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Interaction between BigReactor and BigTurbines


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Hi all,


I'm setting up some reactor since the first versions of BigReactor mod and I'd tried to keep-up with the several changes over the different versions.


I was mainly working with one passive set-up (1700 RF/t) for powering my sorting, processing and crafting system on the overworld and Two active reactor setup to produce steam to sustain some turbine in order to power some laser drills and be able to bear with 16 Quarries in the same time. It was going well ... more or less ...


Lately we've decided with my friends to setup a Mars base and to try to, as far as possible, be autonomous in term of sorting, processing, crafting and power generation and this by using ME network instead of Logistic Pipes and we all know that this is a bit more power consuming.


So we came up with the idea of setting up a BigReactor and some turbines on Mars and we want this setup completely separated from the Overworld.

I explain all that because for the beginning we used tesseract to bring power in order to set-up the oxygen system and also the shield on the base, then once this have been achieved we start building a big Big reactor based on the design of "The Core" except that we do not want to attach all the turbine in the same way that for "The Core" but we prefer to use less but bigger turbine. 


So here come my questions :

  1. Do someone know how BigTurbine are requesting to BigReactor the flow rate that they need ? (I know that we set-up the amount we want in the GUI and then it should work but sometimes, when more that one reactor are providing the steam I still not understand how the load balancing is made).
  2. Do someone know how to ask BigReactor to produce at full speed all the steam that it could possibly produce ?
  3. Do someone know why even by using different tesseract frequencies on different dimensions for the steam I still see my Mars reactor producing the exact amount of steam that one single turbines, out of the three OverWorld turbines, is requesting ?
  4. Do there is a relationship in between the water and the steam request ? (because I take the water in some tesseract that have the same frequency for water).
  5. Do someone know when, and how often, the steam flow request are made/updated in between BigReactors and BigTurbines ?

I know that's a lot of questions and that, maybe, my english level is a bit poor to express clearly my questions. But I hope I made them (my questions) understandable.


Best regards and I'm looking forward to see your answers and experiences.

Edited by M1r077
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1. You will have to use this table:


It is very confusing but it makes sense somewhat in the end. Just scroll down and use the second table. In the red at the side it says how to calculate the amount of steam and the amount of rotor blades you'll need.

Dont really understand most other questions :c

Just make a 5x5x5 big reactor with 4 fuel rods to get 2000 mb/t of steam, that's the max amount any Turbine can take.

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1. The table is a start, but you will have to experiment a little until you understand the parameters. It is up to you how much you fine-tune it in the end. The last few percent of efficiency are the hardest to get.


2. You cannot, unless you are piping the steam into a (really large) external liquid storage. Turbines will only take what their input limit is set to, up to 2000 mB/t. Beware that the Turbine will overspeed when you pipe in more than the coils can handle, or if you have too many fan blades per coil block.


3. The reactor may produce more, but its steam output will be capped by what the Turbine(s) can take. Note that the difference between what could be produced and what it is capped at will decrease fuel efficiency. It will always burn through the Yellorium as if you were using all the steam. So keep in mind to set the Control Rods just above what you need to produce.


4. Water and steam should become a closed loop in an active reactor, where you "recycle" the water from the Turbines back into steam in the reactor. Piping water in from outside is only necessary for first fill and to compensate for loss (if there is any). Do not use the same Tesseract frequency for water and steam. I rather recommend attaching the Turbines directly to the reactor, i.e. outputs against inputs both ways, and use the Tesseracts for more important things.


5. No idea, but it does not matter anyway if you directly attach the Turbines.


If you want large Turbines that go up to the 2000mB/t limit, you will have to build them vertically, because height has a higher size limit than length and width for some reason. It should be possible to get a single 2000mB/t Turbine into the 25000 RF/t range with Enderium coils. The largest Turbine I built so far did 21000 RF/t at ~1700mB/t.

Edited by Curunir
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Curunir your a beast =) Always understanding what people meant and answering thoroughly and precisely ^^ 


To be frank , I found the issue I was facing and most of my questions became then irrelevant ... :o

But because I think it's nice to have something in writing for people that look for information I'll try to answer point by point:

  1. My main issue was in fact that I did set-up the ReactorFluidPort<->Tesseract<->TurbineSteamInput and like this it's not working at all. Now that I've put a tesseract by port the numbers I get makes total sens.
    The data table from the test made by Saice is for me a bit confusing, to many numbers and too many "if", "default values", and assumptions etc....
    Thanks to Gio2 for the link even if it was not really answering my question and even though I've already started my own table based on the official BigReactor wiki data that have made me able to size perfectly my Turbine the way I wanted to :
  2. That's exactly what I meant Curunir, a large tank is then the solution to make the reactor spitting out all what he have. Do an ME network managing liquid is considered as a huge tank ?
  3. That is explaining my crap fertility rate at the moment as I have only one turbine set up out of around 4 and a half planned to handle the production of "The Core"like reactor.
  4. I think I stated wrongly my 4th question here: What I was wondering is if the information on the steam need was passing physical by the water system and if the fact that my water system was the same one as the overworld reactor system could possibly fuck up the steam request, but I realize now that I explained really badly my wonder.
    Why are you saying : "Using tesseract for more important things" ? Anything to do with the cost of building one ? If that's the case I have an answer =)
    -> "I don't care about the cost of things as my mob auto-spawner working since nearly a year with all possible mobs inside, plus more than a half a thousand quarries so far and laser drills are making us able to play in survival as if we were in creative" ^^
  5. This question is, as well, irrelevant now that I discovered that if I use one tesseract per port it's going really well ^^ 

Nevertheless after having corrected the tesseract issue here the result of the initial start of the turbine that was not working because 0 mb/t (or heratic numbers when I was sharing the frequency with my overworld setup) and without any modifications :

Edited by M1r077
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The only liquid storage I really consider massive is a Railcraft Steel Tank, which is unfortunately not in Tekkit. Large Extra Cells storage units on an ME network are good, but you can still run out of storage quickly, depending on what you are doing with it.


Tesseracts work of course fine with reactor ports. I still prefer direct Turbine attachment because it is lossless, where Tesseracts supposedly take a flat 20% (or was it 25%?) efficiency hit. If you want to physically separate the reactor and Turbines, then Tesseracts usually beat maxed-out Fluid Nodes, which are the only reasonable options - the third being an unreasonably large number of ports with massively parallel (separated) Fluiducts.


As for the water/steam loop, I don't think there is a request component at all. The reactor just spits out large amounts of steam, and the Turbines take whatever gets delivered, turn it into energy and spit out large amounts of water in the process. You just hook something to the outputs, and hopefully the amounts will match at some point. What you set on the Turbine Controller is just the limit, or cap, to prevent overloading the Turbine if it's not built for the full 2000mB/t.

For instance, you might dial it down from 2000mB/t in the example you posted until you reach the point where the efficiency percentage dips just below 100%. Fiddling with this, you could get it closer to the exact 1800 RPM, which should get you a little more power than you have right now. Of course 1827 RPM is not shabby, but it is not perfect either.

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Oh, good. I never found it documented anywhere, only had it from hearsay.

Although I do find it strange that an instant point-to-point interdimensional link should take that hit with energy, but not with matter.

Whatever. Design choices.

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Were some extended testing are needed you are able to make calculations and spend huge amount of time testing Curunir, but setting up two tanks and two tesseract to see if 20% of your liquid are disappearing was not your priority =) I find this funny ^^


Thanks jakarth for the clarification.


So some fine tuning are necessary to reach a steady (exact) 1800 RPM where I will gather more energy than with a bit more or a bit less.

Let's do that then and I'll come back with a screen of GUI.

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So ... In fact .. 1800 RPM is not better than more if still in the green part I think.. look at the screenshot below :



It doesn't looks like 1800 RPM is better than more regarding power output.


I have a slight doubt now about my calculations for turbine design ....

I use a 27 blocks high turbine including exactly 80 blades and 4 full coils of enderium block and a fifth coil with 4 Enderium blocks and 1 Copper block. This because I would like my turbine to be configuration free -> 2000 mb/t flow and producing efficiently. 


Do you see anything wrong here ? 

Edited by M1r077
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No, that looks good.

My test Turbines did decrease in power output even when slightly above 1800 RPM. Maybe some parameter was different from yours after all.

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Then your coils were not max-sized yet. It's tricky to balance them exactly for a given amount of steam. You need to get the coil size and rotor count in balance. I noticed during my own experiments that the coil/rotor relation does not follow a strictly linear progression, but a little above linear.

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main change you made, M1r077, is replace a copper block with an enderium block?  Hmmm, not sure what the energy output of a copper block is, or even if it works right, but it can't be anywhere near the 11.68/1 conversion of enderium.  Probably closer to 3.28/1 like iron or 6.57/1 like gold.  so just replacing it would give you a net gain in power output.


Used to be just 4 full rings and a half ring of enderium to get a good efficient output.  I think the max was 38 blocks of enderium for a full sized, 80 blade turbine.  Might just be 37 though...  been a while since I tested this out.

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This is bugging me, so I'm running a series of tests right now to determine the optimal max-size Turbine setup.


Results so far: 38 blocks of Enderium on the coil are definitely too much. I tried using 84 and 88 rotor blades in my two test Turbines to counter the increased drag, but both flatlined somewhere around 1750 RPM. Running another test now with both Turbines back at 80 rotor blades. One coil has 37 blocks of Enderium now, the other has 36 of those and two blocks of Silver to complement it. Silver because it should be roughly half the efficiency of Enderium, and because I like symmetry.



I didn't see the coils too clearly when you showed me, but are you sure you have the correct number of coil blocks in there? I think 37 Enderium should be about right, which is four complete rings and five blocks on the incomplete one.

Will report back when I got my measurements. Those behemoths take forever to spin up.

Edited by Curunir
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Hehe, seeing my setup as bugged you =)


Yes I have 4 turbines as you saw, and my calculated setup is 4 full enderium coils plus 4 blocks on the fifth one + 1 copper block based on this table I have made based on the wiki information.

Definitively as you've said 38 is too much and 37 is even too much as well.

Edited by M1r077
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Yep, But then I'm wondering because if we put 37 block of enderium + one block of copper (for example), we get more power but we are going under 1800 RPM, so I'm wondering if , after all, we don't really care about being at optimal speed when we size turbine correctly and produce more power with less RPM.


Or maybe that for this given reactor setup (that's output 8125 mb/t at maximum) I should size my turbines based on 1625 mb/t each ( 8125 / 5 ) instead of sizing my turbine based on 2000 mb/t + a little one for the spare 125 mb/t. This will make me able to adjust all turbines to optimal speed and coils compositions in order to maximize the power output ...


More study to come.


What I'm a bit surprised though, is that I can not really figure out were is the variable parameters. I'd like to put it in numbers and get a table for calculating this more precisely beforehand but not every thing is perfect, even in Tekkit world =9

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Don't get too hung up on Turbine mechanics yet. ErogenousBeef wrote on his roadmap that he intends to add more rotor shafts and blades based on different materials, so I guess these will need considering in the future as well. What we have now is likely just a placeholder.


About your Copper block, more mass on the coil should slow the Turbine down in my understanding, but efficiency will drop that way if you fall too far below the RPM sweet spot. I had 38 Enderium blocks on the coil, it dropped to ~1750 RPM and power was lower for it.

As for setups below the full 2000 mB/t, I posted some configurations in >jakalth's thread. The best one was this:

28 Enderium blocks, 60 blades, 1524mB/t, 1810 RPM, 18232 RF/t

This one has the advantage of being feasible in a horizontal configuration, and efficiency is nearly as good as full-size.

Edited by Curunir
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M1r077, Get Rid of that copper block.  Use bronze instead(aka: tinker's alloy).  It has the exact same stats as copper in all regards except power output.  It's a lot more efficient.


I've completely redone my calculations on each type of metal.  The calculations are far more accurate now due to making seperate turbines for each metal that only have the number of blades needed for that metal alone.


All use 8 blocks of given metal.  All run at as close to exactly 1800RPM as I could get.  The exact speed they stabilize at is now listed as well.


Tin, Lead, and Ferrous are all invalid blocks for a turbine.


Iron:  Uses 145mb of steam and 5 turbine blades to output 477RF.  conversion ratio of 3.29RF/mb steam  (18.125mb steam and 59.625RF per block)  Stabilizes at 1807.9 RPM


Copper:  Uses 174mb of steam and 6 turbine blades to output 687RF.  conversion ratio of 3.95RF/mb steam  (21.75mb steam and 85.875RF per block)  Stabilizes at 1808.7 RPM


Tinkers Alloy:  Uses 174mb of steam and 6 turbine blades to output 801RF.  conversion ratio of 4.60RF/mb steam  (21.75mb steam and 100.125RF per block)  Stabilizes at 1808.7 RPM


Aluminum/Steel:  Uses 188mb of steam and 7 turbine blades to output 928RF.  conversion ratio of 4.94RF/mb steam  (23.5mb steam and 116RF per block)  Stabilizes at 1803.1 RPM


Invar:  Uses 202mb of steam and 8 turbine blades to output 998RF.  conversion ratio of 4.94RF/mb steam  (25.25mb steam and 124.75RF per block)  Stabilizes at 1799.4 RPM


Silver:  Uses 217mb of steam and 8 turbine blades to output 1214RF.  conversion ratio of 5.59RF/mb steam  (27.125mb steam and 151.75RF per block)  Stabilizes at 1804.4 RPM


Gold: Uses 253mb of steam and 10 turbine blades to output 1665RF. conversion ratio of 6.58RF/mb steam  (31.625mb steam and 208.125RF per block) Stabilizes at 1802.8 RPM


Electrum: Uses 289mb of steam and 11 turbine blades to output 2378RF. conversion ratio of 8.23RF/mb steam  (36.125mb steam and 297.25RF per block) Stabilizes at 1801.9 RPM


Fluxed Electrum: Uses 318mb of steam and 12 turbine blades to output 2837RF. conversion ratio of 8.92RF/mb steam  (39.75mb steam and 354.625RF per block) Stabilizes at 1802.8 RPM


Shiny metal: Uses 361mb of steam and 14 turbine blades to output 3566RF. conversion ratio of 9.88RF/mb steam  (45.125mb steam and 445.75RF per block) Stabilizes at 1801.0 RPM


Enderium: Uses 433mb of steam and 17 turbine blades to output 5055RF. conversion ratio of 11.67RF/mb steam  (54.125mb steam and 631.875RF per block) Stabilizes at 1799.7 RPM


yes, you can have less then 4 blades on a turbine shaft without loosing any efficiency.  Not sure if having an odd number of blades causes a problem through.  I did all the tests with even numbers.  For Iron, I used 6 blades for example, even though it only needed 5.

Edited by jakalth
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Hmm, might as well add this for comparison.


Steam Dynamo: Uses 40mb of steam to output 80RF.  conversion ratio of 2.0RF/mb steam.


Atomic Science Turbine: Uses over 1800mb of steam(actual amount unknown and difficult to measure) to output about 3650RF.  conversion ratio of about 2.05RF/mb steam.


So yeah, Big Reactors turbines are far more efficient at converting steam to power, possibly too efficient.  But their cost does balance some of the difference.  Especially with the 2 highest tier induction coil metals being hard to acquire/make.

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I daresay Big Turbine efficiency is justified. Consider the sheer amount of resources required to build a big one, and you also need to solve the steam/water transport problem. All of this is neither trivial nor cheap to make, so the efficiency is the reward for investing all those resources (and all the work).


Good work on the reference values. So I guessed right that a Silver block uses just about half the steam that a block of Enderium uses. Too bad it didn't improve my Turbine setup.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As for the conversion rate on the AS Turbines, they are close and between  2,1138  and 2,116 


placing one AS Turbine above a liquiduct (360 mb/t) generates 761 RF/t and on top of a 1b/t liquid export port 2116. I got that values by testing my Fusion/big Turbines Hybrid reactor complex



But I think big Turbines are fine how they are, as soon as you can think they might be to efficient... you have enough materials already that efficiency barely matters anymore.

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ErogenousBeef wrote on his roadmap that BigReactors Turbines will likely get several tiers of shaft and rotor materials in 0.4, so they will scale with that as well as with coil materials. Might open up the possibility to upgrade the "My Little Big Reactor" newbie setup with a small Turbine in a meaningful way. I'm looking forward to that stuff.

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