Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

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zOldBulldog
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Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:58 pm

When oil processing is unbalanced, one of the fluid tanks will fill and cause the whole production line to grind to a near halt. This often resolves itself in later stages, but can be a real pain before making rocket fuel for rockets.

Band-aid solutions include include:

- Adding fluid tanks to take the overflow.
- Making solid fuel and storing in an array of chests for later conversion to rocket fuel.

But using the right conditions can reduce or eliminate the need for band-aids. So I figured I'd start this thread to see if there is a consensus on a "best practice" for balancing oil processing.


As a starting point, this is my latest design (fairly good, but probably not ideal):

- Always: Produce plastic as demanded.
- Always: Produce sulfur as demanded.
- Always: Produce Sulfuric Acid as demanded.

BEFORE Advanced Oil Processing research:
- Use Basic Oil Processing at the refinery.
- Store Petroleum gas, Light and Heavy oil produced in one tank each.
- Heavy oil > 10k + Lubricant < 24k: Crack Heavy oil to Lubricant.
- Heavy oil > 24k: Make solid fuel, to avoid refinery stalling.
- Light oil > 24k : Make solid fuel, to avoid refinery stalling.
- Petroleum Gas > 24k: Make solid fuel, to avoid refinery stalling.
- Solid fuel reserve < 1 chest: Make solid fuel from Light Oil.

AFTER Advanced Oil Processing research (add the following):
- Initially switch to Advanced Oil Processing.
- Heavy oil > 10k + Lubricant < 24k + Light oil < 10k + Petroleum gas < 20k: Crack Heavy oil to Light oil.
- Light oil > 10k + Petroleum gas < 20k: Crack Light oil to Petroleum gas.
- If Lubricant runs low, downgrade the refinery back to Basic Oil Processing until the demand of Petroleum gas increases.

AFTER Rocket Silo research:
- Solid fuel reserve > 1/2 chest: Make rocket fuel from Solid Fuel.

The main flaw of this design is that it still occasionally produces solid fuel after Advanced Oil Processing research, so you might need to add chests until you complete Rocket Silo research.

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DaveMcW
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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by DaveMcW » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:19 pm

The best practice is to beeline Advanced Oil Processing before you do anything else with oil.

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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:07 pm

DaveMcW wrote:The best practice is to beeline Advanced Oil Processing before you do anything else with oil.
I used to do that, but running out of lubricant over and over made me.reconsider.

I know that most experienced players say that what they run out of first is Petroleum gas, but with all the cracking options that has never been a problem for me. Lubricant on the other hand, quite a pain.

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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by Durentis » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:43 pm

You seem to have the right general idea, as far as I’m concerned, which is to make use of circuit conditions and get Advanced Oil Processing asap. The key is in always converting to the next stage (raw -> heavy -> light -> petrol) and always producing from the latest possible stage while cutting power to unnecessary stages. I used to have a save with this working but lost it.. perhaps I will recreate something in creative mode later.

If I remember right, I had a small buffer for each stage (raw, heavy, light, petrol, lubricant, solid) for circuit conditions.
If heavy fuel is above a threshold, cut power to refineries.
If room for light fuel and enough heavy, produce light, otherwise cut power to heavy cracking.
If room for petrol and enough light, produce petrol, otherwise cut power to light cracking.
If room for lubricant and enough heavy, produce lubricant, otherwise cut power to lubricant production.
If room for solid and enough petrol, produce solid from petrol, otherwise cut power to solid production.
(..and so on for rocket/nuclear fuel.)

Was something like that, I think. It flickered power but I don’t think that hurt anything and can be worked around with more circuitry if you really want to smooth their periods of production. You can add circuitry to favour lubricant production over light as well if you want, though I don’t think I did at the time.

This works early on and you can also cut power to associated beacons when you get them. You can even share rows of beacons between stages for efficiency and only power the shared row if one or both stages are active (using wire snipping if necessary to isolate the stages).

Worst case before Advanced Oil Processing is just to delete a full buffer tank and recreate it if you’re short on overflow space to get processing again. Yes, it’s a waste, but oil in Factorio is infinite so it’s not really a problem long term. If you do just keep increasing the buffer, do so in such a way that you can pump out of it later into a smaller buffer connected to the circuitry like I described above.

-----
Edit: Ok, here's a working example for you. Not going to bother with a screenshot since the important bits are buried in the combinators and it's just common arrays of stitched refineries and chem plants (ignoring ratios and random beacons/mods to save space and time). The logic is the same if you expand this to squares of beacons with single refineries/chem plants inside.

I mostly had it right above, except that the refineries have to power down if the petrol has enough, not the heavy, or else it's possible to back it up and they'll stay powered without doing anything. Room in the petrol buffer implies room in the light and heavy buffers provided you convert heavy -> light -> petrol fast enough. I also worked in the lubricant for you, which takes precedence over heavy -> light. The numbers I set in the combinators are arbitrary.. set them as you wish to adjust buffer levels.

The "has enough" signals are the colours, the "have room" signals are the numbers.

Ignore the plastic at the bottom.. I haven't redone the math and layout on it since the chem plants got an extra module slot, but it does seem to work with two chem plants snipped off the end so I'll definitely have to revisit my old designs.

The blueprint uses infinite fluid sources and power from the Creative mod, as well as spawn and void belts from the Spawn Belt mod.


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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by Jap2.0 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:33 am

If you have enough of all three kinds of processed oil, the refinery stalling isn't a problem - it's the pumps stalling (and even that costs only the minimum amount of oil per oil patch per second).
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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by zOldBulldog » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:57 am

Jap2.0 wrote:If you have enough of all three kinds of processed oil, the refinery stalling isn't a problem - it's the pumps stalling (and even that costs only the minimum amount of oil per oil patch per second).
The issue I encounter often in the early stages is exactly the refinery stalling because I need a lot of Lubricant but not much Petroleum gas. So, my Petroleum tank (or possibly Light oil before Advanced Petroleum Processing research) fills up, so the refinery no longer has nowhere to put it.

There are bandaids, but none of them are good... until I start launching rockets and so I finally consume more Petroleum than anything else, and by that point cracking solves the problem... But that is quite late in the game. Before that I typically accumulate massive numbers of steel chests filled with solid fuel.

Annoying, and I am sure there must be a better way.

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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by Zavian » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:12 am

Just keep science ticking over, and you always use enough petrol to make lube for bots or blue belts. (Indeed I normally launch rockets before I start building blue belts, or more than a couple of hundred bots).

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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by bobucles » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:38 am

I used to do that, but running out of lubricant over and over made me.reconsider.
It's still a good idea to beeline advanced oil. If you need more heavy oil, jump to coal cracking.

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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by zOldBulldog » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:05 pm

bobucles wrote:
I used to do that, but running out of lubricant over and over made me.reconsider.
It's still a good idea to beeline advanced oil. If you need more heavy oil, jump to coal cracking.
I do beeline the "research" and setup cracking with automatic conditions, what I have found not worth doing is beeling "using" Advanced Oil in the refinery itself, unless I am consuming more Petroleum gas than Lubricant.

The thing is that if you need more Petroleum gas you can always crack, but if you need more Lubricant you can't "reverse crack" :)

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Re: Oil Processing balance before launching rockets

Post by Krazykrl » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:52 am

Adv oil only costs 150 plastic bars, which you can easily do even if you "sneakernet" the petrol with oil drums. Adv oil is probably the #1 blue science research, due to the quality of life it gives you.

And if you're running out of lubricant, you can always prioritize pumping lubricant to your electric engine factory for use in science production (wire up a pump to a tank which activates at like lubricant>1000, while the priority output, which feeds the science, is always active) this would cause any spare lube to automagically get shoved into less critical stuff like robots and belts.

And if you're really REALLY hurting for lubricant, use several prioritized and dedicated basic oil refineries... Oil cracking and Adv oil production both only provide 10 heavy oil per 5 seconds(times craftspeed); while basic oil makes 30 heavy oil per 5 seconds.

Using priority overflows via multi-output circuit-networked pumps really does wonders for controlling something that cannot be directly backpressure driven.

And if you're producing excessive numbers of belts, this is one of the situations where a larger lubricant buffer would help significantly.
My personal oil setup

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