Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

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Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:25 am

I have been happily using this excellent build and forget Kovarex design by vinnief (viewtopic.php?f=208&t=57800). It is so good that I have not felt the need for anything better.

I toyed with the idea of creating my own and considered a few design goals but my nuclear and circuit skills aren't good enough yet to do a good job.

But I believe I conceived a worthy design goal that some of you might want to try to achieve, so I figured I would share it:

- A Kovarex design that not only is build and forget, but adjusts to demand, and doesn't choke once you produce more than you need and one of the lines backs up.
- For example, if you build and use a lot of Uranium ammo, Kovarex throttles down so that more of the U238 is available for it, but I'd you use a lot of fuel cells or nuclear fuel for trains then it ratchets up and converts more to U235.
- This is clearly not a trivial challenge, but it sure seems like a worthwhile goal.

Then again, maybe vinnnief's design already does it and I missed that detail. If so please mention it and I will happily facepalm.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by eradicator » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:43 am

I haven't seen any kovarex designs using circuits since the advent of filter splitters. My current facility needed a bit of babysitting during startup until there was enough U235 for every centrifuge, but after that i never touched it again. (Did some testing and it looks like this final design did fix the "babysitting" issue.)
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Hannu » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:45 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:25 am
I have been happily using this excellent build and forget Kovarex design by vinnief (viewtopic.php?f=208&t=57800). It is so good that I have not felt the need for anything better.

I toyed with the idea of creating my own and considered a few design goals but my nuclear and circuit skills aren't good enough yet to do a good job.

But I believe I conceived a worthy design goal that some of you might want to try to achieve, so I figured I would share it:

- A Kovarex design that not only is build and forget, but adjusts to demand, and doesn't choke once you produce more than you need and one of the lines backs up.
- For example, if you build and use a lot of Uranium ammo, Kovarex throttles down so that more of the U238 is available for it, but I'd you use a lot of fuel cells or nuclear fuel for trains then it ratchets up and converts more to U235.
- This is clearly not a trivial challenge, but it sure seems like a worthwhile goal.
I am not sure what do you mean, because solution is in my opinion quite trivial if you know basics of circuits. I circulate Kovarex's U238 through a chest and have an inserter to fill it from outside if amount is less than for example 500. Then there is always room for U238 from kovarex process.

I circulate also U235 through chest so that U235 from ore refining is always taken in but U235 from Kovarex only of number is less than a limit. U235 consumption is so small that I have never had any throughput issues.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Escadin » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:51 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:25 am
- A Kovarex design that not only is build and forget, but adjusts to demand, and doesn't choke once you produce more than you need and one of the lines backs up.
- For example, if you build and use a lot of Uranium ammo, Kovarex throttles down so that more of the U238 is available for it, but I'd you use a lot of fuel cells or nuclear fuel for trains then it ratchets up and converts more to U235.
- This is clearly not a trivial challenge, but it sure seems like a worthwhile goal.
Wait... running out of U-238 before U-235 is a thing? Are you sure? :shock:

Anyway, have fun designing that solution. The challenge does sound rather trivial though. Belts or logistic chests - just let the backpressure handle it.
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:09 pm

Escadin wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:51 pm
zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:25 am
- A Kovarex design that not only is build and forget, but adjusts to demand, and doesn't choke once you produce more than you need and one of the lines backs up.
- For example, if you build and use a lot of Uranium ammo, Kovarex throttles down so that more of the U238 is available for it, but I'd you use a lot of fuel cells or nuclear fuel for trains then it ratchets up and converts more to U235.
- This is clearly not a trivial challenge, but it sure seems like a worthwhile goal.
Wait... running out of U-238 before U-235 is a thing? Are you sure? :shock:

Anyway, have fun designing that solution. The challenge does sound rather trivial though. Belts or logistic chests - just let the backpressure handle it.
It did not happen to me, but there is a recent thread where someone designed a heavily beaconed Kovarex and literally run out of U238 because it was all being converted to U235. I was just as surprised as you.

And that is what prompted me to start this thread. It would be very nice to design a Kovarex setup that was able to convert all but throttled itself down to supply exactly what your factories consumed (with no overstock of one or the other).

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by eradicator » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:30 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:09 pm
It did not happen to me, but there is a recent thread where someone designed a heavily beaconed Kovarex and literally run out of U238 because it was all being converted to U235. I was just as surprised as you.

And that is what prompted me to start this thread. It would be very nice to design a Kovarex setup that was able to convert all but throttled itself down to supply exactly what your factories consumed (with no overstock of one or the other).
As stocking happens soley in chests that's trivially to solve by simply not building too many chests. o_O. I don't see an even theoretical solution to solving that. If you use up all your U238 in a sudden spike no circuit can protect you from that. You simply do what every good factorian does: You build more mines.
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:59 pm

eradicator wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:30 pm
zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:09 pm
It did not happen to me, but there is a recent thread where someone designed a heavily beaconed Kovarex and literally run out of U238 because it was all being converted to U235. I was just as surprised as you.

And that is what prompted me to start this thread. It would be very nice to design a Kovarex setup that was able to convert all but throttled itself down to supply exactly what your factories consumed (with no overstock of one or the other).
As stocking happens soley in chests that's trivially to solve by simply not building too many chests. o_O. I don't see an even theoretical solution to solving that. If you use up all your U238 in a sudden spike no circuit can protect you from that. You simply do what every good factorian does: You build more mines.
Not so much worried about running out of one, as I am worried of a backlog of the other blocking a splitter from working (just like it happens with Oil and occasionally happens when mining mixed ores) and suddenly getting no U23x (one or the other) even though I have plenty and plenty of ore to process.

So... we get back to a good design that achieves this as not all designs (especially the simple ones) will do it well :)

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by eradicator » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:17 am

My design can already priorize U235 from the mines, so it'll only ever get stuck if you consume less than 7x U235 per 993x U238, i.e. if you're consuming below the natural ratio. But if you do that then nothing can help you except for an infinite buffer on the priority input line. But if your U235 useage is that low, you don't need an enrichment center in the first place. So either i solved your "problem" or your problem is ill defined.
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:57 am

eradicator wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:17 am
My design can already priorize U235 from the mines, so it'll only ever get stuck if you consume less than 7x U235 per 993x U238, i.e. if you're consuming below the natural ratio. But if you do that then nothing can help you except for an infinite buffer on the priority input line. But if your U235 useage is that low, you don't need an enrichment center in the first place. So either i solved your "problem" or your problem is ill defined.
The issue I saw reported was the other way around, a Kovarex design that was made so efficient by extreme beaconing that it converted ALL of the 238. Literally running out of 238 (not 235).

That indicates that massively beaconing Kovarex can be very advantageous as it will give you unlimited 235, but it creates the need to throttle it down if the 238 outgoing line is running low.

Hmm that tells me how to throttle it... Massively over-beacon, then measure outgoing 238 and if it runs low turn off the beacons power. Problem solved. Thanks for arguing, it made me think of the solution :)

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Zavian » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:45 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:57 am
Hmm that tells me how to throttle it... Massively over-beacon, then measure outgoing 238 and if it runs low turn off the beacons power. Problem solved. Thanks for arguing, it made me think of the solution
The simplest way to throttle anything is backpressure. Allow it to fill the output belts/pipes/trains, when the output is full the assemblers will stop. (You can add chests/tanks if you want more of a buffer than the belts/pipes/trains themselves provide).

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by disentius » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:26 pm

This one hasn't got stuck on me yet.
Once fed enough U235 to start, you can control production with the U238 feed.
Since I hate getting 80 U235 first, I put in a counter.
Put U235 in the left chest, it will put 40 on the belt to start the process.
Each centrifuge produces slightly more than 5 U325 p/m

Start: feed U238+40 U235
Stop: starve U238
Restart: feed U238 again

Pro's:
  • Ridiculously beaconed
  • Only need 40 U235 to start
  • Stackable
Con's:
  • The counter makes it more fragile: remove for robustness, at the cost of 40 U235 per centrifuge extra.
lazy kovarex v3.PNG
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NB. with counter, it needs to be belt-fed, otherwise this breaks. Chest bottom-left takes care of that here

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by eradicator » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:36 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:57 am
eradicator wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:17 am
My design can already priorize U235 from the mines, so it'll only ever get stuck if you consume less than 7x U235 per 993x U238, i.e. if you're consuming below the natural ratio. But if you do that then nothing can help you except for an infinite buffer on the priority input line. But if your U235 useage is that low, you don't need an enrichment center in the first place. So either i solved your "problem" or your problem is ill defined.
The issue I saw reported was the other way around, a Kovarex design that was made so efficient by extreme beaconing that it converted ALL of the 238. Literally running out of 238 (not 235).

That indicates that massively beaconing Kovarex can be very advantageous as it will give you unlimited 235, but it creates the need to throttle it down if the 238 outgoing line is running low.

Hmm that tells me how to throttle it... Massively over-beacon, then measure outgoing 238 and if it runs low turn off the beacons power. Problem solved. Thanks for arguing, it made me think of the solution :)
I think your stuck in one of your "thought-loops" again (for lack of a better term). The guy that ran out of U238 didn't run out of it because he had too many beacons, he ran out of it because he added too much buffer for U235 (because obviously you can't produce more than you can store). So by simply not having huge buffers for U235 you litterally can not get into that situation (chests/belts/trains are all buffers). Ofc you can go paranoid and built up a huge buffer for U238 with fancy counters etc pp for "emergencies", but all of that is fighting the symptom of having too much buffer for U235. Ofc you could set a priority splitter between the mines and the enrichment center that first sends off U238 to a train station, so that enrichment is the last target direction. Or *gasp* an non-priority splitter that sends only half of the stuff to be enriched in the first place (can be easily achieved in my design by removing the priority flag from the splitter before the underground). But honestly, if you don't have enough U238 just build more mines...
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by disentius » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:49 pm

@eradicator:
You are right of course, but that is no fun...
Having a complicated Kovarex that you can throttle and doesnt get stuck is more fun to me. (and it was a challenge) :mrgreen:

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:34 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:09 pm
Escadin wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:51 pm
zOldBulldog wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:25 am
- A Kovarex design that not only is build and forget, but adjusts to demand, and doesn't choke once you produce more than you need and one of the lines backs up.
- For example, if you build and use a lot of Uranium ammo, Kovarex throttles down so that more of the U238 is available for it, but I'd you use a lot of fuel cells or nuclear fuel for trains then it ratchets up and converts more to U235.
- This is clearly not a trivial challenge, but it sure seems like a worthwhile goal.
Wait... running out of U-238 before U-235 is a thing? Are you sure? :shock:

Anyway, have fun designing that solution. The challenge does sound rather trivial though. Belts or logistic chests - just let the backpressure handle it.
It did not happen to me, but there is a recent thread where someone designed a heavily beaconed Kovarex and literally run out of U238 because it was all being converted to U235. I was just as surprised as you.

And that is what prompted me to start this thread. It would be very nice to design a Kovarex setup that was able to convert all but throttled itself down to supply exactly what your factories consumed (with no overstock of one or the other).
I happen to have recently designed exactly what you want!

It *only* maintains enough in each centrifuge to process more 235, and requires no initial babysitting or hand feeding at all. Output is 70/min and tileable (I think). I'll post the BP string for you once I have had some sleep if you want it.
20181004161933_1.jpg
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:39 pm

ColonelSandersLite wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:34 pm
I happen to have recently designed exactly what you want!

It *only* maintains enough in each centrifuge to process more 235, and requires no initial babysitting or hand feeding at all. Output is 70/min and tileable (I think). I'll post the BP string for you once I have had some sleep if you want it.

20181004161933_1.jpg
Yes please. I am very interested, not just to use it, but because I can also study it and improve my understanding. Who knows, maybe next time it will be me designing a nice bit of circuit logic :D

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by Hannu » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:26 am

disentius wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:49 pm
@eradicator:
You are right of course, but that is no fun...
Having a complicated Kovarex that you can throttle and doesnt get stuck is more fun to me. (and it was a challenge) :mrgreen:
You can throttle Kovarex process by controlling input. You can block U238 belt to Kovarex if U235 amount in buffer is more than something.

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.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by eradicator » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:30 am

Hannu wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:26 am
What do you do with all that U235?
I put them on the floor so i can find my way at night :p.
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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by zOldBulldog » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:04 am

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.
I suspect they have multiple uses for nuclear fuel (besides trains).

I have this crazy mental image of fueling an array of furnaces with nuclear fuel. I never felt the need and so it is only in this playthrough that I plan to create nuclear fuel, but just for the irony of it I decided that my first supply of nuclear fuel will go to power a stone furnace!!! Hah! :D :shock: :mrgreen: :geek:

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:00 pm

Here you go:


Stripped tile, tileable in all 4 directions. Lines up on the substations.
20181005080328_1.jpg
20181005080328_1.jpg (801.32 KiB) Viewed 3188 times



The feed isn't the typical straight through system, so it can be a little tricky to work out. Here's a screenshot of the belts being artificially filled to help you visualize what you need to do to get it to work.
20181005080414_1.jpg
20181005080414_1.jpg (950.3 KiB) Viewed 3188 times
Specs:
Each tile will produce 20.666 u-235/min once fully operational.

The limit to how many tiles may be linked together is the speed of the U-238 recycling line. I haven't pushed to this limit, but observations and a bit of math tell me that 28.571 tiles, yielding 590.448 u-235/min should be the theoretical upper limit. The practical limit might be a touch lower than that though.

If you're wanting to do something crazy (like a nuke/second?) and you need more u-235 faster, you can just build multiple arrays.

Completely Optional:
Each centrifuge has a pair of decider combinators and a fast inserter that is used to "prime" the centrifuge. Once the centrifuge has received 40 u-235, these permanently shut down. It will have no effect on the works, but if you want to reclaim those after you can. Compare the following screenshot to the rest for an example.
20181005080350_1.jpg
20181005080350_1.jpg (753.65 KiB) Viewed 3188 times
Last edited by ColonelSandersLite on Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Self adjusting Kovarex based on demand

Post by ColonelSandersLite » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:03 pm

Demo:
Grab the Creative Mode (Fix for 0.16) mod
Start a sandbox mode game
Enable Creative mode with cheats
Place the following blueprint
It should just automatically start and run

Last edited by ColonelSandersLite on Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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