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Airlock for the bottom of the ocean?


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So, how do you deal with this situation?

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I've fiddled with various designs for building an airlock to access a large body of water, but so far I'm pretty unhappy with all of them. They're just slow, and prone to flooding. I've built plenty of air-pumped mechanical airlocks, and those work because gas pumps are pretty fast (500 g/s) compared to typical air leakage as the door opens (typically 400g or less). Fluid pumps simply cannot keep up with the amount of water that transfers as an airlock door opens.

Waterlocks flood due to the pressure on the other side. You can do some corner teleport exploits, but I'd rather not do that.

I guess you could set up some sort of door-powered pump, but I don't have any experience with building those.

Incidentally, the pump you see here isn't the one that clears leakage - that's off screen. This pump is just to supply salt water for desalination.

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Moon pool for RP value.

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Some amount of liquid will flow out whenever the door opens so power the door. The taller the U bend, the less comes out. Depending on usage rate, stick a hydro sensor in the sump to prevent access if the pump can't keep up.

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I wasn't aware that molar mass was an absolute block to pressure. Not really all that useful prior to reaching the oil biome if the other side is salt water. Which it usually is if you're dealing with an ocean.

Still, good to know. While this screenshot is of an airlock I implemented early in the game, I do have a second, even more frustrating underwater lock near the bottom of the map. Basically at the bottom of a large tank of water accumulated there as I cleared out areas. Oil would have worked there.

"Moon pool" is really what I was shooting for, but I didn't know that the height of the column of water on the right reduced the water flow.

 

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3 minutes ago, Gus Smedstad said:

I wasn't aware that molar mass was an absolute block to pressure.

Sorry, my first post claimed molar mass mattered, but after that I tested both ways and it's okay. Just put a stable (i.e. small) amount of any unique liquid in that configuration and it will be okay.

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Ah... the memories have resurfaced.. I remember having to painstakingly build this underwater to renovate and make some power extension with a vacuum (seen right with the sculpture no dupe will appreciate - ever). In short, I worked from right to left... pumping little blobs of liquid and building tiles around to later deconstruct and preserve a vacuum...

(Yes, I'm a save file clutterbug - But I tidy up from time to time, having more than 20 to look back is crazy... So I store the prior 160 saves elsewhere)

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The final result of that endeavor was this:

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I tried making a taller, "moon pool" type entrance for my airlock near the bottom of the map, and accidentally ended up stacking two regular water tiles on one side, forming an absolute barrier.

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I also tried adding a horizontal airlock door as a cap in my older airlock. This was surprisingly effective. Leakage is now about 2kg per door opening, which a liquid pump can handle easily.

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The water against the door looks worse than it is in this screenshot; it's a stack of a few grams of regular water, and 200 kg of seawater.

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