Hi guys, I really was excited about the new steam turbine, but that excitement was soon diminished when being confronted with harsh reality. If someone can point out errors in my musings below then I will be happy for comments, but as far as I see it, Klei has made the turbine even less attractive than before.
I like the new aspect that the power generated depends on the temperature of the steam instead of the former "binary" thing of either "hot enough => full power, one degree below minimum => NO Power" and I also really support the decrease of minimum temperature since it enables one to make good use of all the excess heat delivered to your door by the meteor showers, that you have no other means to get rid off due to the lack of thermal radiation to space.
BUT as it is now the turbine is almost as impossible to efficiently use than the old one. Okay we have condensed steam now as output which makes closed cycle turbines a lot easier (without using the hydrogen layer method of the old turbine) which is a good thing waterwise (if you don't happen to have some 8kg/s Steamvent around) and a good thing energywise since boiling water takes incredible amounts of heatenergy due to the 4.1 heat capacity, so it is already a point whether the water you turn into steam drops in at 94° or at 44°.
but the grudge I have against the change focuses on the output nerf that has been applied. A drop from 2kW to 850W for no apparent reason. Yes they said something about "fitting it in" but in my oppinion they missed the mark by stellar distances on that one. Especially the turbine now carries a new flaw that is a death warrant in context with the power output drop. It appears that the turbine converts the energy it takes from the steam not to electrical power but emits a good portion of it to the environment. I am not that much of a math genius so I might be running the wrong direction here. But if I take the numbers (Drop from 125° to 94 at 2kg/s) that means the steam turbine removes 258kJ from the steam fed to it. According to the info panel on a running turbine app. 45-50kJ are emmitted to the environment as heat. I WOULD'nt argue against heat emmission since the turbine is heated up by the steam fed to it.
But at this point the turbine generates a meager app. 250W of power. So where did the remaining 210kW go? With a meager 0,11% efficiency rating this turbine is barely standing up to 19th century steam engines. That still would be kind of bearable if you wouldn't have to expend most of the power generated to the cooling of the thing since it shuts down at 100° Using steam temperatures ABOVE the lower limit of 125° causes the turbine to generate more power (app. 450W at 150°) but also drastically increases the neccessity for cooling. At least I was not able to prevent heat shutdown with a thermoregulator cycling hydrogen through a radiant pipe. Aquatuner with some liquid coolant would be an alternative but would completely hammer the energy balance into the negative range even if firing the turbine at full power (which is probably somewhere near the old lower limit of steam temp).
As steam turbines are a late game power source that should at some point replace non-replenishing energy sources like coal and Gas, it would have been great if this change would have come without such a drastic nerf to power output and overexcessive cooling requirements. Yes of course I could probably quench it with a zillion wheezeworts above the turbine room but that wastes 99,89% of the thermal energy put into the setup and of course requires a dozen flights to the ice planet in order to acquire the seeds.
So any ideas? Any chance that Klei thinks this over once more and gives us a turbine worth constructing?