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Fun Tricks With Heat-Multiplying State Changes


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Ever since I discovered the crazy power of regolith melters I've been enamored with doing dumb tricks with state changes. These machines heat up regolith to its melting point, usually with magma, then freezes the resulting magma into igneous rock. You then extract heat from the igneous rock with steam turbines. The magic happens because the rock has five times the specific heat capacity of regolith. The game just creates energy because it only tracks temperature instead of actual DTUs. With a 20kg/s rail of regolith you can run something like 25 steam turbines - a continuous output of around 21,800 watts.

Okay, neat. I started looking around for similar heat multipliers and came across another 5x transition in phosphorite (SHC 0.15) to phosphorous (SHC 0.77). This one happens at a much more reasonable temperature of about 250°C and could be driven by an aquatuner. So I set out to make a 21,800 watt drecko powered base.

This turned out to be a disappointment.

One rail of phosphorite only managed to power about three turbines. It turns out the real power of melters is in their operating temperature. 1,400°C just makes much more power because of the long slide down to 200°C where you run turbines.

A better way to consider heat multipliers takes into account the transition temperature as well as the specific heat capacity difference. Just take the difference of the SHCs and multiply it by the transition temperature to get DTU/g of the resulting change.

Regolith (SHC 0.2) to igneous rock (SHC 1) gives you ( 1 - 0.2 ) * 1,412.85 = 1,130.3 DTU / gram.

Phosphorite to phosphorous is a measley 153 DTU/g (0.7697 - 0.15) * 246.85 DTU / gram.

So I made a spreadsheet.

A molten salt reactor which churns molten salt into salt gas and back again provides 264 DTU/g

The top five best transitions for heat multipliers are: (edit - wrong shc for carbon)

Molten steel to steel gas 398.3 DTU/g
Refined carbon to liquid carbon 1,125.8 DTU/g
Regolith to magma 1,130.3 DTU/g
Fullerene to liquid carbon 4,126.3 DTU/g
Diamond to liquid carbon

762 DTU/g

 

A refined carbon to liquid carbon reactor looks like fun because it could be a closed loop depending on how much mass it takes to form refined carbon debris vs tiles (paging @GreezyHammer). Turning diamond to liquid carbon can run a single steam turbine with a mere 200 g/s diamond, or 132 turbines on a full rail.

No builds yet, just fooling around.

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Isn't refined carbon to liquid carbon energy loss transition? 1.710 -> 0.710. And Also since the difference of melting temperature and freezing temperature, I think it actually deletes a lot of energy.

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15 hours ago, pond_grass said:

Isn't refined carbon to liquid carbon energy loss transition? 1.710 -> 0.710. And Also since the difference of melting temperature and freezing temperature, I think it actually deletes a lot of energy.

Yep, I had TC and SHC swapped in my sheet. That makes regolith the highest energy state transition, with the next best being diamond to liquid carbon producing 762 DTU/g.

Good thing I didn't look into making a carbon reactor.

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36 minutes ago, Occam Blazer said:

Good thing I didn't look into making a carbon reactor.

Why not? A regolith melter and a diamond melter have entirely different inputs and outputs. With a diamond press (spaced out content) a diamond->liquid carbon->refined carbon chain can run using its own output. Is it viable? Or has someone already done that? 

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4 hours ago, 6Havok9 said:

Why not? A regolith melter and a diamond melter have entirely different inputs and outputs. With a diamond press (spaced out content) a diamond->liquid carbon->refined carbon chain can run using its own output. Is it viable? Or has someone already done that? 

Cause I would have wasted time trying to make a heat-multiplying refined carbon -> liquid carbon -> refined carbon reactor.

I'm just not that into Spaced Out.

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On the heat-destroying side of the same coin, polluted dirt -> molten glass removes 1,081 DTU/g of energy. That's 24.6 turbines of heat deletion if you can figure out how to finagle the transition for a full rail of polluted dirt. But since the operating temperature is 1,700C you might as well get the power out of it.

In Spaced Out making isoresin out of liquid resin you get 75% of the output as steam, which has a lot more heat capacity. And that temperature is right at the low threshold for turbines. Could it power your shiny new flopping fish farm?

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12 hours ago, Occam Blazer said:

In Spaced Out making isoresin out of liquid resin you get 75% of the output as steam, which has a lot more heat capacity. And that temperature is right at the low threshold for turbines. Could it power your shiny new flopping fish farm?

The maximum you can do is powering the build itself:

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a way to power much more than that. It definitely cannot power an Omelette cooker.

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