Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

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tobsimon
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Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by tobsimon » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:04 pm

Combustion engines run on diesel (with a little simplification).

Only in factorio, there is this strange solid fuel.

I'd like to see solid fuel be removed from the game.
  • The refinery should produce diesel instead of light oil, the color fits already.
  • Diesel is the most powerful (as in more horsepower) engine fuel, but unsuitable for furnaces. See https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 70&p=85674.
  • Vehicles are refueled by a liquid inserter, which looks like an inserter with a tube and a pipe connected to its back.
  • The liquid inserter behaves exactly like an inserter. When there is a suitable thing in front, it reaches there and starts dispensing. Except if there is a small electric pump sucking on the connecting pipe, then it sucks the liquid out.
  • The liquid inserter also behaves like a chest. You can go there and fill up your jerrycan. So you can carry some diesel around in your inventory. And refuel your car by hand. I am not sure yet, if the jerrycan should be an actual producable item, made of plastic or iron, like the barrel, or simply appear out of thin air to allow you to carry around some diesel.
  • Liquid fuel powers the new gas turbine power plant. With the combined cycle science, this is a good alternative to the aging steam engines.
With that change, oil is more directly usable for fun stuff. You can drive faster. You can produce energy with new tech. Now you have to produce batteries, plastic, red circuits and processors to get to the modular armor. War focused players will do that, others, who don't see the fun in war, may not really feel the motivation.

The handling of liquid may rise from its side scene to more prominence. And I think some changes to the pipes are in order, most mentioned already elsewhere. Pipes should be narrower, traversable (character should be able to climb over the pipe), not automatically connect to their neighbours, and there should be a pipe bridge to go over other pipes and reduce the number of underground pipes needed.

[Before editing, I wrote canister where now stands jerrycan. False friend translation from german.]
Last edited by tobsimon on Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by ssilk » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:52 pm

Again there is the big "Why?"
What will this change bring for the game-play? In my eyes it makes everything only more complex.

For the second part of this, you might make own suggestions out of it. But the changes for the pipes is already suggested anywhere, some month ago, no time to search for it yet.
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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by bobingabout » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:02 pm

1. There is currently no mechanic to use a liquid as a fuel, it has to be an item
2. There are already plans to add a mechanic to add the abillity to use liquids as fuel, so who knows what this might bring
3. If I were to add a liquid fuel, it wouldn't be Diesel, it would be Petrol (What american's wrongly call Gas, I know, it's short for Gassoline, but Gas is gas, Air is made up of gasses) Or you could just call it liquid fuel.
4. Light oil has other uses than just being Fuel, the game just doesn't use it very much so far, so I'd make a recipe to make liquid fuel from light oil, not replace it.
5. Even if you added Liquid fuel, it doesn't mean you should remove Fuel blocks, you can still use them in the older hardware designed to burn coal, like furnaces. Fuel blocks are a real thing too, they're not just as widely known as liquid fuels like Diesel and Petrolium, or even Gas fuels like propane. They're a real, clean alternative to wood or coal.
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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by Flextt » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:41 am

I would take it even further.

- Make Petroleum (or rather Natural) Gas and Coal / Solid fuels the only options to power boilers and furnaces.
- Make Light Oil the only option to power vehicles.
- Introduce Coal gasification to make coal obsolete as a primary energy carrier towards mid- and end-game. This requires PG / NG to be rebalanced by making oil more scarce or Gas more expensive (less gas per resource, less power per gas, ...).
- Introduce low-pollution-fuels from renewable sources like Wood as a Solid Fuel replacement with energy densities lower than coal. This allows players to decide about and regulate their pollution levels, if they are willing to invest more in technology and machinery.
- Make Heavy Oil the go-to-liquid for process oils. Lubricants, bitumen for streets / walkways, ...

Advantages:
- Systems already in place
- Diversification of energy systems
- More use for the neat looking fluid handling in Factorio :)

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by ratchetfreak » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:04 am

Flextt wrote:I would take it even further.

- Make Petroleum (or rather Natural) Gas and Coal / Solid fuels the only options to power boilers and furnaces.
- Make Light Oil the only option to power vehicles.
- Introduce Coal gasification to make coal obsolete as a primary energy carrier towards mid- and end-game. This requires PG / NG to be rebalanced by making oil more scarce or Gas more expensive (less gas per resource, less power per gas, ...).
- Introduce low-pollution-fuels from renewable sources like Wood as a Solid Fuel replacement with energy densities lower than coal. This allows players to decide about and regulate their pollution levels, if they are willing to invest more in technology and machinery.
- Make Heavy Oil the go-to-liquid for process oils. Lubricants, bitumen for streets / walkways, ...

Advantages:
- Systems already in place
- Diversification of energy systems
- More use for the neat looking fluid handling in Factorio :)

- make wood even more useless
- you'll need to introduce some jerrycan like item to fill the vehicle up from the player's inventory if you don't want to force the player to either bring along a entire oil setup+some barrels of crude to refuel mid biter raid

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by Flextt » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:14 am

ratchetfreak wrote:
Flextt wrote:[...]

- make wood even more useless
- you'll need to introduce some jerrycan like item to fill the vehicle up from the player's inventory if you don't want to force the player to either bring along a entire oil setup+some barrels of crude to refuel mid biter raid
- How would Wood (see what i did there) become more useless? Lower energy densities mean you require more throughput per piece of fuel. Hence you need more machinery for your forestry. Also it would serve as an additional pollution sponge. This can be neither efficient nor effective but offers a strategic choice for interested players.
- There is already a clunky barrel system in place which could be given a heat value. I would appreciate tank stations more though.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by ratchetfreak » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:01 am

Flextt wrote:
ratchetfreak wrote:
Flextt wrote:[...]

- make wood even more useless
- you'll need to introduce some jerrycan like item to fill the vehicle up from the player's inventory if you don't want to force the player to either bring along a entire oil setup+some barrels of crude to refuel mid biter raid
- How would Wood (see what i did there) become more useless? Lower energy densities mean you require more throughput per piece of fuel. Hence you need more machinery for your forestry. Also it would serve as an additional pollution sponge. This can be neither efficient nor effective but offers a strategic choice for interested players.
- There is already a clunky barrel system in place which could be given a heat value. I would appreciate tank stations more though.
because you then can't just dump the deconstruction planner deforestation result onto your boiler/furnace fuel line. Not unless you add something to turn it into charcoal (or something).

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by tobsimon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:12 am

And here I thought, I made the "why" clearer in this proposition:
- In the terms of my little game theory discurs posted over there https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 770#p85969, to increase resemblence and diversity.
- The promote the liquid handling from its side scene to more prominence.
- To motivate the building of refineries early with fun stuff (driving faster).

Making liquid fuel an item like the flamethrower ammo is something I'd like to avoid. Because then you may put everything on a belt again, and having to handle liquids and solids seperately is already part of the game and should be strengthened. A plastic or iron jerrycan as the one of the flamthrower ammo probably should be a seperate item like the barrel, but filling end emptying it should not need an assembly machine but be done automatically by the player, when refuelling the car or fueling up the jerrycan at a fuel dispenser. Locomotives would chug huge amounts of fuel, so that you would not want to do that. The alternative is, that an empty jerrycan is not an actual item, but the full jerrycan is simply the representation of a fixed amount of liquid in the players inventory.

My reasoning for diesel was to avoid the confusion with petrol/petroleum, gas/gasoline and because diesel is by far the most prominently used fuel for trucks, locomotives and medium sized generators. Most cars, power plants, planes and ships use other fuels, but with some simplification diesel is good enough and about in the middle of the spectrum. Diesel technically is not light oil, petrol would fit better. The only other usage of light oil in the game currently besides fuel, is the hydro-cracking to petroleum gas. I'd have no problem if diesel would substitude light oil even there.

Are there really solid fuel blocks made out of oil? I only know of esbit (hexamine fuel tablet) and sterno, but both are hardly significant on a larger level. I suspect that fuel blocks only exist because they can be handled like coal. Huge advantage for sure, but it smells like a bad compromise.

"Make Light Oil the only option to power vehicles." Not a fan of that. Too punishing if you don't have oil nearby. Wood gas engines were a real thing for cars as were steam locomotives. So vehicles should be able to make use of these fuels.

Renewable sources do not produce low pollution fuels, more like the contrary (depending on the amount of refinement). Material refinment is something I'd like to see added to the late game, also for coal to diminish pollution and to the ores to increase their quality and the durability of their products. Will add a thread for that.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by Flextt » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:37 am

tobsimon wrote:[...]
I sure hope the devs aim to make liquid handling at least an equal to solid handling. Both your suggestions aim at diversifying and distinguishing the current use of fuels without the game becoming too technical. Personally, I wish for unique uses for each resource, that has relevance at least for 1 gamephase and can afterwards be recycled or reused for a different product (like said coal gasification or your hydrocracking). This adds both depth and raison d'etre to each resource and allows players to build factories without razing huge parts of it.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by bobucles » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:31 pm

1. There is currently no mechanic to use a liquid as a fuel, it has to be an item
But this is false. Steam boilers use water as fuel all the time. The burning yield and engine output are based on the water's "temperature", which is "processed" by burning the water.

If this approach was used:
1) Base oils have a temperature that represents their burning quality. IIRC both oil types already exist as 25C, which gives them an extremely poor results in a steam engine.
2) Processing oil into fuel increases the default temperature. For example diesel gets a fake temperature of 150C. A steam boiler using diesel would be 50% stronger.
3) If steam boilers are inappropriate (they burn 6 units/sec, which is a LOT of fuel), just have another liquid consuming generator to use fuel. A fuel boiler, if you will. Something that burns maybe 1 or 2 units/sec, giving electric output based on the fuel "quality", I.E. the fuel "temperature".

Of course this doesn't address using fuel for locomotives. But if you were to have a "steam engine" type of train engine, it could work in a similar way. Load up a "liquid storage car" with fuel, connect it to the engine, and have the engine strength based on the quality of the fuel.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by Flextt » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:28 am

Actually, the energy of water in Factorio is inspired by (as opposed to based on) real-world thermodynamics: Q = m * cp * dT. Q is heat, m is mass, cp is heat capacity, and dT is temperature difference. I think steam has an efficiency of 50%, so 50% of available heat gets converted into electricity.

Likewise, the fuel value could be easily modified to resemble a heat value. Q = m * HV. Q is heat, m is mass, HV is heat value in units of energy per mass. This is more in line with the demands of machines given in units of power instead of temperture. And since mass flow times specific work is power, it is simpler to implement.

edit: i just realized something. my proposal about heat values above is only relevant for liquid fuels since the equations can be simplified for solid fuels to a state like they currently are.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by Takezu » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:51 pm

bobucles wrote:
1. There is currently no mechanic to use a liquid as a fuel, it has to be an item
But this is false. Steam boilers use water as fuel all the time. The burning yield and engine output are based on the water's "temperature", which is "processed" by burning the water.
Afaik Steamboilers consume a fixed amount of liquid per/tick(second idk). It's irrelevant what fluid, its irrelevant how hot, it gets destroyed.
That has very little to do with using liquid as fuel source, sorry to say.
If it where "using" the water it would have different consumerates at different energy output stages and ourer handy 14 Boiler 10 Enginsystem would suddenly become much much harder to handel.

Short, the current system has a consume rate, it has no Energyvalue for fluids and because of that liquids aren't useable as fuel.
Energyvalues through heat are a different concept then using Liquids as fuel. Fuel usage would mean that the liquid would get an Energyvalue itself.
Someone may correct me if i'm gravely mistaken but i think i've got the Steamsystem relativly right.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by bobucles » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:19 pm

Afaik Steamboilers consume a fixed amount of liquid per/tick(second idk). It's irrelevant what fluid, its irrelevant how hot, it gets destroyed.
That has very little to do with using liquid as fuel source, sorry to say.
Also false. Steamboilers consume a UP TO a fixed amount of liquid per tick. The energy YIELD is based on water temperature, with base temperature (15C) giving nothing and 100C giving max. At max temperature and max output the engine produces about 500kW(?), comsuming 6 water/tick. If this power is not needed, the boiler will use no more liquid than it needs to satisfy the grid.

If water temperature drops, the engine will consume more water in an attempt to satisfy the grid. If water temperature rises, the engine uses less water and its maximum output is better. Boilers add some specific amount of energy per tick, so engines can never produce more energy than whatever the boiler line produces.

Some players hook a few boilers up to tons of engines and hot water tanks to act as an emergency power system. The boilers fill up the tanks during easy time, and the engines drain it when there's an emergency need (like laser turrets).

Granted when it comes to liquid oil, 6 units/tick is a LOT. That's 6 healthy pumps! Either petrol fuel would need to be "inflated" with this in mind (such that 6/tick won't suck your oil reserves dry in 2 minutes), or a new type of oil engine with less liquid drain is needed. Someone else figured out that a depleted oil well(+speed?) can produce up to around 1.8MW worth of solid fuel, for reference.

Currently oil can be processed into solid fuel, which behaves just like a longer lasting coal for the boilers. It does not seem to cook hotter or better in any special way.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by Takezu » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:49 pm

Well okay i guess i've a lot to learn regarding some mechanics.
But that aside, are we talking about liquid fuel, or an alternativ liquid medium.
As it stands for the usage in Steamengines, water is only the medium that carrys the energie of the fuel stored as heat on to the engine.
That isn't acting as fuel, the energie source lies within the boilers, which burn carbon in form of Wood Coal or Solid fuel.

Liquid fuel would be piped into the boiler, but not to heat it up but rather burn it. And aside from the piping mess, wich gain would it have?
it would have an stored energy value per liquid unit wich it would pass on, seems to me like the same as if it where solid.

At least thats what i think.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by bobucles » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:39 pm

That isn't acting as fuel, the energie source lies within the boilers, which burn carbon in form of Wood Coal or Solid fuel.
How so? The water goes through processing so it can provide energy. It can be stored and piped and saved for a rainy day. Just like fuel.

Anyway my point is that you CAN hack in a fuel resource using existing mechanics. Just process the liquid and give it a high initial temperature, then let the steam engine cook it. Bam, you have petrol.

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Re: Diesel. Liquid fuel instead of solid fuel

Post by Takezu » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:52 pm

The water isn't processed. It gets only passed the energy value of the fuel (MJ) which itself is stored as heat, and passes it on to the boiler which converts it over in Watts (J/s) its only a transfer nothing more. the loosing of water is more gamplay feature, technically you would get the water back with a bit of dissipation.

Even more technical you could introduce high-pressurized Steamboilers/engins and bams your tempratures could reach far mre then 200 degrees Celsius.
Physiks :)

What you're describing is using liquids as Energie carrier. but it isn't the fuel, like wise is the water in a Nuclearplant not the fuel, only the energy carrier, same prinziple the fuel are the uranium (nuclear) fuel rods, as the fuel for the steam engines is the Coal/Solid Fuel or Wood.

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