[0.9] Steam Engines and water

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ataaron
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[0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by ataaron »

Steam engines always do use up water even when they are not running

immibis
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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by immibis »

Are they not running because there's no demand for power, or are they not running because the water's too cold?

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ssilk
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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by ssilk »

They use always a bit water, because otherwise cold water would stay in the pipes.
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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by ataaron »

immibis wrote:Are they not running because there's no demand for power, or are they not running because the water's too cold?
Okay i just went back into factorio and made some tests, so it only seems to eat water when the Steam engine is connected to a power demanding system but it does not need to be heated in order to do that
(in fact that does not make any difference if the engine is producing power or not, the water draw remains the same)

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by immibis »

ataaron wrote:
immibis wrote:Are they not running because there's no demand for power, or are they not running because the water's too cold?
Okay i just went back into factorio and made some tests, so it only seems to eat water when the Steam engine is connected to a power demanding system but it does not need to be heated in order to do that
(in fact that does not make any difference if the engine is producing power or not, the water draw remains the same)
Yes, that's how steam engines are supposed to work. They draw water at a rate depending on the electricity demand, then produce energy at a rate depending on the amount and temperature of the water.

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by BurnHard »

Possible solution and I hope other players support this:

Don't let boilers heat up water from 25 to 100, but instead let them produce the (fluid item) steam. One unit of water goes into boiler, one unit of steam (without any temperature value) comes out (just like furnaces transform ore to metal plates). Steam engines consume only the "item" steam. Steam can come from oil feeded burners, coal feeded ones or eg atomic reactors etc.

This would solve the problem that engines need to consume "empty" water and would also allow to store steam to a certain amount. This handling with 2 fluids (water and steam-fluid) could also prepare the player in the early game for the later on more complex oil-fluid system.

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by ssilk »

Good point, the problem is currently, that the boiler warm the water from "flowing through". And that means: at any boiler in a row of boilers the water begins to get steam. But by definition a pipe cannot contain two different liquids. And there is much more, which is not logical.

Well, as I know now this team and the type of development they do, the fact that the steam engine is working with all kind of liquids is a sign, that they didn't change anything; not because they forgot it, but because the change was too big for 0.9 and the game is playable like so.

Btw, has anybody played around with storage tanks and hot water? Hot water and pumps? Would be cool to switch pumps on/off, depending on different situations.
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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by BurnHard »

ssilk wrote:Good point, the problem is currently, that the boiler warm the water from "flowing through". And that means: at any boiler in a row of boilers the water begins to get steam. But by definition a pipe cannot contain two different liquids. And there is much more, which is not logical.
Well of course, the boilers would have to be connected parallel, not serial as now. The rows of 10-15 boilers now are not really pretty anyways. Little tweaking and tuning (one boiler could support 2-3 steam engines, burns coal a lot faster), and with 3-4 boilers side by side (boilers from west to east, water comes from south, steam goes out north) and some steam storage you could feed enough steam engines for a pretty big factory.

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by immibis »

Is there actually a problem with using 100 degree water to represent steam?

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by ssilk »

Yes, because it is gas and gas behaves very different to the current liquids - which all behave like fluids. I think the solution is somehow BurnHard explained. But that needs new types of burners. I can imagine like now burners, which preheat the water to 100 degrees, and then steamers, they need also fuel, which then splits input and output pipe, input is water, output steam. And an advanced steam engine has connectors for pipes at the side, which outputs the condensed and cooled water, it's only 60 degrees or so, and if you reuse it, you can spare some energy. Do we need more cooling? I think to atom reactor instead of burners... I don't think so, this wouldn't bring more to the game.
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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by immibis »

ssilk wrote:Yes, because it is gas and gas behaves very different to the current liquids - which all behave like fluids. I think the solution is somehow BurnHard explained. But that needs new types of burners. I can imagine like now burners, which preheat the water to 100 degrees, and then steamers, they need also fuel, which then splits input and output pipe, input is water, output steam. And an advanced steam engine has connectors for pipes at the side, which outputs the condensed and cooled water, it's only 60 degrees or so, and if you reuse it, you can spare some energy. Do we need more cooling? I think to atom reactor instead of burners... I don't think so, this wouldn't bring more to the game.
100 degree water can be liquid water or steam. Pretend it's 99.9 degrees if you want. Factorio doesn't need to be realistic, it needs to be fun (look at the transport belts for example) so I wouldn't use realism as an argument for changing anything.

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by ssilk »

immibis wrote:100 degree water can be liquid water or steam.
Not really correct. it depends on pressure. In 3000 meters it is 80 degrees C.
Factorio doesn't need to be realistic, it needs to be fun (look at the transport belts for example) so I wouldn't use realism as an argument for changing anything.
Well, it is very simplified, if I say, we have pipes with liquid, which can be warmed up to its boiling point. And to go over it, we need an extra engine, with a direction/pump to change the liquid water into the liquid steam, which behaves eventually a little bit different inside the pipes (but not needed). I think the main point in the suggestion is to have a circle of water inside, which spares energy.
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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by BurnHard »

ssilk wrote:I think the main point in the suggestion is to have a circle of water inside, which spares energy.
Well I think that would overcomplicate things. My suggestion was just to create the "item" steam, so that the steam engines don't have to to always use a little bit of liquid to get the cold water out of their systems. This steam then can be used for producing energy or in the chemical plants for eg the sulfur-extracting reactions. I dont know if the devs have some big plants with different temperatures of liquids, but water is at the moment the only item which uses this value (and the real deal is: is it at max temperature or not / heated or not) and all the small values between could be eliminated this way.

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by immibis »

Think of them as hot-water engines, not steam engines. Then it's more logical.

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Re: [0.9] Steam Engines and water

Post by ssilk »

Hot liquids. Oil etcetera. works with them currently equally. You see that oil has a temp of 25 degrees, 10 degrees warmer than water. This little difference enables to get energy out of the oil, just by putting it into the steam engine. Senseless, but possible.

@ BurnHard: well, the circle is no must, it's an option, which must be researched first. I like options, which give me some advantage.

For the circle you need special steam engines, which condense the water back and you need the pump.

And from start you need "heaters" (which are the current burners!), which can warm up liquids up to their exact boiling point (by definition for water 100 degrees), and "steamers" which warm it up until it becomes steam, which then can be warmed again with the normal heaters to it's max temp. See Wikipedia, there is the energy you need to warm the water up to the boiling point and then there is the energy to bring it from fluid into gas. I think dividing this into two processes, it could be handled in a game simulation, and makes fun. Of course the whole process has to be balanced out, the warming should need less energy than now. I think in the end we have about the same number of burners (warmer and steamers) than now.
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