First of all, i'm not saying this is perfect or even good as system for a challenging game. It is however beautiful in my eyes, the challenge was making it. i hope you like it too
This is a test map because the nuclear plant is trying to decentralize the steam. The main area is where the reactor are, but the turbines are a bit everywhere on the map. Why? You may ask. Knowing that you can power your remote outpost with long power pole and hope the mean insects will not eat them, you can also deliver nuclear fuel to your outpost and have local little nuclear reactor, you can also build isolated grid with solar powered-outpost. But those are nothing compared to the smokiest way of doing it : delivering steam to outpost !
What ? moving steam to the outpost so they can power their own turbines and live off the main grid that's ridiculous !
Oh you think ? but wait there's more ! it's going to be done without using any storage tank !
Wait, but you need storage tank to measure the quantity of fluid ? or at least to store the steam ?
No, 0 storage tank required, not for reading value, not for buffering. They are like combinators, they make life easier, there is an example of outpost using tank and combinators, just to demonstrate how much easier when you use them, but i didn't used any apart for that example.
Wait, no need for any combinators ?
Correct, 0 combinator. 0 storage tank
Ok, and before we go further, it's also very precise, there is no waste, there is no brownout when it's properly used. Using it properly may require a bit more thought than with usual nuclear plant because the steam produced is then used in several different grids. This makes it difficult to acknowledge your current electrical consumption, the sum of all grid's consumptions. As long as you only have 1 nuclear plant, you can read your steam production because this is global.
This is the reactor area, I made it look warmer than the regular labtile map, but it was made in the /editor, using x64 speed or tick speed, and then i planted little bushes and trees, and placed some little fish too. But don't let the shiny distract you from the mechanism it was done to make you download the map haha. Here's a closer look at it :
The accumulators and solar pannel are there to power the pumps, and the inserters feeding the trains and those used for the reactor's refuel because there is 0 turbines in this area.
The reactor heat up the heatpipes, and the steam is produced directly to be put onto a train. I called the stations smoke machine ammunition loading bay, because that's what they do, they load some steam, for outpost to use, as you would do with ammunition.
The primary driver in the design was to be efficient, as in "not inserting fuel cell when the reactor is too hot", and "not having brownouts because you didn't insert fast enough".
The idea : when you insert fuel in nuclear reactor, you know the amount of energy you are adding in the thermal buffer created by the many heatpipes.
For a 2x2 plant, this represent 4 fuel cell at a time. Each fuel cell is worth 8 GJ. Then you need to add reactor's neighbour bonus.
For a 2X2 plant, each reactor has 2 neighbour, that means each reactor adds to the initial 8GJ 2x8GJ. 1 per neighbour. For a total of 24GJ per fuel cell, or 96 GJ if you count a "fuel cycle", 4 cells at 24GJ worth of energy.
This is how much energy you add the blackbox every refuel, quite easy to know.
Now the tricky part, you need to refuel when this quantity of energy was consumed. Not before, not after.
The energy is taken away from the blackbox/heatpipes under the form of steam.
Each train when taking steam away, is reducing the temperature of the whole system by a little bit. And that's where we need to be precise.
How much energy is a train taking away when he leaves the power plant full of steam ?
Ok let's pause a bit for some math, first we need to know how much represent 24GJ when it's transformed in steam.
A reactor produces 40MW of power, for this it burn a fuel cell of 8GJ, in 200 second.
A heat exchanger produce 103 steam/second, and is able to transform enough heat into steam at the rate of 10 000 000 Joules/sec. ( from the wiki and ingame info).
a 2X2 plant produce up to 480MW thanks to neighbour bonus, using up to 48 heat exchanger when running at 100%.
This means a 2X2 power plant produce 103x48x200 steam per fuel cycle because a fuel cycle will burn in 200 second, producing 103 steam per each of the 48 heat exhanger.
that means 988 800 steam is produced each time 4 fuel cell are added. this require that all the cell's heat is transformed into steam not a single % left away,
for this the power plant will need to be initialized by burning fuel to rise to high °. In theory >500°, in practice 980° for me for this plant.
Now the easy part, we just ask each train to take exactly 98 880 steam,this means every 10 trains, 1 fuel cycle worth of nuclear energy has been transformed into steam, meaning the average temperature is the same as it was before. every 10 train we launch the refuel ! or we could ask each train to take 82400 steam, and count every 12 train, 82400x12=988 800 Here's the logic :
The 3 signal on the left are a train counter, when they are all red at the same time, the item [train signal] on the exterior of the firt loop named (a) goes 1 round.
Given the fuel used and the train composition there is only always 1 train passing when the 3 signals are red.
This trigger a pulse for the second loop (b). This second loop has 2 belts wired that move item tick by tick each pulse they receive. And 1 belt reading when the item has gone a full lap. It required 12 lap of the first loop to make 1 lap of the 2nd loop, that realease an item that is then read to trigger the refuel.
So what's the red box called not necessary ?
Well, to be honnest i omited some detail earlier. You know when i said ask each train to take 98 880 steam ?. and then 10 trains is a perfect count ?. Well that's not exactly how it works. You see the pumps and the heat exchanger have a buffer. When a train leaves and another takes its place, their internal buffer of 400 for the pump and 200 for the heat exchanger build up to max limit. They always consistently do.
This means the first tick of the train getting filled, there is exactly, always 4800 steam injected. Then the tick after that 2400. the buffer from 12 pumps and 12 heat exchanged split onto 3 wagons. And after than, each tick, there is a grand total of 20.6 steam produced and injected into the train. (103/60)*12. Since a heat exchanger produce 103 per 60 ticks and there's 12 of them.
How exactly can you get a perfect count of 988 800 steam if you start with 7200 and go with increment of 20.6 ?
I have no idea ! also i must be forgotting something because my theoric math are over-evaluating the throughput. What i've done instead is measure the different quantity that the train holds. 4800, 7200, 7220, 7241, 7261, 7282, 7303 it goes +20 +21 +20 +21 +21 and repeat... (+20.6) Or so i though, my measurement are the same as in game only at first, then it start differing even for value as low as 20K or so.
But that's not a problem pal, how much does it differs ? i don't know, what i know thought, is that when we ask a train to leave when he has 82400 steam or more, he always consistently leaves with precisely 82404 or 82416 depeding on how many heat exhanger are connected due to testing on different setup.
The problem is that if we remove a tad too much heat, the reactor will dirft toward cold temperature, and some people think it's bad. ( you could always just have an emergy refuel automated when it's critical).
The other solution is removing just a little less energy than what's added. That's the one i went for, each train on the map receive exactly 82 395 steam. ( not superior or equal, exactly 82 395) I didn't choose that number it was the closest under 82400 i could reliably get. That means every 12 train there is a grand total of 988 740 steam carried away out of the 988 800 total. This means every 12 trains we outproduce 60 steam.
But that's wasteful ehhh !
Yes you are right, it's wasteful ( around 0.006067961165049% is lost ) but it makes sure the reactor never gets too cold.
Remember I told you it was very precise? , that's why i added some unecessary mechanism on the side, to make sure in case someone is very very annoying with details and want to point out that it's theorically very important to make sure the reactor can last 1000 hours or so and correct that 0.006% inaccuracy.
We can say that every fuel cycle, there is 60 steam too many that is being produced. This means every twelve trains, there is 5 steam too many that stays in the reactor.
Or that every 988 800/5= 197 760 trains, we need to skip a refuel. Or again that every 16 480 fuel cycle, 1 shoud be skipped.
That's the use of the other loops. y count 515, z count 32, and x is 12. every 32 trains the small loop z goes by 1 tick. and every lap from the loop z couting 32 the longer of 515 goes by 1 tick, and every lap of this loop, increment the loop x counting 12, for a total of 197 760 trains. ( 915 hours at full consumption ).
The loop x is the anti-feeding. It's made to trigger exactly like the loop b, ( every 16480 time) and holds the same signals and send on the same network.
This means every 915 hours, the inserters will receive 2[chain signal], and not just 1[chain signal] on the green wire. They will not understand, they are set up to trigger when [chain signal] is exactly 1, not 2.
But there are some delay on the logic, it will fire few ticks later !
no not few ticks only 2, the item is stuck 1 tick before the read position on each loops that trigger the anti-feeding. The anti-feeding loop will let its counter-signal 2 ticks too late. Which doesn't matter look at this :
The fuel is picked up from static belts not from chests ! This means instead of just 1 pulse triggering the refuel you need 6 ! because picking up from belt is slower than picking up from chest. The signal triggering the insertion is the [read-hold], not [read-pulse]. This means everytime the previous loop b, goes one lap the item [chain-signal] is scanned during the entire duration of the time it is present on the inner side of a red corner belt. This last 6.625 ticks. or 7, enough to trigger 1 refuel, but not more.
The fuel ejection is not controlled it just happens when it's due.
The other wiring allows to stuck 1 fuel in front of each belt, at the exact same position on the belt relative to the inserter, to make sure the insertion is tick-perfect, and that the inserter are not chasing on the belt for a fuel cell.
And also fueling the trains with nuclear fuel without requiring too much buffer fuel come from infinity chest. The used fuel are left in infinite chest to help me estimate how much time pass in game due to shifting often between tick speed and x64.
Well that's a lot of math and things to diggest...
Hey it's not finished ! This is only the reactor part. Look at the turbines's logic :
This is a "fight for the fish". You place a fish in the middle of the 2 station and 1 of them will grab it and keep it until its train is empty. The the fish is placed in the middle again.
This make sure there is always 1 train full and 1 train being emptied in the station.
but why ?
because no storage tank and no combinator .
There's other way !
Oh i know, i had fun with those and they are all to visit on the map if you download it you'd see for yourself like this one :
When the train goes to refill the steam it runs on accumulators. Why not ? that's not storage tank, that's not combinator. The train limit is set to 1 on this one.
On this one the train limit for steam train is 2, because there is a waiting bay, this mean you can cover the time between 2 trains with the internal buffer of turbines and pumps (the pipes are not necessary but they tell the idea and are not storage tanks ).
This one is all weird. Nothing regular here, turbines are connected via pipes, the draw on every wagon is uneven and could be on each turbine, that's pretty bad usually for multi-wagon trains because you rely on a partial throughput for a moment but here it just means the last wagon is emptied faster due to the vastly superior throughput of the pump compared to what's being consumed by turbines it doesn't cause issue. And when the train leaves to refill steam it relies on internal buffer.
Then there's this horizontal train, that act as an immediate reserve if the accu drops under 99% if the internal buffer runs dry because the steam train is too long. It need 2 position for fill and empty because the pumps are directionnal contrary to storage tanks connected with pipes.
The layout of the rest of the map are bad, and unbalanced, plus you're just feeding beacons and deleting the red science.
I know that's a test map I didn't thought much about what is being produced at outpost and how, just the part that is in relation with the nuclear plant.
There are storage tanks and combinators, and also infinity chests
The storage tanks and the 1 combinator is used in a special outpost to demonstrate how to do things could be done with them.
this is very fragile it breaks if the reactor is too cold and heat exchanger don't output full steam, then the trains don't have 82395, they fill in full and deadlock
Yes you need to have the reactor and heat system at 980° to begin sending trains in. From my testing the cold point can reach as low as 650° while the hottest 980°, this is because if one bay is more utilized than another , the heat dissipate only from on side it creates some interesting dynamics where the reactor is not always the hottest point of the system the conducvity didn't caused me any problems and i tested it at full train capacity.
As long as the use of the 4 station is pseudo random it's very good. if only the 2 interior it's very good too, if only the 2 exterior no problem. You may have problems if you saturate only the 2 top and voluntarily block the 2 bottom for more than 5 hours, i haven't tested up that far all possibiliies.
For more safety you can change the train schedule to 82 350 steam or more. It will be imprecise, but you will not have as much as 82 395 steam, so the only consequence will be a little overheating of the reactor over time. ( may as well get rid of the clock counting 197 K trains to skip one refuel).
because of the train-downtime, you can't produce 480 MW
that's right, I think you can only get around 950K steam instead of 988 800. The train down-time need to be larger than the time it takes for the internal buffer of the pump and heat exchanger to fill up to the maximum for math to be consistent. You can't power 1000 beacon continuously.
That's not precise !
nope you can't really tell how much you are producing unless you look at the fluid production tab and "steam". which doesn't work anymore if you build several of those.soyou'd have to look at all the different grids.
It makes it hard to know if you can add more miners or if the power plant would be overloaded with steam request for example.
the good thing though is that you don't have a general brownout, it makes it easy to prioritize what part of the factory receive power and analyze and measure one unit.
You can also buffer energy, steam tanks if you use them are very cheap, once you can transport steam to many places it's that much easier to make emergency power supply.
Even if you have a main grid, you can have some parts like the defense perimeter that isolate themselves from the rest of the factory and rely on they own steam buffer supply.
There is a mockup of this in one outpost whose laser turrets, beacons, and turbines are on 3 separate grid , it has no logic it's just to help manually testing situations. The outer grid is densily covered with power pole in an attempt to intercept ignorant player running with power pole to connect the world and make it a better place. The idea would be the connection is only seemingly happening but it just connect to the outside grid which could spare the inner grid if power was to fail on the outer grid. But i need more testing on this.
don't you also have a version without the clutter ? and no mods
I couldn't upload it as i reached the limit of attachments for 1 post it seems, i can upload the version before i made the island if needed but that one also has mods, you don't have to use them it's all vanilla.
It would be nice if the whole map was decorated like the nuclear plant, also the pictures are not HD
Yes, but plants takes time to grows. And my computer's a potato.
EDIT : This power plant was considered the winner in the contest of the longest-train-based reactor, the evaluating method is secret, but still that means you can use a similar design without problems, it's validated by :