One newbie's training fluid reactor

  • The word newbie in the title is a little misleading since I've been playing IC2 for a number of years now. But what it does refer to is the fact that until this time coming back to IC2, I hadn't actually given the nuclear reactors any serious thought (I stuck strictly to solar farms before and didn't get far beyond them.)

    The point behind this post was to show what I've learned about fluid reactors since the documentation on them is much more spread out than the ones on standard EU reactors. Before beginning, this was done strictly with vanilla IC2 and no other mods aside from Optifine (I eagerly await fastcraft being available for 1.10.2.)

    I had to figure out how steam turbine setups work. Here's simple single turbine setup with the boiler at 1 mb/t input and 0 bar output. Boiler has 9000 mB of distilled water. The steam turbine next to it has the turbine as normal, with a fluid ejector upgrade (calling it FEU from here). Above it is the condenser with an FEU and a cable feed from the kinetic generator on the end. Newbies will note that if you face the boiler, the turbine will set with the proper end facing you (the one that goes to the generator) but the generator will set with the other way around, necessitating a shift+wrench on that side to face it the proper way (without the dot in the middle). Next to the condenser but above the boiler is the fluid distributor. (calling it FD from here.) The FD will only accept fluids actively pushed to it (hence the FEU on the condenser) but will automatically eject fluids on its own, hence giving this a cycle between the boiler, turbine, and condenser. Please note you need to orient the FD's blue input port the same way you do with the generator. There is a minor loss, though, so even with the radioisotope heat generators on the left, this isn't a contained circuit with free energy. You eventually have to refill the boiler tank. (We need a cell slot for this instead of only right-clicking with a cell in hand.) The whole setup does 50 EU per tick. It's only useful as a demonstration model as the thermoelectric generators are a far more efficient, useful, and compact setup for EU generation.

    Next, the fluid reactor itself. There's plenty of pictures and videos online but the simple explanation is to make a hollow 5x5x5 box (with 6 reactor chambers and one reactor, in the center) with reactor pressure tank blocks, while leaving at least 4 spaces empty for one access hatch, one redstone port, and 2 fluid injector ports. The fluid ports are recommended to have fluid ejector/pulling upgrades, and they do in this demonstration setup. The following are pictures of this, with the boiler settings and the example reactor configuration for putting out 200 hU/t (I'm sure it's not the most efficient setup but it's only purpose was to achieve the precise output to make the boiler setting make sense easily.)

    The first image lets you see the example hatch and redstone port with its lever on front. The MFSU unit is the foremost machine and it's connected to the generators. Directly under the left generator is a fluid heat exchanger (which requires 10 heat exchangers inside). The fluid exchanger is setting on top of one of my fluid injector ports using a FPU (pulling) for cold input and the FD next to it on the left is on top of its companion fluid injector with a FEU for hot output. This is mirrored with another two fluid ports on the other side of the boiler in the center between the two fluid exchangers. This is easier to see in the last two images. You can see the condenser underneath the second turbine with the same kind of EU feed the example steam setup had.

    The second image is the rear display of the first, showing you that mirrored fluid exchanger setup I discussed on the first image. You can see the steam turbines from behind. the regular steam turbine is on the left, getting its feed directly from the superheated turbine on the right, which is sitting directly on top of the boiler in the center. Each turbine needs its own FEU, of course.

    The third and fourth images are the side views, with the fourth being the easier one to see the placement of the boiler between the two fluid exchangers, like a sandwhich. The reason they sit unevenly to one side of the boiler was to give room for the turbines and the condenser to sit on the side of the boiler so it could make a circuit between it and the two turbines. Basically, Boiler -> up to superheated steam turbine -> over to regular steam turbine -> down to condenser -> back over to boiler to return the distilled water. The aerial view in the last external shot makes it a little easier to understand the lopsided setup I'm describing.

    If there's a lot of interest, I could be persuaded to post a short video showing the build process. I've shied strictly away from adding any other mods as I would prefer if there were IC2 fluid pipes natively or a pipes-only IC2 addon. Obviously, this hampers me but I've considered the workarounds an interesting challenge. I'm not sure I'll be able to come up with an effective and efficient physical configuration without caving in to installing another mod.

    I hope this helps any newbies seeking a simple example of a working fluid reactor with superheated steam. It's worth noting, to me, that this was my first stable iteration that didn't blow up (except when re-opening the world because of some of the current bugs, of course.)