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Problem with pipes


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Hi guys,

I have a problem with pipes and I just can't figure out what is happening. The exit pipe in the thermo aquatuner keeps breaking due to cold damage. For some reason, water that is below 15C keeps flowing into that second aquatuner even though it is prohibited by the liquid shutoff. Why does the shutoff let the cold water through?

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Educated guess - because this happened to me a lot, too - pipe blockage.

I will enhance your picture with three letters, A, B and C and try a clumsy attempt at explaining what most likely happened.

image.thumb.png.75f1f6baed589d52885fd5e592742189.png

This temp sensor/shutoff combination in normal operating conditions works like this: The sensor measures the packet at A. Then something magic happens, a game tick: The green/red signal gets acted by the shutoff AND the measured packet moves one pipe segment forward from A to B. Then it gets the desired treatment from the shutoff.

Now what most likely happened to you is that the measured packet (which was too cold) couldn't move to C because there was already something there, so it remained at its position, and a different packet took its place at position A.

Now if that packet made the sensor go green, it will forward the undesired packet and cause what you observed.

 

You clearly tried to make sure the water always flows as your bridge segment next to C shows, but I suppose something else downstream stalls the pipe making this failure condition possible.

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This is over-complicating the problem (an easy thing to do without a full understanding of game mechanics).

All you actually need to do to stop an Aquatuner consuming a packet, is have the liquid pipe thermo sensor immediately before the Aquatuner that turns the Aquatuner off if the packet is too cold, and to keep the loop free flowing. You will very commonly see this pattern and for good reason:
image.png.a9f8c4861fb2432a62db86521c85ab76.png\

The Liquid Pipe Thermo Sensor will turn off the Aquatuner for long enough that the packet will pass over the inlet and go through the bypass bridge. Note that the loop has to be free-flowing, this is most easily achieved by just having some bridges, something with an inlet like a bridge or aquatuner grabs the packet the moment it tries to enter the inlet pipe, the packet never actually enters that pipe and that pipe remains empty as long as the loop is flowing freely, if the loop blocks for a moment the packet is able to enter the pipe, so a bridge acts as a 1 packet buffer. Basically the TL;DR is that you can just throw a few extra bridges into the loop and it'll always remain free-flowing. (you can also add a Liquid Reservoir into the loop, but a few extra bridges works just as well most the time)

Since we're talking about intricacies of the game, Aquatuners are more power-efficient if you turn them off using the automation network rather than depriving them of a packet to consume, an Aquatuner which is active will keep running and consuming power for half a second until it notices there is no packet for it to consume, an Aquatuner which has been turned off by the automation network does not consume power. For example if you turn off the Aquatuner 50% of the time using a 1/1 Timer Sensor, it will provide 50% of the cooling and consume 50% of the power, but if you deprive it of a packet to consume half the time using a Liquid Shutoff that alternates full and empty packets, it will perform 50% of the cooling but consume 75% of the power. This makes depriving the Aquatuner of a packet to consume a rather sub-optimal way of preventing it from freezing packets. It gets weirder in that depriving the Aquatuner of power using a Power Shutoff actually makes it more power efficient because of a bug where a machine can keep running for 0.2s after the power is cut off, but that's an exploit so to be fair it's best to just use the automation network.

 

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It's obviously easier to deal with it by automating the aqua tuner instead, for a similar discussion (with a very different proposal) I refer to this:

What I wanted more to point out with my reply is this quite common and often surprising failure mode of the "pipe sensor/shutoff" combo.

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On 10/25/2022 at 10:42 AM, blakemw said:

This is over-complicating the problem (an easy thing to do without a full understanding of game mechanics).

All you actually need to do to stop an Aquatuner consuming a packet, is have the liquid pipe thermo sensor immediately before the Aquatuner that turns the Aquatuner off if the packet is too cold, and to keep the loop free flowing. You will very commonly see this pattern and for good reason:
image.png.a9f8c4861fb2432a62db86521c85ab76.png\

The Liquid Pipe Thermo Sensor will turn off the Aquatuner for long enough that the packet will pass over the inlet and go through the bypass bridge. Note that the loop has to be free-flowing, this is most easily achieved by just having some bridges, something with an inlet like a bridge or aquatuner grabs the packet the moment it tries to enter the inlet pipe, the packet never actually enters that pipe and that pipe remains empty as long as the loop is flowing freely, if the loop blocks for a moment the packet is able to enter the pipe, so a bridge acts as a 1 packet buffer. Basically the TL;DR is that you can just throw a few extra bridges into the loop and it'll always remain free-flowing. (you can also add a Liquid Reservoir into the loop, but a few extra bridges works just as well most the time)

Since we're talking about intricacies of the game, Aquatuners are more power-efficient if you turn them off using the automation network rather than depriving them of a packet to consume, an Aquatuner which is active will keep running and consuming power for half a second until it notices there is no packet for it to consume, an Aquatuner which has been turned off by the automation network does not consume power. For example if you turn off the Aquatuner 50% of the time using a 1/1 Timer Sensor, it will provide 50% of the cooling and consume 50% of the power, but if you deprive it of a packet to consume half the time using a Liquid Shutoff that alternates full and empty packets, it will perform 50% of the cooling but consume 75% of the power. This makes depriving the Aquatuner of a packet to consume a rather sub-optimal way of preventing it from freezing packets. It gets weirder in that depriving the Aquatuner of power using a Power Shutoff actually makes it more power efficient because of a bug where a machine can keep running for 0.2s after the power is cut off, but that's an exploit so to be fair it's best to just use the automation network.

 

There is a problem with this design.

If I don't have a constant flow of water but just a single pocket (in this example 78.1C) it turns on the aquatuner when water is in the sensor but then turns off when water reaches the aquatuner. 

before enterring:

image.thumb.png.4bfe0b6fa25451392950bc54e2a0f3a7.png

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After:

image.thumb.png.821ee930dc9b19a9e306cd7d6bc4144a.png

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Aquatuner stays turner on but for some reason it does not grab that water pocket. The automation never goes red, even when there is no water in the sensor. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sturm58 said:

If I don't have a constant flow of water but just a single pocket (in this example 78.1C) it turns on the aquatuner when water is in the sensor but then turns off when water reaches the aquatuner. 

Aquatuners behave oddly when dealing with non-continuous flow. It seems the aquatuner deactivates itself when the pipe is empty, it sometimes skips the first packet it sees after reactivating, it doesn't involve any breaking of pipes just skipping a packet.

It really is best to try and keep the flow continuous, such as by filling the loop with a bridge just before the Aquatuner inlet, I do not see that there is ever a scenario where it's beneficial to have gaps in the input.

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24 minutes ago, blakemw said:

Aquatuners behave oddly when dealing with non-continuous flow. It seems the aquatuner deactivates itself when the pipe is empty, it sometimes skips the first packet it sees after reactivating, it doesn't involve any breaking of pipes just skipping a packet.

It really is best to try and keep the flow continuous, such as by filling the loop with a bridge just before the Aquatuner inlet, I do not see that there is ever a scenario where it's beneficial to have gaps in the input.

Thanks but looks like this method does not simplify things at all as it creates new problems but hey - this is ONI - this always happens ;]

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Does the sensor+shutoff combo have some special handling? I seem to recall that sometimes in low-fps situations automation updates would not happen every game tick. With the sensor+shutoff combo I never had a problem so I started using that everywhere instead of automating the aquatuner.

Anyway, if you can spare the space and a few 100 kg of extra liquid, what helps with the skipped packet issue is to add a reservoir into the loop before the sensor, that equalizes the temperature of all input packets so that the output has a more slowly varying average temperature. That means fewer on-off cycles of the aquatuner and therefore fewer skipped packets.

But generally I still prefer the sensor+shutoff combo with some measures to ensure that the output can never be blocked (i.e. a few overflow pipe segments leading to a bridge with no output, where the excess liquid can go, that I eventually drain and deconstruct once the loop has stabilized).

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I always plumb my Aquatuners like this:

image.png.19be1b8b759bc5c62bc1fa4aa809f7de.png  image.png.2cf9b2444553ce5fbd90fdd06e8ba429.png

and I never have any issues with pipe breaks as long as the Thermo Sensor is properly set.  Putting the extra pipe segment between the inputs rather than the outputs means the empty pocket can land there and the loop is full when the Aquatuner is running which allows for 100% uptime.  Putting the segment between the outputs doesn't actually allow for 100% uptime as the loop is larger when the Aquatuner is running.

image.png.3e494819441743ecc9ea5490f311f454.png

I have a pretty good computer so perhaps that helps me not have issues.

I suspect that using a water shutoff there might let a cold packet through when you load/reload and possibly whenever you are doing pipe construction which makes all pipes stutter.

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22 hours ago, Sturm58 said:

Thanks but looks like this method does not simplify things at all as it creates new problems but hey - this is ONI - this always happens ;]

Throw a steel liquid reservoir before the aquatuner then use a pipe sensor like you did before(Make sure there is insulated tiles below the base of the reservoir.

Fill the pipes and partly fill the reservoir, this will even out the temperature of the packets into the reservoir.

This will allow the output of the reservoir to be stable constant output rather than continuously mixed temperature packets.

(E.G. Less shifting between 10'c and 30'c packets which become something more variable around 20'c instead).

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One thing I think I see here is I think you are cooling this water for use elsewhere. This leads me to 2 things.

1. Due to how water is consumed, and the mechanics of those buildings, electrolysers and irrigation; it is usually better to use the 'cooling' on the environment rather than the input.

2. Consider making a general purpose chill box(es) that is cooled by your best coolant that your heat is transferred to via automated airlocks, similar to heat injectors used in geothermal setups. The chill box can be set to the lowest comfortable temperature your coolant can reach, which in turn will cool various water/ice baths to the desired temperature. Provided you aren't overloading the general cooling potential, 1 aquatuner with suitable counter-current flows and valves can regulate a variety of temperatures.

Eg:

If we consider using a polluted water vent (30C) to cool a steam turbine using 5kg/s of the pipe for this purpose, then assuming the turbine is working at 200C our turbine will transfer ~105C 2kg/s worth of heat to the steam room, so our polluted water will be heated to ~80C, about the ideal temperature for pincha peppernuts. Unless you are growing about 100, this is too much water which would back up the system, so we can send the overflow water from here to mix with the other 5kg/s and go through a 'water bath' to cool to ~35C for arbor trees.

The overflow from here could then be sieved to go through another 'water bath' at ~25C for bristle blossoms, with that overflow going to another 'water bath' set to 2C before being valved for different sleet wheat plots. The excess polluted water input to the sieve can go through an 'ice bath' set close to the freezing point of the polluted water (especially as you will probably be using p.water as your aquatuner coolant at this point), before going through the sleet wheat room to act as room cooling, then counter current cooling the dirt you will be conveying in. Finally this water can be used for general base cooling, before going through the 25C 'water bath' again and made the priority feed for the whole cycle to ensure you don't deplete the entire geyser's cycle of supply.

Due to the priority nature of how this water is looped, at no point should it stop flowing, nor does it ever actually pass directly through an aquatuner. The water/ice baths should have sufficient thermal mass that their temperatures remain relatively stable, regulated by airlocks to transfer heat to the main actively chilled box.

The large thermal masses do mean it will take a while to reach the initial equilibrium.

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