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Maintenance-free volcano power plant


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So you all know that with the Ranching upgrade the natural gas geysers have become totally useless. And as if that wasn't enough the devs made modifications on the natural gas generators, preventing us from making the big power plants with the fertilizer synthesizers and everything else. I know they were way too op and needed a nerf, and I'm not complaining. BUT you also know that the Ranching upgrade added volcanoes, which produce magma that can be used to boil crude oil to make natural gas. So with the aim of making some sort of alternative to the natural gas geyser I worked and came up with this system:

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The design is inspired from Brothgar's fifth attempt at making a volcano powered natural gas boiler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3UuNGlRYKU. The rest of the system is similar to other boilers: the natural gas produced is stocked in a reservoir. It then finds its way in a cooling chamber (I use the crude oil as a coolant to preheat it and save power), that leads to an "output chamber" where the cooled natural gas is transfered to natural gas generators. The generators then produce polluted water, which is used to cool the third chamber.

 

Each chamber is separated by a system of airlock doors to prevent heat from transfering between them. I made it so no gas gets deleted when they close.The magma dripping system works just like an airlock. I made an extremely messy automation system and I'm sure it can be done simpler. So feel free to check the save file and improve it.

An input of around 2 kg/sec of water and an input of crude oil (the amount depends on the quantity of natural gas your want to produce) plus a volcano (obviously) is needed.

I will include the save file so you can understand better (I'm very bad at explaining things) : Magma test.sav

Here is the energy overlay:

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The temperature overlay:

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The liquid overlay:

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The gas overlay:

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And the automation overlay:

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My volcano stats:

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With the ONI Geyser Calculator https://onical.ga/ I found that this volcano produces around 1.8 kg/sec of magma. And thanks to Brothgar's spreadsheet https://www.patreon.com/posts/18097767 I found that 1 kg of magma can turn 1.5 kg of crude oil at 100°C into 1.5 kg of natural gas at around 560°C. So this volcano can in theory produce up to 2.7 kg/sec of natural gas, enough to power 30 natural gas generators. The system can of course be tuned to work according to your volcano's stats.

The entire system uses around 4 kilowatts of power (actually way less because the doors are idle most of the time). I "only" power 15 generators, but that's enough to sustain the entire infrastructure plus provide around 7 kilowatts to anything else you want.

My "artificial natural gas geyser" works well, but it's not perfect. I found two major flaws: Sometimes a few pipes in the cooling chamber (the second one) can break because of the oil turning into petroleum. This is linked to the second problem. The efficiency of the cooling system is actually pretty poor. It constantly needs more coolant (the crude oil) than the amount of natural gas you want to cool. the result is insane amounts of pressure building inside the first chamber (there is an atmo sensor that was supposed to stop the pressure from building up but it proved to be totally useless). If you know how to fix those problems please post a comment about it.

 

So voilà, an alternative to the overpowered natural gas power plants : the not so overpowered (its efficiency is compensated by the difficulty of actually building this thing) artificial geyser!

If you have any suggestions on how to improve it, please feel free to comment.

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The reaction is exothermic. When oil turns to gas, you get a net excess energy of gain of about 400Joules per gram, due to specific heat capacity of crude oil 1.69 being lower than gas 2.191.

This means your boiler can never be totally cooled by oil, you need extra cooling.

Your pipes shouldnt break, If you set heat temp sensors and release any oil over 300 degrees. I'm current working on My own version, and noticed that gold pipes built on debugmode work unpredictably after building, but saving and reloading fixed that issue.

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Well since you are going all out for power generation and you need to get rid of excess heat, you could cool off that blazing hot natural gas by boiling some water into steam and feeding that to one (or more) steam generators. After you use the polluted water to cool your natgas, you can send it on to be boiled into steam for the steam generator, but you might want to supplement that with additional clean/polluted water from outside.

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Pretty clean.  Though i'm always interested in using everything.  I'd want to reclaim that igneous rock in some way.  I've had designs that track the igneous rock through a heat buffer to try and cool it down.  The design works better for metal geysers since the one real time I tried it on a large lava the output was too much and it boiled out all the coolant I used.  Still, and especially now that they axed fert makers so much the source of stone to feed hatches is pretty nice.

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I was using petrol straight from molten slicksters in this design.  I wouldn't suggest using oil as the main contact coolant in the lower section since the density seems to do odd things with the arm randomly being in a submerged status and it does randomly boil though contacting the molten metal making a tiny amount of natural gas which never happened with the water buffers I've used before.

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When oil turns to gas, you get a net excess energy of gain of about 400Joules per gram, due to specific heat capacity of crude oil 1.69 being lower than gas 2.191.

I don't know how I didn't think of that before. Thanks!

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Well since you are going all out for power generation and you need to get rid of excess heat, you could cool off that blazing hot natural gas by boiling some water into steam and feeding that to one (or more) steam generators.

I tried that but for me steam turbines are just way too annoying to setup (maybe it's just me). Also a turbine used in this way probably won't be running full time and since batteries are useless at this scale It will just be a waste of ressources. But the idea itself isn't bad, and I might look into it in the future.

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I'd want to reclaim that igneous rock in some way.

Me too, but I just gave up on that idea. As you said it works better on metal volcanoes, not on magma ones.

 

I upgraded the design of my power plant (I included the save file):

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I modified the magma dripping system so it drops the igneous rock into the crude oil. Thanks to this it won't melt back into magma and will still be able to transfer some of its heat to the crude oil.

Here's the save file (I think it's the right one): Magma test.sav

Also I found a dumb but hopefully temporary way to counteract the heat problem I had. I just use the cooled naturag gas from the pumps and pipe it through the cooling chamber. It's a pretty sloppy solution and a decent amount of heat is lost (the gas feeded to the generators now comes at 300°C instead of ~80°C) but I'm going to try and find a better way (maybe a steam turbine like Sevio proposed).

The automation system is even more messy now:

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I don't even know how I got it to work, but

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Again please post some suggestions on how to improve this system if you have some. Even the smallest idea can help.

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Your volcano will overflow eventually, which is a problem.  I think you need some kind of drainage system to dump the excess.  If you can get it to drip rather than pour, it will drop plain igneous rock without having to be dug out.  I'll come back with images later if I remember.

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It will overflow because it produces more energy than I use. I don't think it's a problem, once the tank is full the volcano will just stop producing. Or I could just make the tank bigger.

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If you can get it to drip rather than pour, it will drop plain igneous rock without having to be dug out.

That's exactly what I did. Maybe I explained it wrong (English is not my native language).

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On 6/9/2018 at 7:43 AM, Ainsley4ever said:

Here is the energy overlay:

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I notice you use 2 transformers per outgoing circuit

did you know you can save both power and heat by only using one transformer automated with a smart battery and still get the 2 kW max?

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did you know you can save both power and heat by only using one transformer automated with a smart battery and still get the 2 kW max?

Now I do :) Thanks for the tip !

But how is this possible? Isn't the max output of a transformer limited to 1 kw?

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transformer is limited to 1kj per tick, 5 ticks per second, = 5kw limit 1kw per item( no running aquatuners but can run tepidizers off 1 transformer no battery this has been tested)

with a battery, the stored energy of the battery compensates for the transformers limit so you can run multiple aquatuners on 1 transformer.

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17 hours ago, Ainsley4ever said:

Also I found a dumb but hopefully temporary way to counteract the heat problem I had. I just use the cooled naturag gas from the pumps and pipe it through the cooling chamber. It's a pretty sloppy solution and a decent amount of heat is lost (the gas feeded to the generators now comes at 300°C instead of ~80°C) but I'm going to try and find a better way (maybe a steam turbine like Sevio proposed).

That gas trick is kind of neat! I never realised you could do that. How are your generators handling The heat?

Ive got my own system nearly finished, got it to make 1200 tonnes of gas with nearly no issue, but my coolant system was faulty and was moving 300 degrees heat to a 130 degrees zone.

I'm convinced the optimal oil cookery is a minimum sized nearly thermoinsulated room sized 3x3 around 2 tempshift plates center & low center. Above an iron mechdoor to minimize heat leak / conductivity, below 3 tungsten tile, 1 wolfram mdoor, tungsten tiles & magma.

This way, you keep recapturing all the heat in your newly made gas via the tempshift moving heat from top 2by3 to bottom 1by3 liquid. This gas also gets reheated constantly, but this reheating is energy neutral, since new incoming oil will always absorb all of it.

I'm interested to hear improvements on that, as I believe the main reactionchamber determines how much magma you are cooling.

*** 

After the gas gets released I will use a 2 wide channel lined by insulated wall on one side and tempshift/goldwall on other side. Gold side uses automation to connect extra heat onto a 4000kg polluted water tank, which turns to 122degrees hot steam and we collect it as 80-95 degrees water using replacement pWater as the condensing radiator.

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10 minutes ago, Carnis said:

That gas trick is kind of neat! I never realised you could do that. How are your generators handling The heat?

Natural gas generators don't really care about the temperature of the gas you feed into them, they just delete it into nothingness. Just make sure to insulate the gas pipes. 

11 minutes ago, Carnis said:

Ive got my own system nearly finished, got it to make 1200 tonnes of gas with nearly no issue, but my coolant system was faulty and was moving 300 degrees heat to a 130 degrees zone.

I'm convinced the optimal oil cookery is a minimum sized nearly thermoinsulated room sized 3x3 around 2 tempshift plates center & low center. Above an iron mechdoor to minimize heat leak / conductivity, below 3 tungsten tile, 1 wolfram mdoor, tungsten tiles & magma.

This way, you keep recapturing all the heat in your newly made gas via the tempshift moving heat from top 2by3 to bottom 1by3 liquid. This gas also gets reheated constantly, but this reheating is energy neutral, since new incoming oil will always absorb all of it.

Would you mind sharing some screenshots ? 

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image.thumb.png.151fa27a04811d88c36cafb3f160bf76.png

this is the design, but it doesn't work on the current build. Heat glitches keep deleting 60 degrees of heat at around 240-320 Celsius, from a 60kg tile on the last tile under the pipe sensor and next to the 400kg door. I was supposed to test which gives me gas, Iron ore or wolframite door, but it turns out I cant make gas under the current build. Yesterday I was boiling 8000kg polluted water, that feels glitched too, in hindsight.

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Oh now I understand better... I hadn't thought of boiling polluted water using the excess heat before, that's pretty smart (maybe we can do some sort of super volcano power/water purification system ;) ). 

Let's just hope you find a way to counteract those bugs. 

Oh and I see you use a wheezewort to cool the liquid shutoff valves. You can also keep them in a vacuum, that way they won't heat up. 

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2 hours ago, Ainsley4ever said:

Let's just hope you find a way to counteract those bugs. 

Oh and I see you use a wheezewort to cool the liquid shutoff valves. You can also keep them in a vacuum, that way they won't heat up. 

Tried several hours, fresh out of ideas on what to do about the bugs..

.. the liquid shutoff valves for me, did in fact heat in vacuum, they conducted heat from the insulated pipes with 300 Celsius oil.

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My newest testing with minimal piping produced 12 tonnes of 212 degree gas with 205K heatcost to 8 magma tiles.

This means we used 3 billion joules (1840 000 x 205K x 8). Without recapture that would boil 3800kg of oil to gas. So I got 8200kg of gas from heat recapture.

I could find 3.2 billion joules stored In The gas. Still have 2.4 billion joules missing (The product of oil to nG transform and specific heat increase). Some of it IS on The tempshift plates.

Ive learned that, the outside coolant must Be 100% thermoinsulated from The main chamber or you waste magma. Ive also learned that radiant pipe bug is enough to freeze the whole process.

Still not happy with the efficiency. Need to work on recapturing the heat in the stocked 11000 kg gas. Cant even pump it at 210.

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