Meraki's Story

From Space Exploration

INTRODUCTION[edit]

FACTORIO space exploration by Meraki (Purely fiction, based on factorio space exploration)

This text is written purely as joy, the author makes no commitment to upload any further texts (but plans to) The author means no harm to anyone who might feel offended by this text. English is not my first (or second) language, there might be some vocabular or grammar mistakes. It isn’t proofread by anyone so feel free to correct them. Also, the layout/placement in this wiki can be changed (it doesn't copy good from my story). If you want you may then add edited/corrected by your name under or above the page. Positive critism/comments is welcomed and encouraged This story may be copied and shared as long as you credit the author. Pictures of my bases will be omitted because of the prohibition of uploading mods assets and to prevent showing spoilers. Earendel if this was not what you intended for this page feel free to delete it or place it in a new page like your story. As the story advanced there could be a point that I say some spoilers, so readers be warned about it.

Game settings:[edit]

• Standard Space exploration

• Resources dialed back to 75%

• No enemy bases

• Technology tree enabled

Mods:[edit]

• SE mod pack and recommended mods (version 0.5.78)

• Auto deconstruct (mindmix)

• Bottleneck (Troels Bjerre Lund)

• Builder Bot start (Prymaldark

• Even distribution (321freddy)

• Ghost in hand (Jarcionek)

• Helmod (Helfima)

• Long and far reach (Themightygugi)

• LTN (Optera)

• YARM (Octav ‘narc’ Sandulesco)

Huge thanks to[edit]

• Wube team for creating this great game

• Earendel for creating this great mod(pack)

• All the creators of the mods I use (see above)

• You for reading


DAY 1: the crash[edit]

CME alert[edit]

My mission was simple: go to the solar system of Callidus, explore the planets around it and report back to the base station.

Upon arrival to the system, I first went into orbit around the sun, preparing to scan all the celestial bodies. An Alarm went off, Coronal Mass Ejections detected unknown duration, unknown Power, ETA processing. The newest simulators can predict its timing and power but the cheap bastards from district 9 decided that an old simulator 2000 is enough. I can barely produce a small message. This situation can seriously delay my work, and even cost my promotion to squad commandant.

The decission[edit]

I weighed my options:

1. Preparing the ship and wait until it is over. My energy shields can withstand temporarily those extreme streams of particles; however it takes so much energy that I can’t use my scanning equipment to do my job. This is the standard approach for small CME’s. Without further information about the duration or force of the CME because a big or a long one can easily destroy my ship. This this option not alluring at all.

2. Aborting the mission and returning to the base station. This could be an option if I wasn’t 10 lightyears away from it . 3. Land my ship on a planet and await the storm. This could work if I had scanned them. There is no way to know if it is safe to land. Let alone finding a good landing spot.

4. I have heard from an adventurous hero about a tactic to withstand extreme CME’s. Use a planet as a shield, go into orbit reload your shields when you are on “the dark side of the moon”/planet. Hit your shields when you are on the light side. It’s a risk but better than my other options.

I decided to use Nauvis a small earth like planet, that is furthest away from the sun that I can reach before the CME hits me. I go into orbit and prepare my ship. Everything seems ready for the CME. I look outside Nauvis has some blue spots on them, is it possible it has water? Maybe life? Aliens? My dreams are broken with a new alarm Coronal Mass Ejection ETA 1 hour. Perfect, I am then behind the planet.

The CME[edit]

The CME begins. With an enormous speed hits, the particles the atmosphere of Nauvis. The particles are then deflected towards the poles of the planet. It provides a beautiful sight; on earth we call this aurora borealis. I wait and watch the spectacle, such events let you think how powerful nature is and how small humankind is in the bigger picture. As I am orbiting, I slowly go towards the CME, my heat shields are ready, my accumulators are fully charged.

Turbulence hit my ship, bright light is only what I see in the windows, an message pops up CME arrived, energy shield activated, blinds going down. The shaking stops and the windows get covered; you only hear the electricity consumed by the shields. As Time passes, I notice that the noise gets quieter and quieter, we are back to the dark side (we have cookies). I check the systems only 15% of the energy is used, 0.6% damage, temperature normal, pressure normal. That means that the CME is a lot weaker than I feared.

The crash[edit]

With that knowledge I decided to minimize the delay this situation has caused. I started my equipment to scan the planet. The results come in:

• Resources: nothing special the typical iron, coal, stone, and copper. Some oil Umerico could declare war to it. Trace amounts of uranium but no other types of materials where the cooperation is interested in.

• Atmosphere: a mix of nitrogen, oxygen, methane, CO2, … almost earth like.

• Temperature: -20C until 50C, pressure around 1.3 bar

Those conditions sound perfect for developing life. I wondered if I could finally find life on another planet. I quickly check if I have some time left for a scan for possible life forms, barely enough but my curiosity is too much for the possible discoveries. I start the scan, slowly the progress climbs. 10% … 20% ... 30% ... 40% ... BEEP BEEP CME incoming, that will be close … 50% … 60% ... My ship starts shaking, the CME has begun. That’s sooner than I expected. I ready the shields and soon a popup comes up: shields activated. 70% … 80% … A warning sounds: warning LOW ENERGY. Shit, I forgot about my energy consumption. Those scan use way more power than I expected. 90% … I look at the battery level 30% and dropping. I decide to stop the scanning but just at that moment it said 100% scanning complete. PROCESSING. An alarm went off: CRITICAL HIGH TEMPERATURES heat shield 2 and 5, cooling required. I put on the cooling for them. The CME has way more power than the first round. BANG, the ship starts shaking, alarms start blaring, heat shield 5 stabilized, heat shield 2 failed, if heat shields 1 and 3 will hold it will be ok. Another alarm goes off CRITICAL LOW ENERGY, damn my ship will not hold it any longer, I must make an emergency landing, descending into the atmosphere. Another Alarms Echoes to my ship Too low power to maintain energy shields. My ship starts shaking violently, the temperature is feelable rising. I must land as soon as possible I shout to my computer “Divert all power from life support to the main thrusters”. I descend further into the atmosphere. I set the auto pilot to the nearest landing place possible. Another alarm goes off damage to the pressure loss detected. My dashboard looks like a goddamn circus so much is going wrong. I feel the air gets thinner, breathing becomes difficult, I hear: assessment complete carbon based life detected. Then I lose my conscious.

I am alive[edit]

I wake up, everything hurts but at least I am alive. My ship is burning, smoke is slowly filling the cabin. Hastily I go to the cargo dock to find a space suit. In the dock there is only an engineering suit with built in robot ports night vision and an adequate power supply for it. It also has some blueprints in it from a previous life. Like if I ever get building a factory! This one has no life support not even an air supply or self-healing abilities. If the air is toxic, too thin or If I get hurt, I will die. The cheap bastard couldn’t even provide a proper suit. Because I have no other choice, I put it on and leave the ship.

My first step on Nauvis[edit]

I step outside and become blinded right away. The CME is continuing and reaches down to the surface of the planet. It gives a column of bright light and setting everything ablaze. I take a deep breath. The air is heavy, and smells burned but breathable, that part of the scan was right, luckily otherwise I couldn’t survive with this worthless suit. My eyes become slowly acclimated to the bright light and I look around, my ship is a wreck, everything is burning, wait what is burning? Are those threes? I finally found biological life on another planet. Suddenly I realize that if plants exist there can also be animals been developed, and that could mean that predators have developed depending how far the evolution on this planet is.

Slowly I see that the CME is weakening in power and finally stops. I asses my position: I crashed on a planet with no means to escape it, lightyears away from civilization. My ship is unrepairable. I will need to survive on this planet for some time. I decided to go back in my ship and try to fight the flames to salvage what’s left. I enter the ship, the fire is still going, I pull the sprinkler system, no effect, of course otherwise it would have activated long before than the old-fashioned way with a fire extinguisher going from room to room. Finally, all the fires are out.

I try to boot the computer hoping it has survived, no effect was not unexpected if you saw the fire damage. It means that I lost all the data on the ship. If I will go off this planet, I must reinvent the wheel, no technology has survived it.

Searching the ship remains[edit]

With that disappointment I search the ship for equipment. The only useful thing that I find are some med packs, some metal plates (who knows what you can built with it) and a Unit pack with a description top secret BIG BITER (Without knowledge what it is, or what it is used for, I decide to take it anyway). In the back of the cargo bay, I find an ancient burner lab with 10 automation science packs (why do I even have such old equipment on board?). In the corner stands a little robot with an inscription informatron. I try to start it and wonder well it still works. I find out that as a robot it can do nothing else then give me information, on it are just some information, a program called hellmod (to calculate factories or something I think), a navigational satellite uplink (that would be cool but this planet has no satellite so no use for that so far), a star map (this would be helpful if I had scanned this universe, sadly I had no time for that so there is only information about Callidus the sun and Nauvis where we are), a Universe explorer (sadly with no data)

I go outside and hope that I ever can come back to civilization with so little tools or knowledge? The first thing I do is trying to get the burner lab working. In the instructions stands that you need to install it. Done. Decide which technology you want to discover. There are a lot of options after some taught, I decide to develop basic automation. Add science packs. I put all the science packs that I have in it. Fuel it. With what? I look around and see that there is a coal patch nearby I start mining it until I have 10 coal and put it in the burner lab and watch how it works. It took some time but eventually I discovered my first technology. I now have the knowledge how to build burner inserters and burner assembling machines.

My first technology[edit]

For new technologies to develop I needed more automation science packs. I look in the informatron how to make automation science packs (red science), it is made from a gear and a copper plate. I make a stone furnace (STONE AGE) A copper plate can I make by smelting copper ore in a furnace (BRONZE AGE). A gear I can make from a metal plate and a metal plate I can make by smelting iron ore and ores I can mine (IRON AGE). The history goes fast I went from the stone age to the bronze age to the iron age.

I made a few with my hands but it took a lot of time to do it, so I decided to use my new learned technology to automate it. I made my first setup, with 3 labs, 6 burner assembling machines, 12 burner inserters, 6 wooden chests and 2 stone furnaces. It took me a lot of time to assemble it all I just hope that the time I win on the long run will be worth it.

picture omitted

Ores needed to be mined by hand put in the furnaces and then the plates needed to be put in the chests and everything needs coal. With my first small victory/factory I ended my first day at Nauvis, my new world.

DAY 2: further automating red science and making power[edit]

I start my second day by continuing doing science hand mining feeding it to the furnaces, filling the chests, selecting technologies and repeat the cycle. At a given moment I decided I had enough of it. I am an engineer not a factory worker, so I redesigned my factory. Burner mining drills put coal, iron, and copper ore on a transport belt. Two transport belts with on one side each ore and the other the coal goes to an array of furnaces. And the iron plates (and coal) go to the assembling machines of gears and put on the same transport belt as the copper plates. This belt then goes to the assembling machines of the red science and directly into the labs, welcome to the INDUSTRIAL AGE.

This reduced my workload immense, no more mining, everything is transported and assembled directly in the right machines (except for coal in the science labs/assemblers). This means I have more free time and what do we do with our free time? That’s right work more. As a new project I made electricity. You can make electricity with placing a conductor in a changing magnetic field. A magnetic field can be changed by for example rotating magnets. So, we need a rotational movement. How do we generate a rotational movement? Attach it to a motor: the simple solution, but not energy efficient. Make movement by using moving water. The problem I didn’t find moving water only the water in the lakes. Make movement by moving steam. Much more energy dense than moving water, much more energy efficient than an engine. But how do we produce moving steam? By boiling water in a (semi)closed system. The boiling of the water produces the steam, the pressure rises because it is a closed system and that causes the movement of steam. But how do we boil water? By doing what we are good in as humankind burning fuel. Sidenote how do you make holy water? Same as steam: burn the hell out of it.

So, to have water in our system we need a pump. To transform the water into pressurized steam we need a boiler. To make the pressurized steam into rotational motion we need a steam engine/turbine (and to make a motion into electricity we need a generator). Sounds good, doesn’t work.

Why? Because like so many things it follows the first law of Newton a body at rest stays at rest. A body in movement stays in movement. You see it in many motors and systems burning engines needs a starter motor, electrical engines need some electric tricks to make it start, … Have you found the flaw in the system yet? It’s the electric pump to put water into the system. We need electricity to pump water, and we create electricity by pumping water. How do we solve this? By kickstarting it with an inefficient smaller setup (burner turbine generator) like kickstarting a big motor with a small motor. The next question is how much electricity do we need? The answer as much as possible. So how much water can a pump deliver? enough for 20 boilers then we need 20 boilers. How much steam engines can 1 boiler provide? 2 then we need 40 of them.

How do we provide the fuel? By mining coal with electricity and then turn the coal in electricity sounds logic, a positive feedback loop (inherent unstable). As said so done and with that my day ends.


DAY 3: automating green science[edit]

The number of technologies that I can research with the red science is rapidly decreasing time to do something about it. The next step is to make green science (logistic science pack). Because my old setup still requires some hand feeding, I decide to add it also into my new factory. 2 science per second seems a realistic goal to me. With the use of a program on the informatron called hellmod I plan my factory.

• 2 red = 2 gears 2 copper plates

• 2 green = 2 belts and 1 inserter

• 1 inserter = 1 small electric motor and 1 burner inserter

• 1 small electric motor = 6 copper wires 1 gear 1 iron plate

• 1 burner inserter = 2 iron sticks 1 single cylinder engine

• 1 single cylinder engine = 2 gears 2 iron plates

• 6 copper plates = 3 copper plates

• 2 iron sticks = 1 iron plate

• 5 gears = 10 iron plate

To simplify 5 copper plates and 15 iron plates equals 2 red and 2 green. That is 1 belt of iron plates and a third of a belt of copper (to simplify also 1 belt). Therefor I needed a smelting array of 48 furnaces for each belt. So, I made it. Then I needed 17 assembling machines for making all the products needed for it and a whopping 20 assembling machines for each science pack.

It took some time but my first fully automated start to finish factory was a fact. This means I have more free time and what do we do with our free time? That’s right work more. As a new project I improved my fuel consumption. With the research going I become smarter every hour. I discovered a machine called fuel processor. I tested it out I put 200 coal in it and 88 processed fuel came out. Is that worth it? First, it compresses the fuel so we can have more energy density which is positive. If we look at the fuel values 200 coal= 800MJ (200x4MJ) that’s a 10% increase. I tried the same for wood 400 wood=800MJ (400x2MJ) and 88 processed fuel (PF) = 880MJ (88x10MJ). It doesn’t work with PF strangely. I can make energy from energy something in me says that something is wrong, I vaguely remember something called the first law of thermodynamics. With that knowledge I made all my fuel PF (fully automated of course). This made my factory a little bit more energy efficient like the green boy I am and with that positive taught, I end my day.


DAY 4 furnaces[edit]

Yesterday I took way too much time to craft all the machines. I am an engineer not a factory worker so my next project will be the designing of a mall. I begin my design with hellmod and add everything I want. I set the timebase to 10 minutes and think for each item how much I need max in that timeframe. After it is all decide I determine all the intermediate products until the metal plates. The amounts of material needed surprised me: 7 yellow belts for iron plates, 0.5 yellow belt for steel, two for copper and 1 for stone.

So, I designed a (modular) smelter setup that feed in 2 red belts and consume everything (except fuel) and gives 2 red belts back. I recalculated everything and determined that 7 smelter setups are what I need. So, I place the 7 fucking huge smelter setups next to each other. Now I am happy with that I have an engineering suit and not a survival one. The ability to use blueprints and copy paste setups is super handy and would cost me way more time (or research) with a survival suit. The only drawback is that I am way more vulnerable. But except fish and plant life I haven’t encounter animal life. I tried to eat the fish the other day and became sick (plant-based diet it is) if only they had a value.

I had to craft a lot of items to make the smelter setup. Today I was a factory worker not an engineer. But hopefully one of the last times, after a long workday I finished the smelters and went to sleep.


DAY 5 mall[edit]

I was quite happy about the work I did yesterday, only I realized now that I totally can’t feed the furnaces with the 1 mine/resource I got. But that won’t be a big problem, you will never need all the items at the same time, so you never need the full load. It’s the same with your electricity, a normal circuit breaker is 20 A each circuit while your main breaker is only rated for 32A. Or like the internet providers say they deliver x amount of Mbs (if you are the only one in the street who uses the internet). If only I knew that yesterday I could have spared me much work.

The mall I designed works with the main bus principle. All resources are in the main bus, get to the side to the assemblers, and the finished products go back to the main bus. Repeat for each product you need. At the end of the bus, I set chest where it gets stored until needed. I limited the quantities to 2 or 4 stacks depending on the product to prevent overproduction and to not pick up too much material each time. I also made a big chest where I will drop my things when my inventory is too crowded.


DAY 6 Blue science[edit]

sulfur[edit]

The amount of science I can do with only the red and green science is decreasing, time for the next step: Chemical science. The chemist in me comes above as I experiment with making petroleum gas from raw oil. The petroleum gas I distil and dry to sulfur. I made the fifth most element of earth! ! ! Like a real chemist I decide to play with fire a bit. First I try to burn metal, it doesn’t burn, I scrape some of it so that I have iron dust and set a flame to it. It burns with a red flame. Nothing special, next I try the same with copper, I put some copper dust to a flame, and it colors green. COOL, I wonder what sulfur will do, with little patience I put a piece of sulfur in the fire. First It melts to a red liquid and then burns in a blue flame. That’s the reason why it’s called the burning stone. It also stinks pretty hard. I get’s harder to breath. Luckily there are some windows in my lab so that I can air it out.

multiple cylinder engine[edit]

The next thing I burn is petroleum gas. Because it’s a gas put it in a container and try to burn the container. It does nothing, I carefully take the lid of the container. BANG!!! As soon as I let the gas encounters the air it explodes. The lid flies forcefully out of my hand. I didn’t foresee that, so a lid of a container moves if you mix it with petroleum gas and air (and heat). If I do that in a controlled manner and put multiple next to each other I made a multiple cylinder engine.

advanced circuits[edit]

I experiment a bit further with this mysterious gas. I discover that when you combine it with coal, you get a new substance. Let’s call it plastic. I am in the PLASTIC AGE. It’s flexible yet sturdy, isolator, it splits into micro plastic, when heated it becomes gooey. It burns with the normal orange flames, but it smokes a lot, and it is black smoke. It has many great properties, many of which I can use in electronic circuits, to make more advanced circuits. I combine all the information that I obtained into a science pack to study it further and with that my day ends.


DAY 7 oil production[edit]

recipes[edit]

It's time to scale up the production of oil products therefor we begin with looking at the recipes and setting it at the same timeframe.

Heavy oil cracking:
30 water + 40HO = 30LO /5s
6 water + 8HO = 6LO /s

Light oil cracking:
30 water + 30LO = 20PG /2s
15 water + 15LO = 10PG /s

Basic oil processing
50 water + 100 oil = 90 PG 5s
10 water +20 oil = 18PG /s

Oil to PG ratio

18/20 = 0.9

Advanced oil processing:

50 water +100 oil = 20HO + 70LO + 30PG 5s

10 water + 20 oil = 4HO + 14LO + 6PG /s

To LO with HO cracking

0.5 chemical plant

=0.3LO + 14LO + 6PG /s

=>14.3LO + 6PG /s

Ratio LO to PG: 0.953333 chemical plant

14.3/20=0.715

To PG =9.53PG+6PG /s

=>15.53PG /s

Ratio PG to oil

15.53/20 = 0.715

Total chemical plants needed per oil

1.4533 chemical plant/20 oil

0.0726 chemical plant/ oil

Crude oil processing:

10 water +100 oil = 70 HO + 30LO + 20PG 2s

5 water + 50 oil = 35HO + 15LO + 10PG /s

to LO with HO cracking: 4.375 chemical plant needed

=26.25LO + 15LO + 10PG/s

=41.25LO + 10 PG /s

Ratio oil to LO

41.25/50=0.825

to PG : 2.75 chemical plant needed

=27.5PG + 10PG /s

=>37.5 PG

Ratio oil to PG

37.5/50=0.75


Total chemical plants needed per oil

7.125 chemical plant/50 oil

=>0.1425 chemical plant/oil

To summarize it all I put it all in excel and decided to go a little bit deeper.

space used[edit]

To produce PG basic oil processing is best. To provide LO crude oil processing is best (but uses more machines (10,75 vs 7,5)) To get 12,5% difference in yield you need 30% more room. Is that worth it? Normally I would say not, but it changes when you have demand for HO. Let’s calculate that: I find it worth it if the number of machines is 12.5% more for crude than for advanced. A refinery takes a 5x5 tiles that’s 25 tiles and a chemical takes 3x3 tiles that’s 9 tiles Let’s say that we refine 100 oil with advanced we need 5 refineries and 2.5 chemical, that’s 147 tiles To match that we can say it’s good if we have less than 8.4375 machines for crude. Or less than 165.4 tiles For crude we need 2 refineries, so we have 6.84375 machines left and produce 70HO/s. HO cracking consumes 8 HO/s so 6.84375 consumes 51.5HO/s so we have left 18.5HO/s. Crude oil cracking is worth it if we have 18.5/70=26.43% own consumption. We produce than 18.5 HO and 38.625LO with 2 refineries. (9.25HO and 19.3125LO for 1)

If we look to the tiles, we need 2 refineries that’s 50 tiles. We have still room for 97 tiles, that’s enough for 10,77 ~11 chemical plants. Which is way less than the 8 needed. In total we need 122 tiles. So, for space considerations crude is best.

cost[edit]

If we look at the cost. 1 refinery is worth 3 chemical plants. So, for advanced for 100 oil cracked. 5 refineries *3 chemical/refineries + 2.5 chemical = 17.5 chemical So, for crude for 100 oil cracked. 2 refineries*3 chemical/refineries + 8.75 chemical=14.75 chemicals

For the modules productivity = speed Productivity = 3*amount of buildings Speed= 1.5 * amount of tiles*20/(14*14) (1.5= extra space for pipes etc.) (beacon with 20 modules area 14x14)

For advanced Productivity=3*8.4375 =25.3 Speed=1.5*147*20/ (14*14)=22.5 Total 47.8 For crude Productivity=3*10.75=32.25 Speed=1.5*122*20/ (14*14)=18.67 Total 50.9 Almost no difference

If you consider the use of productivity modules is crude even better: productivity in both refinery and chemical.

If you consider the extra yield, space won, initial cost, and less complexity, the crude option is in my opinion the best for LO production.

energy[edit]

If you consider the energy used. A refinery uses 434kW and a chemical plant uses 217kW. For Advanced That’s 434kW*5+217kW*2.5=2712kW

For crude That’s 434kW*2+217*8.75=2766.75kW

The energy used is almost equal in full mode. In Idle mode: A refinery uses 14kW and a chemical plant 7

For advanced That’s 14kW*5+7kW*2.5=87kW For crude That’s 14kW*2+7kW*8.75=89.25kW The energy used is also equal in idle mode


To provide HO crude oil processing is best. To provide PG basic oil is best.

Strategies[edit]

Strategy 1 ratio efficient: If PG is low => more basic oil If PG is high => no basic oil

If LO is very low => crude oil processing + HO cracking If LO is low => HO cracking if LO is high => stop HO cracking or more fuel production

if HO is low=> crude processing

Strategy 2 machines efficient: If PG is very low => LO cracking + basic oil If PG is low => more basic oil If PG is high => no basic oil

If LO is very low => advanced oil processing + HO cracking If LO is low => advanced oil processing

If HO is low => crude oil processing + HO cracking If HO is High => HO cracking

I think strategy 1 will be more efficient on the long run.

Placing?[edit]

Modular so that future expansion is still possible. Row of basic oil. Row of crude oil Row of HO cracking Row of solid fuel Row of rocket fuel

Ratio’s?[edit]

Basic oil => depending on PG demand Crude oil => depending on HO demand

HO cracking => 4.375 for every crude oil

110 LO (100 solid +10 extra) per rocket fuel facility 5 solid fuel facility per rocket facility’s

Initial setup[edit]

5 basic oil 3 crude 14 HO 5 solid 1 rocket

Note demand need to be PG> 30/s Note overproduction of LO of 13.75/s (takes a tank a half hour to fill)

Note max water needed = 15(crude) + 84(HO) + 50(basic)=149 =>1 pump needed

Alerts:[edit]

PG low =>more basic oil LO low(not needed/overproduction) HO low => more crude Oil low => more oil production

Control[edit]

Basic oil => PG
>Low PG

HO=> water (because directly connected to output crude)
>Stop when high LO, Stop when low HO

Crude => PG
>low HO

With my plan ready I start to build my buildings. Then I make all the pipe connections. I then place the tanks for control purpose. Then I build the logic. I discover I can’t control the output of the HO Cracking, so I use the water as control. This caused longer control reaction times, so I made the limits higher. Then I build the electricity to everything and finally connected the oil.

Slowly I see my tanks fill and stabilize on my selected level. The production of rocket fuel is in full motion and will soon fill his chest. This means that LO consumption will halt eventually and with that also the HO consumption. This will be a problem when I also have HO consumption. But that’s a problem for another time, goodbye.

DAY 8 the crash 2.0[edit]

I was so happy with the mall that I celebrated it and drank too much. I went on a joyride to search after the grey gold called iron. I went to the west and destroyed my car in the meantime because I crashed into a couple of trees. (lesson learned: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE). You will crash and destroy your vehicle (so next joyride will be with a vehicle that’s harder to destroy). Had to walk all the way back to my base that took some time and after that I went to sleep.

DAY 9 the edge[edit]

My iron mine becomes scarcer and scarcer. Let’s find a new one I learned my lesson the previous time and decide to use a train as vehicle, in GTA it’s indestructible so in reality it also has to be. With a lot of rails, hundreds of rail signals, power poles and some radars. With some simple blueprints I built. I started my journey to the east to find a rare metal named iron. I go on and on until my rails are gone, I went back got some rails and go on and on. My rails are again gone, I get back got some rails and go on and on. And then you guess it not, my rails are again gone, I get back got some rails and go on and on. This goes on and on until I reach THE EDGE.

The edge of the world. After that is empty void (null). The ultimate proof that planets are flat. (I always knew that but nobody believed me.) Copernicus wasn’t right after all.

I went literally to the edge of the world to find my precious metal, but without result.

Day 11 extending the mall[edit]

I decided to wait till my radars will hopefully find a patch of the grey gold named iron. In the meantime, I extend the mall with the new buildings I can make. I built around the existing chest and extended the bus. While adding the needed assemblies for each item.

I check regular my minimap to find iron and finally I find a patch of iron. I drive to it by train and lay train tracks in the meantime. In stead to rush build the outpost I take my time and do it so efficient and modular as possible so that I can make blueprints for the next time I need a new outpost. I begin with a belt, then I place electric mining drills around it. That looks good but it doesn’t work because there is no electricity to the drills. Next design, I start from scratch and begin with placing a medium electricity pole. Then I place six mining drills around it, and add (underground)belts. It is perfectly symmetrical. Looks good doesn’t work, 2 mines have their output on the pole. I replace the pole and the belts and underground belts. The mining blueprint is made.

An alarm goes off CME alert. A CME with a peak power of 2.3 GW during 2 minutes is headed to NAUVIS. I now know what my next big project will be but first further on my outpost.

Now I have several belts with iron ore. They need to be balanced before going to the station. It’s important that there is always ore available no matter which input is working. I need a throughput unlimited balancer. You can achieve this by making sure that each output is connected in a way by each input. As a first step I make a 4x4 balancer, then an 8x8 by placing two 4x4 next to each other and then combine on of the output of the first with one of the second and so on. Until they are all connected. Below is a representatation how it's built.

A AB ABCD

B AB ABCD ABCD

C CD ABCD ABCD

D CD ABCD


A AB ABCD ABCDEFGH

B AB ABCD ABCD ABCDEFGH

C CD ABCD ABCD ABCDEFGH

D CD ABCD ABCDEFGH

E EF EFGH ABCDEFGH

F EF EFGH EFGH ABCDEFGH

G GH EFGH EFGH ABCDEFGH

H GH EFGH ABCDEFGH

An alarm went off: LOW power. I guess I know what my next goal will be but first let finish this.


The next step is making a station, I decided to build an LTN network for it. The train composition will be 1-2, this is easier to design tracks with but causes much more trains. I first built a (temporarily) depot station somewhere on my main track, then the provider station in the outpost. The 8 outputs are split in groups of 2 and leaded to the 2 sides of each wagon, it is then further split into 6 lanes where stack inserters put them into chests, then filter stack inserters put them into the cargo wagons.

The content of the chest I connect to the LTN network. Together with the provider and train limit. The inserters are also connected and connected by an inverter to the train station.

For the requester station I did the same but placed everything opposite (and places 1 belt because the inserters can’t directly output on the splitters it seems). The provided limit I set extremely high to prevent that it acts as a provider, the requester limit is set to the quantity 1 train can deliver. The requested item and amount I put negatively on it too and with that I see how everything begins working and creating deliveries to the requester station. It starts becoming dark and with no power there are no lights so I decided to sleep.

DAY 12 the nuclear age[edit]

My power is down. My coal is gone (Santa taught I was not bad enough). Time to improve my electric installation. Because I need coal for other products as well I decided to built a coal outpost. With the blueprints I made yesterday it became easy to do so. I have back again coal and power.

My power production is not good enough, when I expand further I will come into problems. To protect me from the CME I need an umbrella, wich needs 2.3 GW of electricity, that is 2 big nuclear reactors on my home planet. That umbrella is very power hungry machine.

the choice[edit]

While I gather the materials to built ELLA the umbrella, I think how I will produce this amount of electricity.


Solar power? I then need 38 THOUSAND solar panels. This will use a lot of material and space.

REJECTED


Wind? Possible but I will also need a lot of it and I haven’t felt much wind on NAUVIS, and I haven’t researched it (something in me says that I need the help of a god or higher intellectual to gain this knowledge).

REJECTED


GEOTHERMAL? Possible but with the fact I have proven that NAUVIS is flat and haven’t seen high natural temperature differences. Again, I have the feeling that I need the help of this god that can do world changing things.

REJECTED


STEAM with boilers?

I need 2.5 thousand steam engines a 1.2 thousand boilers. That is way too much to produce and I will pollute a lot in a time where everyone of the world finally agree that we have to reduce emissions (easy to say when you are the only person and yet the biggest polluter, like oil companies that say that the population need to reduce CO2 levels while they know for more than 40 years what impact fossil fuels will have on the world).

REJECTED


STEAM with NUCLEAR reactors.

I need then 400 (392) steam turbines, 240 (232) heat exchangers and 16 (16.3) reactors. These seams reasonable amount of machines and it pollute no CO2. (and only deadly alfa beta and gamma radiation if it goes wrong, with other words completely safe)

My choice is made, it's time for the NUCLEAR AGE

To make power from nuclear decay we will use the PWR design (pressurized water reactor) with 2 cooling circuits. The hearth of the nuclear power plant will be the reactor where a nuclear chain reaction heats the reactor up.

the nuclear chain reaction[edit]

If enough fissile material comes together in a so-called critical mass, there occur a nuclear chain reaction. Fissile material is material that can sustain and maintain a nuclear chain reaction. U235 is a fissile material, if a large amount of it comes together a nuclear chain reactor occurs. Guess how much that large amount is? Only 51 kg of U235 is needed to create nuclear fuel (or a bomb) (that’s only a sphere with a diameter of 17cm). U238 is non fissile but is fissionable once the reaction starts but it will not maintain it. So, you can add U238 in a nuclear bomb without limits, the explosion will be greater, but the bomb will not be more unstable.

In a nuclear chain reaction, a neutron and a fissile material comes together and create 1 or more neutrons, fission fragments, and a lot of heat. The extra created neutrons can create the next fission reaction if it collides with another fissile element. The fission fragments are elements with less mass and can be again fissile like plutonium or non-fissile like U238 but fissionable or none of the above like Pb. The mass of the fuel is thus reduced with each step. Like Einstein said E=(delta)mc^2 or in human language: the amount of energy produced is equal to a constant multiplied with the difference of mass before and after the reaction.

controlling the reaction[edit]

Controlling nuclear reactors is a very complex task, that’s why they avoid it at all cost. On a windy, sunny day and there is an overshoot on electricity they will shut down windmills and solar panels so that the nuclear centrals can kept at 100%. Nuclear fuel rod placing and replacing is a delicate process. Reactors can be controlled in various modes. Increasing or decreasing the load on the turbines, but that directly influences the electrical output also, so not a good option. Raising or lowering the temperature of the reactor (luckily most reactors are negative temperature coefficient, and thus a negative feedback loop for temperature. (Chernobyl had a positive feedback loop for this but a bigger negative loop elsewhere)) but this can only be done within the safety margins. Poisoning the reactor with control rods, the control rods absorbs the free neutrons, but causes uneven “burning” of the nuclear fuel, which causes that the fuel rods will not needed to be replaced at the same time. Poisoning the reactor with boron, this reduce the reactivity but it takes long time to disappear, and its corrosive which can damage the installation. This all causes the design decision of most reactors to control the grid instead of the reactor and let the fuel burn until it is spent.

the cooling[edit]

The heat of the reactor is absorbed by the first cooling loop, the heat pipes. This is normally a loop (but I found out it also strangly works without a return path). This is done by a heat pipe, a technology that transport energy from one place to another. This works great and is used in many application like computer cooling. I really advanced in this technology because previously they are used for temperatures of 100degrees Celsius and know it works for temperatures 10 times as hot, but that’s not the greatest improvement. Normally the typical use case is a few hundred watt, and maximum let’s say a few kW. I improved it not 10 times, not 1000 times, but 1 million times to be working with gigaWatts. Another strange thing I found is that when you place reactors next to each other they create more energy neighbor bonus it’s called. That’s like saying that you get richer in New York than the favella’s. Another strange thing is that it doesn’t follow the first law of thermodynamics: energy cannot be created or destroyed. Nor the law of conservation of mass: for mass cannot be created nor destroyed.

Where were we? Right by the heat pipes. Heat exchangers like the name says exchange heat between the first and secondary cooling loop. The secondary cooling loop is water that cools the heating pipes and outputs steam. The steam drives then the steam turbines who creates electricity. The cooled steam we release in the air. On my home planet this heat is used as a heat network or cooled with a third cooling system in the cooling towers, those big towers you associate with nuclear installations. Did you know that such a tower is built with only straight beams, not bend like you would expect, this is possible because it’s in the shape of a hyperboloid.

the build proces[edit]

I then begin to design and place my structures strategically on an island. I begin with 16 nuclear reactors divided in 2 rows. I leave room for inserters and chests. On each side of the reactors need 120 heat exchangers. A row of heat exchangers can only be 10 heat exchangers long because they use 103 water each and the throughput of the water is limited by the distance to the pump. On a line of heat pipes, you can add 2 lines of heat exchangers. So, I need 6 lines of heat pipe with on each line 20 heat exchangers.

At the ends there are pumps, the water and steam pipes are connected to each other respectively and put in tanks. Each water tank has a dedicated water supply line and feed 2 lines of heat exchangers. The throughput of water is calculated to be enough. The steam is led to rows of tanks, this is to prevent that the cooling stops because the steam cannot be used fast enough in light loads. Stopping the cooling of a nuclear reactor is a disaster, look at what happens in Fukushima, and you know why. By calculating how much steam is generated each cycle we calculate that to bridge a cycle fully we need 200 tanks of steam. Finally the steam from the tanks is pumped to the steam turbines who generates the electricity.

nuclear fuel[edit]

Will it work? No, because we don’t have nuclear fuel. Then we make it. Strategically I chose a place close to a uranium ore patch. With my blueprints I quickly place the mines. Will it work? No, the mines need sulfuric acid, so we make it. We pipe PG to the site and make locally sulfuric acid. Will it work? Yes, up to the next step. The uranium ore needs to be separated in U235 and U238 in the centrifuge. We place 10 centrifuges next to each other and let it work. I belt the uranium isotopes to a very big chest. Is that a good idea? I vaguely remember that if you combine enough U235 together you get an explosion, and how more U238 there is with it how bigger the explosion. So dangerous can that not be, besides the chest looks strong. From the chest I add an assembling machine that produces nuclear fuel and outputs it in a chest. With logic I control the inserters so that it will only produce 18 uranium fuel cells. As a last step I develop the control logic. A uranium fuel cell will only be inserted if 200 seconds have past since the previous cycle and there is less than 10k steam in the last tank.


The last miles are the most difficult especially the tree miles island. I then place 3 centrifuges also next to the big chest and create their logic. This for the technologies that I still need to develop. 1 for nuclear fuel, it produces if there are more than 50 U235 in the big chest and there is less than 50 nuclear fuels in its output. This way I can have a better and faster train network. Another to produce U235 from U238 by uranium enrichment. I hesitated how I should control it. Statically or dynamically? By statically I just say produce if U235 is less than x. By dynamically I say produce if the ratio between U 235 and U238 is less than 100. I decided for the static approach because the speed of the enrichment is way faster than the consumption of U235, also you need U238 for nuclear weapons. By the way how do you find that technology? I run. And wait until its in the past. The last centrifuge will be for nuclear fuel reprocessing and controlled by no conditions.