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Lossless Niobium Volcano Tamer


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If you have been following the Niobium Volcano In A Nutshell thread you may know most of this, but I wanted to make my own thread to put this build on display and for any further tweaks I might add to it.

The problem:

  • Niobium Volcanoes put out around 17T of 4000K niobium in about 75 seconds.
    • It spawns in at around 225kg increments.
  • Niobium solidifies into debris at or below 24kg. Above that, it solidifies into tiles.
  • Of course, digging those tiles deletes half of the mass, so I wanted to make a lossless tamer.
  • Pumps are an easy solution. But not as cool. This thing runs at full speed.

@wachunga observed that compressed liquid niobium of a certain height will drip at around 20kg every other step. If you put a heavy molten metal below this, such as tungsten at 4000K or gold at 2800K, you can turn the drips into liquid tiles which lets you cool them on the way down.

The only other thing to add was a two staged cooler so that you could cool it ahead of time and then only need a small amount of heat transfer to solidify the 20kg drops. Here's what the whole thing looks like in action.

JvDP2Rplok.thumb.gif.d9e5167c30128a258fbd89028f9a6834.gif

Some notes

  • The right door is to stop the flow and to let you clear extra mass.
  • The left door can be used to reset the resting mass of the tile above the liquid gold. This is necessary if you have weird freezing/melting while setting up that can put too high of a resting mass in that tile.
  • This might be hard to set up in a real game because you must heat the center coupling to around 2500C first. This is probably going to involve a bit of manual digging in that area, or making the column wider so that more niobium can accumulate. Or you can preheat it with molten steel in a refinery.
  • Water/steam is 1T per tile in buffers and about 900kg per tile in turbine chamber.
  • I used insulated insulation for this demonstration. You probably don't want to have insulated ceramic tiles next to 2500C diamond tiles because they will suck out some heat from the niobium, which might make it freeze. You can use vacuum instead. (The two next to the door in the video can just be diamond, like the gif.)
  • If you do have access to insulation, use that instead of the airflow tiles. They can melt if something goes wrong.


nakoNiobiumTamer.sav
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Nicely done.

Seems quite robust with the liquid dropping as cells rather than droplets. Both from the autosave and asteroid switching in your video and from a bit of load testing I did on my own. Not a big surprise in retrospect, tick based stuff behaving when frame based stuff is throwing a tantrum isn't exactly a new discovery.

I wish Klei would revert the "no drywall/plates behind tiles" change. I want to plaster tasteful memorials everywhere to help a bit with buffering the eruption. Self-cooling turbines being the goal, but that requires a huge amount of water. I know there is a mod, but the base game shouldn't be stupid.

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5 hours ago, wachunga said:

I wish Klei would revert the "no drywall/plates behind tiles" change.

I had planned a tamer that used a shift plate behind a vacuum air tile to separate the liquid and the coolant, when I remembered this change. 

It's still possible of course, but much more jagged now. 

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22 hours ago, nakomaru said:

If you have been following the Niobium Volcano In A Nutshell thread you may know most of this, but I wanted to make my own thread to put this build on display and for any further tweaks I might add to it.

The problem:

  • Niobium Volcanoes put out around 17T of 4000K niobium in about 75 seconds.
    • It spawns in at around 225kg increments.
  • Niobium solidifies into debris at or below 24kg. Above that, it solidifies into tiles.
  • Of course, digging those tiles deletes half of the mass, so I wanted to make a lossless tamer.
  • Pumps are an easy solution. But not as cool. This thing runs at full speed.

@wachunga observed that compressed liquid niobium of a certain height will drip at around 20kg every other step. If you put a heavy molten metal below this, such as tungsten at 4000K or gold at 2800K, you can turn the drips into liquid tiles which lets you cool them on the way down.

The only other thing to add was a two staged cooler so that you could cool it ahead of time and then only need a small amount of heat transfer to solidify the 20kg drops. Here's what the whole thing looks like in action.

...

My version of the development of the niobium volcano, built on the stream of the game.

 

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Would it not be much simpler to catch the niobium in a vacuum airflow tile tank and have dupes bottle it up with a pitcher pump? They would then deliver it to bottle emptiers inside a nearby steam room for cooling & power. In this way as long as the tank is big enough you could make a loss-less tamer that's much much less complex.

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11 minutes ago, Slavon Blue said:

Would it not be much simpler to catch the niobium in a vacuum airflow tile tank and have dupes bottle it up with a pitcher pump? They would then deliver it to bottle emptiers inside a nearby steam room for cooling & power. In this way as long as the tank is big enough you could make a loss-less tamer that's much much less complex.

I think this was more an excise in extreme fluid physics than a build for survival.  The easiest solution is probably a "tricked" pump:

But @nakomaru does enjoy mopping extremely hot fluids.

 

So this could be a fun solution too. :)

My question.  Could you use sweepy for that instead of dupe labor?

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15 minutes ago, Slavon Blue said:

Would it not be much simpler to catch the niobium in a vacuum airflow tile tank and have dupes bottle it up with a pitcher pump? They would then deliver it to bottle emptiers inside a nearby steam room for cooling & power.

I had a look at this. A single eruption (17T) will span about 21 tiles on flat surface.
image.thumb.png.403e4dd0450c170f8f50a5858581c813.png

Fortunately, there is no special restriction about mopping - it doesn't clump up in bigger amounts than your dupes can handle.
image.thumb.png.07e77ac50d46577c500a462d025eb275.png

The bottle emptier also outputs lower than 24kg increments. As long as you can provide enough cooling, you should have no problem with a manual solution.

image.thumb.png.ffb412b6689385bae2840968596fb993.png

Definitely a wonderful and simple solution for your first eruptions. Eventually, I would prefer to switch to a fully automatic method.

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3 minutes ago, nakomaru said:

The bottle emptier also outputs lower than 24kg increments. As long as you can provide enough cooling, you should have no problem with a manual solution.

image.thumb.png.ffb412b6689385bae2840968596fb993.png

Definitely a wonderful and simple solution for your first eruptions. Eventually, I would prefer to switch to a fully automatic method.

This should be activating the debris heat deleting bug.  So you'll probably need a lot less cooling than you might expect.

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8 minutes ago, ghkbrew said:

Could you use sweepy for that instead of dupe labor?

You need to pre cool the niobium to ~2600C first, but then it's no problem.
image.png.1eae77628eb88c93e499be624fb0ee2e.png

It should be easy to automate access to the bottle emptier too, so that you can adjust to whatever cooling capacity you have.

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The old trick of sweepers working on liquid metals still works.

image.png.25816de4b1b2917a404095ef8410607e.png

You can cool bottles but they stay as bottles. Once you empty them and they touch anything thermally they will solidify into debris. This will delete a stupid amount of heat per @ghkbrew's statement. If you empty them on the spot they will solidify into tiles (if above 24kg).

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I was screwing around with ideas for a design that doesn't require a precooler section. Ultimately I'm not happy with it, but I thought I'd share because other might find it interesting.

image.thumb.png.670dcce5998f27cdad91114231fa799f.png

The goal is to slow down debris formation in any given spot. When it is forming every other tick, the debris doesn't fall fast enough to avoid the next cell of liquid niobium. If the debris isn't cool enough, it can remelt. Sometimes a newly formed piece of debris will suck in a previous pile so you get 1 ~40kg bit instead of 2 ~20 kg bits. Both of these interactions can happen or not happen depending on the game speed. Essentially an unstable situation that will likely lead to a solid niobium block eventually forming.

By splitting the flow I was hoping to give the debris enough time to fall out of the way, avoiding both problematic interactions. The right side creates debris once every 6 ticks. Slow enough that it never forms 40kg or touch the next liquid niobium cell. Perfect. The left side creates once every 3 ticks. Good enough to avoid the 40kg problem but not the reheating. Kinda ok as the niobium can, in a nice consistent flow, be frozen enough to avoid remelting.

The problem is this stable pattern doesn't establish itself immediately. As the column is filling you sometimes get debris forming once every 2 ticks on either side. If you happen to get unlucky during this period, solid niobium ruins your day.

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