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Berry Sludge Factory - self-sustaining micro base with no external input (but wild plants)


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I'd like to present to you the Berry Sludge Factory - a small 33x15, self-sustaining base that can hold 0-2 duplicants, up to 1.1 duplicant, on average, with deep diver's lungs and diver's lungs (25g O2/s each). Duplicants are fed with berry sludge. It produces a bit of excess hydrogen and dirt and slowly amasses berry sludge and oxygen that can be used up when the second duplicant visits. The purpose of this base is to provide shelter on unhospitable asteroids in Spaced Out (such as the lava one) and produce berry sludge with its infinite shelf life. However, it works just as well in the base game. I ran the base on maximum speed for around 300 cycles so far with no issues.

Here is the base:

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Rooms

The base has a bedroom with jet suit checkpoint (oxygen provided, petroleum not provided), a great hall/kitchen, a washroom, and barracks for an extra duplicant. It also has rooms with manual generator, cooling system, oxygen system, wild plant farms and other machinery.

Power

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Power is provided by manual generator, however, it is advisable to add some external power before everything stabilizes. External power is also needed if there is no duplicant present. The base seems to be using below 100W on average, though it has large spikes on top of that when the cooling runs.

Food

The food is berry sludge. With 8 wild bristle blossoms and 6 wild sleet wheat, it drops enough food to feed, on average, 1.135 duplicant with berry sludge with a tiny bit of bristle berry left. Berry sludge will slowly accumulate on the ground if there won't be enough place in the fridge.

Harvesting bristle berry by a duplicant causes quite a bit of it to be left over. There is no option of harvesting sleet wheat by a duplicant. Harvested sleet wheat and bristle berries are kept deep frozen in CO2 (to prevent any spoilage) and moved by auto-sweeper to microbe musher when needed. There is also an option of moving it to an electric grill or fridge. It is possible to change the automation to stop supplying microbe musher when the fridge is full.

Cooling and water

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Sewage and water systems consist of liquid reservoir providing the water to the washroom, carbon skimmer (normally unused), electrolyzer (rarely used) and dumping polluted water in the steam chamber of the cooling system to flash it into steam (99% mass) and a bit of dirt (1% mass).

The cooling system is a single steel aquatuner with super coolant (that could be swapped with polluted water at the expense of energy efficiency) and set to -30C with a steam engine. It is tightly interconnected with the sewage system.

Super coolant is cooled to -30C by aquatuner and used to cool down the sleet wheat room. If the temperature outside of it increases above 22C, a door closes and transfers heat to the rest of the base. It can be set to anything in bristle blossom living range minus a few degrees to account for perturbations. Additionally, water flows in a loop all the time throughout the base to even out the temperature, particularly in the area with bristle blossom farms. Hot water from the steam engine is added to the liquid reservoir with the rest of water, constantly adding a tiny bit of heat.

The system produces extra water if a duplicant is present, because each use of lavatory + sink changes 5kg + 5kg of water into 11.7kg + 5kg of polluted water, which flashes to 167 grams of dirt and 16.533kg of water, leaving an extra of 6.533kg of water per lavatory use. A small portion of this water is used by oxygen electrolyzer if oxyferns delete some mass, but vast majority of it remains in the loop. The liquid reservoir and water pipes have to initialized until the liquid reservoir has around 2t of water for the whole system to work.

Automation is set to shut down the steam turbine if there is less than 10kg of steam per tile in the steam chamber. This is to prevent offgassing of polluted water and to store enough heat to flash it. Also, if the temperature of the steam exceeds 190C, some water is added from the liquid reservoir to prevent overheating. A few packets of water are added this way every few dozens of cycles. This is important not only because of overheating, but also because even a few grams of dirt can change into sand tiles if the temperature goes above 326C when the polluted water is added. These sand tiles would break the system

Too low of a temperature in the steam chamber can be a problem. The the steam chamber has to be initialized with around 10kg of steam per tile at around 150C so that each packet of 16.7kg of polluted water flashes into steam, keeping steam temperature above 125C. Enough heat has to be produced per cycle to rise this temperature on average, i.e., assuming around 120C difference between pH2O and steam chamber, at least 16.7kg * 4179DTU/kg*C * 120C = 8374.716kDTU per lavatory use, which is a bit below 14kDTU/s, assuming one lavatory usage per cycle. I haven't done the exact math, but enough heat is produced in my experiments with hot water from the steam chamber, steam turbine and 4.5kDTU/s from constantly running batteries, transformers and lamps. The system seems to stabilize the temperature in the base at 22C with a lot of leeway for more incoming heat and a bit of leeway for some deleted heat.

As time goes on, extra water will accumulate in the liquid reservoir. The automation is set so that the electrolyzer runs when the liquid reservoir is almost full, even if no oxygen is needed. It can be changed so that it is dumped outside, instead. The amount of water might decrease if the electrolyzer has to constantly run due to disappearing oxygen or CO2. This can happen if there is a hole or if the oxygen system is not properly initialized. Carbon skimmer should not be a problem, as it running constantly would use at most 6kg of water per cycle.

Oxygen

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This is the weak part of this base, but it can be easily improved by adding many more wild oxyferns at the expense of a lot of space. The main source of oxygen and CO2 deletion in the base is oxyferns. Four wild oxyferns can convert CO2 into 4*7.8g/s = 31.2g/s of oxygen, which is enough for a duplicant with both diver's lungs and deep diver's lungs traits. Adding extra 3 oxyferms would support two such duplicants or one duplicant with just deep diver's lungs. This is reasonable in late game, as enough neural vaccilator charges are available to create a few such duplicants.

The oxyferns are next to each other with a wall next to their upper tile to greatly decrease amount of CO2 deletion that happens if placed near each other. I described this problem in this post and solved it with help from @JRup. For the whole system to work, the whole bottom room should be initially filled with around 1kg of CO2. I presume that the system might break due to mass deletion if oxygen gets to lower tile of one of oxyferns. In this case, missing CO2 would cause missing oxygen, which would cause the electrolyzer running frequently enough to use up the 6kg of extra water produced each cycle.

The electrolyzer is the secondary source of oxygen in the case. A standard hybrid submerged electrolyzer is used, though the steam turbine is also submerged to remove the need for extra two tiles for a wall. It has to be initialized with 100kg per tile of heavier liquid on the bottom (salt water in my case) and 100kg per tile of the lighter liquid on the top (water in my case). Automation is set so that the electrolyzer runs when there is less than 20kg of oxygen per tile in the oxygen chamber or there is too much water in the liquid reservoir. Hydrogen is produced as a waste product and can be stored indefinitely or used outside of the base. In a normal setting, once liquid reservoir fills up, the amount of oxygen will increase indefinitely by around 5.7kg per cycle. The two chambers of the hybrid electrolyzed should be initialized with some hydrogen and oxygen in their respective chambers to prevent mixing of gasses.

Produced oxygen is distributed through oxygen vents if the pressure in a random place near it is below 1800g per tile. This is to prevent overpressure due to small CO2 packets floating around. Normally oxyferns produce enough oxygen and delete enough CO2 to support one duplicant with both diver's lungs perks. In the case significantly more oxygen is used or CO2 produced, carbon skimmer runs once CO2 gets to upper tiles of barracks (above the bed in the middle). This is checked by two CO2 sensors that both have to activate, so that the usual CO2 packets will not cause the carbon skimmer to run. Missing oxygen is pumped from the oxygen chamber as usual. This can go for a while until oxygen levels in the chamber are depleted to critical levels, preventing operation of the gas pump. The automation is set so that gas pumps stop running once the pressure drops below 4kg per tile to prevent breaking separation of gasses. Probably the limit can be set to a considerably smaller value, but this would not help in the long run. Including the extra oxyfern capacity into calculations, the system should theoretically indefinitely support two duplicants with both diver's lungs perks, but with only a few hundred grams of oxygen per cycle of leeway to account for mass deletion. Either way, food would be the limiting factor in that case unless the game was running in No Sweat mode (500kcal/cycle per duplicant).

In the case the pressure in the middle near the bed is higher than 3kg per tile, gas is dumped outside of the base. Usually this gas is oxygen that was overproduced due to a spike of CO2 production.

Conveyor system

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The conveyors are set up so that the dirt is picked up from the steam chamber and dropped sleet wheat and bristle berries are picked up from their rooms, and all transported to a CO2-filled tile sitting on top of a -30C metal tile to deep freeze any food. This storage tile can only be accessed by the sweeper in the great hall, which picks up the dirt and food ingredients and puts them in storage/fridge. If there is no storage available for items in the storage tile, items are simply left there. The conveyor system can be extended to store additional items in the storage tile, such as pincha peppernut or other things outside the base.

Decor

Decor is provided mainly by gold metal tiles. Gold tiles also provide extra run speed. There is 120+ decor in most tiles in the bedroom, great hall, barracks, and the manual generator room. Washroom has around -10 decor. The rest has around -20 or worse decor, but should not be accessed in normal situations.

Tasks

The three required tasks that a duplicant living there must perform are using microbe musher, manual generator and lavatory. Yes, the lavatory part is required for the system to support a duplicant.

Exit

Base has a standard vacuum liquid lock at the exit. It is vunerable to temperatures that might freeze or vaporize the liquid there. It is equipped with a jet suit checkpoint for two duplicants that fills with oxygen at the cost water. The base can sustain an average of 5.7kg of oxygen per cycle being used this way (so a duplicant inside can spend an average of 1/3 time outside the base). Petroleum has to be provided from outside.

Closing remarks

This was a rather complex project because I tried to minimize the size of the base and set berry sludge as the absolute requirement to refill fridges of incoming space rockets in Spaced Out. The base requires the following building materials:

  • 110.4t ceramic (or another decent insulator)
  • 24.7t gold (or another refined metal)
  • 10.8kg copper ore (or another metal ore)
  • 6.3t granite (or another mineral)
  • 2325kg steel
  • 650kg plastic
  • 18 natural tiles produced in some way
  • 6 sleet wheat seeds, 8 bristle blossom seeds and 4 oxyfern seeds, planted by a pip
  • 1 reed fiber, 2 buddy bud and 100kg diamond (optionally for a painting and aero pots)
  • 113.2t mineral for dry wall, if needed

When building it, care has to be taken to initialize oxygen (1kg+/tile), hydrogen (1kg+/tile) and steam chambers (10kg/tile), and to fill the bottom part of the base with 1kg+/tile of CO2. In total, there is a free space for six 2x1 buildings standing on the floor in the base, plus a few tiles of free space in the machinery room. I used most of these on storage.

I was considering an alternative where oxyferns were swapped out for arbor trees which would generate ethanol and heat, which would generate polluted water, polluted dirt and heat, which would provide polluted oxygen and water. This setup would be considerably larger, but more space-efficient if duplicants with normal oxygen needs were a requirement.

I look forward to your comments - how can I present it better, how to improve this base, maybe make it more compact or able to handle emergencies better.

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20 hours ago, tuxii said:

Have you considered:

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I haven't considered adding a rocket part. As it is, it requires duplicant work. I'm not sure if duplicants in suits add some heat to the room. If any machine was put in there, it'd eventually go above 5C, requiring cooling. It could be used to get a bit of space and perfect insulation, though.

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1 hour ago, Xilexio said:

I haven't considered adding a rocket part. As it is, it requires duplicant work. I'm not sure if duplicants in suits add some heat to the room. If any machine was put in there, it'd eventually go above 5C, requiring cooling. It could be used to get a bit of space and perfect insulation, though.

Cooling can easily be accomplished with a straight radiant (or even granite) liquid or gas pipe from the interior output to it's respective input. The steel hull will take take of conducting the chill for you.  An Auto-sweeper and a Ration Box can be used hear to consolidate the grain but I can't figure out how to get solid cargo out of the module automated so a duplicant errand would be required there.

You can build the platform then the module and then deconstruct the platform and... well it's a perfectly insulated 80 tile pocket dimension that only takes up 20 tiles of space (26 if you need to build a battery to inject power inside), what's not to love?

Happy building!

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19 hours ago, WhiteWind36 said:

Amazing job you've done here.

I would rather go for Arbor trees and would not bother building comfy beds. Also would be nice to separate CO2 from base, and remove carbon skimmer.

Arbor trees are great for generating mass and various sources of water, but they'd take considerably more place and I'd have a hard time putting them there without making the base considerably bigger. Arbor trees would take more space than oxyferns and would require an ethanol distiller and petroleum generator to produce polluted water and polluted dirt.

That being said, a setup with arbor trees would be much more stable, because it wouldn't require any specific configuration of gasses or pressure to work.

I could get rid of carbon skimmer with a pump that dumps CO2 outside of base. In the current configuration, that would just require some caution with not letting the pressure drop too much. A single mini gas pump could sustain 25 duplicants worth of CO2, so throughput is not an issue. I'll experiment with that idea.

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A little bit of topic. But did anyone ever considered building sour gas boiler for boiling plastic? You can get 250kg/cycle of plastic from glossy drecko and convert it to NG and sulfur. One drecko can supply 3 NG generators working non-stop. Also it will produce 80kg/cycle of sulfur which can be used for breeding sweetle and growing grubfruits... And PW from NG generators can be cleaned and used for oxygen production it will be enough air for 2 dupes. That said one glossy drecko, can provide food and oxygen and excess power at least for 2 dupes.

The hardest part is building plastic to sour gas boiler.

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7 hours ago, WhiteWind36 said:

But did anyone ever considered building sour gas boiler for boiling plastic?

It can be done, but melting the plastic into naphtha first (safely) has its own quirks. (Plastic's low TC must be dealt with.)

Then boiling the resulting naphtha is rather trivial.

You'd be combining both a power positive process (plastic → naphtha) with a power negative process (naphtha → SG).

I've been holding off on a build that does most of this without the dreckos. I jokingly called it The Naphthalizer, but I guess I should get it working some time soon. Lotsa pipes, lotsa automation, lotsa goldilocks, lotsa space used - so not really for a SO! map type.

 

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17 minutes ago, JRup said:

It can be done, but melting the plastic into naphtha first (safely) has its own quirks. (Plastic's low TC must be dealt with.)

Then boiling the resulting naphtha is rather trivial.

You'd be combining both a power positive process (plastic → naphtha) with a power negative process (naphtha → SG).

I've been holding off on a build that does most of this without the dreckos. I jokingly called it The Naphthalizer, but I guess I should get it working some time soon. Lotsa pipes, lotsa automation, lotsa goldilocks, lotsa space used - so not really for a SO! map type.

 

Yeah, you making good point. But imagine it building this as a small self-sustained base for 3-4 duplicants on asteroid which have dreckos. And if using magma or volcano as a heat source it could be done without any space materials just a little bit of steel, some ceramic and aliuminium. Also it could be achieved by using metal refinery with molten glass as a coolant. Of course it doesn't have to be molten glass, it just that molten glass is easy to get and you get it in pipes which save you from trouble making tricked pump for pumping extra hot liquids...

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8 hours ago, WhiteWind36 said:

A little bit of topic. But did anyone ever considered building sour gas boiler for boiling plastic? You can get 250kg/cycle of plastic from glossy drecko and convert it to NG and sulfur. One drecko can supply 3 NG generators working non-stop. Also it will produce 80kg/cycle of sulfur which can be used for breeding sweetle and growing grubfruits... And PW from NG generators can be cleaned and used for oxygen production it will be enough air for 2 dupes. That said one glossy drecko, can provide food and oxygen and excess power at least for 2 dupes.

The hardest part is building plastic to sour gas boiler.

I tried my hand at a pump-less one and quickly gave up, for the reasons JRup explained.

It's certainly possible in theory, but good luck getting to an actual working design.

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Try to use some exuberant plants, wild ones produce as much as normal domestic plants but without resource need and produce rot piles which could be used, the radiation needed can come from compressed nuclear waste, it would also kill the germs produced by the plants, just watch the temperature because the waste can easily melt. Also the bristle blossoms wouldn't need light that way because the mutation needs darkness.

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