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Why Steam geysers may not be sustainable (with wheeze wort).


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So I decided to try and tackle the stats to try and optimise a water cooling system with a compact form factor. I did read a little bit about wheeze-wort staircases but apart from that I am approaching the topic fairly cleanly. I will apologise in advance but this will be a fairly wordy post, it is mainly for my benefit. I wanted to write this in a word doc but I figured maybe people could get some value out of it. So to begin...

The design problem I will be tackling is how to cool water that is emitted by the steam geyser. Although there are several renewable water sources in the game, I saw this one as the most straight forward despite the heat issue. I have experienced in the past serious issues with temperature by piping hot water from steam geysers into my base. Overheating happened really quickly. So what to do??

This is a straight up thermodynamics problem... taking unhelpful energy and putting somewhere where it is not damaging to our duplicants. In our case, we are seeking to destroy that energy. There are limited methods to destroy energy in the game, the simplest method at this stage is through wheeze wort.

First lets look at the steam geyser problem.

I will not go into detail about the steam geyser cycle, however I will be conducting an analysis based on a few assumptions:

  • Want to cool all the water coming from the geyser
  • Geyser is never over pressurised and emits constantly
  • We want to cool our water to 25

From the Wiki

Quote

 Over a whole Cycle, this averages to 100 kg of Steam and 2417 kg of Water (0.167 kg/s Steam and 4.028 kg/s Water, if never overpressurized).

Quote

Steam at 150 °C, Water at 95 °C 

This is important as it provides us with the amount of energy that is created by the geyser (and how much we need to destroy with our device).

Using a simple energy equation (figure 1):

image.png.857e77cff4eaab9aefd58f1920e57d30.png

image.png.131b5cd414126415c11133fcc1b929ef.png

Therefore to get geyser water to a temperature that we are able to use, we must destroy energy at a rate of approx -1265 kW.

Wheeze-wort mechanics.

From the Wiki

Quote

Wheezeworts cool the gas around them by absorbing the gas at 1 kg/s in the bottom block of the Wheezewort, and releasing it 5°C colder. 

Since the hydrogen is cooled 5°C, the energy that is destroyed by a wheeze wort is given by the formula above (figure 1).

Using the figures from the wiki, we can conclude the theoretical maximum amount of energy that can be destroyed by a single wheeze-wort immersed in Hydrogen is:

image.png.e9a88b701a11914cd97a6ca7de3517c9.png

If we then consider the amount of energy that must be removed at full use, we require over 100 wheeze wort, exchanging heat with the geyser water perfectly in order to completely cool the geyser water. This is impractical.

Just enough?

This then begs the question, can just the colony's needs for temperate water be satisfied with a geyser. A very conservative water requirement after full research was estimated at approximately 2.3kg/s water consumption. Again applying our calculation:

image.png.71b3520115ba4749dc80eb14b4351635.png

This reduces the overall wheeze wort requirement to about 50 plants. I would argue that this is still probably impractical. In this case, I would probably advocate dumping excess heat in a cold biome and re-examining other methods of destroying heat. More to follow...

Please let me know if any of my assumptions or calculations are wrong, your feedback is appreciated.

 

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I'm a big fan of the anti-entropy devices, and I'm always surprised that they aren't mentioned much here. They delete heat at 80 kW I believe, and for only 10 g/s of hydrogen.

I'm curious how you arrived at the 2.3 kg/s estimate; care to elaborate?

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@Enginator Cooling a geyser with wheezewart is impractical as you said I believe it takes 124 wheezewarts to cool a full output steam geyser.It is also relatively pointless to try to cool geyser water with a Thermo nullifyer but there is a way to cool a geyser easily just search up borg cube in the form but I don’t recommend it if you don’t like using cheaty things.

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First, you don't need to cool all the water as mentioned. In fact, it's less than half.

Each dupes uses 60kg of water on food, and 67.567(567)kg of water on oxygen per cycle. That means a geyser can support just a fraction under 20 dupes, and if one of those 20 has divers lungs, then it's exactly 20 dupes a geyser can support.

You only have to cool the water going to the farms so that's 2kg/s. If we cool that in an aquatuner with a feedback loop then it get's cooled by 70C. So if the input temperature on the aquatuner is 97C then the output is 27C.

This heat then has to be dumped into something obviously but there are many ways to do that. You can put the aquatuner in an oil bath. The oil gets heated but if that is refined after the heat is removed just as one example. Or you could use the heat to boil polluted water into steam to drive a steam turbine. The options are plentiful.

So as you can see it's fairly easy to cool water you actually need to cool down even without resorting to using the heat bug cooling tricks.

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Heat deletion still s

1 hour ago, Saturnus said:

So as you can see it's fairly easy to cool water you actually need to cool down even without resorting to using the heat bug cooling tricks.

I still wish we didn't have to resort to unrealistic heat deletion methods. Any process that outputs a fixed temp is heat deletion. Electrolyzers, water sieve, you name it, heat deletion.

I find the entropy device to be a bit hand-wavy but acceptable because any technology that's advanced enough is indistinguishable from magic.

But, in a real asteroid we could reject heat by venting gases or liquids into space. Klei should add vents to the game that delete liquids and/or gases at some rate, and then make all processes conserve energy. That's just my opinion, though.

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1 hour ago, Saturnus said:

 

You only have to cool the water going to the farms so that's 2kg/s. If we cool that in an aquatuner with a feedback loop then it get's cooled by 70C. So if the input temperature on the aquatuner is 97C then the output is 27C.

 

Do you have an automated feedback design (that controls to specified outlet temp)?

I was working on one today but every time my demand changed (like add or remove plants), I would get freezing or hot water which shuts down plants which breaks the loop.  

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2 hours ago, Luminite2 said:

I'm a big fan of the anti-entropy devices, and I'm always surprised that they aren't mentioned much here. They delete heat at 80 kW I believe, and for only 10 g/s of hydrogen.

I'm curious how you arrived at the 2.3 kg/s estimate; care to elaborate?

A very rough spreadsheet estimate for about 8 dupes plus a massive fudge factor. Was just a number to check feasibility. Agreed, I think ultimately the game does force you to think about what you are doing with heat, I think anything that eliminates that challenge will kill the game. That being said, I think there should be rewards for smart machines. I would prefer if there was a different mechanism to wheeze wort as I think it just looks silly, anti-entropy is more what I think people would expect.

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8 minutes ago, chemie said:

Do you have an automated feedback design (that controls to specified outlet temp)?

I was working on one today but every time my demand changed (like add or remove plants), I would get freezing or hot water which shuts down plants which breaks the loop.  

You make a buffer. Either by a very long pipe or a traditional varied flow overrun buffer. Feedback loops are only stable as long as you make sure throughput is always exactly the same.

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I kinda like how the asteroid is a closed box. And really you should not be able to delete heat but instead move it somewhere else..or I guess let it radiate out into space at the edges of the asteroid. It like the slow heat death of the universe which takes 1000s of cycles in the game (but not really due to actual heat deletion). 

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6 minutes ago, GrindThisGame said:

I kinda like how the asteroid is a closed box. And really you should not be able to delete heat but instead move it somewhere else..or I guess let it radiate out into space at the edges of the asteroid. It like the slow heat death of the universe which takes 1000s of cycles in the game (but not really due to actual heat deletion). 

I understand this point of view. My biggest concern with heat deletion overall is that the designs we come up with in the game often don't resemble real life designs at all, for many reasons. Two reasons in particular, though: (1) there's no conservation of energy and (2) we can just delete heat.

If I had to create, say, a heat tank, I'd be fine with that too. But for long term survivability of bases we'd need another magic alien device that could reject heat into very hot gases or liquids.

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42 minutes ago, avc15 said:

I understand this point of view. My biggest concern with heat deletion overall is that the designs we come up with in the game often don't resemble real life designs at all, for many reasons. Two reasons in particular, though: (1) there's no conservation of energy and (2) we can just delete heat.

If I had to create, say, a heat tank, I'd be fine with that too. But for long term survivability of bases we'd need another magic alien device that could reject heat into very hot gases or liquids.

Fixed output temp devices aren't that far from reality. You can just assume that electrolyzers and skimmers use the energy for the chemical reaction. Cooling in the real world is done this way too. You either cool things down by transfering heat energy into kinetic, chemical energy or by changeing the state of a material, besides puffing it away into the atmosphere. In ONI the only actually magical heat deletion device (excluding bugs) is the Wheezewort, because there is no I/O. The nullifier is perfectly fine.

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3 hours ago, Saturnus said:

First, you don't need to cool all the water as mentioned. In fact, it's less than half.

Each dupes uses 60kg of water on food, and 67.567(567)kg of water on oxygen per cycle. That means a geyser can support just a fraction under 20 dupes, and if one of those 20 has divers lungs, then it's exactly 20 dupes a geyser can support.

You only have to cool the water going to the farms so that's 2kg/s. If we cool that in an aquatuner with a feedback loop then it get's cooled by 70C. So if the input temperature on the aquatuner is 97C then the output is 27C.

This heat then has to be dumped into something obviously but there are many ways to do that. You can put the aquatuner in an oil bath. The oil gets heated but if that is refined after the heat is removed just as one example. Or you could use the heat to boil polluted water into steam to drive a steam turbine. The options are plentiful.

So as you can see it's fairly easy to cool water you actually need to cool down even without resorting to using the heat bug cooling tricks.

Thankyou, this is a good summary. I will probably look into the steam generator solution, the oil seems a little cheezy. I am struggling to find the steam generator build option. Is this a building you find on the map or can you build it? I am fully researched.

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Just now, Enginator said:

Thankyou, this is a good summary. I will probably look into the steam generator solution, the oil seems a little cheezy. I am struggling to find the steam generator build option. Is this a building you find on the map or can you build it? I am fully researched.

It's a building in the preview branch.

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5 hours ago, chemie said:

Do you have an automated feedback design (that controls to specified outlet temp)?

I was working on one today but every time my demand changed (like add or remove plants), I would get freezing or hot water which shuts down plants which breaks the loop.  

2.png.c91714868228edde37f52a1d9642d879.png3.png.a17f2a90f41a08c4f55f1d1c1d9c935a.png1.png.53d33c976f93db2430944c17cd3a3a7d.png

temperature varying range: around 20 degrees

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specify one ice biome for plants, one for cooling water, install tubes for quick access, besides i got 3 thermo nullifier very close to each other

also, the way you use the ice biome depends on your map, sometimes you generate map with little ice biome sometimes theres a large area of it, the main idea here is to adjust to your generated map. as for mine i got lots of it

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13 hours ago, Saturnus said:

@R9MX4 That not really a feedback loop. This is a feedback loop to loop some of the output back into the input stream. You adjust the ratio with the valve.

image.thumb.png.e587fc03dca63fd365c759df9edbb4f8.png 

So if I set the valve to 2 kg/s, and set a bridge on the outlet so any cold water I don't use just gets vented back, this should be close enough to automatic.  I just didnt like fighting the thing based on demand.

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