Question about fluid behaviour in this build

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jamestomas2
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Question about fluid behaviour in this build

Post by jamestomas2 »

liquefaction.png
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Hey hey, I have a question about this build. This is a coke liquefaction build for a krastorio 2 modded playthrough (I don't think the mods are relevant here but you never know). Total steam consumption of the build is 684 per second and the 35 boilers feeding it at 20 steam per second are providing a total of 700 per second. However, a couple of the refineries intermittently switch off due to insufficient steam and the steam pipe ends up running at super low volume.

I've read the factorio fluid system page on a couple of occasions but only partially understand it. Is my problem here pipe throughput, pressure, or something else? Is it possible at all to have an arrangement like this for fluids with a very close relationship between total produced and total consumed and if so can I fix this by having more pumps, different spacing on them etc. or do I need to do something different?

The reason why I'm a little confused is that I assumed that if I was producing enough fluid, put some pumps along the way and then primed/pressurized the system by running the boilers and the pumps for a while before switching on the refineries it would work. Much appreciation for anyone who can cure my dumbness (in my defence I swear all these heatwaves have wrecked my brain's ability to understand most things of late!)

mmmPI
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Re: Question about fluid behaviour in this build

Post by mmmPI »

I have highlighted 2 things i would change to improve the flow of steam.( i think )

For now the steam output from upper row of boiler is connected to bottom horizontal pipe only on the left side from 1 vertical pipe, i would make another one on the other side, maybe you have a bottleneck at this right area which prevents all the upper boiler to deliver their steam, (the red rectangle may be too filled) which would cause the build to have a lower than expected steam production.

In that case the 2 pumps in the red circle may "confiscate" steam from the previous pipe and sending it further away, if it nevers back up further down the line, the refineries whose input of steam is conflicting with the pump for allocation will be starved first. Placing another vertical pipe to connect the 2 rows would make them feel not necessary anymore i guess.
liquefaction.png
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On Krastorio you can also use the more expensive steel pipe instead of the iron pipes like, they allow higher throughput that may be enough to solve the problem in this case.

Otherwise, if 35 boilers is required for 14 refinery, you could always go for 42 boilers, to make it 4 per refinery so that you are sure it's enough, and then have separated steam pipes for each refinery, it would be easier to increase the lengh of the lane without increasing the throughput requirement on a single area, at least not for the steam , maybe it will be the output of heavy oil that will be hard to move around then even with steel pipes :)

Zavian
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Re: Question about fluid behaviour in this build

Post by Zavian »

Personally I would first remove the pumps that mmmPI circled above. I suspect the are pushing too much steam to the left, and stopping the boilers to the bottom left from being able to output their steam production.

If that doesn't fix it, then double check that all your boilers are running, and they are getting enough water and coal.

If you do decide to feed the top row from the left and right like mmmPI suggested, then I would remove a couple of pipe in the middle to split the steam into 2 separate steam pipe systems, left half of boilers feeding the left 7 refineries, and right half of boilers feeding the right 7 refineries. That will half the max flow through the pipes, and avoid also avoids any possible oddities from which pipe is updated first.

mrvn
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Re: Question about fluid behaviour in this build

Post by mrvn »

The second row of boilers might have a throughput problem, or at least that won't scale to larger sizes.

As is all the steam from the second row goes to one side and the pumps in the lower row prevents that steam to spread to all refineries. That will be the cause of your steam problem. The left side has far fewer boilers than the right. Connecting the steam on both sides helps that but still leaves the middle (between the pumps) short of steam. I would say those pumps have to go, no way around that.

You can also change the boiler placement to feed steam directly down instead of going all the way to the side like this:
boiler.png
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This feeds fuel from one boiler to the next. You can add more separation and use multiple coal belts if you want or use only 2 rows. Feeding the steam directly down avoids flow problems and would allow the design to grow without limit (with small breaks to feed in more water and coal belts).

Note: I've shown 2 ways to power the inserter depending on which poles you prefer. Pick one and extend it to the width you require.

jamestomas2
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Re: Question about fluid behaviour in this build

Post by jamestomas2 »

Thank you all for your advice and suggestions! So, as I'm prototyping the entire oil section of my base I decided to really get to grips with the fluid system. Having fully mathsed the pipe to pump ratios for the main oil refineries and cracking etc.- and getting it to work as intended - I realized that there just isn't a plausible fluid throughput related problem in the coke liquefaction build and with that possibility eliminated it simply had to be that not enough steam was being produced. So I went back to look very carefully over the build.... Krastorio (or maybe even vanilla? it's been a few years at this point) has the special pipe pieces that allow you to place pipes next to one another without connecting, which I used so that I could put the steam and light oil pipes next to one another. Guess who didn't use the special t pieces for the light oil pipe but instead used the special straight pieces on the steam pipe and didn't notice that there were three of four boilers that as a result weren't actually connected to the pipe... :lol:

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Re: Question about fluid behaviour in this build

Post by mmmPI »

jamestomas2 wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 2:45 pm
So I went back to look very carefully over the build.... Krastorio (or maybe even vanilla? it's been a few years at this point) has the special pipe pieces that allow you to place pipes next to one another without connecting, which I used so that I could put the steam and light oil pipes next to one another.
I think this is from the mod Flow Control https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Flow%20Control, it is amongst the mods recommended for their compatibility with Krastorio.

Nice to hear the problem is solved :)

mrvn
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Re: Question about fluid behaviour in this build

Post by mrvn »

jamestomas2 wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 2:45 pm
Thank you all for your advice and suggestions! So, as I'm prototyping the entire oil section of my base I decided to really get to grips with the fluid system. Having fully mathsed the pipe to pump ratios for the main oil refineries and cracking etc.- and getting it to work as intended - I realized that there just isn't a plausible fluid throughput related problem in the coke liquefaction build and with that possibility eliminated it simply had to be that not enough steam was being produced. So I went back to look very carefully over the build.... Krastorio (or maybe even vanilla? it's been a few years at this point) has the special pipe pieces that allow you to place pipes next to one another without connecting, which I used so that I could put the steam and light oil pipes next to one another. Guess who didn't use the special t pieces for the light oil pipe but instead used the special straight pieces on the steam pipe and didn't notice that there were three of four boilers that as a result weren't actually connected to the pipe... :lol:
Install "Bottleneck" so you get nice LEDs showing what runs, what is input starved and what is output blocked. Makes it easy to spot such mistakes.


As a side node I wouldn't optimize this to death. Get the ratios close and keep everything way below the maximum pipe speed and slightly below belt speeds and you will be much happier. Better to build 2 smaller factories than one big one that then has flow or belt troubles.

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