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So I started playing with steam engines, and they seem... incomplete.

So far I've tested only turbines, and they produce as much power as there is steam produced. In other words, turbine size doesn't matter at all! Only things that does, is boiler size (and there is no reason to set controler to anything other than 1.0).

So quick formula for the most cost|volue|weight efficient steam turbine is:
as much boilers as possible, 1 pipe section, 1 boiler controller, 1 compact turbine, 1 small generator.

Fuel efficiency is constant=20 energy per material. So comparable to 200PPF, unless you have some more efficient refinery.

Also, steam engine gives the highest PPV and PPC in game. PPV at 30minutes is 194, while fuel engines go as high as 28.3

So the only drawback is the ramp up time, which is quite slow.
Hot diggity Lamb someone please refit the Meteor with steam engines lol. Would it be possible to push out 180k engine power out of the Meteor's internals with steam engines alone if all 10fuel injected engines and all the 200+ 3x3 fuel tanks were removed in their place? If you see the Meteor's thread in SD you will be able to look at screenshots of the internals so you can give yourself an idea. I can't do that myself since I'm away from home, I am currently very ignorant about steam engines but also because my laptop had a broken fan Q_Q

P.S. Thank you for this very crucial information! You're the best!
Some further calculations regarding steam turbines. I forgot that they produce battery charge, not torque (engine power). Thus if we add necessary electric engines and batteries, they become shitty.
But if you need battery charge (i.e. for laser shields or railgun) then they are still best bet for you.

To do:
1. Do the math to determine best PPC ratio of boilers to batteries, and they discharge ratio. Similar to http://www.fromthedepthsgame.com/forum/s...?tid=20871
2. Check piston efficiency.
Thank you, you're the best!
I've skip the PPC of steam turbines for now, and focus on piston engine.
-Boiler produce x steam volume per second. While steam turbines converted steam to charge 1:1, pistons do it at rate around 2 steam to 1 power. Thus have 2 times worse efficiency.
-Assembly weight*speed=power. Pistons start breaking at 1800. Thus for each 3600 steam volume created by boiler, we need 1 assembly weight. Or more if we wanna be safe. Gearbox adds 0.3/block/10material, piston with crankshaft 0.4/1.125block/4.6225material.
-The more pistons are attached to pipe, the lower pressure is needed to make it spin, thus it ramps up faster. But efficiency or max power don't give a spaghetti if pistons are piped or not. It's usually enough to pipe just few of them for sane ramp up time

Conclusion: our most economical engine based on 10 large boilers will consist of single pipe, small gearbox, 3 crankshafts, 9 pistons.
Efficiency chart show us that piston engine beats injected fuel engines in everything, and turbo engines in PPV by a lot. It's also much easier to place (require way less space than 5x5 turbo setup).
However, in charge production it's way better to use steam turbines.
And for most cost efficiency it's still the best to use turbo engines.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...edit#gid=0

EDIT: I found a bug in my chart - I missed one zero in steam engines PPV calculations. Now it's corrected, and show that steam turbines are absolutely the best in PPV over any time, not just initially.
(2016-11-09 01:47 PM)CalenLoki Wrote: [ -> ]-Assembly weight*speed=power. Pistons start breaking at 1800. Thus for each 3600 steam volume created by boiler, we need 1 assembly weight. Or more if we wanna be safe.

From my experimenting today, I think more is definitely safer. In fact, you probably want to take the created steam volume and divide by 1800 instead of 3600 and then ensure your assembly weight is at least that number.

This ensures the crankshaft doesn't exceed 1800 deg/s even at zero or low load, such as when your shields shut off.

(Because at no load, the power approaches 1 volume = 1 power rather than the 2:1 ratio seen at full load...)
Ah. Thank you. I've tested it only under full load.
Steam engines are a farce, other than being able to produce electrical energy, in which case they're just broken. There's no difference in turbine energy production whether you use the 'compact' turbine or the extended version.

Outside of electrical energy, they generate a huge 'mechanical power' on paper, but this gets cut in half under load for the same material consumption, and at rates that far exceed anything you can produce from early resource zones, making them unsustainable at best, and shooting yourself in the head at worst if you're trying to build a fleet.
Hmm. I haven't done all that much with steam engines yet. I'm more dedicated to just pushing out fun builds than getting that perfect optimization, though I will say I'm very pleased with my APS collection.

Couple of questions though:

-Greater number of pistons = more power per powerbox? (torque power). I was thinking for a while that it would be better to have a single power box with a long shaft and many pistons, but that requires a lot of pressure...

-It looks to me like steam engines are constantly working at full capacity, so they constantly drain material at a set rate. Thus, their major advantage over fuel engines (crazy power output) is offset by the fact that they are a constant power drain while fuel engines only consume as much fuel as is needed for the amount of power being generated. So... You want an engine that has a fast ramp time and ACBs to increase engine power when enemies are close in?

-Is there a general consensus on how to build a high power density steam engine with a decent ramp time? My strongest design at this point has three times the power density of my strongest fuel engine per cost and space, but takes probably a good few minutes to go from 1/3 to max power. Bugger. I mean, I'd probably only use the design for massive ships needing huge amounts of shield power (it's a 3x9x11 size engine that generates about 35k power and consumes 17 material per second at max).

-Why do they loose power the moment you put a drain on them? I mean, I know that will happen when a fuel engine overheats, but it's really annoying to build an engine that idles at 10kW of power and functions at peak capacity to provide maybe half that.

I guess I'm interested in some idea of what the strongest combination is of:
-Number of boilers vs. boiler length
-Number of boxes vs. number of pistons

Meh. I are a dunce.
(2016-12-05 10:22 PM)St0rmWyvrn Wrote: [ -> ]Hmm. I haven't done all that much with steam engines yet. I'm more dedicated to just pushing out fun builds than getting that perfect optimization, though I will say I'm very pleased with my APS collection.

Couple of questions though:

-Greater number of pistons = more power per powerbox? (torque power). I was thinking for a while that it would be better to have a single power box with a long shaft and many pistons, but that requires a lot of pressure...

-It looks to me like steam engines are constantly working at full capacity, so they constantly drain material at a set rate. Thus, their major advantage over fuel engines (crazy power output) is offset by the fact that they are a constant power drain while fuel engines only consume as much fuel as is needed for the amount of power being generated. So... You want an engine that has a fast ramp time and ACBs to increase engine power when enemies are close in?

-Is there a general consensus on how to build a high power density steam engine with a decent ramp time? My strongest design at this point has three times the power density of my strongest fuel engine per cost and space, but takes probably a good few minutes to go from 1/3 to max power. Bugger. I mean, I'd probably only use the design for massive ships needing huge amounts of shield power (it's a 3x9x11 size engine that generates about 35k power and consumes 17 material per second at max).

-Why do they loose power the moment you put a drain on them? I mean, I know that will happen when a fuel engine overheats, but it's really annoying to build an engine that idles at 10kW of power and functions at peak capacity to provide maybe half that.

I guess I'm interested in some idea of what the strongest combination is of:
-Number of boilers vs. boiler length
-Number of boxes vs. number of pistons

Meh. I are a dunce.

Steam boilers are kind of independent from gearboxes and turbines, so you can have a steam boiler running and consuming materials without connecting to anything to generate power. It does not automatically start/stop burning with load.

The power UI thing is annoying, just keep in mind that the total power is calculated from steam pressure (in the pipes), and the pressure will drop when steam is being fed into the pistons to turn the cranks and generate power (thus you get less 'indicated' power on the UI).

By the same reasoning, a steam engine is unlikely to get 3 times the actual power density of an injector engine in the same space (you may see the UI as so, but you will probably get half the power out of it): since steam engines have about 1000 power per material, the 17 mat/s engine you have would realistically produce around 17-18k power; 3 injector engines occupying the same space would generate 12-13.5k power, depending on whether or not you take the engine block into account.
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