Peat vs. Other Forms of Farming

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abculatter_2

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So, I've been thinking about this a lot, and growing peat (WITHOUT using those hideously inefficient farms of Forestry's...) actually seems to be a highly versatile and surprisingly space-efficient method of generating burnable material for energy.
First off, some some useful math for understand just how much yield you can get out of a block of bog earth;
Assuming that bog earth has not changed since the last version of Forestry, that means that 128 (2 stacks) blocks of it are capable of feeding exactly 10 peat-fired engines.
Peat engines consume 1 peat every 4000 ticks, so 10/4000 = 0.0025 peat consumed per tick by 10 peat engines.
This means that 2 stacks of bog earth of capable of producing that much per tick, on average, so 0.0025/128 = 0.00001953125 peat per tick produced per block of bog earth, on average.

That's 0.000390625 peat per second, 0.0234375 per minute, 1.40625 per hour, per block. (assuming you collect the matured earth instantly)
For energy comparisons in boiler heat-value, this is 0.03125 heat value/tick, 0.625 heat/second, 37.5 heat/minute per block of bog earth being farmed
For energy comparisons in generator EU-value, this is 0.078125 EU/tick, 1.5625 EU/second, and 93.75 EU/minute per block of bog earth

I will be using the heat-value per tick for energy comparisons for the rest of this thread, since the HP boiler is my personal preferred power source.

This might not sound like very much, and that's because it's really not. However, that's not what makes bog earth have so much potential. What gives it its potential, is the fact that it has only a single requirement, and that is that it be immediately adjacent to water. No empty space, no lights, not even a block of dirt underneath it, all it needs is water in the immediate vicinity.
This means that you can cram a very large amount of it in an area, up to a maximum potential of 8/9 (or about 88.888889%) space-efficiency. Compare this to other forms of farming;

Sugarcane, which at its most space-efficient, has only a 26.66666667% space-efficiency, and producing a maximum of 1 cane per 1092.32 seconds on average. (The growth values for this is coming from the wiki, by the way) The best way to produce energy from sugar cane, as far as I know, is to turn it into biofuel. Which means you'll be producing 0.1 biomass per cane, (the wiki is actually wrong in its value of .2 per cane, which was changed either in Mindcrack or in recent version of forestry) which is 0.03 biofuel. Multiply this by 36,000, the heat value of biofuel, and you get 1080 heat-value per cane. Divide this by 1093.32 seconds, and you get approximately 0.9887 heat/second, which comes at a cost of about 26.6667% space-efficiency, so that's approximately 0.263659 heat per second, per block of space. Compare this to bog earth in even a 50% space efficient design, (which can be easily surpassed in the automatic farming methods I suggest below) which give 0.3125 heat/second per block.

As for tree and other farms... I really don't know the space efficiency possible with current methods of alternative farming. I know that the old versions of crop harvesters with a turtle can easily surpass almost anything in terms of heat produced per block and time, but that is planned to be removed, so I personally wouldn't consider it. If anyone wants to calculate the space-efficiency of the best forms of farming (even the harvester-turtle ones, since they're currently still valid) please go ahead and post them, and I'll do any additional calculations you're unable to do or are unsure about.

Now, there are still two two problems left in regards to peat farming, one of which is crafting the bog earth in the first place. There are three sensibly sustainable methods for this;
Autocrafting the dirt produced by the bog earth with sand from cobblestone and a water bucket is the simplest and probably the most space and cost-effective way to make it, since you get the bucket back and the recipe creates 6 earth, which will produce enough dirt for of this 1.5 recipe, making it produce a net gain of dirt in total.

Autocrafting the above, but with a wax capsule instead of the bucket is also an option, but requires you to have a sizable bee farm, and also limits your maximum peat production to the size of your bee farm. (which may or may not be a problem for you) This will double the total amount of dirt you have each cycle, so you'll probably want to look into centrifuging it into a small trickle of aluminum and other useful byproducts.

Additionally, the carpenter is capable of producing 8 bog earth with the same recipe as above, but with mulch replacing the water container, and the water instead being taken from its internal tank. If you happen to be over-producing mulch from some other system, such as moistening wheat into mycelium or squeezing apples, then this may be the perfect system for you. Otherwise, auto-crafting with a bucket is more space efficient then making a wheat farm specifically for your peat bog.

The other problem is auto-harvesting it, which I've come up with three methods I will describe below; (Note: is others come up with alternative methods, or wish to post their versions of these methods below, please go ahead and post)

Turtles, which are probably one of the most cost-effective methods, since a single turtle with decently efficient programming can easily maintain around 2k blocks of bog earth, assuming you had a layer of bog earth both above and below the turtle. And given the simplicity of the system, plus the possibilities of resupply stations from Misc Peripherals, you can probably double or triple that amount easily. (assuming you have the horizontal space for it)

Piston-block breaker, which I actually made a thread awhile ago about, which is easily the simplest and most low-tech method to set-up and understand, but also has the lowest space-efficiency of any of these methods. (Not overly much, though)
For info on this method, see the OP of my thread here: http://forum.feed-the-beast.com/threads/alternative-automation-for-wheat-peat-etc.10154/#post-116080

And, finally, the Frame Quarry method. This is the only method I am aware of which allows bog earth to be placed in a nearly-maximum space-efficient manner, but also would probably be the most difficult to make work. I haven't been able to test this idea out in-game yet, but I think this design has the greatest potential for large-scale peat production, simply by the sheer amount of bog earth you can cram into an area. One problem with this method, however, is that it requires you to somehow fit both a deployer and a block breaker in the same space... I do have an idea involving pistons to get around this, but it limits the maximum vertical height of the harvest area to 12 blocks, so if anyone has a good idea of how to do this please describe it below.

EDIT: Wow, that is a lot of words...
 

MilConDoin

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Space efficiency of sugar cane is lower. Even if we ignore the space needed for the auto harvest you have 4 canes per 20 blocks, not per 15 (remember the dirt + water at the bottom, they cannot grow in free space).
 

DoctorOr

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...and then you run into the problem of wtf to do with all that peat.

You'll quickly grow out of the power potential, and it's simpler to run conduits to an engine than to handle both feeding it peat and dealing with the ash. Engine farms burning peat into conduits simplify both supply and dealing with ash, but 1MJ/t is an awful small amount for both the space and construction requirements compared to the potential of a boiler.

Using it to fuel a solid fueled firebox is an option, but charcoal is a better one.

If dirt generation was your goal, macerate plantballs instead
 

abculatter_2

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Space efficiency of sugar cane is lower. Even if we ignore the space needed for the auto harvest you have 4 canes per 20 blocks, not per 15 (remember the dirt + water at the bottom, they cannot grow in free space).
Actually, I did account for that. The method I was thinking of was to use a turtle to collect sugar cane which was only 1 block high, with one empty space above it for the cane to grow into and the turtle to move around and harvest in.

Using it to fuel a solid fueled firebox is an option, but charcoal is a better one.
This is what I plan on using it for, and I'm arguing that this is actually a more space-efficient method of generating heat value then tree farming, considering that it has the same heat value as charcoal but can be made in a much smaller space.
Probably. Still need to calculate it, though, and I've procrastinated enough as it is...
 

DoctorOr

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This is what I plan on using it for, and I'm arguing that this is actually a more space-efficient method of generating heat value then tree farming, considering that it has the same heat value as charcoal but can be made in a much smaller space.
Probably. Still need to calculate it, though, and I've procrastinated enough as it is...
Wood in a TE sawmill generates 6 planks for 1.8k heat (plus some wood pulp) instead of the 1.6k from charcoal.

Ultimately though, I'd argue that biofuel is the best fuel for a boiler. Each sapling is 0.8 buckets of biomass, which is 0.24 buckets of biofuel which is 7.6k heat in a liquid fueled firebox. You can even improve that by half again by using honey or fruit juice instead of water. I don't bother.

But the best part: You still have the wood and/or charcoal.
 

abculatter_2

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But how many blocks of space does that tree farm require? How much wood and saplings does it produce per minute? Per second?
Additionally, if you're going to ferment the saplings, you'll need mulch, manure, or fertilizer as well. If you use mulch or manure, then you'd have to factor in the amount of space for wheat production as well. If fertilizer, then you'd have to make an enderman farm for it to be renewable.

EDIT: Oh, and another interesting thing I just thought of; If you use a Steve's Cart, that tree farm's going to cost you 5 diamonds, which can alternatively be used to make 5 peat bog turtles. These can, conservatively, maintain around 2k blocks of bog earth each, which is 10k total.
Which is an average of around 312.5 heat value per tick . You'll probably get
Which is around 312.5 heat per tick on average according to my earlier numbers.
I don't know if I might have miscalculated something, but if that's correct, that's around 18 HP steam boilers right there.
 

DoctorOr

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But how many blocks of space does that tree farm require? How much wood and saplings does it produce per minute? Per second?
I've never measured it, but this...

2013-02-13_13.16.16.png

Keeps four liquid fueled boilers fueled, along with a 9x9x8 full of biofuel, a 7x7x8 of biomass, and keeps itself fueled with base logs. After two upgraded barrels of logs and an upgraded barrel of charcoal, I'm thinking I should start recycling the wood for scrap - after sawing it down for 6 planks, of course.

Any improvement on that is well past the point of diminishing returns.

...and I still use two forestry farms for rubber trees for methane.
 

DoctorOr

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Oh yeah, here's my wheat production, in full:

2013-02-13_13.24.25.png

Not the most efficient design, but eh...
 

DoctorOr

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Turn the planks into halfblocks before recycling.
No! Sticks! Then run the sticks back through the sawmill (or macerator) for two tiny pulp each stick! Four times the scrap from a single plank!

Just. Getting. Silly.
 

abculatter_2

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That tree farm looks like it's about 18x17 blocks wide, with about 69 saplings within that space.
Unfortunately, though, you don't have a roof, which makes estimating the height of the farm nearly impossible... I'm just going to say it's 15, since according to the wiki that's one block higher then is necessary for a large oak tree to grow, and being able to divide the height by three will help a bit in calculating how many blocks can fit in that area.
I have no idea how to calculate how many saplings you're producing based on the number of boilers you have, though, since my brain decided to go on a short holiday apparently... And also you neglected to elaborate on what kind of boiler they are, as well as their size.
Anyway, in a 15 high space, you should be able to have 10 layers of bog earth... 18 * 17 = 306, multiply that by ten to get 3060 bog earth total, multiplied by 8/9 to factor in that little bit of space inefficiency, and you get 2720 bog earth total in that space. Multiply that by the number of peat per tick per block average (0.053125) then multiply it by 1600 for the heat value of peat, and that means an average of exactly 85 heat value per tick, total. Divided by 16, that yields 5.3125 HP steam boilers fueled in total.
Given that you don't use the logs, and assuming you use max-sized HP boilers, I think they may actually be roughly equal in total yield...
 

Abdiel

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No! Sticks! Then run the sticks back through the sawmill (or macerator) for two tiny pulp each stick! Four times the scrap from a single plank!

Just. Getting. Silly.
With GregTech we will soon be able to grind items down to individual atoms!
 

MilConDoin

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Peat has 2000 as heat value, not 1600, and with your logs you'll easily keep another 2 solid 36HP boilers fed (TE sawmill for plank production first).
 

abculatter_2

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Peat has 2000 as heat value, not 1600, and with your logs you'll easily keep another 2 solid 36HP boilers fed (TE sawmill for plank production first).
Really?
Well, that's 6.640625 steam boilers, then... Which is again almost exactly equal. (at exactly the same diamond cost too, funnily enough)
Though, mind you, the space-efficiency of the design I used to calculate this was only approximately 60%, (exact number was 59.something%) out of the maximum space-efficiency of 88.8889%, which should be theoretically achievable with pistons, deployers, block breakers and frames.
 

Icarus White

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With GregTech we will soon be able to grind items down to individual atoms!
I can't believe I never thought of the obvious "suggestion":

With Gregtech, you'll be able to grind mature bog earth into peat to double your yield! :p
 

SteveTech

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Whoa whoa whoa, step back a second.

How on earth did you get to this number?
.00001953125 peat per tick produced per block of bog earth
Assuming that bog earth has not changed since the last version of Forestry, that means that 128 (2 stacks) blocks of it are capable of feeding exactly 10 peat-fired engines.
Peat engines consume 1 peat every 4000 ticks, so 10/4000 = 0.0025 peat consumed per tick by 10 peat engines.
This means that 2 stacks of bog earth of capable of producing that much per tick, on average, so 0.0025/128
10 engine * 1 peat/engine / 4000 ticks/peat = 0.0025 ticks, sure.

but dividing that by the amount of bog earth..... that does not tell you how fast bog earth creates peat. So unless I missed a step I am highly confused
 

DoctorOr

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That tree farm looks like it's about 18x17 blocks wide, with about 69 saplings within that space.
Unfortunately, though, you don't have a roof, which makes estimating the height of the farm nearly impossible... I'm just going to say it's 15, since according to the wiki that's one block higher then is necessary for a large oak tree to grow, and being able to divide the height by three will help a bit in calculating how many blocks can fit in that area.
Height doesn't matter unless you're stacking, and since I'm not, height doesn't matter.

Really though, even though there's a bunch of stuff "under" that farm, there's also 50plus y-blocks totally empty (seriously, mined to bedrock) and untold number of blocks above the highest growth point of the tree also empty. The farm is a fraction of the total y-space available and several could be stacked in the same effective area - if I was so inclined.

Creative rail usage could even have one single cart service a dual layer tree farm.

I have no idea how to calculate how many saplings you're producing based on the number of boilers you have, though, since my brain decided to go on a short holiday apparently... And also you neglected to elaborate on what kind of boiler they are, as well as their size.
I think it's fair to assume that anybody running 4 boilers is running 4 36HP boilers. In any case, that's what I'm running.

Given that you don't use the logs, and assuming you use max-sized HP boilers, I think they may actually be roughly equal in total yield...
You can't discount a fuel source just because I'm not currently using it. It's still being produced, and available for a direct fuel use or scrapping and turning into the wide variety of things produced from that (I just used up 150 stacks of scrap boxes)
 

baw179

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I chuckle when I see people arguing that their method is better because it uses x amount of blocks less space than someone else's. I mean who the hell cares? Minecraft worlds are nigh on infinite so why try to cram everything into a tiny area? It makes no sense to me at all.
 
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Carrington

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I chuckle when I see people arguing that their method is better because it uses x amount of blocks less space than someone else's. I mean who the hell cares? Minecraft worlds are nigh on infinite so why try to cram everything into a tiny area? It makes no sense to me at all.
Because people play on servers with limited maps, or enjoy the challenge of miniaturization, or both.