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Steam Boiler

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A steam boiler is a multi-block structure from Railcraft that converts fuel and water into Steam, which can then be used to drive steam engines to produce MJ to or the Steam Turbine to produce EU.

2013-06-29 16.10.00

A 27 HP Steam Boiler surrounded by a Steam Turbine, Aqueous Accumulator and Hobbyist's Steam Engine

Construction Edit

The structure has two layers, one layer of fireboxes at the bottom to burn the fuel and one to four layers of boiler. The fireboxes can be 1x1, 2x2 or 3x3 and are made of either all Solid Fueled Fireboxes or all Liquid Fueled Fireboxes. Boilers can be made from either all Low Pressure Boilers or all High Pressure Boilers. The size of the boiler you can build depends on the size of the firebox. A 1x1 firebox can only handle a single cubic meter tank, the 2x2 can handle 8 or 12 cubic meters of boiler tank, and the 3x3 can handle 18, 27, or 36 cubic meters of boiler tank. A 36 cubic meter Low Pressure Boiler is referred to as a 36 LP, whereas a 18 cubic meter High Pressure Boiler is referred to as a 18 HP.

The simplest structure is one Low Pressure Boiler on top of one Solid Fueled Firebox. A 1 LP boiler can produce 10 steam/tick, which is enough steam to power a single Hobbyist's Steam Engine, and produce 2MJ compared to the 1.6MJ produced by putting fuel directly in the Hobbyist's Steam Engine.

The smallest size boiler that can fully power a Steam Turbine is 36 LP or 18 HP.

Video Tutorial Edit

The following video demonstrates how to build and setup a steam boiler.

Setup Edit

Water can be placed into the boiler with buckets, or piped into the firebox (not the tanks). The internal water storage can hold 4,000mB per cubic meter of boiler. A single Aqueous Accumulator at full speed beneath the firebox/boiler is enough to supply any boiler and doesn't require pipes.

WARNING! Hook up a steady water supply to the firebox before turning the boiler on! Adding water to a dry, hot boiler will cause it to explode!

Solid fuel such as Charcoal, Coal Coke and Coal can be placed in the Solid Fueled Firebox and it has 4 stacks of internal storage. The Liquid Fueled Firebox burns liquid fuels such as Creosote Oil, Biofuel and Fuel and has 16,000mB of internal storage. Note lava can not be used. (This is intentional)

Steam will be produced at full power once the temperature reaches 100°C. Liquid pipes can be used to extract the steam from the boilers:

Pipe Maximum Throughput Notes
Cobblestone 10 mB/tick Enough for a single LP boiler.
Iron 10 mB/tick
Golden 40 mB/tick
Steam Boiler Output 80 mB/tick Unpowered connection; requires >50% steam storage; default Liquiduct mode.
Liquiduct Output 160 mB/tick When using output arrow and Redstone signal.
Liquiduct Input 160 mB/tick Two liquiduct inputs will max out the Steam Turbine.
Liquiduct Pipe  ???? mB/tick Rates up to 1600mB/tick observed.

Powered connections are required to draw more than the top 50% of the boiler's internal steam storage. Drawing this extra steam will not affect the function of the boiler. Steam produced beyond the boiler's storage capacity will be harmlessly wasted. Each cubic metre of low pressure boiler can hold 16,000mB of steam, and each cubic metre of high pressure boiler can hold 32,000mB of steam.

Changing the size or type of the boiler will lose all heat. Misplacing a block can cause a boiler to lose its special shape and shut down, but you can restore it without any loss by fixing the shape.

Low vs. High PressureEdit

Each cubic metre of Low Pressure Boiler produces 10 steam/tick, and each cubic metre of High Pressure Boiler produces 20 steam/tick. High Pressure Boilers use twice the fuel of Low Pressure Boilers, and reach a maximum temperature 1000°C rather than 500°C. Larger Pressure Boilers are less efficient in the short term, taking more time and fuel to heat up, but allow for more compact, powerful designs. Low pressure boilers are recommended for typical use unless fireboxes, iron, or space are at a premium. See the external links for full detail.

Sample MathEdit

Each cubic meter of High Pressure Boiler produces Steam at 20 Steam/tick, so a 36 cubic meters High Pressure Boiler can produce up to 720 Steam/tick, powering 18 RailCraft Industrial Steam Engines, that requires 40 Steam/tick each one and produce 8 MJ, for a total of 144 MJ.

After some testing a 36 cubic meters High Pressure Boiler needs approximately 1,932k heat to reach 100°C (from 20°C), and approximately 22,300k heat to reach 1000°C (from 20°C). This means that you need 696,875 Millibuckets(mB) of Bio-Fuel (in an Iron Tank for example) to reach full heat. On a fully heated (1000°C) 36 cubic meters High Pressure Boiler, one bucket of biofuel (32k heat) lasted approximately 101 seconds which means 1k heat of fuel each 3.1566 seconds. Each 1k heat of fuel will produce 45,455 steam which can be used on 3 Steam Turbines for 14,205 EU at 225 EU/t (100 EU/p) or on engines for 9,091 MJ. If this 9,091 MJ are used on a Magma Crucible with Cobblestone and a Thermal Generator will generate 11,364 EU or 22,728 EU if the Magma Crucible is using Netherrack.

On a 1 cubic meter High Pressure Boiler it requires near 30k heat to reach 1000°C. At 1000°C 1k heat of fuel will burn for 63.3 seconds, will generate 25,320 steam which can be converted to 5,064 MJ or 7,912.5 EU at 6.25 EU/t (100 EU/p) using a Steam Turbine.

See the external links for further detail.


External LinksEdit

 * Railcraft Boiler Calculator - Calculator for fuel usage and energy production
by Forecaster
 * The Final Word on Steam Boiler Efficiency - a detailed analysis by Omicron

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