Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Power Plants, Energy Storage and Reliable Energy Supply. All about efficient energy production. Turning parts of your factory off. Reliable and self-repairing energy.
Koub
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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by Koub »

septemberWaves wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:28 am
I did not realize the change to boilers and steam engines occurred over four years ago;
Version 2.0. Last updated 12/25/2017.
(from OP)

The new boilers were added end 2017 with 0.15.0 IIRC
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septemberWaves
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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by septemberWaves »

Well, that makes a lot more sense.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by zOldBulldog »

Here is my take on an optimal Steam Engine setup, a powerplant that can be used early on with just a couple boilers, later expand to become the main powerplant(s), provide spike protection via steam tanks, work as backup power if there are other better powersources and function as a wood incinerator when you need it.

What I was going for was for a single blueprint that did it all and did not require me to tear down the whole plant and rebuild it every time I moved up to the next stage.
BulldogSteamPower.jpeg
BulldogSteamPower.jpeg (49.71 KiB) Viewed 3688 times

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by Patric20878 »

An earlier version of my design in the "FACTORIO 0.14.XX AND PRIOR" section explains why you shouldn't use water tanks:
For those who used my old coal detector and water battery setup during Factorio v0.10 and v0.11, I'm happy to say that the workaround solutions are now obsolete. With the features that came in 0.12, combinators and circuitry can be used to detect an absence of coal on the coal belt, and loading a large buffer of coal into chests is a far superior solution than storing hot water in tanks, as it is cheaper, lower tech, and doesn't cause power output to drop as supply decreases, unlike water tanks. Also, offshore pumps can now be linked to circuitry, eliminating the need to use small pumps as controllable valves, and since water batteries are now replaced by coal chest batteries, there is no need for controllable water valves anymore in such a design.
Tekkit Classic expert and admin of the Tekkit Classic Wikia specializing in factory and frame gunship engineering, creator of the Optimized Steam Engine Setup, and a huge fan of Touhou. My designs may be found at http://patric20878.imgur.com.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by zOldBulldog »

Patric20878 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:23 pm
An earlier version of my design in the "FACTORIO 0.14.XX AND PRIOR" section explains why you shouldn't use water tanks:
For those who used my old coal detector and water battery setup during Factorio v0.10 and v0.11, I'm happy to say that the workaround solutions are now obsolete. With the features that came in 0.12, combinators and circuitry can be used to detect an absence of coal on the coal belt, and loading a large buffer of coal into chests is a far superior solution than storing hot water in tanks, as it is cheaper, lower tech, and doesn't cause power output to drop as supply decreases, unlike water tanks. Also, offshore pumps can now be linked to circuitry, eliminating the need to use small pumps as controllable valves, and since water batteries are now replaced by coal chest batteries, there is no need for controllable water valves anymore in such a design.
There are no water tanks in this design, only steam. Also, it uses circuits to manage it and its relation to other power sources. It is not even close to the behavior of the old hot water storage systems. You need to see it in action under different scenarios/conditions to fully understand it.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by foamy »

All these posts with just one row of boilers...


Image

Buildable early, transitions into a backup source later if you want it. Running just the usual 1:20:40, the output of the full array is 216 MW, which is 54 coal/s, or just slightly under two full red belts worth of coal. To slow the belts sufficiently for the burner inserters to take from them, the red belt is priority split out onto yellow belt. The yellow belt can be connected through to the splitters (as shown) or dead-ended to further improve pickup chances.

Inserters are purely burner, to avoid a brownout spiral from them. Four are positioned for the inital (slow) belt-to-entity feed to the front two boilers in each row, then the boilers behind them are fed by daisy-chaining. Since entity-to-entity movement is so much faster, only one is required for each step. Full capacity research is needed to keep up with coal at full draw, but not with higher tiers of fuel, and even at inserter capacity 2 coal can generally keep up in realistic scenarios.



I haven't ever built it out this far, but in principle I think it's possible to quadruple output via a. feeding from each end (e.g. via landfill, as with nuclear designs) and doubling up on the offshore pumps on each end. That would bring output to 864 MW, which would be 72 solid fuel/s, or 1.6 blue belt's worth.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by ondrii »

That's what I love in Factorio - new briliant designs.
It looks beautyful.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by T-A-R »

Its not a new design, but a rather neat one, very compact.

I always like to see it as inspiration on the ancient boilers, where it was a common way of coal feeding over multiple boilers. The bottom inserters have to be electric to be able to keep up though. By using more electric ones you can fill out the entire 20 boilers per pipe (so 60 total). You could also park a train between them.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by foamy »

T-A-R wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:27 pm
Its not a new design, but a rather neat one, very compact.

I always like to see it as inspiration on the ancient boilers, where it was a common way of coal feeding over multiple boilers. The bottom inserters have to be electric to be able to keep up though. By using more electric ones you can fill out the entire 20 boilers per pipe (so 60 total). You could also park a train between them.
Nah, burners keep up just fine, and yes, you could park a train, but when I did some experiments in that regard, I found it very difficult to actually get even unloading. Easier to just belt it in.

And it does run 20 boilers per pump. The numbers quoted in my post are for the 1:20:40 ratio but in the full array -- given from the 216 MW output figure -- there's a total of 120 boilers and 240 engines. Hence the six offshore pumps.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by PLLovervoltage »

I like your tripling up on boiler idea.

I made a late-game compact version.
compactpowersteam.PNG
compactpowersteam.PNG (1.84 MiB) Viewed 2493 times
With nuclear fuel and max stack upgrade, you can daisy-chain down the middle too. Removed unnecessary power poles and switched to turbine for compactness.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by T-A-R »

Next level xD

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by foamy »

PLLovervoltage wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:46 am
I like your tripling up on boiler idea.

I made a late-game compact version.

compactpowersteam.PNG

With nuclear fuel and max stack upgrade, you can daisy-chain down the middle too. Removed unnecessary power poles and switched to turbine for compactness.


Oooh, neat. How far can that be extended before you exceed the inserter throughput?

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by PLLovervoltage »

foamy wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:51 pm
Oooh, neat. How far can that be extended before you exceed the inserter throughput?
Doubled it up as quick test and it still worked at full capacity. For burner the max should be, (1.8item/second * 1.21 GJ fuel) = n * 0.0018 GW . So 1210 boilers not taking into account power consumption by the burner inserters. I think you'll run into water throughput issues before fuel throughput issues.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by foamy »

PLLovervoltage wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:10 am
foamy wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:51 pm
Oooh, neat. How far can that be extended before you exceed the inserter throughput?
Doubled it up as quick test and it still worked at full capacity. For burner the max should be, (1.8item/second * 1.21 GJ fuel) = n * 0.0018 GW . So 1210 boilers not taking into account power consumption by the burner inserters. I think you'll run into water throughput issues before fuel throughput issues.
Those would be boiler lines 200 long, so yeah, you'd be water-limited. Has to be nuclear fuel, though; rocket fuel, at 100 MJ, wouldn't even drive a line of 20.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by Eruannon »

Some time ago I decided to play with the steam engines and steam turbines going with a staggered design. This allowed me to remove the middle lanes of power poles, and the basic idea with single boiler looked like this:
36 MW steam power plant blueprint.jpg
36 MW steam power plant blueprint.jpg (581.7 KiB) Viewed 2328 times


After seeing the triple boiler design I decided to attempt to stagger them a bit and got something like this:
20200628140349_1.jpg
20200628140349_1.jpg (377.08 KiB) Viewed 2328 times

that when tiled for full length of a single pump per row will look like this:
216 MW steam power plant staggered full.jpg
216 MW steam power plant staggered full.jpg (403.65 KiB) Viewed 2328 times
Unfortunately it still requires 2 poles on the edge to connect the internal lines. It would be possible to connect the lines within the blueprint, at the cost of expanding the power plant's width by 2 tiles across entire length, and I wanted to avoid that one.

Luckily if you go with advanced turbines you could go with this variation of 'power module':
mk2.jpg
mk2.jpg (505.61 KiB) Viewed 2324 times


This removes completely the issue of external lane connection [though it requires at least 1 of power poles to be medium OR to add 1 more small power pole on the other side of the pipe with the power pole in blueprint], and at the same time has mostly limited length of turbine area of 3x turbine size +1 stagger, while keeping minimal possible width.
Full size for single pumps would look like this:
full length.jpg
full length.jpg (683.33 KiB) Viewed 2328 times
You could also reduce the size by 1 by removing belt and moving to highly efficient fuels, or simply - not using the full size of the power plant... but you wouldn't do that, would you?

At this point I would like to thank both foamy for his idea of triple boiler row, and PLLovervoltage for the information that the advanced turbines actually can work with standard boilers [I think at some older version it didn't work, but I may be mistaken].

Admittedly - all of these designs are vulnerable to power cut, though I tend to use my power control system designed for this purpose [shown below], in order to avoid inefficiency connected with standard burner inserters. [IIRC maths suggested that you'd need to wait over 15 minutes without running/idling for the burner inserter to pay for inefficiency in fuel->insertion conversion, it may be beneficial though to swap to burners for extremely efficient fuel types].
power control.jpg
power control.jpg (424.72 KiB) Viewed 2328 times



Note: Steam tanks are not added, as the limiting factor of production is fuel supply, rather than steam->power conversion. Though they could be added in the event that fuel supply is not stable, and some buffer is required.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by foamy »

Eruannon wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:50 pm
Note: Steam tanks are not added, as the limiting factor of production is fuel supply, rather than steam->power conversion. Though they could be added in the event that fuel supply is not stable, and some buffer is required.
My usual approach is to, once I have nuclear tech, swap out the engines for turbines and add tanks. That gives you the ability to spike load out to 2x the continuous generation level, which is very handy for emergency-backup purposes. Boiler steam tanks hold 750 MJ, so even one tank per turbine column gives you roughly a hundred and forty seconds of 432 MW power, i.e. very nearly the same as a simple 2x2 nuclear layout. That's a substantial amount and can cover things like power draw spiking from laser turrets, power sources being disconnected from the grid, nuclear fuel outages, etc. With two tanks you can push it to almost five minute's worth, which is a frankly ridiculous amount.

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Re: Optimized Steam Engine Setup

Post by mrvn »

Some notes concerning brown/blackouts:

1) Why do you connect the power poles for the inserters to the power poles between the steam engines / turbines? Some of the designs shown have an extra pipe between the boiler and steam engine just so that a power pole can be placed there to connect the electrical networks.

Instead keep those separate. And at one place (e.g. at the start where you have the offshore pump) place a power pole so it draws power from one steam engine and connects to the electrical network for the inserters. Place the pole between the steam engines so that it excludes this steam engine making it exclusive to the inserters.

You can also power the boiler for this special steam engine using a burner inserter so it is imune to brown/black outs.

PS: at the start where a dedicated steam engine for the inserters would be wasteful connect the two electrical networks at the pump end. Nowhere else a connection is needed.

2) Dedicate a few steam engines for coal miners, for the train station if you ship fuel by train, for fuel generation if you use different fuel.

Even if you cause brown outs with a dedicated power supply for the power generation the brown out won't death spiral.

3) Add a few solar cells and accumulators to the electrical network for the inserters.

4) For large plans you can even do multiple stages. First a mini plant (1-2 steam engines) with burner inserter or solar powered inserter. Add a buffer chest so it always has a backup of fuel. This then powers the inserters for the next stage. The second stage powers the coal miners or other fuel production and inserters for third stage. Third stage then powers the rest of the base.

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