Big Reactors: A spreadsheet, mechanics summary and reactor example.

Discussion in 'Mod Discussion' started by Skyqula, May 15, 2014.

  1. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    So instead if hijacking that other threat I thought I'd update mine. Lets start by stating that yes, my spreadsheet is still up to date! There is no difference between version 0.3 and 0.4. Its just an update from 1.6.4 to 1.7.10. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The spreadsheet: Big Reactors v0.3 and v0.4 - Actively cooled.

    From that the following information still stands. Note that these should be taken as guide lines to help you design your own reactor. Feel free to look at my spreadsheet and copy anny design you like. But where is the fun in that? Try and beat my reactors instead!

    • Ender is the best outside coolant. More layers of coolant is better. More layers Significantly reduces block efficiency. Max 4 layers on the outside.
    • Outside coolant layers bigger then 1 should consist of the outer most layer of resonant ender and the inner layers of cryotheum.
    • Cryotheum is the best coolant inbetween rods. 1 coolant between each rod is best. In some smaller/cooler designs Graphite can be better.
    • Coolants are needed inside an actively cooled reactor, the cooling effects actually stack!
    • Coolant is not needed in area's where radiation does not travel (see radiation). So the corners can be annything you want.
    Theoretical best:
    • As big as you can build it. Keep the rod's as square as possible for maximum efficiency. IE: 15x15x7 has a 11x11x5 core of fuel rods, 2 layers of coolant and 2 for the casing.
    • One big block of fuel rods "dotted" with crytheum. Aka, 1 Crytheum completly surrounded in fuel rods.
    • Suggested 1 layers of coolant between Fuel Rods and casing. Resonant Ender is the strongest. Alternatively, up to 4 layers will work: 3 layers of Cryotheum and the outermost layer of Resonant Ender
    • Higher levels of radiation is better. Produced in fuel rods. Travels upto 4 blocks in north/east/south/west direction (Not diagonal or up/down).
    • The more fuel rods inside that 4 block area, to higher the radition level inside a reactor.
    • The higher the radiation the less fuel used.
    • Lower is better. Ideal as low as you can get it. Aslong as this is under a 1000 degrees then Radiation is more important.
    • After ~1000 Degrees reactor efficiency drops significantly. If you only got 1 coolant layer then adding additional coolant layers might help you out here. (bigger reactor, more heat allowed to reach the same temperature)
    • Steam stored inside the reactor increases reactor temperature, PUMP IT ALL OUT. Alternatively, adjust fuel rod insertion to lower steam production
    • Bigger reactors will eventually go well over 1000 and even 2000 degrees. This is because of the amount of heat generated from coolants absorbing it. There is nothing you can do against this yet, the next mayor version might have a an interesting block to solve this.
    Rod Control:
    • Reduces reactor temperature, radiation, fuel efficiency, steam production and fuel consumption.
    • Can be used to tweak superior reactor designs to match desired steam output.
    • Can be used to increase fuel efficiency. Certain reactor setups have better efficiency when controlled down.

    This part: "Rod Control: Certain reactor setups have better efficiency when controlled down. " is probably the most important part to understand when looking for efficient reactors. As all passive cooled reactors are actually significantly more efficient when controlled down. Its only active reactors that can go all out and be efficient.

    Explaining coolants:
    A good page to take a look at as far as cooling goes is this one. It shows the datamined properties of coolants. Including the 4 important stats to look at: Absorbtion, Heat efficiency, moderation and thermal conductivity. For a quick explanation:

    All that theory is to complicated, whats a good reactor?

    My favorite design looks as follows:
    • Grey = Casing
    • Green = Resonant Ender
    • cyan = Gelid Cryotheum
    • Orange = Fuel Rod
    • White = Annything, I preffer Glass, but can also be air.
    The resonant ender can also be Gelid Cryotheum, it doesnt matter to much. But for pure max efficiency its the best.

    For passive cooling: it goes from 13.4k RF/t with a fuel efficiency of 97M RF per fuel ingot for 1 layer to 55k* RF/t for 5 layers with a fuel efficiency of 96M RF per fuel ingot.

    *note: This value is lower then expected. This is because the reactor is starting to overheat and more and more radiation is being turned into fast radiation, lowering energy production. If you need this much power, I highly suggest moving to turbines.

    For active cooling: it goes from ~6850 mB/t with a fuel efficiency of 828M* RF per fuel ingot for 1 layer (3 high) to 40B/t with a fuel efficiency of 1099M* RF per fuel ingot for 5 layers (7 high).

    *note: Assuming a ludicrite turbine mentioned below wich produces 27800 RF/t at 2000mB/t.

    Some Reactor building tips:

    • Use a Extra Utilities builders wand. Saves you alot of block placing!
    • Use a Buildcraft Floodgate. Easy to fill anny Reactor with a single coolant type!
    • Prebuild your reactor in creative and save it to a BC blueprint. Note that it doesnt save anny big reactor blocks. But it does save the coolants! Making it easy to build a reactor with both resonant ender and cryotheum. Simply use the builder to fill it for you!
    • You can pre-design your reactor using this online simulator!
    So what about turbines?

    I didnt do anny research on turbines. The only one I did was make one using ludicrite. Namely a 7x7x16 turbine with 4, 8 block coils of ludicrum and 80 blades. it produces ~27800 RF/t and consumes 2B/t. If you want more information, I suggest you take a look at this spreadsheet made by @Saice.

    A screenshot of the turbine aswell as the reactor used wich produces just under 2000mB/t good for a fuel efficiency of 617M RF per fuel ingot:

    I can give you a usefull tip: A turbine will convert all steam back to water without anny loss. Meaning you only need to fill the reactr with water once and you will never have to do it again. Just make sure you extract the steam/water fast enough or set the turbine to never fent fluids.

    Reactor fuels?
    There are 2 types of fuel for Big Reactors. Yellorium and Blutonium. Both ingots and blocks work. Additionally, if the oredictionary with Uranium is set to true then Uranium and Plutonium are valid aswell.

    Interesting fact: 1 yellorium = 2 fuel cycles.

    1 yellorium ==> 1 cyanite ==> 1/2 blutonium
    1/2 blutonium ==> 1/2 cyanite ==> 1/4 blutonium
    1/4 blutonium ==> 1/4 cyanite ==> 1/8 blutonium
    1/8 blutonium ==> 1/8 cyanite ==> 1/16 blutonium
    1/16 blutonium ==> 1/16 cyanite ==> 1/32 blutonium

    In other words: 1 + 0.5 + 0.25 + 0.125 + 0.0625 + 0.03125 + etc

    Taking just the above values we get 1.96875. Wich is already enough to see that we are aproaching 2.

    A better explanation here.

    BR vs IC2

    lets look at the mechanics, they arent all that different.

    • IC2 has you move around parts inside an UI. Big Reactors has you rebuild your entire reactor.
    • IC2 has a readiation mechanic with cooling and reflecting, Big Reactors has a radiation mechanic with cooling, moderation and absorbtion.
    • IC2 Uses a single uranium ingot for 3 cycles, Big Reactors for 2.
    • An IC2 reactor costs no uranium to build, Big Reactors does (Startup cost).
    • IC2 starts at an efficiency of 1-5 (3-15 adjusted for fuel cycles) or assuming the IC2 "standard" of 4RF = 1EU 4-20 (12-60)MRF. Big Reactors has a wide range but starts around 9-250(18-500 adjusted for fuel cycles)MRF. Buildup and total cost of the reactor, aswell as resources drain speed are significantly higher for BR then IC2 at max range. Additionally, IC2 builds up Plutonium.
    • IC2 has MOX reactors at an efficiency of 25 or 100 MRF. Big Reactors has turbine at an efficiency ranging from 20M to 1568M. Buildup and total cost of the reactor, aswell as resources drain speed are ludicrously higher for BR then IC2 at max range. Ontop of needing to configure 2 layouts instead of 1.
    • IC2 has left over Plutonium wich can be used to generate EU free using Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. Big reactors has no such mechanic.
    • Interesting side effect: Converting yellorium into cyanite into blutonium into RTG pellets is the quickest way to get Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators going. (the x10 fuel use is actually helping here!)
    • At small scale, BR and IC2 are realy close in terms of just about everything (Default settings!!!).
    • Big Reactors can be made significantly bigger for better efficiency and way higher cost.
    • In the end IC2 wins because of infinite power trough RTG's.

    BR is OP, how would you nerf it?

    • Reduce maximum reactor size. Greatly reduces maximum efficiency potential. Something like: 15x15x15 or 9x9x13, exterior ofcourse.
    • Dont increase fuel consumption, actually beneficial with packs that contain IC2 and is completly pointless with a proper reactor design. You can go as high as x40 and still be able to run a possitive loop. This "nerf" is the definition of a bad change!
    • Reduce turbine power output. Turbine power output is realy high and far outperforms anny other mod. It has a price, ofcourse. Try something like a turbine power multiplier of 0.5 or reduce turbine power to 0.8 and total power output to 0.8.
    • Disable uranium unification. Prevents yellorium ==> plutonium for free unfinite power trough IC2 RTG's.
    • Disable cyanite crafting recipy, its cheap and makes getting turbines realy quick and helps out with the IC2 RTG situation. It also combos realy well with the next point...
    • Disable the power port. This effectvely disables passive reactors, in combination with a disabled cyanite crafting recipy this means people would first need to make a breeder reactor to get cyanite before they can start producing power.

    I plan in redoing the spreadsheet when version 0.5 of Big Reactors comes out. This version, according to the roadmap, will change the coolant values around to provide more variaty. Meaning ill get to redo everything :D

    As previously, found a mistake? Found something new? See a way to improve? Do comment!
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
    kolikooo1, Dentvar and rhn like this.
  2. madnewmy

    madnewmy New Member

    Wow that's a lot of data :O

    At first, your presentation seems not very good. A lot of numbers and just some green case. Your resume however, is awesome.

    Now what would really help is what reactor feeds which turbine under which conditions. Ie a reactor 7x7x3 with rods set at 60% can output xyz number of steam/tick which feeds turbine with dimension x etc...

    Usually people who do those want the most efficient reactor for his turbine. Producing 25k steam/tick is cool, but that will require two turbine and one will get 5k steam only, whats the point? I think this is more the data we need with the resume.

    However, this kinda of table is still very awesome and handy :)

    Oh and maybe afterall a table for fuel/rf using this reactor and this turbine!
  3. Yusunoha

    Yusunoha New Member

    perhaps an idea to add more pictures of both reactor and turbine setups?
  4. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    Thanks for the feedback guys, Ill be reworking the spreadsheet with an overview on the first tab. Only the most interesting reactors will be shown here with some more and clearer pictures. The rest will be moved into seperate tabs with an explanation of what I tested and better pictures explaining the test setup.

    Additionally, I want to find a reactor producing 2000mB of steam per tick at the most efficient rate. I will also dig up the spread sheet I used to make my turbine design and use to give some general pointers (IE: number of rotors needed per xxmB of steam). Possibly add turbine designs for each interesting reactor. Lastly, I want to test a few more odd ball reactors.
  5. Mr_Turing

    Mr_Turing New Member

    Turbine design is pretty simple. 25mb per blade and varying ammounts per block in the coil, there's some other spreadsheets floating around with data.
    Regarding reactor designs, check out this spreadsheet I made:

    Right now I'm using a 4 rod 7x7, 4 high reactor with rods at 10%, it uses about 0,05 mb/t and generates something like 2004 mb/t of steam.
    I'll test some more designs and see if I can reduce the consumption while maintaining 2k steam.
  6. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    That would be about 40080 buckets of steam per bucket of fuel. Pretty sure It can be made more efficient! My latest reactor idea with 70% rod controll can output 1970mB steam/t. Sufficient to keep a turbine inside the 900 RPM range and with a fuel efficiency of 48049 buckets of steam per bucket of fuel.

    Some new tests show that my initial "Best reactor" can actually be beaten by this new flat reactor design. With better efficiency and significantly less coolant used.

    Additionally, I added Rod controll to the spread sheet. Not alot of cleaning / presentation improvements yet though...
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  7. Peppe

    Peppe New Member

    Like this spreadsheet. Think it updated recently and like the new 21x21x3 reactor you added.

    I have a quarter of the old 15x15x6 reactor built and I dread finishing it or moving it, but a nice flat reactor is easier to put together, so I'll probably move some things around and drop the 21x21x3 reactor in.

    I now have too much yellowrite, so I am going to be sinking a few shafts to hold the 3x3x27 reactors to generate some more cyanite.

    What is the most fuel inefficient reactor -- ie fastest way to get cyanite? Turbines are awesome, but need like 200+ cyanite to build.

    Maybe you haven't tested turbines yet, but the one in your sheet does is not very efficient. You can make a 14x9x9 one with 37 enderium blocks and 80 blades = 1794 RPM = 24077 RF/t. That is 5 coils of enderium with 3 blocks removed. 6 blades that are 3 long and 1 blade that is 2 long.
  8. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    Well, a reactor going high and hot. So id suggest you turn that 3x3x27 into a 5x5x27, no coolant. You could also place the rods diagonal, so 6x6x27 with 2 rods.

    And yeah, I didnt test turbines. There is a spreadsheet on them out there that has already done it and a good job at it. I Prefer the 900 RPM one myself because it looks better (rotors with half blades? Or a single blade? Not in my world!)

    I also agree on the dreadfull build that is the 15x15x6 reactor. Even in creative I was alreayd like... never build this in survival, just dont. The new pattern though, is realy easy to build and even more efficient. (went with the 9x9x3 myself, throttled at 70%)
  9. Launcelot_J

    Launcelot_J New Member

    Jesus some of those reactors are MASSIVE.

    But anyway, is there ANY max size to the reactors? Because I made a 15x15x15 in creative mode and it did not form a multiblock...did I forget a fuel rod inside, or is it just past the size limit?

    Edit: I am on techworld2, so I use the version without turbines, if this changes anything.

    Sent from my desert island using smoke signal...
  10. madnewmy

    madnewmy New Member

    the max size is in the configs, but its usualy 48x48x32 IIRC
    Launcelot_J likes this.
  11. Launcelot_J

    Launcelot_J New Member

    Lol wow thanks for the quick response... Guess I'll have to go back in and check.
  12. budge

    budge New Member

    Thank you for doing this :)
  13. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    NP, its badly due for another complete rework though. I want it to be more of a tutorial and less of a technical spreadsheet of "all over the place". Atlough I will probably wait for the 0.5 update before doing that :D
  14. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    Updated OP, so I can link to it instead of hijacking other threats.
  15. CC_RRR

    CC_RRR New Member

    Appreciate this section and post. Very nice to see. But I am playing Direwolf20 and with the newest update I can't get it to allow me to use cryotheum inside of a Reactor. Anybody else have this issue or know the problem? Maybe a server config?
  16. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    Works just fine for me. Are you sure all blocks are present? Do you have a controler block? No wrong blocks annywhere inside the reactor?
  17. CC_RRR

    CC_RRR New Member

    I removed the cryotheum and it formed multiblock and worked. Added it back and wouldn't. Will try again tonight
  18. Jakalth

    Jakalth New Member

    Well, some things don't seem to translate from the numbers to in game. Smaller reactors in particular. Following the data you compiled here, which is good data, I built a 9x9x3 reactor with only 5 control rods. It worked pretty well by the numbers. But, after doing some tweaks, the coolant layout suggested by the data for example, is not really the most efficient layout for this reactor.

    With the 5 fuel rods, I've tested;
    1: The x pattern, which is not very efficient due to low radiation and high fuel burn.
    2: The solid line, good efficiency, but not the best power output. Good radiation levels though.
    3: The + pattern, seems to be the best power output, but slightly lower radiation levels then the line. Good efficiency though.

    Going with the + pattern here. But coolant layout:
    1: Filled with resonant ender, slightly elevated radiation levels, but lowest power output. Higher core temp, but lower casing temp.
    2: Filled with Gelid Cryothium, slightly lower radiation levels, but higher power output. Lower core temp, but higher casing temp.
    3: Outer ring of resonant ender with the rest gelid cryothium, average radiation levels, but lower power output then gelid alone. lower core temp, and lower casing temp.(optimum layout by the data)
    4: Only 8 blocks of gelid cryothium around core with the rest being resonant ender, slightly higher radiation levels, and highest power output. Higher core temp, and higher casing temp.(optimum layout through testing)

    All 4 coolant layouts had about the same fuel burn rates but they power produced was noticeably different. Several hundred RF/tick different. #4 had the highest power output from the fuel used, and #3 had the lowest fuel burn rate but less total power per ingot.

    Conclusions from testing; the core configuration of a small reactor does not require coolant blocks intermixed between the rods. Having cryothium as the primary coolant in a small reactor, does not always give the highest output per ingot. Mixing your coolants does though. The difference of only having the 8 cryothium blocks vs 20 as the data would suggest, seems to mostly effect the temp of the whole reactor. Small reactors run cold as it is and temp = power, to a degree... It's just that the power comes from the casing temp, not the core temp.

    From the testing then, what is optimum for a larger hot reactor are not quite the same as those for a smaller cold reactor. In fact, when going really small, Cryothium can actually make the reactor run so cold it barely produces power at all.

    One other note needs to be added here: The conclusions I made in this test WILL be different for the next person to try the same thing. I have tested other peoples designs, exactly as they have them, and gotten different results then they did, and when they did the same with my designs, they also got different results then I did. The differences are not big, but enough that a design that works well for one person, might not work well for the second person. And the design that worked well for the second, may not work for the first. These small variations make this mod even more interesting in my opinion.
  19. Skyqula

    Skyqula New Member

    This is false. There is no random number generator making small alterations per install. Every reactor build will be exactly the same. The only way something changes is if the configs are changed, IE Direwolf20's pack uses 10 times more fuel. You need to keep in mind though, that a reactor from Big Reactors is nothing like a steam dynamo. There are alot of variables at play. For example, a big offender of "my results are different" is waste. The more waste the less radiation is emitted and the temperature (less fuel reacting, less slow radiation absorbed), reactivity (less radiation emitted to radiate other rods), power production (less slow radiation to absorb, less fuel reacting) and fuel consumption (less reactivity to reduce fuel consumption) values adjust accodringly. This is especially noticable in small reactors with few rods where the maximum waste is a big part of the fuel tank.

    Talking about layouts:
    I think thats where your misunderstanding is comming from. No where am I saying that you have to use multiple layers of coolant, no where am I saying you need coolants between cores and no where am I saying you need to use a certain pattern. Infact, all I am saying is if you use coolants between cores then cryotheum is the best with graphite being a close second and better in some cases. Up to 4 layers of coolant have an effect and the outer most layer should be enderium. You talk about using a "x" or "+" or line pattern. That is not the pattern that I suggest using annywhere. Heck, I never suggest annything smaller then 9 long and 9 wide, because building smaller reactors and going up is just that inefficient. And its exactly those smaller reactors that use "x" or "+" desgins, wich all get beaten by a square with a dot in the middle (wich is the same as your conclusion). Also note that I highly encourage the use of rod insertion. Because a passive reactor without rod insertion is never going to be the most fuel efficient setup.

    Wich brings me back to the start of your post:

    Exactly what are you saying here? What doesnt seem to work?
  20. Jakalth

    Jakalth New Member

    I guess it's all misreading what you had originally posted then. Mistake on my part. It just seemed to suggest different results then what I was seeing. But with your corrections, the differences are just in the size of the reactor its self.

    I haven't done much with larger reactors recently, as in since early alpha releases of the mod.

    As for differences, I have had several occasions where I've compared notes with other players, using the same mod pack, same release number, same config, and everything, but we each got slightly different results using the same reactor build. This was also in minecraft 1.6.4. The differences were tiny, but we were crunching numbers for efficiency back then so the tiny differences added up.

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