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Boreal Hydra Mk5 - Pre-Steel Compact Self Powered Cool Steam Vent Electrolyzer Setup


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The Boreal Hydra Mk5 is essentially a cool steam vent tamer plugged directly into a SPOM, something that sounds simple but turned out to be far more complex than I had initially thought. The system has to handle starting up when the geyser's active period starts, processing backlog at the beginning of dormancy, and going into standby mode for the rest of dormancy. For most of the system's operation, it will output oxygen at around 16°c, but near the end of the backlog processing it can get up to 26°c, with a long term average of 17.4°c. The system should be connected to an infinite storage, as while the oxygen getting backed up will not break the system, they can decrease it's efficiency and increase output temperature variation.

The entire system is pre-steel, and mostly uses lead as a refined metal, with some copper and a very small amount of refined gold. The steam turbine room and hydrogen generator room are filled with hydrogen. A thin layer of crude oil is at the bottom of the battery room, while the top part of that room is vacuum. The aquatuner room contains 3 tiles of crude oil at 400kg per tile. The two bypass vents each use 100g of crude oil. The submerged electrolyzers I used 30kg/tile of salt water and 10kg/tile of water for. A blueprint file is attached for those with the blueprint mod

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boreal hydra mk5.blueprint

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Regarding the infinite pressue 100% uptime electrolyzers, using salt water & water is unreliable.  You should consider changing the liquid to petrol & oil, as I found that using salt water & water led to issues after a long time, for some reason one of the liquids would mysteriously disappear, I suspect that the water slowly boiled away.  This happened consistently when these liquids were used.

I've used a setup with 10 electrolyzers with salt water & water and it happened randomly to different ones, regardless if I fill them with min/max amounts of liquid which would still enable infinite pressure.  Using oil & petrol solved this issue.

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What I see:

1. too complicated schema

2. teleportation cheat used (no way how to move steam from bottom to top)

3. electrolyzes flood cheat used (salt water + water on electrolyzer)

4. heater vs aquatuner pair

5. most probably only last hydrogen generator work

6. no need to connect gas pump automation to battery, pressure sensor enough. 

7. from my opinion, heavy-watt wires make it more complicated, better use normal wires (materials cheaper, and simplification because you may get rid of vacuum chambers).

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13 hours ago, Craigjw said:

Regarding the infinite pressue 100% uptime electrolyzers, using salt water & water is unreliable.  You should consider changing the liquid to petrol & oil, as I found that using salt water & water led to issues after a long time, for some reason one of the liquids would mysteriously disappear, I suspect that the water slowly boiled away.  This happened consistently when these liquids were used.

I've used a setup with 10 electrolyzers with salt water & water and it happened randomly to different ones, regardless if I fill them with min/max amounts of liquid which would still enable infinite pressure.  Using oil & petrol solved this issue.

I've not had an issues with salt water and water for over 400 cycles of testing. I think that if you used the oxygen area as an infinite storage, the heat could eventually boil water, but this design does not store oxygen there for other reasons, which may avoid it. Certain ways that hydra setups break can also permanently displace some liquids, which may also cause a similar issue. That said, oil and petroleum are perfectly suitable substitutes if you have issues with water disappearing.

10 hours ago, degr said:

What I see:

1. too complicated schema

2. teleportation cheat used (no way how to move steam from bottom to top)

3. electrolyzes flood cheat used (salt water + water on electrolyzer)

4. heater vs aquatuner pair

5. most probably only last hydrogen generator work

6. no need to connect gas pump automation to battery, pressure sensor enough. 

7. from my opinion, heavy-watt wires make it more complicated, better use normal wires (materials cheaper, and simplification because you may get rid of vacuum chambers).

1. The schematic is what it is, there are many constraints that lead to such complexity. If you have a simpler way that handles all the issues, please do inform me so I may improve the design.

2. Bypass pump mechanics are a result of the single element per tile engine, and are at worst an intended exploit, not a cheat.

3. Same as 2.

4. This is intended, the tepidizer injects heat at the start of an active period to warm the steam up enough that the turbine can begin running, thus supplying the electrolyzers, which then takes over heat generation. 

5. All three generators run no problem, you can chain inputs just fine as long as you have more supply than demand.

6. It's a small power optimization, from when I wasn't sure if the system was self powering. 

7. Heavy watt wires do make it more complicated, but are required due to the peak power draw being much higher than 2kw, and transformers are more complicated than just running heavy watt wire. 

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The main issue I have with the set up is that it is extremely few CSVs that output 2kg/s average to saturate the electrolyzers. Fewer still that output 2kg/s and have low enough eruption output that 2 corner swap pumps are enough. Even fewer that on top of those requirements will not overpressure the vents in the corner swap pumps during an eruption period. Finding a CSV that can fit these requirements is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. A rough estimate would be one in 40000 CSVs fulfil those requirements.

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22 hours ago, Saturnus said:

The main issue I have with the set up is that it is extremely few CSVs that output 2kg/s average to saturate the electrolyzers. Fewer still that output 2kg/s and have low enough eruption output that 2 corner swap pumps are enough. Even fewer that on top of those requirements will not overpressure the vents in the corner swap pumps during an eruption period. Finding a CSV that can fit these requirements is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. A rough estimate would be one in 40000 CSVs fulfil those requirements.

You don't need nearly that level of selection in CSVs. Saturating the electrolyzers is not necessary and anything near or above 2kg/s is likely to result in potential issues, but luckily such geysers are very rare. Two bypass pumps in testing have been able to handle over 6kg/s of output easily, so again geysers exceeding the capacity of the system will be rare, and won't break the system, only reduce the output slightly. The vents in the bypass pumps do not overpressure ever with liquids, the steam is simply displaced upwards. I've tested this system with over a dozen CSVs, none were even close to having any issues. The only selection criteria necessary is avoiding geysers above around 1.98kg/s of average output, which will be very few geysers.

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12 hours ago, Hjoyn said:

The vents in the bypass pumps do not overpressure ever with liquids, the steam is simply displaced upwards.

That's not the point. Liquid vent are blocked by pressure above 1000kg/tile. It doesn't matter it that pressure is from liquid or gas.

I have that issue with roughly between 2/3rds and 3/4th of all CSVs when I try to use a single ST to harvest the output. It takes a very feeble CSV well below the average 1400g/s average to work with a single ST.

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8 hours ago, Saturnus said:

That's not the point. Liquid vent are blocked by pressure above 1000kg/tile. It doesn't matter it that pressure is from liquid or gas.

I have that issue with roughly between 2/3rds and 3/4th of all CSVs when I try to use a single ST to harvest the output. It takes a very feeble CSV well below the average 1400g/s average to work with a single ST.

So you are right that it can possibly overpressure, but in testing the threshold was about 3000kg/tile, which very few if any CSVs should be capable of producing in this system. Due to the narrow area for gas above the vents, it actually takes about 3000kg/tile in the main chamber for the steam to move down fast enough for the tile the vent is in to reach 1000kg before another packet of water displaces the steam back up. Worst case, if this does cause a failure, the geyser should overpressure, so you won't lose much heat, which can later be recaptured. That said, it may be worth using naphtha instead of crude oil in the bypass pumps as a result. What I meant by "with liquids" is that if the water went above boiling in the pipes, it would exit and flash instantly, and result in the steam being able to overpressure the vent. Feel free to take the blueprint and test this for yourself, but I've tested it for a full dormancy active dormancy active cycle on a 1.76kg/s CSV, with no issues.

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That looks way to complex for pre-steel.  Pre-steel you are still trying to survive and expand.  Being lucky enough to get any plastic to make a steam turbine pre-steel sounds even more unlikely.

But other than that the design is impressive.  Lots of high level mechanics going on.

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While i DO like the build, i also agree that it was an over-engineered thing :D.

And yes, if you have access to plastic, you should also have access to steel, since both oil/fossil can be found inside the oil biome, but it makes no difference since the aquatuner won't go above 175C.

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It's not too difficult to get plastic reasonably early, I normally just dig a deep hole to find some oil and make a few bits of plastic from that, although it does require a fair amount of repairing of the broken stuff.  Normally, this is enough to make a few steam turbines to get me up and running.

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Dreckos are an easy source of plastic available very early in the game, and you only need a very small amount for this build. 

While the build is quite complex, the complexity is required to achieve the goals of the build, which was outputting oxygen at a stable temperature while not requiring any player intervention throughout the active/dormant cycle of the geyser, all in a relatively compact build. If someone has a simpler way to achieve the same functions, I'd love to know as I'm always interested in improving my designs. A CSV SPOM sounds quite simple, but the need to handle active/dormant cycles without tripling the size of the build introduced necessary complexity. 

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I quite like this build. If you build both the SPOM and CSV handling separately, they're going to take much more space overall.

The only thing I'd change about this build is to remove the tepidizer and add an external power supply so that the O2 temperature can be maintained during the downtime of the CSV.

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Using the submerged electrolyser, this kind of thing seems to happen every once in a while.122735642_wronggas.thumb.png.c11ecdb68899ca1399d5a339703f91b7.png

I'm not sure what causes this. Luckily, my O2 infinite storage wasn't corrupted with Hydrogen and my generators did not receive any O2, however my Hydrogen infinite storage, as you can see, is busted.

I've had this happen time and time again with other attempts at using overpressure submerged electrolyser design.

It's best to add filters to the pump outputs.  Generally, I don't care if Hydrogen gets into my oxygen supply, but I really don't want O2 in my hydrogen supply, as it means my sealed off generators need fixing and unsealing them is a headache.

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12 hours ago, Craigjw said:

This issue has something to do with loading the game.

This is taken in pause after the game has just loaded.  It was setup correctly when saving.

I just saw a hydra with some save/load protection over in this thread. Essentially, they have a pixel pack on the same electric circuit and only enable the electrolyzers when a watt sensor reads above 9W. IE: only when (at least) the pixel pack is drawing power.

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