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High temperature metals/liquids


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The addition of radiant pipes with the mark II ranching upgrade immediately suggests one very important use: A closed loop liquid heating system for a steam turbine. This would have pipes full of some liquid circulating between a heat source and a cooler water source, turning that water into steam, which would then be used to power a turbine. Unfortunately, with the most obvious heat source currently available, magma, this isn't possible, because there aren't any radiant pipe materials you could immerse in magma without them melting. You might theoretically be able to use abyssalite pipes, but those are too insulating to be useful for heat transfer. In real life, there are metals with melting points well above 2000°C that could potentially be built as pipes, immersed in magma, and used in that way for fluid transfer. Obviously this would be difficult to pull off in practice, but that would make the reward all the sweeter. For this to work, you would also need a suitable high-temperature liquid transfer medium. I suppose you could use liquid metal, but that has its own set of problems, like the difficulty of pumping it without the pump melting. The best I can come up with for this is petroleum, but even that has a relatively low vapor point. In real life, this is usually solved by having a normal liquid, such as water, at a very high pressure, so its vapor point is much higher. I might suggest something similar here. Perhaps you could have a high-pressure pump, requiring much more power, feeding into high-pressure pipes that need more construction material, and much more disastrous consequences if the pipes fail, with the upside being that any liquid run through them would have a much higher vapor point. As it stands now, there really isn't a way to create a sustainable geothermal power plant, and so there isn't much use for the turbine.

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1 hour ago, TV4Fun said:

The addition of radiant pipes with the mark II ranching upgrade immediately suggests one very important use: A closed loop liquid heating system for a steam turbine. This would have pipes full of some liquid circulating between a heat source and a cooler water source, turning that water into steam, which would then be used to power a turbine. Unfortunately, with the most obvious heat source currently available, magma, this isn't possible, because there aren't any radiant pipe materials you could immerse in magma without them melting. You might theoretically be able to use abyssalite pipes, but those are too insulating to be useful for heat transfer. In real life, there are metals with melting points well above 2000°C that could potentially be built as pipes, immersed in magma, and used in that way for fluid transfer. Obviously this would be difficult to pull off in practice, but that would make the reward all the sweeter. For this to work, you would also need a suitable high-temperature liquid transfer medium. I suppose you could use liquid metal, but that has its own set of problems, like the difficulty of pumping it without the pump melting. The best I can come up with for this is petroleum, but even that has a relatively low vapor point. In real life, this is usually solved by having a normal liquid, such as water, at a very high pressure, so its vapor point is much higher. I might suggest something similar here. Perhaps you could have a high-pressure pump, requiring much more power, feeding into high-pressure pipes that need more construction material, and much more disastrous consequences if the pipes fail, with the upside being that any liquid run through them would have a much higher vapor point. As it stands now, there really isn't a way to create a sustainable geothermal power plant, and so there isn't much use for the turbine.

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