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Concept build: Thermo regulators give LOX ~150Kg/Cycle


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Hi!

It has been a while since I've shared a build that is just for fun. Today we have the namesake of the title LOX via Thermo regulators (many). Equipment cooling is done by a steam turbine further down the line so that part is "unavoidable". This was done in my main base in survival, so no sandbox or debug (and definitely not a small build) ...

This is economical on early insulated insulation. (I wish we would call it abyssalite-composite but well...)

Can you do this with the classical AT/ST+supercoolant combo? Yes, indeed; we may actually see why this is recommended... Can this be done without space materials? Definitely, but some parts would need adjustments (insulation based insulated tiles were needed to keep the chiller small, and 8 insulated pipes + 2 bridges were also made of the stuff to pipe into the rocket silo, thermium was used because of "cooling" ).

So for the most part this is just a showcase of the array that could be needed to get this one going. The thermo regulators are made of thermium only because they are "cooled" with hot petroleum that goes around the rocket silo, so with proper cooling they could be made of steel... A lovely little plastic tile is under the first regulator from left to right to remind me of doing a boring AT/ST setup instead of this later...

The neat thing about this build is that production can likely be "dialed up" (more on that in a bit), but I really haven't done extensive testing on how much we can stress the chiller but it does take 1Kg/s chilled oxygen like a champ.

Needless to say, cooling in space needs a droplet of liquid with drywall to protect it and this is what enables the build so neatly: piping for thermo regulators is not completely on the bottom row as with aquatuners so this gives a no gas-piping zone for cooling and we can use any insulated gas piping we like.

If we compare this to a single oxylite refinery then we're leaving oxidizer production on the table: 1 refinery will produce 360kg of oxylite per cycle (@600 g/s) and will need 1200W for regular operation. This build will potentially consume 1550w if we include gas shutoffs and the mini liquid pump (even if we account for the extra efficiency of LOX it would be equivalent to 200Kg/cycle).

Oxylite will only get you so far...

Environment: Space/vacuum

Thermo regulators needed:

1 for oxygen liquefaction. (Automation safety temp is  -207ºC - hydrogen can go lower, but the chiller can freeze LOX if the thermo regulator is allowed to)

5 for each oxygen pre-chilling "module". (This is where we could ramp up production in theory...) These modules chill approximately 30Kg/cycle. (Automation safety temp is  -170ºC. Gas pipes will burst with thermo regulator-chilled oxygen starting at -171ºC)

Gas storage is done in reservoirs for when the liquid in the chiller runs out.

So, screenshots (click for larger image):

869785080_Concept1.thumb.png.b4d85b959a3d6a6d759c52ec03a677da.png1173737785_Concept1automation.thumb.png.4d165f8cc969c09b4f32fde2f655af23.png736254904_Concept1mineral.thumb.png.bed3111c4d167b6d7c04c1fe9b910e47.png1437077614_Concept1pipes.thumb.png.2a881a2a790b90f904bbe00459c534d9.png881431033_Concept1pipesscreenshotmode.thumb.png.4809f7b6bf1d1bac354ba49be0c32e44.png

 

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21 minutes ago, 0xFADE said:

I would run loops of hydrogen through thermo regulators to cool oxygen to liquid.  The hydrogen is more efficient in the regulator if nothing else.

That's pretty much what the condenser is doing at the left side of the build, I wanted to see how it worked for using the TR directly on the gas to be chilled, the building does lower the temperature by 14ºc for every packet "no questions asked" so heat transmission is taken out of the question when lowering the gas' temperature to a workable state. After the gas gets to the chiller it pretty much insta-condenses and the first TR (piped with hydrogen) doesn't work that much altogether.

I had daisy-chained the pre-coolers at first but that proved  to not work as well as much as feeding the exhaust into the input. This created the pre-cooler "module" which I think can be better used for gases that don't have much conductivity and may be troublesome to work with...

I would say liquid elements that have a large range between vaporization and solidification are perfect for this kind of setup/concept...

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I'm just rounding numbers here but since hydrogen has more than twice the heat capacity of oxygen you are only being half as efficient by cooling the oxygen inside the regulators than you would be cooling the hydrogen inside them.  A setup using the same amount of power but with hydrogen should be able to cool 300kg a cycle for example.

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Correct, then a different setup would be built (more metal tiles and such) .. I'm still rolling back the save as I continue looking into alt-builds (without going into mind-blowing extremes)

It has been rather entertaining though and got this off the offbeat builds I've imagined checklist.

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A heat exchanger like is used for most heat exchanging would probably do it.  You have cold hydrogen going through pipes in one direction and the oxygen going in another direction and you have some exchange material like diamond in 1x2 or 2x2 whatever sized sections separated by vacuum.  You end up with a smooth gradient based on how many exchangers you have where you can get the output material temperature very close to whatever you want.

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In this case I can only defend the compactness of the build. I'm currently testing a build with a heat exchanger design (debug mode to actually make it quick)

Notably I've left the condenser part out of the test, only the prechiller segment is tested. To keep it similar in dimensions a 16x8=128 tile limit for the prechiller is built... (Can be any shape, but I did the "same" rectangle. The original design does have space for 1 gas reservoir) This 128 tile area must contain piping, but not necessarily storage. Restraints on space needed for automation are flexible.

Preliminary results are that 500g/s are a walk in the park for 2 Thermo Regulators. This conforms to the 300Kg/Cycle that the power of the SHC of hydrogen gives us and the approximate result @0xFADE predicted.

TL;DR; recap: no AT/ST combo to cool/condense the oxygen. Doing pre-chilling tests with Thermo Regulators. Trying to leave as much space materials out, but optional for non essentials as in liquid cooling of the TR's is not included in the design considerations so anything is done.

 

Also, to be fair to the original build, the chosen cutoff temperature for the TR's is -170ºC

Ok, here are the temperature results for 600g/s (=360Kg @ -150ºC after 1 cycle)

1327179715_600gsfinalresult.thumb.png.42995cd323015621340d143d1057d07d.png

 

So, then, anywhere in between 500g/s and 550g/s should yield a more acceptable result of a -170ºC-ish output temperature.

Save file is included for playing with this test.

TestBed-TR precooler test.sav

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On 12/3/2020 at 1:14 PM, JRup said:

In this case I can only defend the compactness of the build.

Ooooh I want to play too :)

 

I think this is nearly pretty close to the theoretically minimum size build for a thermo regulator LOX setup:

1013023656_ThermoRegulatorLOX-Overview.thumb.png.b21d30759640788fec852bac0d04432a.png

With 5 thermo regulators cooling hydrogen, you can liquefy a maximum of ~770g/s of 27C oxygen.  This is running stably at 750g/s. You could even make the steam turbine self-cooling if you wanted to.

Overlays:

Spoiler

160633709_ThermoRegulatorLOX-Ventilation.thumb.png.5f0a30313d0e6528e64e12bdb2ab2471.png

1805480350_ThermoRegulatorLOX-plumbing.thumb.png.ecec3fdc090b4a749c5150ef078de51c.png

1266795638_ThermoRegulatorLOX-automation.thumb.png.23f162a69466d399ca9229d0955b8e54.png

 

 

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Hmm, interesting. We're not counting the hardware cooling towards the build so no biggie there (cooling buildings is a given assumption and not the focus atm).

And we've switched from the "pre-chiller" challenge directly to condensation, makes sense. Nice, I'll give it a shot.

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I came up with this curiosity, it is a 1kg/s cuasi-stable condenser. Starting gas temp is 40ºC

Only 3 thermo regulators are used as main condensers. Brine ice is used as a cold battery and the gas to chill is "stared down" by 2 tempshift plates. Once the oxygen condenses it is teleported to the chamber above, this is managed by the fourth TR to stabilize the chamber itself (any tile needs to be at acceptable temp for lox...). Once that's done there's not much to it.

The mini pump accounts for the case that should never happen.

It is almost stable because the ice's temperature will increase over time... But it does take cycles to do so.

 

No space material is actually necessary, Pretty much ceramic insulated & steel radiant pipes are the only of importance there. I had used a single insulation tile that pretty much was just for show.

Pardon the ugly piping work... Total area besides the gas valve/gas shutoff is 107 tiles.

1kg-s.thumb.png.37dcad82505c0ee443c58177cee5452d.png

 

619717851_Pipingoverlay.thumb.png.fa6e844653e8699b66fe7cca395dbd20.png

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1 hour ago, JRup said:

@ghkbrew: What did you use for the radiant piping on the thermo regulators?

The radiant gas pipes are steel. The liquid pipes are iron, but could be anything really.

I don't know why radiant gas pipes are made from ore, while radiant liquid pipes are refined metals.

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Oh I'm sad I missed this topic.  My last (pre-dlc) survival game I had no fullerine planets within oxylite range so I had to build a lox condenser using TRs.  This is what I came up with:

 

image.png.53703b5b87d25f0eab653bac76ef4340.png

 

The AT is for an ethanol pre-chilling heat exchanger, as you can get a lot more thermal transfer out of 10kg of liquid than 1kg of gas.

I was able to condense a full 1kg/s with this setup.

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