Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

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oyunbagimlisi
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Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by oyunbagimlisi »

I installed two switchboards, 2x2 and 2x4. There doesn't seem to be a problem. However, in some plans that I examined out of curiosity, people set up a system so that each switchboard is connected to a separate "independent" pipe.

(I doubt that I am expressing myself correctly. Is there a mistake in my plans. I think that the power plants are internally connected, I extract the heat from a single pipeline. For a moment I doubted whether I was getting efficiency from the plants that did not have a direct connection.)

(1st and 2nd images are my plans. 3rd image is someone else's plan that makes me suspicious)

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(1st and 2nd images are my plans. 3rd image is someone else's plan that makes me suspicious)

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by oyunbagimlisi »

I hope I was able to make my question correct and understandable with the picture...

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by mrvn »

Reactors are very good conductors of heat, much better than heat pipes. So no, you don't need additional heat pipes.

But having more lines of heat pipes means each can be shorter and more heat is transferred each tick. That goes along with the steam being put into more pipes so each pipe needs to carry less steam. Pipes and pumps can only carry so much steam per second so there is a limit how many heat eachangers you can have per pipe.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by oyunbagimlisi »

mrvn wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:32 pm
Reactors are very good conductors of heat, much better than heat pipes. So no, you don't need additional heat pipes.

But having more lines of heat pipes means each can be shorter and more heat is transferred each tick. That goes along with the steam being put into more pipes so each pipe needs to carry less steam. Pipes and pumps can only carry so much steam per second so there is a limit how many heat eachangers you can have per pipe.

Thank you @mrvn

From this comment, I understand that I can use my existing plans "without problems". (Apart from my question, assuming there is no other problem.xd)

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by mrvn »

You can. You just might limit the maximum power you can generate with such a setup. Not sure if a 2x2 reactor is already limited with just 2 heat pipes and 4 steam pipes. But if you don't need maximum power output and just want 2x2 rectors for the greater fuel efficiency then that's perfectly fine.

Just take care not to throw in fuel into the reactors too fast. As long as they don't reach 1000° (or close to it) you are fine and aren't wasting fuel.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by oyunbagimlisi »

mrvn wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:45 pm
You can. You just might limit the maximum power you can generate with such a setup. Not sure if a 2x2 reactor is already limited with just 2 heat pipes and 4 steam pipes. But if you don't need maximum power output and just want 2x2 rectors for the greater fuel efficiency then that's perfectly fine.

Just take care not to throw in fuel into the reactors too fast. As long as they don't reach 1000° (or close to it) you are fine and aren't wasting fuel.
I always see your name on this forum. Thank you. Good luck in your life, health...

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by FuryoftheStars »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the heat system use the fluid mechanics or something like it? Thus there is a throughput limit on the heat pipes similar to regular pipes? Not saying or thinking that 4 reactors are too much for 2 heat pipes, but there would be a limit.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by astroshak »

Reactors can heat up to 999 or 1000 degrees. That’s their limit. If you do not remove the heat, then the excess energy is wasted. Not such a problem with Kovarex giving you effectively unlimited U235, but still.

One more thing to bear in mind, you are giving up 160 MW of potential power (and the need for the infrastructure to convert that heat into electricity) every time you start a new 2xN setup. 2x2 reactors gets you 480 MW heat. Two 2x2 setups are worth 960 MW heat. Yet a 2x4 reactor setup is worth 1120 MW heat. By not connecting the two 2x2 setups, you forego 160 MW.

If all you want is a nice looking 480, 800, or whatever MW power plant that you can plop a BP down for, then go for it. Just remember that each one costs you 160 MW by not connecting the reactors to the others.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by oyunbagimlisi »

astroshak wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:29 am
Reactors can heat up to 999 or 1000 degrees. That’s their limit. If you do not remove the heat, then the excess energy is wasted. Not such a problem with Kovarex giving you effectively unlimited U235, but still.

One more thing to bear in mind, you are giving up 160 MW of potential power (and the need for the infrastructure to convert that heat into electricity) every time you start a new 2xN setup. 2x2 reactors gets you 480 MW heat. Two 2x2 setups are worth 960 MW heat. Yet a 2x4 reactor setup is worth 1120 MW heat. By not connecting the two 2x2 setups, you forego 160 MW.

If all you want is a nice looking 480, 800, or whatever MW power plant that you can plop a BP down for, then go for it. Just remember that each one costs you 160 MW by not connecting the reactors to the others.
If I understand you correctly: The issue you are talking about here is something different. You are comparing the efficiency of 2 separate (2x2) installations and 1 (2x4) installation.

However, I'm just asking whether reactors can transfer heat without the need for external heat pipes, just as boilers transfer steam between themselves without pipes.

In fact, the fact that it can be done seems appropriate in practice and theory. Because I managed to gain 486-489MW in my cheat mode tests and 1.1 Gw in 2x4 setup. The plans I saw only made me suspicious, I wanted to be sure. As @mrvn pointed out, I don't think I have any loss either: but I'm still not 100% sure. xd

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by mrvn »

FuryoftheStars wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:12 am
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the heat system use the fluid mechanics or something like it? Thus there is a throughput limit on the heat pipes similar to regular pipes? Not saying or thinking that 4 reactors are too much for 2 heat pipes, but there would be a limit.
Indeed there is. A heat pipe also needs a 1°C drop per tile to work at all. A larger drop makes the heat flow faster but there is a limit. A heat pipe can transfer a maximum of 16666666.666666, whatever the units there are. It's more than enough to fill a steam pipe so that is usually the limit you hit first.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by Tertius »

oyunbagimlisi wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:03 am
In fact, the fact that it can be done seems appropriate in practice and theory. Because I managed to gain 486-489MW in my cheat mode tests and 1.1 Gw in 2x4 setup. The plans I saw only made me suspicious, I wanted to be sure. As @mrvn pointed out, I don't think I have any loss either: but I'm still not 100% sure. xd
As long as your reactors don't reach 1000°C, you're not wasting energy with the heat pipe connectors. However, if your reactors do reach 1000°C, they produce more heat than it is dissipated and you should revise your heat pipe and heat exchanger layout - or you're producing more electric energy than it is consumed and you need to implement some buffer, for example steam tanks.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by oyunbagimlisi »

Tertius wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:33 pm
oyunbagimlisi wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:03 am
In fact, the fact that it can be done seems appropriate in practice and theory. Because I managed to gain 486-489MW in my cheat mode tests and 1.1 Gw in 2x4 setup. The plans I saw only made me suspicious, I wanted to be sure. As @mrvn pointed out, I don't think I have any loss either: but I'm still not 100% sure. xd
As long as your reactors don't reach 1000°C, you're not wasting energy with the heat pipe connectors. However, if your reactors do reach 1000°C, they produce more heat than it is dissipated and you should revise your heat pipe and heat exchanger layout - or you're producing more electric energy than it is consumed and you need to implement some buffer, for example steam tanks.
I do not like to use other people's ready-made plans. In both installations, I first store the steam with the steam tanks. The reactors shut down when the steam reaches ''240k''(2X2)/'1M''(2X4). The charge percentage is also connected to the switch, with a default setting of 20% depending on usage. However, I find the return of an experienced player important and valuable. I would really appreciate if you could review my blueprints and give your main idea.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by astroshak »

Reactors CAN be used as giant heat pipes, yes.

They only provide the neighbor bonus when they are burning fuel, however.

Just like regular pipes, do NOT provide multiple paths for the heat to travel to its consumer.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by Tertius »

If I test my own reactor designs, I perform 2 stress tests in my sandbox.

The first test verifies there is enough energy storage to buffer excess energy.
I start it immediately after a new fuel cell has been inserted into the reactors by disconnecting the power consumption, so all energy produced by the fuel cells (they burn for 200 seconds) has to be stored within the reactor system. This is as heat the reactors themselves plus the heat pipes, and it is as steam in steam tanks. In addition, the steam level in the tanks needs to be just below the maximum level that is used to activate/deactivate the fuel supply, so they are as full as they can be with active fueling.

This stress test is passed, if no reactor reached 1000°C.
This test tells more: the closer the reactor temperature is to 1000°C, the better sized are the energy buffers. They should be large enough, but not larger, otherwise material is wasted and you have too many steam tanks or heat pipes. So ideally, this test ends with a reactor temperature around 950-980°C.

The second stress test is kind of opposite. It verifies there is enough energy buffered to provide maximum energy while the system reheats from low power consumption. I change the energy consumption to be very low, so the reactor is refueled only from time to time, if the steam level in the tanks fall below their lower threshold. The test starts right before the lower steam threshold kicks in and new fuel cells will be inserted. I turn the energy consumption to maximum, so the steam, being at the lower threshold, needs to be enough to provide enough energy for maximum consumption until the reactor system is heated up and the turbines are at full power again.

This stress test is passed, if no brownout happened.

If it comes to your blueprints, they have modded entities, and I'm playing vanilla, so I'm unable to actually test them. They are using the principle of steam threshold and refuel triggered by the used up cell. That design is ok, if your implementation of that design works.

However, as a lazy person, I never used this design. I prefer a fool-proof design that auto-starts and isn't dependent on the workflow of the reactors. My designs use a 200 second counter instead of the trigger with the used up fuel cells. This also satisfies my perfectionism quirk: there is not even half a second of fuel downtime, so a 480 MW reactor setup actually delivers 480 MW and not only 478-479 MW, and all reactors are always refilled guaranteed simultaneously.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by astroshak »

Uh .. what’s the difference between a reactor getting a new fuel cell right when the old one expires, and a reactor getting a stack inserter’s worth when it runs low, and keeps on consuming them?

Does not having extras in the reactor make a real difference in that case? Why bother with the timer at all?

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by oyunbagimlisi »

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Thank you to everyone who took an interest and commented.

In my game, I used the 2x2 reactor with solar panels as a backup energy source for a long time. But I have never tried the 2x4 setup in the game.

In my final tests, which I did by increasing the game speed by 6400, I saw that the 2x4 setup was "garbage". I spent at least 10-14 hours for that setup... :( But I couldn't figure out if the problem was due to the length of the heat line or insufficient output.

On the 2x2 installation, I updated the pump supports and increased the 240k steam threshold to 500k. The steam production of 2 "Heat exchangers" was constantly fluctuating between 90-98. It corresponds to an energy loss of 1-2 MW. This is not a big problem either.

I've been playing the game for 2 years, but there are still a lot of things I can't grasp. I think I know how to prepare a 60-30 second counter, but how do you place a product in 200 seconds?

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by Tertius »

astroshak wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:49 pm
Uh .. what’s the difference between a reactor getting a new fuel cell right when the old one expires, and a reactor getting a stack inserter’s worth when it runs low, and keeps on consuming them?

Does not having extras in the reactor make a real difference in that case? Why bother with the timer at all?
If my reactor produces 480 MW, and my factory only consumes 300 MW, I don't want to waste the extra 180 MW that would be wasted if I continuously fill fuel cells. In case of 480 MW production to 300 MW consumption, and a fuel cell burn duration of 200 s for 480 MW, 300 MW need a burn duration of only 300/480*200 = 125 seconds. That means the difference of 75 s need to be buffered, then the insertion of the next cell needs to be delayed by 75 s and the buffer needs to be consumed, and only then the circle can start again. With Kovarex the U-235 supply seems unlimited, but it just feels wrong to waste the excess energy.
oyunbagimlisi wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:32 pm
I've been playing the game for 2 years, but there are still a lot of things I can't grasp. I think I know how to prepare a 60-30 second counter, but how do you place a product in 200 seconds?
200 seconds are 200*60 = 12000 ticks, so this is to where the counter needs to count.
You can see my counter implementation here: viewtopic.php?p=552809#p552809

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by astroshak »

Tertius wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:53 pm
astroshak wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:49 pm
Uh .. what’s the difference between a reactor getting a new fuel cell right when the old one expires, and a reactor getting a stack inserter’s worth when it runs low, and keeps on consuming them?

Does not having extras in the reactor make a real difference in that case? Why bother with the timer at all?
If my reactor produces 480 MW, and my factory only consumes 300 MW, I don't want to waste the extra 180 MW that would be wasted if I continuously fill fuel cells. In case of 480 MW production to 300 MW consumption, and a fuel cell burn duration of 200 s for 480 MW, 300 MW need a burn duration of only 300/480*200 = 125 seconds. That means the difference of 75 s need to be buffered, then the insertion of the next cell needs to be delayed by 75 s and the buffer needs to be consumed, and only then the circle can start again. With Kovarex the U-235 supply seems unlimited, but it just feels wrong to waste the excess energy.
That’s fine, except you said you use a 200 second counter. How do you dynamically change the 200 seconds to 275 (in your case there)?

My power consumption is never static. There’s always something going on, or shutting off and only using the drain energy. Inserters start and stop based on the demands of the machines they supply, or the belts they draw from or place upon. Laser turrets fire, taking 800 MJ per shot. The mall starts up when I (or my bots) take something out, and then stops when the drawn items are replenished. As I said, my power draw is never static.

For that matter, my potential power production changes over time as well. I use a 2xN design, intended to be built over very long lakes. I use a 2x4 tileable BP, the first iteration of which produces 1120 MW. Each additional iteration put down in connection to it, extending the 2xN, adds another 1280 MW to my power production. How does your setup account for the increase in power production capability as well as the ever changing demand?

I abuse the “unlimited” U235 from Kovarex to supply my reactors, without any buffer condition. The buffer conditions I’ve found (before yours) monitors the steam level, but only inserts a new fuel cell when the spent fuel cell is ejected, meaning I need to stop by the newly built reactor to put their first fuel cell inside. This, to me, is a waste of my time; I should not be forced to visit the power plant every time I’m trying to bring a new segment online.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by mrvn »

astroshak wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:49 pm
Uh .. what’s the difference between a reactor getting a new fuel cell right when the old one expires, and a reactor getting a stack inserter’s worth when it runs low, and keeps on consuming them?

Does not having extras in the reactor make a real difference in that case? Why bother with the timer at all?
If you load a stack inserters worth of fuel cells than you need a lot of steam/heat buffer to store all the energy when power consumption is less than heat production. Most reactor setups set a stack size override = 1 so they can stop fuel after every cell and only need buffer for at most 1 fuel cell.

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Re: Are Additional Heat Pipes Required for the Outputs of Adjacent Nuclear Power Plants?

Post by Tertius »

astroshak wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:57 am
That’s fine, except you said you use a 200 second counter. How do you dynamically change the 200 seconds to 275 (in your case there)?
I don't change it directly. It still works with a steam threshold. As you wrote, the power consumption is of course always dynamic. The counter design works with 2 conditions: Insert a new fuel cell if the counter is expired (200 seconds -> 12000 ticks) AND if the steam level is below threshold. If it is above threshold, no cell is inserted, but the timer is still expired and still running above 12000, so the next cell is immediately inserted if the steam level finally drops.
The fuel inserters arms are read as pulse, and this pulse resets the counter to 0, and the cycle starts again.

You can see my mechanism closer to what a human would do: A human would insert a new fuel cell after 200 seconds and if there is no steam buffered, and he starts counting the time after he inserted a new cell. Not after he removed the old cell. Taking out the trash is a separate task.

This way no used fuel cell is required. The system autostarts and inserts the first fuel cell by itself after the counter expired for the first time 200 seconds after building. You can suspend the whole thing by switching the constant combinator off, because this makes the counter stop running.
I designed this timer, because I see it like you: I don't want to fill in the first cell manually. It feels so kludgy. It's totally a matter of taste, not a matter of "must do/cannot do".

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