Biofuel = Hands-off Generator supply?

  • Using BC 2.2.5 -

    Welp... my cactus farm has succeeded in become almost useless... I have a PC full of cactus green and a PC full of waterproofing... what now? I had it hooked up to a recycler for the time being, but I'm thinking of building a new processing plant nearby and am wondering if I can put this cactus farm back to good use.

    So, I've hooked up the cactus output to an assembly line that converts them into biofuel cells.. which then leads to a canning machine to fill up fuel cans. I then wanted these fuel cans to run to a storehouse of generators, which would power the processing plant.. it works... sort of... however, it's horrible at getting the fuel to the generators and then back to the canning machine.

    Pic of my current setup:

    Like I said, the thing works... but the empty fuel cans end up floating around in this circle, going in and out of generators, before finally managing to hit the diamond pipe and get sent back to the canning machine.

    I could pump the system FULL of fuel cans, to increase odds of some making it back to the canning machine, but I after 2 hours of sitting and thinking I decided to come ask the community for advice. How can I optimize this setup? :S

  • You can optimize it most easily... by using RP2 tubes instead of BC Pipes for delivering the output to those machines. They will see machines holding fuel cans as invalid targets and not even /try/ to enter them.

    Or you could do what I do, and send 32 unit stacks of cacti directly to your generators; no more wasting fuel cans. (or is the empty can returned? I thought it wasn't, so never bothered with it; if the fuel can IS returned you'll need to wait for RP2-pr4 (any day now) since it has Retrievers)

  • The empty fuel cans are returned. They're not wasted in the generators. Hence why I also have redstone engines hooked up tot he bottom of the generators. The problem I'm facing here is the empty fuelcans get "lost" in the tubing when they're supposed to be heading back to the canning machine for resupply. ?(

    One idea I had would be a tad expensive but definitely more optimized. I could slap a diamond pipe under EVERY generator, so that whenever an empty is found, it's sent into a central tube to head back to the machine... but that's 2 diamonds per 8 generators, and I had hoped on making this easily expandable.... *sigh* the cost of industry indeed. :S *makes some more diamond pipes*

  • No need for insane diamond pipe! Use RP tubes as mentioned above or, if you prefer to stick with BC pipes, use iron pipes instead. Bring a pipe from each generator, and run a bus along the middle. Each time a generator-pipe intersects the bus-pipe, use an iron pipe in the intersection to force items to go the right direction.

  • I had that same fleeting thought, however there's a flaw with it. Iron pipes are great, but you can only force items into one direction. Either items are forced into the generator, or they are forced to continue along the bus (never to see the inside of a generator). That's assuming you meant placing them directly under the wooden pipes coming from the generators. If you meant in between the generators in the central bus, well, that's what I'm doing now, but I needed to use diamond pipes to filter out the filled cans from the empty cans. I definitely don't want filled cans going back to the canning machine, lol.

  • Not a perfect solution but you could add some gold pipes to the system to speed up the cans and thus increase there chance of making it back simply by giving them more chances to.

    Also since gold pipes do not connect to other gold pipes, you could place a gold pipe under each wooden pipe then place 2 iron pipe under that to connect to the next gold. At the gold pipe the fuel can could go in or go the the next but when coming out it could only go forward. On second thought you would need to alternate putting the iron pipes below or towards the center to create a one way track. You might need to increase the spacing between rows to make room.

  • However, at that point I'm still relying heavily upon luck, and on top of that I'd have to make the whole setup take up more room. D:

  • Well, RP2 /filters/ are cheaper than diamond pipes... Additionally you'd only need one as soon as you got the fuel out. The problem though is that the RP2 solution will /not/ work properly with a generator until there's a Retriever. /it/ can be keyed to empty fuel cans and will pull from anywhere on the attached tube network* (at least, that's what the video showed; I don't know about limits).

  • I tested the idea with TMI, it didn't work quite as well as I hoped. Items coming out of a generator have a 50% chance of trying to back track only to be bounced back. So there is a 25% chance the empty can will just go right back into the generator that it came out of. However the fuel cans never back track and so should spend less time going around.

  • Welp, here it is.

    Small, but it managed to fill up the MFE quite fast (and FREE). I used diamond pipes.

    While it did end up costing me a couple diamonds to make, it's working very efficiently. With the two gold pipes, items going in and out of the generator section will only slow down IF the MFE is full and thus, so are the generators, meaning the full fuel cans will meander around in the pipes until they happen upon a generator that needs them. This keeps them close and the generators will always have energy to put into the network! Now I'm hoping my poor cactus farm will be able to keep up and supply sufficient energy to my factory. :rolleyes:

  • If you haven't tried Forestry yet, it may help you with that. There's a device called a Cacti Collector, it picks up all fallen cactus from a farm and sends it down a pipe. No more need for water flows and obsidian pipes to suck up the output. The end result is faster transmission of the output. According to SirSengir, each collector can service a 21x21 area (so basically a 10 block radius around the collector, including above).

    "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." - Bertrand Russell

  • The empty fuel cans are returned. They're not wasted in the generators. Hence why I also have redstone engines hooked up tot he bottom of the generators. The problem I'm facing here is the empty fuelcans get "lost" in the tubing when they're supposed to be heading back to the canning machine for resupply. ?(

    Ok, so you get the empty fuel can back; is the same also true of the bio-cell? Is this really a completely lossless process?

    I just did a test implementation; the tin from the bio-cells is consumed making this a lossful process. Unless there's a way of making an automated tin farm this is thusly non-sustainable and unfavored.

  • The problem with the first design is that you had a loop. Loops are never good, each design should have clear paths for items to take.
    In this case since you have to use 2 way pipes at the generators you would benefit greatly from using either RedPower 2 (RP) or the "Additional Pipes" mod. Either of those would have solved ALL your issues in one go. Both would complement each other nicely.

    Oh well, you managed to get it working to your satisfaction...

  • Some math during my lunch break:

    Plantballs use 4x cacti
    + 1/4th tin
    + compressor (-625)
    + extractor (-313)
    + canning (-??? 6 operations)

    A can of fuel requires 6 biofuel cells (canning + extracting + compressing) which is 24 cacti.
    That's 2880 EU if burned directly.

    (26040-2280)/6 = 3860 per plant clump/biofuel cell

    In order to break even, 1/4th tin ingot + canning must cost < 2.8K

    (old recipe, unsure of the new one) 5 tin ore costs 3 uum; which simply won't break even.

    I'd rather use the tin in a nuke.

  • ignoring tin issues and getting back to the logistics issue for your fuelcans. I see a very troubling future for you. everyone has mentioned the possibilities.

    Redpower 2. and Additional pipes. (Additional pipes still works for 1.337/b)

    personally i would use two sides of the generator with additional pipes to only extract empty cans, and the advanced insertion pipe to put the cans in with. This way you don't have to worry about a ...

    huh, didn't know a fuelcan emptied instantly when placed.

    back to where i was. I would still use two sides of the generator, as you don't want a full can stuck inside one waiting for the charge to deplete and another one trying to get in.

    with the advanced insertion pipe there won't be any dropouts, but then you need to use the side to extract the empties. You will need an advanced wooden pipe also so that something is extracted(tested with normal wood on side and nothing comes out)

    my 2 cents

    Hell, prove me wrong, Happy to be so 99% of the time, then I can learn stuff :)

  • I don't know if you've actually tried this, but I am not having any troubles with dropouts. If one will occur, it'd be very VERY infrequently. The reason for this is because as SOON as a fuel can enters the generator, it is pulled back out. It's only in long enough for the fuel to go into the generator. For there to be a dropout, two fuelcans would have to be traveling into the generator at almost the same time. This wouldn't be a huge problem for me because I only have 8 fuel cans in the system, circulating about... even with 8 full fuel cans meandering around in the system looking for a generator to use their fuel, they haven't run into each other in such as way to cause a dropout.

    As for energy consumption, most of my "assembly line" (compressor, extractor, canning) is powered by solars hooked up to a batbox, thus the energy is free and needn't be taken into account. Only thing that DOES need to be taken into account is tin... which, yeah, isn't free, and yeah, I'm kinda running low on, lol. But, hey, you get 16 empty cells for only 4 tin, that's a whole stack (over 10 fuel cans worth of cells) out of only 16 tin. That means 16 tin is essentially equating to 260,400 EUs. :D That is, of course, assuming my cactii farm can keep up with production once the factory is complete and fully operational, lol.

  • well if your hell-bent on using fuel you can farm tin with UU-Matter (I wouldn't advise it) it isn't fast AT ALL but if you REALLY wanna get something working this is it. alternatively you can use coal although you get 3 less coal than tin for the same amount of matter X_X

    for the coal in a 9by9 square it is :Matter:
    there is a space in there :P

    for the tin it is :Matter: pp:Matter:

    EDIT* sorry about the P's the forum keeps destroying the recipes :O
    and again alternatively if you just wanna go nuclear roundabouts now... well I cant help you i forgot the recipe


    That's a rather cool idea, but a lone tree is suspicious, better plant some more. So really... forget about solar-flowers, solar-trees are the next generation :P