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Do people still do sour gass boilers? looking for feedback.


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Hey guys, back again.

i think most people are familiar with the gargantuan beasts called sour gas boilers that some people put together, yaknow the ones churning out 10 kg/ sec of natural gas. Now is the time where i figured i'd put one together myself, and see how well it turns out. I didn't feel like i would have the know-how about the mechanics to be able to put one together that gets you 10 kg/sec, but 5 kg/s is something i was able to achieve with this design.

So, here it is:

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Honestly im quite sure im experienced in the game by now, but not an expert. i went for two channels for the sour gass to flow through because i, in my mind, figured that it'd make heat exchange between the turbines, gass pipes, liquid pipes and conveyor rails easier than if i crammed all the sour gass through one single channel. Anyone feel free to correct me if i'm wrong. Also i kind of liked the aesthetics of two channels.

so, petroleum comes in at the center, split over two pipes that exchange heat with the outgoing sour gass. yaknow the standard counterflow heat exchange, nothing too special. Its pre-heated to around 124 degrees and meets two heating plates in the center. these are kept hot by two Aquatuners providing cooling for the sour gass. theyre in a steamroom pressurised at around 110 kg. 

the heating plates are one of the quirks in my design. When i was firing everything up and the steamroom got up to temperature i closed the doors of the thermal injectors. i found out that the bottom plate got heated up to around 600 degrees in no time, but the top one, when it was still identical in design to the bottom plate barely got past 300 degrees. This was in a vaccuum with nothing present. so i decided to play around with some other layouts until the top plate had no problems exchanging its heat with the steam room.

the hydro sensors are there to close the doors once any liquid builds up, meaning that theres insufficient heat left to flash the petroleum to sour gass and some heat needs to be dumped in. so, sour gass travels up past the cooler petroleum coming in, to be met by a steam turbine that absorbs some of the heat. there's two of these steam turbines, linked by tempshift plates to even out temperatures across the left and right sides. 

After passing these the sour gas goes down all the way to the bottom where it gets condensed. ive widened to channel closer to the bottom for the same reason i went for two separate channels meeting at the bottom. i thought it'd be easier on cooling. 

So, once the sour gass condenses the methane is pumped in two directions to vaporise and meet some gasspumps to pump it out and away. Here's what all of the liquid piping looks like:42461426_liquidoverlay.thumb.jpg.2eb71ac3c4a9f7d352fcfd0ff5f772dc.jpg

When the gass travels up it travels through radiant piping, opposite to the direction the sour gas flows to provide extra cooling. some of the gas goes from around -120 degrees at the bottom to 150 or even higher when it reaches the top. Nothing special to this though really, here's what the gass piping looks like:

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The sour gas leaves behind sulfur as it condenses too, i figured i might use that as i've seen some other designs do, i've set up a looping conveyor real that kicks out the sulfur as it goes above -30 degrees. i figured i wouldnt want to reintroduce it at too high of a temperature further down the boiler, as it might actually heat up the thing a tiny bit. something i'd rather not do with an already frustratingly finnicky thing like a sour gass boiler. im not sure if there is a magic number, maybe i can afford to draw out more of the sulfur's cooling potential or maybe i should completely change the design of the looo, not entirely sure though.

 here's what the conveyor overlay looks like:

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Furthermore i still have one big questionmark, and im not even sure if it even is something that warrants concern. But i was hoping if someone could answer a little question on the temperatures in the boiler, but first off, here is the temperature overlay:

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as you can see there is a quick transition from really hot to really cold at the top. the last scorching tile at around 123 degrees goes to 0.8 degrees in the span of 4 vertical tiles.  Im not sure if this is the best way to go about things. Would a gradual drop in temperature prove to be more efficient in a sour gas boiler? or does it really matter at all?

I hope someone can shed some light on my questions so far, im still testing this and am planning to build it in one of my survival maps, i would hate to see it break somewhere down the line.

thanks in advance guys! i've added the save file in case anyone wants to take a look at the boiler.Antfarm.sav

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It certainly looks awesome, even if it's not the most efficient design around :)

The key to these things is of course to make the most effective counter flow heat exchangers as possible. Which is particularly hard because sour gas has an awful conductivity.

One simple change you could do is breaking up those long lines of metal tiles. Right now they're letting heat travel up and down the tower without passing through the gas. Ideally you want no conduction of heat along the length of the exchanger, only convection.

Edit: Yes a gradual drop in temperature would be better. Right now the metal tiles are keeping each sections temperature equalized. You basically have a 2 stage heat exchanger. The more stages the better.

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On 10/10/2020 at 7:53 PM, ghkbrew said:

It certainly looks awesome, even if it's not the most efficient design around :)

The key to these things is of course to make the most effective counter flow heat exchangers as possible. Which is particularly hard because sour gas has an awful conductivity.

One simple change you could do is breaking up those long lines of metal tiles. Right now they're letting heat travel up and down the tower without passing through the gas. Ideally you want no conduction of heat along the length of the exchanger, only convection.

Edit: Yes a gradual drop in temperature would be better. Right now the metal tiles are keeping each sections temperature equalized. You basically have a 2 stage heat exchanger. The more stages the better.

Ahh i see, the gradual temperature drop is kind of where i thought the tiles would help, but it's a little counterintuitive i guess. Ill fix that and see how it works out! Thanks! 

Would i also be better off removing the metal tiles lining the spaces where my gass pumps are? If i insulate it seems like the methane wont be able to shed all of its heat when it reaches the end of the radiant pipes. I could extend the lenght of radiant gass piping, but then i would cool the gass down to a point where the steam turbines cant really run... Unless not needing them would he a good thing. However thatd cool gass in an area close to where the petroleum comes in...which would be counterproductive. 

Unless its a simple design flaw and i just need to lengthen the channels for the sour gas to flow through? 

Would that also mean that since there is no more tiles equalizing temperatures, i'd technically put less of a strain on the cooling my AT's can provide and require less uptime? Since the only change in temperature is going to be gasses interacting with eachother?

Because if so i'm going to have to get back to endlessly tweaking my thermosensors and would even need to work with a different temperature for the petroleum i feed into the system. Right now the heat produced by the AT's and absorbed by petroleum kind of keep the temperature in the steam room stable. 

Sometimes i even wonder why i bother with sour gass boilers lmao.

Thanks for the tips though! 

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