Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Update: See linked posts below for an example build

The First Law Mk2 design:


The First Law Mk1 design:

Hi all, for a while now I've been thinking about attempting to use Thermo Regulators to boil polluted water. I understand the "easiest" method is using the liquid tepidizer but it creates a lot of heat that has to be shed from your base via other methods. So polluted water's vaporization point is 119.4 C while thermo regulators made of Gold Amalgam will overheat at 125C... Not a wide temperature margin to play with. I've seen screenshots of people using water dripping methods over thermo regulators (and other machines) in order to greatly accelerate heat transfer between the machine and the liquid.

I was thinking of a setup like this:


Polluted water dripping over 6 thermo regulators, hopefully keeping them from overheating. Any liquid that makes it to the end is pumped up and put back into the system. Any steam created would be sent through those 6 thermo regulators, cooling it from 120 degrees to a much more comfortable 30 degrees for use inside the base and providing the heat to create more steam. Has anyone tried this before, can it work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Sevio said:

Has anyone tried this before, can it work?

I'm not giving it much chances. Polluted water has technical boiling point at 119.4 C, but state changes occur about 5 C beyond the limit. And your regulators will start to overheat at 125 C if you build them out of gold amalgam. So good luck keeping them alive. Yes it is possible to boil water this way but the tolerances are extremely tight and the yield will be very small.

Plus of course you cannot cool the steam using regulators, it would break the pipe. But that's not much of a problem, you'll want to cool hydrogen in them anyway since that makes them produce the most heat. You can then mix that hydrogen with the steam somewhere to make water from it, or you can use it to liquefy oxygen.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll do some testing in debug mode then.

Is there a way to clear items left on the ground after deconstructing stuff made with insta-build? That's the only thing that's really been bugging me about debug mode, after a while you have a silly amount of junk everywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my first attempt at a thermoregulator boiler, it took a long time to heat up the water in the pipe system but as expected it behaved somewhat unpredictable and one of the regulators has started taking damage. It has also made a little bit of water but the whole system hasn't become hot enough yet to make any steam.


I'm going to try a different layout that makes it easier to drip water evenly to all thermoregulators and leaves more space for steam to escape.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Considering the tight margin, I wouldn't really consider it worth having the thermo regulators directly creating the steam.  However, you -could- use them to pre-heat the polluted water to a pretty close temperature, then use the tepidizer to push it towards the vaporization point.


I could see a dual pump system at the bottom.  One that constantly re-pumps the polluted water to cool the Regulators and another that is both hydro-level and temperature controlled that starts pulling the polluted water out when its at the right temp and level and pumping it into a separate tepidizer system for final boiling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stumbled across some oddities while testing the next layout. I'm using separate vents now for each thermo regulator unit and letting the pipe splitting logic divide the packets evenly. Then they all drip into one collection area. For some reason the left side (especially the top left one) heats up much more than the right side.

Thermo Boiler testing.jpg

I'm also using the liquid pipe bridge I'm pointing at to prioritize the collected, heated water over fresh polluted water. However whenever the pipe bridge is connected, it instantly cools the water in its output pipe to 38.5C, which is roughly the temperature of the fresh input water. If left there, the entire pipeline leading to the vents will cool to that temperature, even though it is the hot, 88 C water flowing back into the system first. When I remove the pipe bridge, the pipeline heats up as it should. The heat doesn't seem to be going anywhere when the liquid pipe bridge is connected...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Sevio said:

or some reason the left side (especially the top left one) heats up much more than the right side.

Are you sure you're sending equal amounts of liquid to them? Could you post liquid overlay?

41 minutes ago, Sevio said:

However whenever the pipe bridge is connected, it instantly cools the water in its output pipe to 38.5C

Yeah that's a bug.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Here's liquid overlay, I tested briefly with a single split using 2 vents and each reservoir seemed to get an equal amount of packets so I figured splitting in half 3 times would divide it equally amongst 8. I've been thinking that perhaps water flows more readily into one direction than the other, giving one side better cooling?

Thermo Boiler testing liquid overlay.jpg

As for the liquid cooling, good to know that that's a bug, is there a way to prioritize the hot water without applying buggy cooling on it? I've tried a valve but that seemed to always prioritize the cold water whichever way I put it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Sevio said:

perhaps water flows more readily into one direction than the other, giving one side better cooling?

Either that, or the regulator only cools down on one of its two bottom tiles and the right ones get lower water level on it.

There's nothing wrong on your piping.

19 minutes ago, Sevio said:

is there a way to prioritize the hot water without applying buggy cooling on it?

You can pre-heat that water using the very same bug.


Question is if valve has the bug or not, you may try. Or you can put a filter there, it'll cost some power for each packet added but that shouldn't be that much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I redid the thermo boiler room, reduced it to the 4 regulators that were getting the better cooling and added a tepidizer room for the final boiling stage, based on this thread:

I've been trying to use your example in a smaller form with only one of those 7 pipe bridges (sorry about the snaky layout, space was a bit cramped), but the liquid being pumped up at around 50/60 C seems to be coming out of the valve at 34.8C now, lower than the 38.7 C that is coming from the storage tank... What am I doing wrong?

Thermo Boiler testing layout 2.jpg

As an aside I don't necessarily want to preheat the storage tank's liquid using the bug either, just prioritize the hot water first without any temperature changes. If all else fails I might just send the water back to the tank and slowly let it heat up that way, but I don't know if it'll ever get to 114 C then.

View of the setup without overlay:

Thermo Boiler testing layout 2a.jpg

The liquid pumps can only activate if there is enough water at the bottom. If there is, the left pump will send water back into the thermo boiler if temp is below 114 C, if temp is above 114 C then the right pump will send water to the tepidizer room. Haven't had time to properly test it, will have to do that tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couldn't resist testing it tonight... It takes a while to get to a stable temperature but I'm fairly satisfied with the thermo heating stage.

Thermo Boiler 2 result.jpg

I ended up cycling the polluted water back into the storage tank while it was too cold. With the input liquid valve set to 139.2 g/s the 4 thermoregulators can deliver polluted water at about 97 C. The thermoregulators are getting a full pump's worth of hydrogen combined into 1000g packets while doing this, so one could do a fair bit of cooling at the same time.

The tepidizer step doesn't seem to work very well for me, it rapidly makes a bunch of steam, overheats the gas pump and then stops when it gets flooded by the cycle pump. Might need to do some more research on that... Perhaps build a Liquid CO2 cooled tepidizer:

And then heat up some tiles that can steam the polluted water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't we get some boiling machine or something. Oh maybe even better thermo resistant material, steel and heat up to 500C that would be nice :D

What about dual pipes that can carry liquid or gas! No more melting problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@The Flying Fox

Oh that looks hilarious! I think it entombed itself because it melted some of your wires and pipes.

I think you're supposed to throttle it with a valve though, and the fatal flaw with this thing is that there is nowhere for the CO2 to go once it is done heating up and has given off its heat to any polluted water... You would somehow have to make sure there is always polluted water for the CO2 to give its heat to before it gets to a pump that sends it back to the liquefier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After some refinement and hundreds upon hundreds of Kilograms of liquid CO2.. STEAM!  :D20170619023826_1.jpg


Considering the age of the thread this thing came from, I think the physics behind thermal transfer might have changed since.  At full speed from the pump, its still nearly over-heating.  But perhaps it just needs more tinkering...  Trying to produce the liquid CO2 to run this thing in the game would be a nightmare though!  :p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could maybe use Liquid Oxygen as well, it would transfer heat a lot better and it's easier to get in quantity... If you had an oxygen liquificator you could run its output through this... And after the oxygen cools enough it could just be allowed to flow into the base.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eureka! I think I've managed to build a really well working tepidizer steamer.

Tepidizer Steam.jpg

The pros:

  • Simple to build.
  • No overheating.
  • Works with very hot (110 C) polluted water as input.
  • Automated with a hydro switch. Switch can be tuned to only activate when there is enough water around the tepidizer. A setting of 27.8 Kg worked well for the 110 C polluted water input. It will need to be lower for colder water.
  • Doesn't care how fast or slow you input your water, as long as it's not faster than the tepidizer can cycle. The single valve above is set to 2 kg/s but could probably handle more if you can cool off your steam fast enough.
  • Tepidizer reaches 136 degrees during a cycle, steam comes out at about 127 C.
  • With an airlock built into the side, ladders could be put inside to allow duplicants to retrieve the dirt without touching the polluted water.

The cons:

  • Can get stuck with too much polluted water built up if the hydro switch is set too high for the input water's temperature. If that happens, toggle the hydro switch on and off to cycle it again, then lower the threshold so it doesn't have to heat as much water in one cycle. Or you can preheat the water with thermoregulators. :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done some more designing and optimization and I think I can now present to you: The First Law

The First Law.jpg

This is a two-stage polluted water cleaner that aims to significantly reduce the amount of heat you add to your world when you want to boil polluted water. It uses a compact thermo regulator room to preheat the water before evaporating it with the tepidizer. Temperature has been tested to stabilize over many cycles with a throughput of 271.1 g/s of polluted water. Overlay pictures in the spoiler:


The First Law-liquid.jpg

The First Law-gas.jpg

The First Law-power.jpg

How does it work? Well, the polluted water cycle goes as follows:

  • Polluted water at 22 C from a reservoir is split into two pipelines and spilled into the thermo regulator room above the steam room, where it flows towards the middle pump and is heated to about 104 C by the thermo regulators.
  • Pump pulls polluted water out of the thermo regulator room at a pressure of about 102.3 kg. This is done to reduce temperature spikes as the thermo regulators are cooling. It then goes to the tepidizer.
  • Tepidizer is activated by a hydro switch at 35.7 kg. The tepidizer runs just long enough to evaporate most of the water into steam.
  • Steam flows to the bottom of the room where it is cooled into water by the floor, any existing water and the hydrogen radiator.

Next is the hydrogen cycle:

  • Warm hydrogen flows through the thermoregulators to be cooled and provide heating for the polluted water. I'm using two pumps with packet combiners, then combining their outputs again to ensure maximum throughput on the line, but this should ideally become a closed system to save power.
  • The cold hydrogen then goes through a radiator at the bottom of the steam chamber to cool any steam and water in the room. It can then go back to the thermoregulators to be cooled again.

There are a few things that may need some fine tuning, depending on the construction materials used and the temperature of the input water.

  • Polluted water input is controlled with a single valve (spoiler). Half of the valve's output is sent to the system, the other half goes back into the valve's input with priority. This is done so the average amount coming into the system can be more precisely controlled with the slider. The valve is set to 542.2 g/s, so an average flow of 271.1 g/s




The First Law-water-valve.jpg



  • The hydro switch in the thermo regulator room controls how much water is in the room on average. More water seems to help even out the temperature spikes the regulators receive, but it takes longer to heat up to a stable temperature and makes tweaking the input flow more difficult. A setting of 102.3 kg seems to work well enough to prevent the regulators from hitting overheat temperatures.
  • The hydro switch next to the tepidizer tunes how much water it heats per cycle. Too little water and it becomes very hot steam, which creates more waste heat over time. Too much and it won't be able to evaporate it before it shuts down. If that happens you can toggle the switch from "Above" to "below" to cycle the tepidizer again, repeat until all the water is evaporated and lower the setting. For the 104 C water I use 35.7 kg but while the system is still heating up it will need a lower setting.
  • The liquid valve between the thermo regulator room and tepidizer room can be used to avoid dumping too much water at once onto the tepidizer, useful when you have to set the tepidizer switch low. I have it set to 2 kg/s. It might work fine without it, and it could be put inside the tepidizer room to eliminate the walkway. Remember to build this out of gold amalgam, it has the same overheat temperature as a thermo regulator!

There are some things left to improve on this thing as well:

  • While heating up the system, before any steam has been made, the hydrogen will get cold enough to liquefy and break pipes. To simulate a large base with plenty of heat capacity for heating it back up, some impossibly massive wolframite chunks in the hydrogen pump chamber are heating it back up to room temperature.
  • The hydrogen radiator area might be too small, although it would probably work better if I let the hydrogen cool down to much colder temperatures and allowed enough water to accumulate in the steam chamber.
  • Some testing with a closed hydrogen loop needs to be done. The system as a whole can't destroy heat, and generates as much heat as is made by the tepidizer and liquid pumps, so the hydrogen loop should never freeze once the system's temperature stabilizes.
  • Throughput is rather limited at 271.1 g/s, while the power usage is roughly 1 kW if you optimized away the hydrogen pumps. It's probably not a good idea to run this on natural gas power if you're also using the Air Scrubber to remove the CO2, since that will use up more clean water than this can make. You could run it on coal power and still get some clean water back from this. Even better if you can preheat your polluted water by cooling your hot power equipment.
  • For more throughput, more regulator rooms can be stacked on top of each other and they will even share heat between them! Of course, each regulator room at full hydrogen capacity would take another 960 W.

I hope you found this build interesting or inspiring in some way, let me know if you have comments, suggestions or ideas to improve it. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neat Sevio, nice bit of engineering!  I rather like the fact that you're using the hydrogen cooled by the regulators which heats up the polluted water, to then cool the steam and clean water is produces.  So, in theory, there should only be a small net positive heat generated by the whole system.


I ended up doing some more fun testing with the tepidizer using other various liquids to pour on it.  The neat thing that I figured out is that the open bottom tile under it doesn't need to be the same stuff your pouring on it.  The tepidizer not only reads if it's submersed from there, but -also- when it's reached maximum temperature of what it's suppose to be submersed in.


Sooo, by sticking a fully loaded tile of polluted water there..


You can make the thing run as nearly much as you like!  :D  With absurd results!  Oh liquid chlorine, even at 10Kg/s you can't keep this thing cool...  just what are you good for?!  Both it's thermal capacity and conductivity are low, so yeah..



Produce prodigious amounts of steam directly from water!  About 3K/gs of water starting at 6.7C



Liquid oxygen comes out pretty hot!  Good luck trying to produce 5Kg/s of liquid oxygen though...





Liquid CO2 produces some pretty amazing results.  It can just about keep the tepidizer from over-heating, but its touchy at best.  The valve was set to somewhere between 6 and 8Kg/s.  You can't do anything near what the original thread produced anymore because they're definitely fixed some thermo dynamic bugs here and there in-between.  I did manage to get some tiny amounts of dirt to convert into sand, but nothing in huge amounts.


There's two reasons why the tepidizer can produce stuff at such high temperatures, but not over-heat.  First is the fact that, apparently, the tepidizer is unique in that its over-heating temperature is 175C with gold amalgam and copper is 125C.  (You don't want to know how many of these tepidizers I've destroyed at this point to know this for sure. :D )  


The other reason, I'm guessing is the simulation time-step.  The simulation doesn't run in real-time, but runs in discrete steps.  (This is pretty standard for any game that handles physics like temperature and such.  Like KSP, for example.)  Because of this, you get massive temperature fluxes from one step to the other which the simulation code tries to even about.  But, the ending result is that you get something like the tepidizer producing gas that's somehow hotter then it by like 200C.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, The Flying Fox said:

But, the ending result is that you get something like the tepidizer producing gas that's somehow hotter then it by like 200C.

All buildings that produce heat have two kinds of heat produced. "Normal operation" and "Exhaust". Normal operation is how much the building heats itself. Exhaust is amount of heat that the building releases directly into its environment, without heating itself. For instance, fridge has 2.5 W exhaust heating. When placed in vacuum, it does not warm up at all. Ceiling lamp has 2.5 W of "normal operation" heating and does warm up in vacuum.

Tepidizer has 320 W of "normal operation" heating and 20 kW of "exhaust". When you let that exhaust to be released to small amount of liquid, it gains a lot of temperature.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Kasuha said:

All buildings that produce heat have two kinds of heat produced. "Normal operation" and "Exhaust".

Never realized that before, that's pretty useful to know! Particularly how "Exhaust" always goes into the environment where possible and is lost if there is none.

@The Flying Fox

Nice to see the different results with your tepidizer tests. :) I guess chlorine could be useful as an insulator gas in places where a vacuum is a problem. Do those wire bridges actually help with heat transfer from one room to another? Are there other ways to accelerate temperature transfer between rooms and between gas pipes and their environment?

I've been thinking about putting a bunch of open doors or airlocks inside the bottom half of my steam chamber to help the pipes cool the water and steam faster but I'm not sure how heat transfer from pipes to the environment works and if putting more "stuff" on a pipe tile helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Please be aware that the content of this thread may be outdated and no longer applicable.

  • Create New...