According to the wiki https://wiki.factorio.com/Power_product ... lear_power, the 'simple ratio' is 1 off-shore pump to 12 heat exchangers to 20 steam turbines. That is the ratio I have for my reactors. Also according to the wiki https://wiki.factorio.com/Fluid_system, water flow capacity drops to 1200/sec at 17 pipes. I have pumps after 5 underground pipes, equivalent to 10 pipes, which I thought should be more than enough to keep the water flowing.
I ran low on power yesterday, and threw in another reactor complex to compensate. And hey I was still low. So I spent some time watching one of my reactors operating, and observed the following:In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. Yogi Berra
-To start, the water pipes and heat exchangers are full of water; the heat pipes are cool and the exchangers are not operating 'no fuel'.
-As the reactor produces heat, the heat pipes and heat exchangers increase in temperature and one by one, from closest to the reactor to furthest away, the heat exchangers start producing steam. For a few seconds after the 12th exchanger starts operating, steam production is in full swing (103/103 steam output).
-As water is consumed to produce steam, the water supply drops until the heat exchangers one by one stop producing the full amount of steam because they are out of water. One by one, they drop to 66/103 steam per second.
-Once the nuclear fuel cell is consumed, the heat pipes slowly cool down (I have delay on refueling until steam drops to a certain level). One by one, from furthest away to closest, the heat exchangers top working 'no fuel'. Slowly the pipes and heat exchangers refill with water.
And then the cycle repeats.
So even though I have a total of 1700 steam turbines, for a theoretical max output of 9.89GW, in practice it only produces 66/103 of that, so I start running out of power for my base around 6.3GW.
I am going to experiment with a few options today and I will report on the results:
-adding a second off-shore pump to start off with twice as much water (in theory);
-putting in more pumps, say one pump for every underground pipe;
-putting in a complete second line from off-shore pump to heat exchangers with a pump every 5 underground pipes.
Any experiences/suggestions/comments are welcome.