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My Crazy Hydrogen Generator "Solution"

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So we've all talked a lot about hydrogen generators not reliably producing power but serving more as a place to rid yourself of hydrogen that occasionally pumps a bit of power your way. 

Today, I've finally made a generator work 100% of the time, and it should last for quite a while now. There's nothing particularly neat, tidy, or clever about this, mind you, just thought I'd share my personal "hoorah!" moment lol.

When I hooked up my electrolyzer this time around, I fed the hydrogen output into a small pocket above my base. I left it there for many cycles until it had completely overpressurized. I then gathered a small team of dupes to put in 4-deep airlocks a short distance away for safety (yes, I'm paranoid about my base lol) and then brave the ice biome next door to carefully tunnel up to the hydrogen pocket and release it into the ice biome without breaching the impending polluted water disaster hovering above.

I left that alone, for many cycles, until the entire flipping biome was so pressurized that the gas vent above my base overpressurized once again. I united the dupes once more to build a new airlock at the edge of the ledge we'd left to our base. In that small space, they built our gas pump, filter, and valve. I painfully sent them out into horrific conditions of cold and hydrogen asphyxiation to get the generator, pipes, vent, and power lines built. 

We were all quite relieved when everyone made it home safely. 

We set the valve to 500 g/s, and at last, opened the previous four airlocks to set the hydrogen free. We then promptly locked the door to the house! Little did we know that we'd successfully make a vacuum where the pump resides.

Our generator runs without a hiccup, is nearly full up in the green, and the pressure, while of course very slowly coming down (our vent is no longer overpressurized, thankfully, as intended), is still happily chillin' anywhere between 1300 g to 1800 g inside the biome and our pocket.

It's not pretty (well, the pink and blue in the ice biome kinda is lol), it's not genius, and I'm sure the science types around here have much better solutions, but it works and was a personal triumph for me :D

Hydrogen Biome 2.jpg

Hydrogen Biome.jpg

Hydrogen Gas Overlay.jpg

Hydrogen Generator.jpg

Hydrogen pipes.jpg

Hydrogen Pump.jpg

Hydrogen Temps.jpg

Hydrogen Vent.jpg

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1 hour ago, PickPay said:

Well done, your Dupes must be proud of working for you ;:)

You had a huge cave of Hydrogen thats sweet.

One thing though, why put the pump in that corner where the gas will have trouble getting to ?

Aw, hehe, thanks! The slow flow of gas is exactly why I put the pump in the corner lol. In my past attempts to use massive amounts of collected hydrogen, the gas pump yanked it out of the air within minutes regardless of any valves, and then we were right back to stutter games. Since the hydrogen generator can only use a small amount at a time anyway, I figured the slower the hydrogen got sucked up by the pump the better. As a bonus, the area where the pump is became a vacuum, which actually aids the steady feed of hydrogen through the narrow passage :D

14 minutes ago, Twitchi said:

I also am confused by the pump placement but all in all a good solution.. I might have done it in a slightly smaller space tho :p

I actually had to increase the space because the pressure was creeping too high before I was prepared to deal with it haha (and a fair bit of the ice/snow melted away in the interim as well). That said, I'm gonna have to decrease the space soon to try to maintain pressure. My idea is to just flip the thing off when pressure gets too low to let some build back up and just go back to hamsters and coal during that time lol.

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8 minutes ago, Argelle said:

Can you just wall in the H2 generator inside the top corrdidor+pocket to get back an high pressure?

(cut if off from the ice biome)

I could, but I don't want to waste all the hydrogen that's still out in the biome ;)

I currently have polluted oxygen coming up from the bottom of the biome to push the hydrogen up as it dissipates. I'll probably wall off the area that looks like a "v" to the left of the generator when the polluted oxygen gets to about that height. I don't want the space for the hydrogen to be too small so that when I let it build up again, it'll last for a while.

P.S. I'm near cycle 140 now, and the generator is still working reliably (although it did use up its storage during a particularly power-intensive project lol). I'm guessing I'll have to start modifying and rebuilding pressure by cycle 160 or so. We'll see if it holds up!

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As an update, I'm now at cycle 170, and it's still working. Just approaching the time where that polluted oxygen I let into the bottom of the biome is rising to the level where I'll want to block it off and make the hydrogen capture area at the top smaller and repressurize it.

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3 hours ago, Diego G. said:

Nice, but one question. Why did you put your vent on top of the hydrogen "tank", since it will make it difficult to travel downwards?

Originally, the area where the vent is was enclosed. It was a square. That's where I first let the pressure build. When it was overpressurized, I made that diagonal tunnel up from the biome side and left the vent where it is because I actually WANTED the gas to travel slowly so that the highest pressure remained closest to the base. But because it was overpressurized, I knew it would travel out because hydrogen is light and will take whatever path it has.

Basically, it's my very wonky way to control what's happening using the environment instead of power-hogging machines :p

Kinda like my geyser staircase -- water flows down the stairs and drops right into the bottom of an ice biome, where it cools itself lol.

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It IS possible to create self sustained hydrogen power but the design work needed to accomplish it is pretty...Detailed. it isn't just a matter of raw productivity but also a matter of time traveled. Gas pumps move packets at 1 tile a second so even if you were able to get 500g/s pumping if that pump travels more than 5 tiles to the hydrogen generator you have lost time (the generator uses 100g/s to run) and will stutter.

To prove my theory I built a monster of a machine a few updates so that focused on this principle. Five electrolyzers, each in self contained rooms, each with a single pump and gas filter, plus gas permeable floors. The gas permeable floors help to reduce air pressure in the electrolyzer rooms so a single pump is sufficient to keep up with the rate of gases produced as well as increasing the amount of hydrogen that makes it into the pump as there is less competition for it. Arranged like |_| with doubles on the sides and a gap in the middle you can add a sixth pump in a 3x2 room on top of two outflow vents where your hydrogen will be pumped to. This room serves as a place to concentrate the hydrogen from all five generators at nearly the same time (distance from each room varied but average was 3 tiles of travel time so roughly 300-400g making it to the room at various times). By having this buffer room I was able to achieve an average of 2-300g/s pumped with about a 60% chance to get 500g/s pumped, and a distance of only 2 tiles to reach the first hydrogen generator. This meant that the first generator was filling up its internal buffer of 50kg of hydrogen with a net profit and once it filled would require significantly less hydrogen to sustain while the excess pumped to the other generators. By having the generators disabled at start and enabling/connecting the gas lines in stages as they filled it is possible with good placement to have the four generators needed to sustain the power cost of the setup with a surplus of 560w on two separate power circuits (heavy watt of course). This includes the power cost of the water pump to feed the electrolyzers, a single pump should sustain all five. In theory this could, once enough hydrogen was produced and the system fully primed, additionally fuel a fifth hydrogen generator that could be on a third circuit giving an unrestrained 800w.

It was a beastly build. The only shortcoming to it's design was that my colony reached max air pressure too quickly because I wasn't actively exploring the map and I was doing everything on manual power so it was an uphill battle to try and sustain the priming cycle to get it running. If I had used coal generators in addition to dupes to keep the two circuits powered and I had made a system to liquify or freeze excess o2 it would have been fully self sustainable with the capability to provide for 45 dupes and power supply, provided a geyser for water of course. Water that you would need to carefully cool though as electrolyzers produce gas based on the water temperature they receive. 


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