Large-scale EU to MJ with Hydrogen

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abculatter_2

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Jul 29, 2019
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I had this idea awhile ago, at first as a method of energy generation, but then Gregarious nerfed hydrogen (and methane) through the ground.
However, I think burning hydrogen in in a steam boiler just might be an effective way to convert EU to MJ on a large scale.

Here's the math;
Hydrogen can be created from water (basically for free) at the cost of 93,000 EU, creating 4 hydrogen cells which can be burned for 8000 heat units in a steam boiler.
This means that, assuming a max-heat and max-size boiler, you can make 72,000 MJ, essentially out of 93,000 EU.
Which is an approximately 9:7 ratio, compared to an electrical engine (the usual standard in EU => MJ conversion) which has a maximum 5:2 ratio.

Don't know how useful this actually is, but it's an idea.
 

Giga

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Jul 29, 2019
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How would you deal with the tin needed to make the cells? You're going to run out eventually.
 

Guswut

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Jul 29, 2019
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I had this idea awhile ago, at first as a method of energy generation, but then Gregarious nerfed hydrogen (and methane) through the ground.
However, I think burning hydrogen in in a steam boiler just might be an effective way to convert EU to MJ on a large scale.

Here's the math;
Hydrogen can be created from water (basically for free) at the cost of 93,000 EU, creating 4 hydrogen cells which can be burned for 8000 heat units in a steam boiler.
This means that, assuming a max-heat and max-size boiler, you can make 72,000 MJ, essentially out of 93,000 EU.
Which is an approximately 9:7 ratio, compared to an electrical engine (the usual standard in EU => MJ conversion) which has a maximum 5:2 ratio.

Don't know how useful this actually is, but it's an idea.
That does appear to be a better ratio by a good bit, but is it worth the infrastructure costs? Piece together a system that, by itself, equals X amount of electrical engines, and then price it out piecemeal for us, so we can compare that way.

How would you deal with the tin needed to make the cells? You're going to run out eventually.
You can use a liquid transposer to keep the cells and pipe the liquid directly into the boiler via a pipe.
 
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abculatter_2

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That does appear to be a better ratio by a good bit, but is it worth the infrastructure costs? Piece together a system that, by itself, equals X amount of electrical engines, and then price it out piecemeal for us, so we can compare that way.
After a bit of figuring, at this level of output the price of a steam boiler can vary greatly in competetiveness (sorry I don't have spell check at the moment) based on what upgrades you give the electric engines. However, the overall summary is that with electric engines, the better you make your ratio, the more resources you'll require.
For example, let's say you wanted to match the output of a low pressure boiler. That's 72 MJ/t. Now, if you wanted to maintain the very best EU -> MJ ratio, which is a single basic circuit board with one iron electron tube, that means you'll need 36 engines, 36 circuit boards, and 36 electron tubes. Per engine, you'll need 12 tin, 2.2 iron and 7.5 redstone, assuming cobblestone and wood are infinite and thus trivial. So that's 432 tin (6.75 stacks), 79.2 iron (1.2375 stacks), and 270 redstone (4.21875 stacks). Double these values, and you'll match a HP boiler in output.
And it will cost you 180 eu/t.
However, since you probably won't have infinite resources if you're comparing different systems against each other in terms of resource cost, you probably will want to reduce that down with better upgrades. A notable combination is a tin and iron electron tube in enhanced circuit boards, which halves the amount of engines required, and the per-engine costs to 12.5 tin and 4.5 copper, with iron and redstone costs remaining the same. This is 225 tin, 81 copper, 39.6 iron, and 135 redstone, and double that for a HP.
This will cost 216 eu/t to match a LP boiler, double that to match a HP boiler.
I could go on, but I think you should get the point that with electric engines, increasing resource efficiency leads to decreasing energy conversion efficiency.

Now, unfortunately, the math for the boiler system is much less pretty then with the electric engines...
First, since I don't have access to the game at the moment, I will go ahead and state that I am assuming it takes 37 seconds and 93,000 EU to create 4 hydrogen, which creates a total of 8000 heat value in a boiler.
This means that each electrolyzer is capable of producing enough fuel for a max-size, max-heat HP boiler for approximately 25 seconds of use, which means you will need about 1.5 electrolyzers per HP boiler, and half that for a LP one. If someone else could be so kind as to audit all the resources required for one electrolyzer I would greatly appreciate it, but I would estimate around 32 iron, 10 redstone, 12 copper, and a few other odds and ends.
Additionally, both boilers will cost exactly the same in terms of iron until you reach the engines, which I will assume you use industrial steam engines since they are more resource-efficient, in which case you use half as many engines for a LP boiler then a HP one.
The boiler + fireboxes will cost 96 + 51.75 = 147.75 iron. Industrial steam engines cost 13 iron each, plus 1 redstone (which I won't count since that's generally a negligable amount). It takes 18 engines to fully use a HP boiler, so that's 234 + 147.75 = 381.75 iron in total (5.96484375 stacks), for 144 mj/t. For a LP boiler, it's 264.75 iron (4.13671875 stacks) for 72 mj/t.
According to my calculations (93000/8000), every point of heat value coming from an electrolyzer is equivalent to 11.625 EU, and I also know from previous calculations that a HP boiler requires 16 heat units per tick, while a LP requires 8. Which means that a HP boiler will require the equivalent of 186 eu/t of hydrogen to make 144 MJ/t, while a LP boiler will require 93 eu/t of hydrogen for 72 MJ/t.
 
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Exasperation

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Jul 29, 2019
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By the time you're doing a project like this, you should really be using the cheaper/higher yield recipes for things like circuits. By my count (I'm assuming you're making things in large enough quantities that you use up full batches of things like the iron fences for the magnetizer, so I'm dividing the 6 iron cost of a batch of fences by the 12 fences produced, counting each fence as 1/2 an iron, and adding 1 iron for the 2 fences used in the recipe, and doing similar things for copper cables, empty cells, etc.):
1 Industrial Electrolyzer: 25 iron, 6 redstone, 5 copper, 5 aluminium, 3 gold, 3 silver, 2 glowstone, 2 lapis, 2 tin, plus some cheap stuff (rubber, sand, etc.)
Alternate recipe: 25 iron, 7 redstone, 5 copper, 5 aluminium, 2 tin, 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 ender pearl, plus some cheap stuff (if you have easy ender pearl access this is probably your best bet)
 

abculatter_2

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Really? That's a lot cheaper then I thought it would be...
Still, though, that's really not all that much more added to the system as a whole, especially considering that this system would probably be best suited making cheaper infinite iron or copper or tin etc. compared to making it with UUM.
 

Exasperation

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Yeah, the alternate recipes that GT enables can really help cut costs once you have the infrastructure in place to support them. But either way, it looks (going by your 1.5 electrolyzers/HP boiler) like the cost of the electrolyzers is going to be roughly an order of magnitude less than the cost of the boilers + engines that they're supplying.
 

Omicron

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You should keep in mind the cost to bring the boilers up to maximum temperature, by the way, because that ultimately lowers your boiler's effective efficiency, and your design is entirely reliant on that efficiency to obtain its impressive conversion ratio.

If you're going for 36 LP (the highest efficiency boiler you can have), the heatup phase alone will consume 5.45 million HU (2725 buckets of hydrogen!) over the course of two and a half hours, and due to that huge up-front cost, you will need to run it for a good long time before you even made up that initial investment. For example, after 32 hours such a boiler will be at 85% of its theoretical peak efficiency (7.727 MJ/HU out of 9.091 MJ/HU); at 40 hours it will pass 8.0 MJ/HU and at 80 hours it will pass 8.5 MJ/HU. As such, your actual EU to MJ conversion rate will be lower than you think, and only a very long continuous operation will start giving you the really good rates.

That said, beating an unupgraded electric engine's 3:1 ratio only takes you three hours of operation, and it's only going up from then on.

(Little sneak peak on the data from my current project :p)
 

Antice

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You should keep in mind the cost to bring the boilers up to maximum temperature, by the way, because that ultimately lowers your boiler's effective efficiency, and your design is entirely reliant on that efficiency to obtain its impressive conversion ratio.

If you're going for 36 LP (the highest efficiency boiler you can have), the heatup phase alone will consume 5.45 million HU (2725 buckets of hydrogen!) over the course of two and a half hours, and due to that huge up-front cost, you will need to run it for a good long time before you even made up that initial investment. For example, after 32 hours such a boiler will be at 85% of its theoretical peak efficiency (7.727 MJ/HU out of 9.091 MJ/HU); at 40 hours it will pass 8.0 MJ/HU and at 80 hours it will pass 8.5 MJ/HU. As such, your actual EU to MJ conversion rate will be lower than you think, and only a very long continuous operation will start giving you the really good rates.

That said, beating an unupgraded electric engine's 3:1 ratio only takes you three hours of operation, and it's only going up from then on.

(Little sneak peak on the data from my current project :p)
In other words. If you base your energy system primarily on IC2, and have the need for some serious MJ's somewhere in the system, use a boiler and industrial steam engines.
Most of the MJ use in my bases come from constantly running machinery like forestry, perfect fodder for a boiler to keep going.
the primary heating up phase can be done with non renewable fuel too. and only when the boiler is hot 50% or hotter, should you swap the non renewable fuel for the renewable hydrogen. there is really no better use for this fuel most of the time. it's not hard to come by, but generally biofuel replaces it as the transportable fuel of choice fairly early on regardless.