Thermal power plant

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Adamo
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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by Adamo »

Chao wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:37 pm
Just out of wanting to understand you, here, why do you think that oil-fired boilers should be more efficient than solid fuel boilers?

I think in terms of the gameplay choices, solid fuel is more of just a "stand in" for using fluid as fuel directly due to a number of issues related to the fluid dynamics that we've tried to avoid over the years. Nowadays, you certainly can use the fluid as fuel directly in a number of mods (including mine), but in those cases, I'm not sure why the fluid fuel would be more efficient. One thing one of my mods does -- truly, I'm not trying to plug my mods, it's just that I've been playing with the energy production methods and efficiencies for a long time, now -- is enforce different efficiencies between burning petroleum fuels (whether solid or fluid) and nuclear fuels, or making heat from fossil fuels rather that nuclear, and between whether you burn the petroleum fuel in a boiler vs. burning it directly in a generator. I get why the efficiencies would be different between these things. What is your thinking about why the efficiencies would be different for a petroleum fuel relative to whether it is solid or fluid? Either way I want to know your thinking, but if you have a good reason I haven't considered, I might implement it.

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by BlueTemplar »

Adamo wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:41 pm
BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:25 pm
Note that AFAIK steam engines/turbines also in theory support the effectivity keyword. (Thanks Bilka!)
I can confirm this is true, because I use it in my physics mod. If Bilka is responsible for keeping that in, I want to send him a cake.
I don't know about keeping the mechanics, but having it show in the GUI was a personal request of mine...

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by Adamo »

BlueTemplar wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:14 am
Adamo wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:41 pm
BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:25 pm
Note that AFAIK steam engines/turbines also in theory support the effectivity keyword. (Thanks Bilka!)
I can confirm this is true, because I use it in my physics mod. If Bilka is responsible for keeping that in, I want to send him a cake.
I don't know about keeping the mechanics, but having it show in the GUI was a personal request of mine...
Well, good work! For anyone relevant who is reading this, there are definitely a number of us out here who continue to appreciate this feature.

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by Chao »

Adamo wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:14 am
Chao wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:37 pm
Just out of wanting to understand you, here, why do you think that oil-fired boilers should be more efficient than solid fuel boilers?

I think in terms of the gameplay choices, solid fuel is more of just a "stand in" for using fluid as fuel directly due to a number of issues related to the fluid dynamics that we've tried to avoid over the years. Nowadays, you certainly can use the fluid as fuel directly in a number of mods (including mine), but in those cases, I'm not sure why the fluid fuel would be more efficient. One thing one of my mods does -- truly, I'm not trying to plug my mods, it's just that I've been playing with the energy production methods and efficiencies for a long time, now -- is enforce different efficiencies between burning petroleum fuels (whether solid or fluid) and nuclear fuels, or making heat from fossil fuels rather that nuclear, and between whether you burn the petroleum fuel in a boiler vs. burning it directly in a generator. I get why the efficiencies would be different between these things. What is your thinking about why the efficiencies would be different for a petroleum fuel relative to whether it is solid or fluid? Either way I want to know your thinking, but if you have a good reason I haven't considered, I might implement it.
For reasons of smoothing the difficulty curve in vanilla for new players in preparation for when nuclear comes along.

I'm not really too worried about experienced players, the jump from fossil fuel to nuclear is huge and at this stage you're not far from solar either. Someone focused on moving up from this stage in the game probably won't be derailed easily into building a whole new power generation setup still based on fossil fuels by an efficiency boost, though it's an option for sure if they want.

But for a new player getting into nuclear (ignoring the neighbour bonus) you need to understand and set up:
  1. Uranium mining (further complicating their small initial train network, possibly needing to now face complicated signaling)
  2. Nuclear fuel processing (which itself requires a whole new line of production, dealing with the multiple outputs and quite possibly including setting up concrete)
  3. Heat exchangers, heat pipes, turbines and heat flow in general
A new player has just set up their first few refineries, they've got plastic and sulphur going now. They could set up solid fuel but they've only just got their first train set up so wouldn't care about the speed boost and their coal is feeding their smelters quite well so there's no huge incentive there to care for now.

To this player a more efficient power generation would look quite attractive. It would give an opportunity to look at part 3 of that list in advance, so when nuclear comes up the jump isn't as big and scary.

For those wanting a more narrative reason, it's not that liquid is more efficient inherently, but that it's the second generation of fossil fuel generation, capable of generating the heat needed for turbines. This generation just happens to be designed for fluids rather than solids. You could also add in a second generation designed for solids I guess, but fluids gives a nice nudge to the player and more things to do with the refinery they've just built, along with more practice at building pipe networks.

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by Qeeet »

Yes, I agree with Chao. That is basically my way of thinking behind my first post in this thread

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by Moo Rhy »

I agree, that the step from steam engines to nuclear power is a rather big one and that there should be a step in between. I would like to two things in this intermediate step:
a boiler that burns oil or gas
introduction to the heat exchanger system

Basically a setup that builds the nuclear power plant without nuclear fuel but fossil buel instead. I would suggest that instead of a nuclear reactor there should be a gas/oil boiler so that you can later replace it with the reactor but keep everything else.

Currently one belt of coal gives you 60 MW:
15 coal/s ->
4 MJ/coal ->
60 MJ/s ->
33.3 boilers + 66.7 steam engines

If you use coal liquefication instead produce light oil you get roughly 120 MW from one belt of coal:
15 coal/s ->
7.2 refineries + 1.2 boilers for steam ->
14.4 petroleum gas + 28.8 light oil + 93.6 heavy oil ->
convert 93.6 heavy oil to 70.2 light oil ->
total 99 light oil/s ->
9.9 soild fuel/s ->
12 MJ/solid fuel ->
1.2 MJ/light oil ->
~120 MW
I only used the solid fuel conversion step to get a value for the energy of the produced light oil. Also I neglected the energy cunsumed by the liquefication and conversion processes because I get excess petroleum gas.

To keep the power plant setup the oil boiler must produce 40 MW of heat:
40 MW / 1.2 MJ/light oil = 33.3 light oil/s
Or with the whole conversion process 5 coal/s.

Currently the coal liquefication process means a efficiency increase by a factor of 2 from steam engine to steam power plant. I am not sure whether this is enough to justify the upgrade. But of course you could also just use the excess oil from the oil processing. I am not sure how to compare the two possibilities but I guess I depends on whether you have more coal or oil.
In order to make going from the simple steam engine to the gas turbine setup more attractive I would suggest to reduce the steam engine's efficiency to something like 25% and the steam turbine to maybe 50% (with a few technology upgrades up to 100%).

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leadraven
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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by leadraven »

Just add Burner, that produces heat from chemical fuel.

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by varundevan »

in real world thermal power plant , we use superheated steam, for better output
we can have a research to for an item that superheates the steam to higher temperature like 700deg (probably using more coal) so that turbines can be used with boilers.
we can also have research to have systems in actual power plants like reheater , coal pulverizer , cooling towers etc that can be added to the existing setup to make it more efficient and effective

The nuclear power set up in the game is so beautiful and detailed that boiler setup looks elementary

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by darkfrei »

leadraven wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:16 pm
Just add Burner, that produces heat from chemical fuel.
For 0.18:

Code: Select all

/c game.player.insert{name="burner-generator", count=10}

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by BlueTemplar »

Moo Rhy, I feel that you can't really make any conclusion about efficiency without dealing with the factors that you decided to leave out ? (Even if by getting a very rough approximation...)

Wube was also pretty clear as to why they decided to remove efficiencies from vanilla... (Well, except for nuclear - but it's a late game tech.)

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by Moo Rhy »

leadraven wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:16 pm
Just add Burner, that produces heat from chemical fuel.
The reason why I am not a fan of this solution is that the heat system to me feels like it is not really integrated into the game. It feels like there's something missing. At the moment it is just there to make the nuclear plant bigger. You need more components. But it's not interacting with anything else. An oil boiler could fill this gap.
BlueTemplar wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:22 pm
Moo Rhy, I feel that you can't really make any conclusion about efficiency without dealing with the factors that you decided to leave out ? (Even if by getting a very rough approximation...)

Wube was also pretty clear as to why they decided to remove efficiencies from vanilla... (Well, except for nuclear - but it's a late game tech.)
Converting 15 coal/s into light oil needs 7.2 refineries, 4.68 chemical plants and 1.2 boilers. The boilers need 0.54 coal/s to produce 2.2 MW of steam. The refineries and chemical plants need 3.04 MW and 0.99 MW. In total 6.2 MW. If you would burn the oil in an oil burner you would get 120 MW. Now you could also burn the petroleum gas but I think it is more useful as a resource for production so I would rather not do it. 14.4 gas/s give you 0.72 solid fuel/s or 8.64 MW. Producing the same amount of gas from crude oil needs about 0.5 MW.

No matter what you do, the losses are not dominant. Only a few percent.

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by netmand »

Transitioning between fuels, how they're used, and their efficiencies aside; I think this is a good topic to explore from a technology perspective.

We have steam engines, solar panels (and accumulators to an extent), and steam generators, that provide power. An addition or two to this list might be fun, like a wind power or geo-thermal.

We can make concrete tiles now, it'd be cool to add tile recipe that provides a bit of power generation?

I wouldn't add anything to vanilla, all of this would be best as a mod.

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by BlueTemplar »

So, basically, Klonan's
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/KS_Power
Image
?

And
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Geothermal
Image

(No idea if power-generating tiles are even possible... though solar panels without collision boxes - no doubt.)

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Re: Thermal power plant

Post by Adamo »

Moo Rhy wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:37 pm
...
a boiler that burns oil or gas
...
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/gas-boiler


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