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Fradow

The Self-Powered Petroleum Well

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Fradow    187

While filling the wiki for some Unusual uses of game mechanisms, Oil Wells and the 10% of pipes mechanisms piqued my interest.
This is not really new but nobody seemed to really dig that and a commenter even said “Not worth the effort”. Oh boy, were they wrong (though obviously, that kinda depend on your definition of “effort”).

Presenting the self-powered Petroleum Well:
807571468_PetroleumWellRunning.thumb.gif.8cbe4fee89341e991e5f8185b56a90c5.gif

Warning: this is a pre-mergedown build. With mergedown, gas weight is going to change, and a slight rework will be needed for Natural Gas / Steam separation. Turns out Steam being lighter with mergedown was a bug, which has been fixed since then.


What makes that possible

Apart from the 10% of pipes mechanism, in pursuit of making the build self-powered, like REALLY self-powered, including the heat source, all pumps and the Oil Well itself, we have to know what we are dealing with.
This rests on the fact that you transform 1kg/s of water at 4.179 SHC into 3.33kg/s of crude oil at 1.69 SHC, or the equivalent of 5.628 SHC. Hotter water means more heat creation.

Since we are dealing with temperatures above 125°C, heat = power, thanks to Steam Turbines.

How does it translate into power? Well, heating 1kg/s water from 95°C to 550°C (number explained later) takes 1 900kDTU/s, while cooling Petroleum from 535°C (again, number explained later) to 125°C takes 2 400kDTU/s. This means we can heat incoming water with outgoing petroleum and still have about 600kDTU/s, or about 600W, left over for operations. That's going to be our absolute limit for everything. It's not a lot, so that means squeezing every last drip of power and optimizing everywhere possible.

The Oil Well itself also produces 33.3g/s of 300°C Nat Gas, which can be used as well. It’s pretty negligible though, as it only accounts for 12kDTU/s when cooled down to 125°C.

Now on the power consumption side, no matter how you build the setup, you need:
- 95% Oil Well uptime => 228W. It’s the average uptime once you factor in backpressure release.
- 32% Liquid Pump uptime => 77W. You could do without with some atmosphere heat exchanger, but since it has to be pumped anyway for a Petroleum Generator, there is no point optimizing there
- 6% Gas Pump uptime => 15W
- Liquid Shutoff => 10W (required to inject 10% packets)

That’s about 330W of baseline power consumption, before you factor in a heat source.
As for heat source, unless you use the Core / a volcano (or other niche heat sources), the obvious choice is a Thermium Aquatuner. This particular variant of the build requires some space materials and the self-powered part isn’t possible without (unless you don’t factor the heat source in), plus a few other things require Thermium anyway (or would need to be more complex to cool elements before pumping them).

That means you have about 270W available for an Aquatuner and the accompanying Tepidizer needed to get rid of excess cooling (since the Aquatuner is used as a heat source, cooling need to be eliminated somehow). Spoiler alert: it’s possible.

A big inconvenience is that, while water doesn’t exchange heat with Natural Gas in the Oil Well internal storage, outgoing crude oil does exchange heat with the natural gas before being ejected. This puts a hard limit on how efficient the setup can get.

 

Build presentation

822960656_Petroleumwellannotated.thumb.png.11ce3a28981b21ec959277304ec91f5e.png

101590421_PetroleumWellRunningliquids.thumb.gif.3ee25939ec7a0d135d056e8f7a79962d.gif

376327168_Petroleumwellautomation.thumb.png.d689ad3f968bf7b1559701825c8df758.png

633877899_Petroleumgaspipes.thumb.png.dcc43300d1efc1fb6a99aa6405dea09e.png


A lot of small details need to be done right to have a functioning and optimized build:

- Oil Well return feed: a 10% liquid injector is required especially as the Oil Well backpressure can only be relieved when there is liquid over the input pipe (even if it’s not used): if there is no liquid, the Dupe gets stuck mid-animation and nothing is done.
- Handling Steam that forms on load: while it doesn’t break anything, Steam will form when you reload. A well placed split-turbine can gulp that down for free and generate power in the process. Some automation is required so that Steam is never pumped.
- Extracting all the power: margins are very close, you really need to extract all the heat from the outgoing Petroleum/Nat Gas. This requires 2.5 Steam Turbines. One less turbine to make the build more compact works, but you’ll have a hotter output (around 140/145°C) and not enough power, losing the “self-powered” part.
1723119708_Petroleumwellgas.thumb.png.164b4e738511ec188b7ea53c25e3f11d.png- Insulating the heat exchanger from the Oil Well: to have water as hot as possible exit from the heat exchanger, the last Petroleum tile should be as hot as possible. This means insulating it from the Oil Well room. A perfect solution is a 1g Chlorine layer below the Mesh Tile (don’t put it in the Mesh Tile, otherwise it will break on load). A liquid-gas bypass could probably have been used as well, but I didn’t try it.
- Heat Exchanger length: one layer is not enough, even with Thermium/Aluminium (unless it's much longer). Three layers is too efficient and loose some power because it pulses Steam Turbines too often. Two layers is a sweet-spot, and that width is more than enough: there isn't a lot of heat capacity to be exchanged here (a lot less than in a 10kg/s Petroleum Boiler)
- Clearance: since Oil Well are in the Oil Biome, just above the Core, clearance will be limited. This is the minimum you can get to keep the build self-powered. You can sacrifice some aspects to gain on clearance, I talk about that later.

 

Result

With this build, there is about 16% Aquatuner uptime and 3% Tepidizer uptime, which translates to about 220W. That means about 50W of spare power.

In practice, since some heat is transferred to Natural Gas, which is only released every few cycles, the build is slowly loosing power during operation, and there is a spike of power that recharges batteries during and just after Backpressure release. That's why there are several Jumbo Batteries (although that much is overkill, but since they are power positive with Steam Turbines anyway, why not).

This spare power is a nice safety margin, and I don't recommend trying to use it for something else. It would be more trouble than it's worth.

 

Materials

For this build, I’ve chosen to use Space Materials, which makes it much easier:
- The Aquatuner obviously needs to be Thermium to go up to 550°C. This could be replaced by another heat source pre-space, and remove the Tepidizer in the process (which isn't used all that much anyway).
- Since a Thermium AT is used, it makes sense to use Supercoolant. Obviously, the cooling loop could be Polluted Water as well, at the detriment of power usage.
- The Gas Pump needs to be Thermium as well because Nat Gas is well over 300°C. It's possible to do without by using a Liquid-Gas bypass and cooling Nat Gas before pumping it, but that would alter the design and make it more bulky.
- Everything insulated is made out of Ceramic, in an effort to cut down on space materials
- The Liquid Pump is Thermium, but could be made out of Steel since the Petroleum is below 275°C (at least on this variant, and all variants that are efficient enough)
- The Mesh Tile should be made out of Gold Amalgam to get up to operating temperature faster (lowest SHC)
- Everything radiant was made out of Gold, and could be replaced by Iron or Copper. Note that even using Thermium, 1 layer of that size is not enough to get the build self-powered.
- Anything that overheats should be made out of Steel. Everything that doesn’t is made out of Gold or Gold Amalgam and can safely be replaced by Iron or Copper. Lead should be avoided because a lot of parts go higher than 330°C.


Priming the build

There are a few details to take care when building the setup:
- 1g Chlorine (or any lower) must be injected at the right place. There is space for a vent, but it should ideally be done after there is already an atmosphere in the Oil Well room. Use a combination of Valve, Shut-off and Timer to do that.
- Transitioning from Crude Oil to Petroleum: the Petroleum will push the Crude oil up to the last cell of the first layer, but won’t be able to push the last one. Mopping is required on that last cell. You’ll also need to mop the second layer, otherwise petroleum will stay on top of Crude Oil. This is the reason why the heat exchanger is Dupe-accessible. You’ll also need to separate Crude Oil from Petroleum. A Shut-off left in is a good safety option.
- Until it’s up to operating temperature, an external power source is needed. It can be removed once it’s up to operating temperature, as long as the build doesn't stop. For safety, I encourage you to leave it connected.
- The heat source should be at 540°C for safety before being at operating temperature. Once it is, you can crank it up a bit until your first cell of Petroleum is around 530°C/535°C. Don’t go too high or you’ll have Sour Gas to deal with. While this particular build is at 550°C, other less efficient builds were as high as 570°C to get Petroleum at the right temperature.

 

What about clearance/space?

If you have a lower clearance from the Core, or want to use less space, there are a few trade-offs that can be made at the cost of performance. Any of those trade-offs will give up the “self-powered” part:
- Reducing to 2 Steam Turbines will have Petroleum / Nat Gas exiting at around 140/145°C, losing about 100W.
- You can actually reduce to 1 Steam Turbine and move the 2 others off-site. This means less cooling used up and slightly more Tepidizer uptime.
- You can sacrifice the insulating Chlorine to gain 2 cells of clearance and make the build easier to prime. Make the Petroleum flow right of the Mesh Tile rather than under it.
- You can sacrifice one layer to gain 3 cells of clearance. Even if you use a Thermium/Aluminium, this will greatly impact performance
- On the other hand, if you have more space, a left-to-right staircase would multiply heat because of this bug, making the build more power-positive.

 

Other possible builds

While I’m not going to pursue other builds, I encourage you to try variations using the same principle:
- A pre-space build could be made. Edit: I made it! See below in the comments for the Pre-space Petroleum Well. It’s going to be a bit more bulky (especially to pre-cool nat gas so that a Steel gas pump can pump it), and require an external heat source (core, volcano, metal refinery …).
- You can superheat the water much higher (up to Thermium limit) and get Sour Gas. This will result in a very different build.
- As you might have guessed, Electrolyzers are also prone to superheated water, and will delete a fair amount of heat. It remains to be seen if this is more efficient than an ATST.

 

Conclusion

While it was a fun experiment to design around all those details, I don't think this build will become mainstream. It's a bit complicated, use Space Materials and need some attention for priming.

It can fill a niche where you want to tame a single Oil Well and avoid doing a 3.33kg/s Petroleum Boiler (perhaps on DLC?), but if you want to have 10kg/s Petroleum output , you'll probably be best served by doing some simple Oil Well tamers and a single Petroleum Boiler, rather than 3 Petroleum Wells.

Here is the save file that was used to take the screenshots:

Petroleum Well Demo.sav

Petroleum well final.png

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NeoDeusMachina    547
2 hours ago, Fradow said:

While it was a fun experiment to design around all those details, I don't think this build will become mainstream. It's a bit complicated, use Space Materials and need some attention for priming.

And it was a fun read! As you said, I do not think this will become the mainstream build, but great job crunching numbers and creating something like this! I am always impressed by people's creativity and craftsmanship.

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Saturnus    3781

Unless you have the irregular oil world trait then oil wells are always near a geothermal heat source, so I'd definitely design the build with that in mind, and you don't have to use space materials to pump hot liquids either. So if we can do this without any space materials, a tad more compact, and using a geothermal heat source then this is definitely a winner over any petrol boiler.

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gabberworld    295

my setup is simpler than this, in volcano map i have there crude oil geyser, at there i run pump with lead liquid what heat the crude oil to petroleum. lead heat comes from magma

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Fradow    187
1 hour ago, Saturnus said:

Unless you have the irregular oil world trait then oil wells are always near a geothermal heat source, so I'd definitely design the build with that in mind, and you don't have to use space materials to pump hot liquids either. So if we can do this without any space materials, a tad more compact, and using a geothermal heat source then this is definitely a winner over any petrol boiler.

Yes definitely doable, the main challenge is going to be pumping the 300°C+ Nat Gas. You have to cool it first because, as far as I know, you can't pump hot gas like you can with hot liquids.

There are several disadvantages over a petroleum boiler that makes me believe it won't outright replace it:

  • you need to do one per Oil Well, rather than a 10kg/s Petroleum Boiler for 3 Oil Wells
  • bad Oil Well placement can make the build very complicated because part of it has to be in the Core
  • it's not super efficient compared to a good old large heat exchanger, because of the detail of Crude Oil exchanging heat with the Nat Gas. At best, the setup using 3 layers got to 10% AT usage, which is 100kDTU/s, which is the equivalent of a 300kDTU/s. Not too bad, but you can't do much better, and the placement can totally prevent that

 

I spent a lot of time on this build, so I'm not going to push it further for now, but I'll definitely be interested if anyone manages to refine it or make a pre-space version.

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NeoDeusMachina    547
48 minutes ago, Fradow said:

Yes definitely doable, the main challenge is going to be pumping the 300°C+ Nat Gas. You have to cool it first because, as far as I know, you can't pump hot gas like you can with hot liquids.

Some oil well setup work with the principle that you let 1 tile height of oil accumulate and let the nat. gas pressure rise to, say, 20kg. The idea is to add thermal mass and normally, the nat. gas gets cooled down by the oil that is at a much lower temperature as it comes out of the well. Is there a way to tailor your design around this principle?

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psusi    326

Wait, you are pumping <= 1kg of water that is > 100 C into the oil well and that's working now?  I swear that used to not work because the water has to sit in a tank in the well rather than being consumed instantly, and if it sits there and is > 100 C, it turned to steam and was released from the well.

 

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Fradow    187
3 hours ago, NeoDeusMachina said:

Some oil well setup work with the principle that you let 1 tile height of oil accumulate and let the nat. gas pressure rise to, say, 20kg. The idea is to add thermal mass and normally, the nat. gas gets cooled down by the oil that is at a much lower temperature as it comes out of the well. Is there a way to tailor your design around this principle?

That's one of the possible ways to deal with hot nat gas yes. There are several ways. I can't tell which one is going to be the best until I try them out.

1 hour ago, psusi said:

Wait, you are pumping <= 1kg of water that is > 100 C into the oil well and that's working now?  I swear that used to not work because the water has to sit in a tank in the well rather than being consumed instantly, and if it sits there and is > 100 C, it turned to steam and was released from the well.

 

You need a return feed, but otherwise yes, the Oil Well internal storage is perfectly insulated and will happily keep 10kg of 500°C+ Water.

I can't comment on how it was in the past. It's definitely possible it has been changed.

On the other hand, some Steam is released on load. I don't know the why exactly, but it happens without fail at every load, at least on my computer and at that temperature (someone trying with Sour Gas reported not seeing Steam on load).

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DimaB77    109

 

14 hours ago, gabberworld said:

my setup is simpler than this

With statements like that, it would be appropriate to post your version.

 

15 hours ago, Saturnus said:

using a geothermal heat source...

...it would be another oil cooking scheme. The meaning of the scheme in autonomy (it is unlikely to be used in practice, but as an idea is interesting)

And I am interested in the idea, and as I finish the current business, I plan to complete it.
 

Spoiler

I have a lot of schemes that don't make sense at first glance. For example this one:

1560063713__2__.thumb.png.b8ea6bbff84f52d68d54eb9853de7053.png

 

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gabberworld    295
31 minutes ago, DimaB77 said:

 

With statements like that, it would be appropriate to post your version.

 

pretolium.thumb.png.8562b49cfccdab65e637a88b5e5f08c0.png

thats been running atleast 5000 - 6000 cycles

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Saturnus    3781
3 minutes ago, Cairath said:

And how is that self-powered..? Because Fradow's is.

Nevermind that. I don't even see where the oil well is in that picture. I see an oil fissure, sure, but oil well? I must be going blind.

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Cairath    1010
4 minutes ago, Saturnus said:

Nevermind that. I don't even see where the oil well is in that picture. I see an oil fissure, sure, but oil well? I must be going blind.

That too :P

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gabberworld    295
12 minutes ago, Cairath said:

And how is that self-powered..? Because Fradow's is.

petroleum is transfered to steam turbines what generates power. i could add there 1 steam turbine but as i need transfer petroleum away anyway i not see that i need build that at there

4 minutes ago, Cairath said:

That too :P

i told that i have simpler version i not tell what i use, lol

 

self powered? i could just add there also 1 dupe with generator as this setup almost not use power at all

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Fradow    187

@Prince Mandor Split-turbine is an option, sure. It wasn't warranted here because the build is self-powered without resorting to that. It would be a good way to extract a bit more power if needed (for example if you want to shorten the heat exchanger while retaining the self-powered part), at the cost of extra complexity/space.

The Tepidizer is used because there is excess cooling due to the Aquatuner being used as a heat source. It's just a very practical low complexity, low power, low space solution that's often used. As someone already pointed out to me on Discord, you could instead dump extra cooling on the outgoing petroleum. You'll need a temperature control mechanism to avoid heating your coolant too much, and for 30W of Tepidizer usage, I didn't care to optimize that part, frankly.

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Prince Mandor    192
1 minute ago, Fradow said:

@Prince Mandor Split-turbine is an option, sure. It wasn't warranted here because the build is self-powered without resorting to that. It would be a good way to extract a bit more power if needed (for example if you want to shorten the heat exchanger while retaining the self-powered part), at the cost of extra complexity/space.

The Tepidizer is used because there is excess cooling due to the Aquatuner being used as a heat source. It's just a very practical low complexity, low power, low space solution that's often used. As someone already pointed out to me on Discord, you could instead dump extra cooling on the outgoing petroleum. You'll need a temperature control mechanism to avoid heating your coolant too much, and for 30W of Tepidizer usage, I didn't care to optimize that part, frankly.

90W split turbine, 30W tepidizer - this small watts adds and allow some more optimized designs in future. I asked just to be sure I do not miss something important

Ok, thank you for great idea

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Fradow    187

After a disagreement with @Saturnus over if a pre-space variant could become a mainstream and replace petroleum boilers altogether (or at least become a credible alternative that have some real advantages), I'm happy to announce I was wrong and, as @Saturnus predicted, you can actually build a simple pre-space variant.

Presenting the Pre-space Petroleum Well

275309667_pre-spacepetroleumwellmk1.thumb.png.8011fae5f7421b6d167c9319c7569e8d.png1665568960_pre-spacepetroleumwellmk1pipes.thumb.png.21072d65b8fbbf440f5074d4ed69b8fe.png

Warning: this is a hastily thrown-together build, with tons of improvement potential. I realize that, but wanted to get something out quickly.

The main advantage is that you can build each Petroleum Well as you go, instead of doing 3 Oil Well tamers + a 10kg/s Pet boiler at once.

This variant was kept simple on purpose (no waterfall, no bead pump etc... really nothing that I personally consider "advanced"), and the self-powered part was thrown out of the window, as well as efficiency which was NOT a goal of this build. It should remain quite efficient, but I'm pretty sure the heat usage is going to be quite high, because of heat exchange with Oil Well internal Natural Gas.

No space material was used for this build: no supercoolant, no visco-gel, no thermium. Any overheating building is made out of Steel, the rest is the same as the previous build.

The main contribution is from @ghkbrew: a vertical liquid airlock placed on the third cell from the left of the Oil Well will separate the Nat Gas/Steam from the Crude Oil output. This removes the need for a Chlorine insulation layer and allow saving one additional cell of clearance.

Important: the heat exchanger cannot begin in the Mesh tile. That's because if you do so, heat will be exchanged with the bottom of the airlock, and low liquid density airlocks will break because of beads (though that last part can be prevented by using 30kg Naphtha).

Here, heat is not extracted from the outgoing Petroleum. This heat extraction should be done in a central facility (for example in your Petroleum Generators room), rather than built on each Petroleum Well, simplifying the build a bit.

All 3 vertical locks are Naphta + Petroleum.

Like the previous build, it was tested for backpressure release and reload, and handle both very well. Here, the Steam is pumped by a gas pump, and ejected in the Steambox. The liquid vent atmo sensor was taken down to under 18kg so that the high pressure vent can always eject Steam without overpressuring or using a tricking liquid.

The Oil Well room is kept at around 125°C thanks to the diamond tiles celling, in order to keep the Gas Pump cool. There are several Atmo Sensors at over 2kg/cell to keep a cold atmosphere even during Steam/Nat gas formation, and be able to properly detect that pumping is needed even with a mixed atmosphere.

The Liquid Pump is activated over 500kg to smooth the petroleum temperature even during backpressure release. It should stay under 275°C without issue.

 

As for the Steam Turbines, they can actually be self-cooled, as the cooling needs are very low (since Petroleum is not cooled there). You could probably have a single one as well.

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DimaB77    109
4 hours ago, gabberworld said:

thats been running atleast 5000 - 6000 cycles

Fradow, proposes (I do not know if it works or not) a circuit that works without external heat sources. You are heating oil through magma.

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OxCD    767
4 hours ago, gabberworld said:

i told that i have simpler version i not tell what i use, lol

self powered? i could just add there also 1 dupe with generator as this setup almost not use power at all

OP's build is locally self-powered, your's not. OP's build is using an oil-well, your's not. OP's build is using heat from AT, your's not.

The point is not whether your build is more effective, more simple, or else. As your build has nothing in common, it just feels inappropriate to compare it in any way to Fradow's.

@Fradow the pre-space version is getting very interesting :applause:

Did you think about waterfall and/or stairs exchanger, following the recent long post from you that has been studied by the community ? Isn't there any possibility to get more compact and maybe more efficient heat exchanger ?

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gabberworld    295
3 minutes ago, OxCD said:

OP's build is locally self-powered, your's not. OP's build is using an oil-well, your's not. OP's build is using heat from AT, your's not.

 

question is to you actually need something like that in normal play?

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Saturnus    3781
1 minute ago, OxCD said:

Did you think about waterfall and/or stairs exchanger, following the recent long post from you that has been studied by the community ? Isn't there any possibility to get more compact and maybe more efficient heat exchanger ?

Vertical height under the oil well can be a problem so I think he just left the original heat exchanger in there because it was easier, and already worked.

I've suggested a micro-Z heat exchanger on Discord for those that have more vertical height under the oil well to play with. A pure waterfall exchanger will not be practically possible except in a few cases where the oil well is situated very near the top of the oil biome. 

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Fradow    187
6 minutes ago, OxCD said:

@Fradow the pre-space version is getting very interesting :applause:

Did you think about waterfall and/or stairs exchanger, following the recent long post from you that has been studied by the community ? Isn't there any possibility to get more compact and maybe more efficient heat exchanger ?

Thanks!

The heat exchanger has not seen a lot of attention on this build. It's just a quickly slapped together snaking layers, that's easy to build and have the advantage of very low vertical space, which is generally going to be a determining factor for Oil Wells, since they are generally close to the Core.

If you have enough space, a Z or 7-shape would perform just as well. There are cases where you'll be restricted on the sides but have a bit more clearance downward: in those cases it will make a lot of sense to build on of those.

I can't really see a lot of situations where you'd want a waterfall: waterfall use too much vertical space, which is going to be at a premium when you are so close to the Core.

Edit: ninja-ed by Saturnus...

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