Steam Turbine

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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version (Automation Innovation Pack Update). It was last updated for the Launch Update.
Steam Turbine
Draws in Steam from the tiles directly below the machine's foundation and uses it to generate electrical Power.
Outputs Water.
Steam Turbine.png
Useful for converting geothermal energy into usable power.
Renewable Energy
5w x 3h
Power Menu.png Power
0-850 W
+4 kDTU/s
1000 °C
Freeze at
{{{freeze}}} °C
Noise Pollution
Water Output
Steam 2 kg/s @ 125+ °C
building temperature below 100 °C
Storage Capacity
Steam ?? kg
Water ?? kg
Water same mass as input Steam @ 95 °C
Green: Enable
Red: Disable
Mineral.png {{{cost-raw-mineral}}} kg
Metal.png {{{cost-raw-metal}}} kg
MetalRefined.png 800 kg
Steel.png {{{cost-steel}}} kg
Plastic.png 200 kg
Soil.png {{{cost-soil}}} kg
Buildable.png {{{cost-buildable}}} kg
Plumbable.png {{{cost-plumbable}}} kg
Buildable.png {{{cost-manufactured}}} kg
Glass.png {{{cost-glass}}} kg
Glass.png {{{cost-transparent}}} kg

Steam Turbine is the primary device in harvesting Power from Heat, usually magma or Aquatuners, and can do it exceptionally well provided you can keep the temperature of the Steam passing the turbine high.

Steam Turbines are also an incredibly effective heat deletion device capable of removing significant amounts of heat from the environment and turning the heat into power instead; this makes the Steam Turbine useful in many cooling devices.

Requirements[edit | edit source]

The steam below the generator must be at least 125 °C. If the steam below the generator becomes less than 125 °C the Steam Turbine will cease to produce any power.

Additionally, the steam turbine itself must be kept below 100 °C. If its temperature gets higher than 100 °C, the warning message "Turbine too hot" will appear, and the turbine will cease to operate.

It outputs Water with the same mass as input Steam, and fixed temperature of 95 °C.

Usage[edit | edit source]

To use the generator it must have hot steam below its base, a water output and a power connection. Note: all of the inlets do not need to be uncovered for full functionality (see below).

While active every non-blocked inlet will use 0.4 kg of Steam (for a max of 2 kg with 5 inlets) per second. It will output the same mass in water as steam it consumed.

The power output depends on the consumption rate and the temperature of the steam. Assuming max steam consumption rate (2 kg/s), power output is 242 watts at 125 °C, capped at 850 watts at 200 °C or higher.

If an inlet is blocked, a higher temperature is required for the same power output in accordance with the following table:

Inlets Required temperature for max power
°F °C K
5 392 200 473.15
4 439.25 226.25 499.4
3 518 270 543.15
2 675.5 357.5 630.65

One inlet case[edit | edit source]

A steam turbine can absorb 0.08 kg steam in each tick (0.2 second) from each inlet. But a steam turbine needs more than 0.1 kg steam to start conversion. As a result, when only one inlet is unblocked, the steam turbine works only one tick every two ticks. So the average power generation is limited to 425 W.

Useful equations[edit | edit source]

Power produced P = \left ( \frac{85}{21} \right )\cdot \dot{m} \cdot (T_{steam}-95)
Heat removed from steam q_{removed}  = 4.179 \cdot \dot{m} \cdot (T_{steam}-95)
Heat produced by turbine \dot{Q}_{out} = 0.4179 \cdot \dot{m} \cdot (T_{steam}-95) + 4

P, q_{removed} and \dot{Q}_{out} is in kDTU/s, \dot{m} is the mass flow rate in kg/s and T_{steam} is the temperature of the steam in Celsius.

Note: 10% of the heat removed from the stream is transferred into the turbine, the rest is deleted.

Example with max pressure (2kg/s) and 5 inlet
Temperature (°C) Heat stream (kDTU/s) Heat transfert to turbine (kDTU/s) Real heat deleted (kDTU/s)
125 250.7 29.0 221.7
150 459.7 50.0 409.7
200 877.6 91.8 785.8
300 1713.4 175.4 1538.0
400 2549.2 258.9 2478.3
500 3384.9 342.5 3042.4
750 5474.5 551.5 4923.0
1000 7564.0 760.4 6803.6

Ratios[edit | edit source]

The steam turbine produces nearly 1,08 W per kDTU/s removed from the steam with temperature between 125 and 200 °C and down to 0,125 W per kDTU/s with T = 1000°C.

The steam turbine removes nearly 920 DTU/s per W generated with temperature between 125 and 200 °C and up to 8000 DTU/s per Joule with T = 1000°C.

Synergy with Thermal Aquatuners[edit | edit source]

Using Water or Polluted Water as Coolant[edit | edit source]

Two steam turbines can delete 1,755,180 DTU/s, and three Thermal Aquatuners using Water or Polluted Water as coolant produce 1,755,180 DTU/s. This means that two steam turbines to three Thermal Aquatuners is an ideal ratio for deleting heat with the steam turbine when using Water or Polluted Water as the coolant.

Watts of power used: \left (1200 \cdot 3 = 3,600 \right ) - \left (850 \cdot 2 = 1700 \right) = 1{,}900

Heat (DTU/s) deleted per spent watt: \frac{1{,}755{,}180}{1{,}900} \cong 923.78

Using Super Coolant as Coolant[edit | edit source]

Three steam turbines can delete 2,632,770 DTU/s, and two Thermal Aquatuners using Super Coolant as coolant produce 2,363,200 DTU/s. This means that three steam turbines to two Thermal Aquatuners is a pretty good ratio for deleting heat with the steam turbine when using Super Coolant as the coolant.

Watts of power used: \left (1200 \cdot 2 = 2400 \right ) - \left ( \left (\frac{2{,}363{,}200}{2{,}632{,}770} \cdot 850 \right ) \cdot 3 = 2{,}288.9 \right) \cong 111.1

Heat (DTU/s) deleted per spent watt: \frac{2{,}363{,}200}{111.1} \cong 21{,}270.9

Comparing Power Efficiency of Coolants[edit | edit source]

Using Super Coolant is approximately 23 times more efficient than using Water or Polluted Water as coolant in a Steam Turbine/Thermal Aquatuner combo: \left (  \frac{21{,}270.9}{923.78} \cong 23\right)

Self-Cooled Steam Turbine[edit | edit source]

A Steam Turbine can be used to cool itself using its own 95 °C exhaust water to maintain a temperature of less than 100 °C, this requires limiting the steam temperature to around 135 °C and power output to around 330 watts. Maximizing the heat transfer between the exhaust water and the Steam Turbine involves snaking radiant pipes behind the Steam Turbine, pouring a layer of Crude Oil or Petroleum on the floor and/or flooding the room with Hydrogen Gas.

Despite the reduced power output of a Self-Cooled Steam Turbine it can be very attractive due to not needing an Aquatuner and the associated plumbing, circuit and automation.

Maximum Steam Temperature for sustainable self-cooling[edit | edit source]

There is only limited cooling potential in the exhaust water: raising the temperature of 2000 g/s of water from 95 °C to 100 °C requires 41.79 kDTU/s, substituting this into the equation *Heat produced by turbine* and solving for steam temperature results in a value of 140.2 °C, this is where the heat produced by the Turbine exactly equals the available cooling in the water. The Steam Turbine would generate 365 watts.

While theoretically a self-cooled Steam Turbine could run on 140 °C steam this is an unstable equilibrium, if the Turbine gets too hot the flow of exhaust water halts and it is unable to cool itself, typically stalling until the player intervenes. Furthermore heat exchange between the exhaust water and Steam Turbine is imperfect and there may be heat bleed between the Steam chamber and the Steam Turbine. Due to these factors a practical self-cooled Steam Turbine typically runs on steam temperatures not exceeding 135 °C and generates around 330 watts.

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • If steam is hotter than needed, it is recommended to block inlets to not waste heat (e.g if steam is 230 °C then having only 4 inlets is preferable for energy production).
  • Like most generators it will continue to run, consuming fuel, unless turned off manually or by an automation connection.
  • Steam Turbines cannot add to the packets from their output port, so each one should have dedicated uncloggable pipe-segment.
  • A metal refinery with a coolant of petroleum, crude oil, or super coolant combined with a steam turbine actually generates excess power when refining iron or steel due to the large amounts of heat generated by the refinery. This is further improved with the operating duplicant's Machinery attribute, since the refinery draws its 1200 W of power for less than the full 40 s/batch.
  • Only 1 port requires 125 °C for the turbine to function. Therefore it is possible to create setup where a steam turbine accepts steam from 2 steam rooms where the temperature of one steam room is at 100 °C and the other above 125 °C. This effectively allows you to cool a room to 100 °C. [1]
  • A Cool Steam Vent cannot be used to directly power a steam turbine by itself as the temperature of the steam is below 125 °C
    • However, an aquatuner can be used to cool the steam and the resulting heat produced by the aquatuner can be deleted using a steam turbine.
    • Alternatively setups can be used which utilise the fact only one port requires high temperature steam, and therefore allow the turbine to accept the cool steam. [2]
  • An Aquatuner cooling supercoolant will run energy neutral when combined with a steam turbine that has engie's tune-up. Even better, a single aquatuner/turbine setup with all 5 input ports open will not reach thermal equilibrium until ~236 °C steam temperature, meaning the setup requires no automation. With dupe's time for engie's tune-up and buffered by a power grid, this setup can provide energy-free cooling. Care must be taken not to deplete the heat in the cooling target otherwise the setup will start drawing power.

History[edit | edit source]

  • RP-379337: Steam turbines correctly obtain boost from Engie's Tune-up.
  • QLM3-326232: Steam turbine reworked.

Reference[edit | edit source]

Navigation[edit | edit source]