temperature to produce some power while producing plastic, making it <160 °C inside the system before it's used. I'm gonna try the small puddles for each press solution and see how much is the difference in terms of footprint and power consumption for the shipping. I also have made these adjustments because if you play on Rime, it's common to get cold petroleum in the beginning, and I wanted to create a easy build that works in any conditions without having to upgrade, change factory or thinking too much about input temperature. If you're instead playing on a buried oil seed, have more than 10 kg/s supply (and need a huge amount of plastic for any reason), the production chamber should be tileable twice but I've not playtested it yet.

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