Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:33 pm

Hannu wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:26 am
Many players have huge beaconed U-235 production lines. What do you do with all that U235? Nuclear reactors does not use much and UPS-problems hit if you build hundreds of them. And all biters are soon cleared with couple of thousands of nukes.
The thing about u-235 is that it's not really about sustained production. It's about production bursts and you want it to recover quickly to have the uranium available for the next burst in demand.


An example:

Maybe I want to build up a new mine. To clear the area, I decide to take 30 nukes. The factory will automatically replenish stocks, creating a sudden demand for 900 u-235. In my current factory, which produces 70 u-235/min, that's going to take just over 12 minutes to supply.

Once I clear the area, I will build a train station, and the train station will need nuclear fuel. There would be less overhead if I used a logistics network, but I like belts. To fill one side of the refeulling belt system, it's going to take a couple hundred nuclear fuels, which is even more demand on the system.

At 70 u-235/min, let's call it an even half an hour to fill demand.

Is that responsive enough for my needs? Well, it seems to be alright, but now that I've worked it out, I think I might improve it.

Edit:
Come to think of it, even my reactors have a burst sort of demand on u-235 as well. The nuclear fuel cells are delivered to the reactors by the trainload. Each train holds 2000 fuel cells so that's an instantaneous demand of 200 u-235.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Escadin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:00 pm

ColonelSandersLite wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:33 pm
Once I clear the area, I will build a train station, and the train station will need nuclear fuel.
Yes. A single one and it will last the train for like 5 hours playtime straight. And you might as well have cleared the area with cheap artillery. :D

I'm sorry, I don't mean to ruin your parade guys but this entire thing sounds like feature bloat.
What is wrong with having -for example- a logistic requester chest which supplies your producers with U-235. When it's full, it's full. No more U-235 will be taken off the belts and by extend your centrifuges. Classic backpressure shuts them down. When will it ever be full? When your production exceeds demand. Simple as that.
You don't want large stock piles to built up in the process? Fine! Limit the chests' requests to a small number. Open up a seperated logistic network for it's supply so bots don't suffer from latency issues to make up for the lack of buffers.
Everything gets handled perfectly by the game's built-in mechanics.

What is the point in micromanaging the demand of every single assembler so you can fine tune your completely overzised U-235 facility down to the single piece of output when it's entire point was not to make half-measures in the first place?

While there probably is a solution for your problem (and I didn't check the blueprints provided in this thread) understanding what you want to achieve and why would imo save a lot of unecessary trouble. I've already asked OP about this and didn't get a real response to it. The point is not to shout you down but to make you think of reason that justifies these requirements.
Last edited by Escadin on Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:21 pm

I think the point of this thread got lost in the arguments. Some actually answered it, but many went off on tangents.

Maybe it was my failure in the OP. Recapping the goals and elaborating a little more:

1) To use as optimized a conversion from U238 to U235 as possible with the typical features:
- Place and forget. No manual priming.
- Use of beacons and modules for the maximum conversion from U238 tonU235.

2) If the Kovarex design is so optimized that it is capable of converting all of the U238 to U235, then throttle the conversion to prevent running out of U238 if you use it heavily (I don't know, maybe by consuming too much uranium ammo?)

Maybe this is as simple as a splitter before Kovarex that sends half of the U238 to a chest, and all U238 consumption gets drawn from that chest, with a similar U235 chest after Kovarex.
- If the U238 chest fills and there is no backpressure from the Kovarex side of the splitter... then all of the U238 goes to Kovarex until it fills the U235 chest and the whole thing stalls from lack of use.
- If consumption draws from one or the other, then the process continues.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Escadin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:22 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:21 pm
I think the point of this thread got lost in the arguments. Some actually answered it, but many went off on tangents.

Maybe it was my failure in the OP. Recapping the goals and elaborating a little more:

1) To use as optimized a conversion from U238 to U235 as possible with the typical features:
- Place and forget. No manual priming.
- Use of beacons and modules for the maximum conversion from U238 tonU235.

2) If the Kovarex design is so optimized that it is capable of converting all of the U238 to U235, then throttle the conversion to prevent running out of U238 if you use it heavily (I don't know, maybe by consuming too much uranium ammo?)
You just repeated the requirements which I understood perfectly well. This doesn't answer my question: Why not use the simple, obvious solution? What do you hope to achieve by micromanaging this?
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:27 pm

Escadin wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:22 pm
zOldBulldog wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:21 pm
I think the point of this thread got lost in the arguments. Some actually answered it, but many went off on tangents.

Maybe it was my failure in the OP. Recapping the goals and elaborating a little more:

1) To use as optimized a conversion from U238 to U235 as possible with the typical features:
- Place and forget. No manual priming.
- Use of beacons and modules for the maximum conversion from U238 tonU235.

2) If the Kovarex design is so optimized that it is capable of converting all of the U238 to U235, then throttle the conversion to prevent running out of U238 if you use it heavily (I don't know, maybe by consuming too much uranium ammo?)
You just repeated the requirements which I understood perfectly well. This doesn't answer my question: Why not use the simple, obvious solution?
And what *IS* the, simple obvious solution? If you mean backpressure, that is exactly what ai just said (through a pair of chest to handle spikes in consumption). If you mean something else... then maybe it is not so obvious and stating it clearly might help?

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:57 pm

Escadin wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:00 pm
ColonelSandersLite wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:33 pm
Once I clear the area, I will build a train station, and the train station will need nuclear fuel.
Yes. A single one and it will last the train for like 5 hours playtime straight.
A single what?
Train station? No.
Train? No.
Fuel? Also no.

The point is that the example was a snapshot of behavior, not it's entirety. When I get done making that station, I'll surely be off building another. Maybe it will be a copper mine, maybe it will be a green circuits factory. Maybe it will be a rocket base. It doesn't matter. The behavior is the same.

Escadin wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:00 pm
And you might as well have cleared the area with cheap artillery. :D
Personally, I probably actually would use artillery. The point is that there is more than one way to skin a cat and none are more correct than the others. If anything, nukes are likely to be far, far, cheaper than artillery anyways. Why? There's crap-tons of uranium on the map that is only getting used for a few specific things. Artillery shells require petroleum products, copper, and iron which are all in high demand elsewhere.

Escadin wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:00 pm
What is wrong with having -for example- a logistic requester chest which supplies your producers with U-235.
Some people don't like using bots very much. Not trying to push a specific view of how the game should be played. You do you.

Escadin wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:00 pm
What is the point in micromanaging the demand of every single assembler so you can fine tune your completely overzised U-235 facility down to the single piece of output when it's entire point was not to make half-measures in the first place?
2 words. Startup time. If a centrifuge holds onto exactly 40 u-235, every piece that it produces then goes on to fire up the next kovarex process. If you just let it go without that control, the first centrifuge won't let any u-235 go on to the next centrifuge until it has built up like 120 u-235. In short, while you're still running just 1 centrifuge, I'm running 3 in parallel. By the time you're running 2, I'm running 6 centrifuges.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:06 pm

Colonel that reminds me that I need to build your design. Too many things happening :P

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:31 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:06 pm
Colonel that reminds me that I need to build your design. Too many things happening :P
Speaking of which, I just updated those designs to revision 1.

There where a couple of minor behavioral issues I didn't like with the originals. They weren't a problem in my factory, but I wanted to tweak them if they where going to be out in public.

The TLDR version is that startup behaviors are a bit better and even faster now.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Escadin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:11 pm

Personally, I probably actually would use artillery. The point is that there is more than one way to skin a cat and none are more correct than the others.
Believe me when I say that's understandable. I prefer to take the fun choice over whatever is considered the optimal choice myself. However when I do, optimising it isn't my biggest concern because if it was I wouldn't have made that choice. Remember a concern at all =/= my biggest concern. If optimising it comes at a higher price than using the other solutions then it kinda defeats the purpose.


Some people don't like using bots very much. Not trying to push a specific view of how the game should be played. You do you.
It works the same for belts or trains. That's why I wrote 'for example'.

2 words. Startup time. If a centrifuge holds onto exactly 40 u-235, every piece that it produces then goes on to fire up the next kovarex process. If you just let it go without that control, the first centrifuge won't let any u-235 go on to the next centrifuge until it has built up like 120 u-235. In short, while you're still running just 1 centrifuge, I'm running 3 in parallel. By the time you're running 2, I'm running 6 centrifuges.
Perhaps I mistunderstood but this sounds like the completely unrelated standard problem of managing Kovarex enrichment so it only passes on the surplus? Didn't the blue print referenced by OP already solve that for each centrifuge individually? And I'm pretty sure a centrifuge tries to hold onto exactly twice the amount it needs for one enrichment process... unless they changed it.
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:48 pm

Escadin wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:11 pm
Perhaps I mistunderstood but this sounds like the completely unrelated standard problem of managing Kovarex enrichment so it only passes on the surplus? Didn't the blue print referenced by OP already solve that for each centrifuge individually? And I'm pretty sure a centrifuge tries to hold onto exactly twice the amount it needs for one enrichment process... unless they changed it.
No, not solved in the bp referenced. However, showing that was incidental to showing the solution to the asked question (simple production controls basically), because I already had it.

I did actually use the pretty standard back pressure and splitter type stuff along with some simple power switches for energy savings. Pretty typical stuff there. If your major gripe is that people are solving the typical problem in overly complicated ways, I think I missed where anybody is presenting a design that doesn't throttle in a typical fashion.

If your gripe is that more problems than the stated problem, at the exclusion of all else, are being solved, I'm not sure I can agree.

Edit: Machines hold the amount for the currently running process + reserves for two more. For Kovarex, that's 120 u-235 in the machine at a time.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by sathill » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:19 am

Nothing challenging here. No need for combinators only simple circuit network. Limit your u235 buffer chest (use red X in chest UI) and it will block producing. If u dont want all 238 to convert - someone already mention use simple circuit for chest-inserter: work only if u238 is higher than X. Problem solved, 2 minutes of "Factoring".

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Hannu » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:36 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:04 am
I suspect they have multiple uses for nuclear fuel (besides trains).
Yes, of course. I forgot a possibility to run trains and furnaces with nuclear fuel. I do not personally like that mechanics (especially because it gives unrealistic performance boost for trains) and have never used it.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by mrvn » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:12 pm

Once the speed bonus of (nuclear) fuel also makes furnaces work faster it becomes sensible to use nuclear fuel for them.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Escadin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:39 pm

ColonelSandersLite wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:48 pm
Escadin wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:11 pm
Perhaps I mistunderstood but this sounds like the completely unrelated standard problem of managing Kovarex enrichment so it only passes on the surplus? Didn't the blue print referenced by OP already solve that for each centrifuge individually? And I'm pretty sure a centrifuge tries to hold onto exactly twice the amount it needs for one enrichment process... unless they changed it.
If your gripe is that more problems than the stated problem, at the exclusion of all else, are being solved, I'm not sure I can agree.
There is no gripe. It seems you've lost track of the point.

I wanted to understand what exactly OP's problem or goal is that he wants to solve / reach with this design. Understand why he doesn't just take the standard back pressure solution (which is essentially default bevaviour and requires no design whatsoever).
When you quote me asking this then I assume you are answering my question - not supplying another, unrelated problem / goal you just solved as a bonus.

That said, I'm getting tired of repeating myself. No idea how I could have asked more clearly.


mrvn wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:12 pm
Once the speed bonus of (nuclear) fuel also makes furnaces work faster it becomes sensible to use nuclear fuel for them.
What would be the difference to making your furnaces 'work faster' via speed modules / beacons, then satisfying their energy demand with nuclear reactors?
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand [DEPRECIATED]

Post by disentius » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:18 pm

EDIT:
This one has many flaws. use at own risk!:) Ill post again after repairing and exhaustive testing, see comments below this post

Another build, reasonably ridiculous.
- bit more than 81/m
- reasonably compact
- no babysitting needed
- loads 40 U235 per reactor
- restarts automatically not always
- provision for U235 inserter missing a grab yes, but gets the rest stuck. yeccch
- all exess U238 gets routed trough
- tilable
Input: belt on the right. Put in all u235/u238
Output: two belts on the left: one 235, one 238
Base module:
Kovarex module.PNG
Kovarex module.PNG (624.7 KiB) Viewed 1013 times
Input module:
Kovarex module-input.PNG
Kovarex module-input.PNG (644.97 KiB) Viewed 1013 times
5x4 grid:
Kovarex V4.gif
Kovarex V4.gif (7.13 MiB) Viewed 1013 times
Last edited by disentius on Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:30 pm

Disentius, that looks awesome. I can't imagine anything much more effective.

I can also evinsion a incredibly simple way to protect against "converting all the U238 to U235":

- A simple splitter between the entry splitter where you divide the U235 from U238 and the first underground.
- Route the new output from the splitter to merge after the last U238 underground.

Then the backpressure on the exit U238 line will act as a control when there is little demand, but the bypass will ensure that there is always some U238 on the exit line.

Truly a highly efficient setup and forget design, regardless of whether there is a lot of U235 or U238 consumption and little of the other. And very easy to expand. I will use this design in my maps from now on. Thanks!!!

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by eradicator » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:24 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:30 pm
- A simple splitter between the entry splitter where you divide the U235 from U238 and the first underground.
- Route the new output from the splitter to merge after the last U238 underground.
Meh, i already told you to just use a splitter like 10 posts ago :/.
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How does that build behave on temporary power loss (=random resetting of the combinator)?
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by disentius » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:59 am

not tested. it's a counter: it will break:)

Modded version uses Optera's inventory scanner. That one will probably survive, i will test it
I never play with biters anymore, and overpowerproducing is my default.
Every (vanilla) kovarex which uses combinators to reduce U235 loading will break in case of power loss. Solution: dont use counter.

You can remove all counters from my setup, and it will work. Takes a lot longer to get output, but if possible power loss is part of your play style, essential.

EDIT:
and thanks for the praise, z. (this setup already puts trough all excess U236) :D

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:29 pm

Your design has a few problems that I can spot.

1: Several Missing Speed modules.
2: Poor startup behavior that can completely break it in some circumstances.
A: No provision to ensure that all u-235 goes to the first column first.
B: No provision to prevent the u-235 inserter from missing any of the first 40 u-235 that comes along.


These are fixed with a couple of small changes though!



Edit:
There is a more major problem that, I don't think can be fixed with this design though. I think this will break completely if you don't have inserter capacity bonus 6?
disentius wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:59 am
Every (vanilla) kovarex which uses combinators to reduce U235 loading will break in case of power loss. Solution: dont use counter.
Counters don't break on power outages, only during low power. You can solve this simply by cutting power with a power switch and an accumulator when charge is below a certain threshold (say, 2%).

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by mrvn » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:49 am

Escadin wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:39 pm
mrvn wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:12 pm
Once the speed bonus of (nuclear) fuel also makes furnaces work faster it becomes sensible to use nuclear fuel for them.
What would be the difference to making your furnaces 'work faster' via speed modules / beacons, then satisfying their energy demand with nuclear reactors?
That they are cumulative. Using nuclear fuel would require half the number of furnaces, beacons, modules. If you are optimizing for UPS then that would help a lot.

But having the speed bonus of fuel also affect furnaces (and burner inserters :) is only a suggestion so far. Nobody knows if the devs will ever implement it.

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