Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

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linktothepast83
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Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by linktothepast83 »

My suggestion is for regular pipes to be able to connect to the circuit network to read their fluid levels like belts do.

Currently in vanilla factorio when you want to measure the fluid levels in a pipe system your only option is to connect a storage tank and measure it. There is a bit of a catch though, the storage tank itself while it has low liquid resistance it is not zero. Which basically means your attempt to measure the fluid levels messes up with the fluid flow a tiny bit due to the presence of the storage tank! And if you require higher accuracy with more storage tanks the more the fluid flow gets affected!

As an example i was trying to make for a big nuclear plant a system to detect steam levels and power up and down plants accordingly. I realized early on that the storage tanks weren't giving accurate readings of the fluid levels because i was constantly getting a cycle of more and less plants than i needed powered up / down. So i thought to increase the accuracy by adding more storage tanks to the mix. And while that did the trick and i got accurate readings it eventually messed up the steam flow to the point that turbines weren't fed properly and the max output dropped! So i had to choose between accurate readings and a messed up flow that drops the output. All this is similar to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics, whenever i tried to achieve accuracy the fluid output suffered and if i wanted the fluid output not to suffer then the accuracy of the reading did!

Since i don't think behavior similar to quantum mechanics should be in the game for enjoyment reasons (there is no enjoyment in uncertainty when you are planning things), please consider giving the option to read the fluid levels of pipes as well. Or lowering the fluid resistance of storage tanks to a very low value, zero or close to it.
Last edited by linktothepast83 on Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by ptx0 »

linktothepast83 wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:12 pm
there is a helpful template for suggestions you should follow

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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by ssilk »

linktothepast83 wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:12 pm
There is a bit of a catch though, the storage tank itself while it has low liquid resistance it is not zero.
....
Or lowering the fluid resistance of storage tanks to a very low value, zero or close to it.
The fluid resistance is indeed very high compared with pipes and I thought often to myself: it makes no sense, a tank has no resistance. That’s the reason, why I always build pipes around the tanks. That helps a lot to go over this effect and I think also the whole solution to this issue.


Reading fluid levels of pipes: they follow the same principles as tanks. You shift the problem just a bit.

I mean, the case, that there are hundreds (thousands?) of blueprints about functional nuclear plants out there is speaking against the hypothesis, that the there is no fun with that. :) it is a problem, and the player needs to find a solution. That’s a part of any game. The fact, that you are frustrated about how illogical they are working is part of that process. 8-) I don’t want to say, that you need to be frustrated to find a solution, but for me it’s always that moment, when I know to go to bed and on the next day I have an idea how to solve it.

And perhaps - I guess - there are real technical reasons, why the fluid resistance of tanks is so high relative to the pipes. But the better guess is, that there is just more game-value in avoiding tanks, because when you reduce the resistance to be lower than pipes, it will lead automatically to builds without any pipe. And that would make really no sense at all.
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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by linktothepast83 »

ssilk wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:14 am
linktothepast83 wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:12 pm
There is a bit of a catch though, the storage tank itself while it has low liquid resistance it is not zero.
....
Or lowering the fluid resistance of storage tanks to a very low value, zero or close to it.
The fluid resistance is indeed very high compared with pipes and I thought often to myself: it makes no sense, a tank has no resistance. That’s the reason, why I always build pipes around the tanks. That helps a lot to go over this effect and I think also the whole solution to this issue.


Reading fluid levels of pipes: they follow the same principles as tanks. You shift the problem just a bit.

I mean, the case, that there are hundreds (thousands?) of blueprints about functional nuclear plants out there is speaking against the hypothesis, that the there is no fun with that. :) it is a problem, and the player needs to find a solution. That’s a part of any game. The fact, that you are frustrated about how illogical they are working is part of that process. 8-) I don’t want to say, that you need to be frustrated to find a solution, but for me it’s always that moment, when I know to go to bed and on the next day I have an idea how to solve it.

And perhaps - I guess - there are real technical reasons, why the fluid resistance of tanks is so high relative to the pipes. But the better guess is, that there is just more game-value in avoiding tanks, because when you reduce the resistance to be lower than pipes, it will lead automatically to builds without any pipe. And that would make really no sense at all.
Thanks for your answer ssilk, if i was sounding frustrated is because i spent many hours until i understood that i wasn't doing something wrong really and get a grip of what was going on.

I have to agree with you with what you wrote about lowering tank resistance and other practical issues that might arise. If it is too low i guess everyone would choose storage tanks wouldn't they?

But i disagree that reading the fluid lv of pipes is just shifting the issue because they work the same. The fluid system consists of both pipes and storage tanks yet only storage tanks are readable. That means that you should add storage tanks to the mix even if you do not need them just to get a reading! And the act of adding something you don't really need unbalances fluid flow in the system as well. If you compare it to the belt system it seems messy really, there you don't have to add something you don't need just to get a reading making the reading itself affect things in any way. Plus in the belt system there are balancer options, good luck balancing the fluid flow the way you want it though with the fluid system!

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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by ptx0 »

linktothepast83 wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:30 am
That means that you should add storage tanks to the mix even if you do not need them just to get a reading!
it is unlikely to change due to CPU use impact.

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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by linktothepast83 »

ptx0 wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:17 pm
linktothepast83 wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:30 am
That means that you should add storage tanks to the mix even if you do not need them just to get a reading!
it is unlikely to change due to CPU use impact.
Well that's a pity, hopefully in the future who knows? Thanks for the answer ptx0.

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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by ssilk »

I don't know, what you want to do. But as a general rule: when I need to measure fluids, I always use pumps nearby. A pump fills a tank much, much faster. And empties it also so much faster. Pipes are extremly sensitive to distances. More pumps, more fun. :)
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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by gGeorg »

ssilk wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:31 pm
when I need to measure fluids, I always use pumps nearby.
How do you measure by pump ?

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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by ssilk »

As I said: they fill/empty the tanks much more rapidly. I don’t measure with pumps. I use them, to make this slow behavior less slow.

Edit:
There are this general tricks I can give:
- use tanks always as storage, never as “flow through”,
- always build a “short way” of pipes around the tank, or
- use the tanks as “dead end”. So they don’t hinder the flow, but reflect the pipes levels somehow.
- to fill/empty such dead ends faster I can use pumps:
— if the target (e.g. plastic production) has enough fluid (need to measure that somehow, for example another tank at the end of the plastic production lane) I pump into the storage tanks,
— and vice versa.
— build another pump between production and storage to prevent back flow.
— This construction let you measure the need for some fluid and the effective amount of fluid currently in storage.
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Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by aklesey1 »

It'll be very useful to read fluid content of pipe which can flow in any direction
Vanilla tanks a bit bulky
And it'll be useful to read temperature of fluid when working with reactors
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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by DarkShadow44 »

Wouldn't it be possible to make a tiny inline tank that looks and acts like a pipe, but allows the circuit network connection? I don't think there's factorio changes necessary.

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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by Xorimuth »

I'm a fan of https://mods.factorio.com/mod/extra-sto ... minibuffer personally. Pipes have such low capacity that I can imagine their content fluctuating quite a bit, which would make it a lot less useful for taking readings for the circuit network.
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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by Deadlock989 »

DarkShadow44 wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 12:12 pm
Wouldn't it be possible to make a tiny inline tank that looks and acts like a pipe, but allows the circuit network connection? I don't think there's factorio changes necessary.
Almost, but not quite. It's certainly very possible to make 1x1 buffer tanks with circuit connectors, several or more mods do this, including a couple of mine.

What can't be done by tanks is fully emulate the pipe connection behaviour. Pipes are a single fluidbox which will automatically make connections (and actually change the entity's collision box) in order to connect with neighbouring fluidboxes in any of the cardinal compass directions. Tanks have to have their fluidbox connections specified individually, so they will always have four connections if you specify four, two if you specify two etc. In fact this is used/exploited by some mods to make "pipes" which automatically don't connect to neighbours so that you can have "pipes" running in parallel, or "valves" which are unpowered input-output flow direction controllers that look like a pipe.

So you can't literally have a tank that acts exactly like a pipe, though you can get close.

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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by aklesey1 »

Xorimuth wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2023 12:56 pm
I'm a fan of https://mods.factorio.com/mod/extra-sto ... minibuffer personally. Pipes have such low capacity that I can imagine their content fluctuating quite a bit, which would make it a lot less useful for taking readings for the circuit network.
This mod must looks good, yes it'll contain 2700 points of fluid not 100 points like vanilla pipe :D
Another inconvenience with reactors is fluid temperature, looking for mod which allows to read fluid temperature
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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by robot256 »

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Inventory%20Sensor can read nuclear reactor temperature, not sure about fluid temperature.

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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by foamy »

I wish pumps would give you direct readouts of their pump speed, too. It's crazy that the game has been around this long and the fluid/circuit connections are so hacky. :(

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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

Post by Shadow_Man »

foamy wrote:
Sat Jan 07, 2023 6:26 pm
I wish pumps would give you direct readouts of their pump speed, too. It's crazy that the game has been around this long and the fluid/circuit connections are so hacky. :(
+1
Pump speed readout will be great.

And I tend to think that it is better to add a 1x1 small capacity buffer/transit tank with the ability to connect logic wires than to hook wires to a pipe.

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Re: Please add ability to connect pipes with logic wires like chests and belts

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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Merged into older thread with same suggestion. Sorry for the delay.
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Re: Reading fluid levels of pipes, liquids shouldn't behave according to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Implemented in 2.0 yay \o/ :
https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-416
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