Posts by kaldskryke

    Thanks, Chocohead! I completely forgot that IC2.ini had so many configuration options, and it looks like I'll be able to tweak things just how I would like. I also now know it takes exactly 8000 heat to run the Fermenter, I was using a rough estimate before.

    I had briefly thought about the use of reactor heat to run Fermenters, but I really considered the implications of it. I can see how it could sound better than a steam turbine.

    For example: Using 8000HU from a reactor, the Fermenter produces 200mB biogas. Burning it in a Semifluid Generator (at 32EU/mB) it yields 6400EU for a ratio of 0.8EU per HU. This is better than the Steam Turbine's 0.75EU per HU, and at first glance that sounds like it makes the Steam Turbine obsolete.

    It actually doesn't, though, since Steam Turbines don't require a constant stream of biomass. That matters for two reasons:
    1) If the biomass requirement for Fermenters was high enough, a steam turbine could still be a preferable option for many players who'd rather not build giant farms.
    2) There's an opportunity cost to using biomass for reactor heat. It would only actually be advantageous if it produced more total EU than BOTH using Steam Turbines for the reactor AND using that biomass "by itself" (I.E using a Fluid Heat Generator). Converting 8000 reactor HU to EU with superheated steam produces 6000EU, and heating the Fermenter with its own biogas produces 2400EU so that's 8400EU total. Using Fermenters to process reactor heat only generates 6400EU, so it's actually not a good idea. Increasing the Fermenter's biogas output wouldn't really change this, since it would increase both sides of the equation.

    If they wanted to, the IC2 developers could tweak the Fermenter numbers quite a bit without impacting the usefulness of Steam Turbines.

    Disclaimer: I know this isn't the first thread about the IC2E biogas production chain (e.g. here and here ) and I fully understand that using an electric heater on the fermenter won't provide a net surplus of energy. That's not what I think the real problem is.

    In real life, nuclear power can be characterized as having very high capital (infrastructure) cost, but very low running (fuel) cost. By comparison bio-fuels (e.g. corn ethanol) can be characterized as requiring a very significant amount of input material, and the debate regarding bio-fuel sustainability centers on just how much land will be required for farming.

    I had hoped IC2 would follow that dichotomy. Fission reactors in IC2 already require a lot of infrastructure (pressure vessels, containment vessels, reactor components, steam turbines - it's quite a lot!), and I kinda expected that meaningful biogas production would require large fields of automated farms but relatively few processing machines. Instead, IC2 Biogas production actually requires very little farming, but quite a lot of machines.

    I set up a single Macerator (without overclockers) to process a carrot farm, feeding into a single Bottling Plant to produce Biomass. I then set up a small array of 4 Fermenters, heated by Liquid Fuel Fireboxes. I found that I had a large excess of biomass, so I added more Fermenters. I still had excess biomass, so I added even more Fermenters. And I still had excess biomass. That's when I decided to crunch the numbers:

    Macerator: produces 1 biochaff every 300 ticks = 0.00333 chaff/t
    Bottling Plant: produces 1000mB biomass per chaff = 0.0033 * 1000 = 3.33mB/t
    Fermenter: consumes 10mB biomass per operation. At 32HU/t (liquid fuel firebox), it took roughly 12 seconds per operation (~240 ticks) = 10 / 240 = 0.041667mB/t
    Number of fermenters required to use all the biomass = 3.33 / 0.041667 = 80!

    Is my math wrong somewhere? Please let me know if I'm missing something! Because this would mean that: One single macerator will provide enough biochaff to run 80 Fermenters! After accounting for biogas spent on heat, that will provide fuel for 53 Semifluid Generators, for a massive ~848EU/t. That's a lot of machines, and the materials would cost ~1000 iron, ~500 copper, ~1000 rubber, ~1500 tin.

    I'm not saying that infinitely renewable 850EU/t shouldn't take a lot of resources - that's fair. My concerns are:

    1) Providing the macerator with enough carrots to run constantly only requires only 8 carrots every 15 seconds. If my math is right, 107 vanilla carrot crops should be able to keep up. That's not a big farm IMO. Furthermore, a single carrot will provide ~32k EU each, about 4 times the EU from a piece of coal. This seems overpowered.

    2) A complete setup would have a tiny little farm connected to >200 machines. This seems imbalanced.

    3) It would be fun if biogas production required fewer machines but lots more plants to provide contrast against existing options like fission reactors.

    For these reasons it might make sense to tweak the Fermenter to consume much more biomass per operation. Say, from 10mB to 100mB. With just this change, the effective EU/t from each Fermenter would stay the same, but you'd need 10x as many plants to feed it. You would need one Macerator for every 8 Fermenters, producing 80EU/t (net). Each carrot would produce about 3000EU. That's still a fair bit of energy, but not huge.

    Or better yet (IMO), why not increase both biomass consumed and biogas produced? Let's say biomass from 10mB to 160mB and biogas from 200mB to 240mB. This increases the effective EU/t from the Fermenter, but electric heaters would still not be viable. Each carrot would yield about 2825EU, and you wouldn't need as many machines - just 1 Macerator for every 5 Fermenters. As an added benefit, each Fermenter would be able to fuel exactly one Semifluid Generator, so construction designs could be quite compact. You'd need just 18 machines to handle to handle the production of 107 blocks of farmland, producing about 75EU/t (net). Much more reasonable.

    Thanks for reading my wall of text! Thoughts?

    tl:dr; biogas production doesn't require enough plants. Fermenters should consume more biomass per operation.

    Build 787 is very exciting! Cable loss finally returns! IC2E's unfinished e-net is the only thing keeping me from really enjoying it, so this update makes me very happy. Thanks, aroma.

    I did a quick test in a creative world to try things out, and I've noticed that transformers aren't working the way I'd expect them to. I had an HV transformer stepping up from an adjacent batbox, and the transformer's GUI showed an input of only 1.9ish EU/t. Am I missing something, or are they unfinished?

    Lead ore generates evenly anywhere from y=1 to sea level + 1. Normally sea level is 64.

    Prior to build 596, roughly 6 veins were generated per "chunk column" (16x256x16). Now, it is roughly 8 veins. A vein of lead is typically 4 blocks.

    For the other ores,

    uranium: from 1 to sea level + 1. typically 1 to 65. Roughly 20 veins of 3 blocks.
    tin: from 1 to (40 * sealevel / 64). typically 1 to 40. Roughly 25 veins of 6 blocks.
    copper: the code is a bit strange, it looks like from (10 * sealevel / 64) to (70 * sealevel / 64). typically 10 to 70. Roughly 15 veins of 10 blocks.

    Anyone curious about the details can find this in the generate() method of /core/IC2.class.

    Wait... why is that a problem? What's overpowered about it? Multiple mass fabs aren't exactly cheap and they will still suck a lot of EU. People with an abundance of scrap should still be able to make use of it but they should have to invest in the infrastructure.

    I don't want to "nerf" people who are interested in making gigantic systems but I'm concerned about the balance for small scale setups. A small-scale mid-game player who doesn't have tons of scrap is effectively paying 6 times more for the UU than the larger-scale player... and the large scale player can much more easily afford it because he/she probably has more reactors/solars.

    That 6x difference is gigantic. Making UU without scrap feels like I'm "wasting" my limited EU.

    Even at large scales, it seems like scrap is the limiting factor if you want to make lots of UU. Let's say you have enough scrap to feed one mass fab, but you have enough EU to spare that you could be running two fabs. Would it be a good idea to build another mass fab? Well not really, because all that effort and EU would only make you an additional 16.7% more UU. That doesn't feel very attractive.

    A more modest "bonus multiplier" from the scrap (such as 1.5x instead of 6x) would make no-scrap UU production feel a lot less wasteful. Lengthening the duration of the scrap (such as 10x) would help preserve the scrap's "EU value" for balance (still 25000EU), and yet make it a lot easier to run a single mass fab without a cobble-gen. You'd be more likely to run into scenarios where you have more scrap than you can use, and production is constrained by your EU production. If you're going to have tons and tons of scrap, you'll need tons of EU to make use of it. If you have just way too much scrap, you can always burn some of it to make that EU you need. That's how I think it should be.

    When a turbine is running on "regular" steam, 10% of that steam will condense on the blades of the turbine, and the remaining 90% will go to the condenser. Superheated steam, by definition, is well above its boiling point and does not condense.Even so, it's a good idea to run water pipes from both turbines and the condenser back to the boiler, just in case. You really don't want to run out of water in the boiler, as it will explode at 500°C.

    If you are getting condensation on your "first-stage" turbine, it means your boiler is occasionally outputting regular steam instead of superheated steam. I've had this happen occaisionally, but I'm not entirely sure why.

    I've also had a few times where the boiler gets "stuck" producing regular steam, even though the settings are correct for superheated steam. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I have a theory:

    There are a couple of conditions required to produce superheated steam, in this order:
    0) The pressure valve setting is used to determine a "target temperature", rounded to whole degrees.
    1) The boiler temperature, rounded to the nearest 0.1 degree has to be at the target temperature
    ---a) if it's too hot, it will produce steam as it cools down 0.1C at a time
    ---b) if it's too cold, it will heat up by 0.0005 for each HU. At 200HU/t this is also 0.1C. At 100HU/t, the increase is 0.05C
    2) The boiler has to be receiving enough heat to make the steam
    --- if it does not receive enough heat, its temperature will increase instead. Again, 0.0005 for each HU
    3) If the temperature is >= 374.0, it makes superheated steam, temperature remains constant
    --- otherwise it makes regular steam, temperature remains constant

    Let's say I'm running a 1mB/t, 220bar, 200HU/t, and for whatever reason, one of my Liquid Heat Exchangers (LHE) stops emitting heat for 1 or 2 ticks (but not 3). On the first tick, the temperature rises by 0.05C to 374.05 because of condition 2. On the second tick, condition 1 uses a rounded (up) value of 374.1, and therefore 1a happens, cooling the actual temperature to 373.95. Regular steam is emitted here due to the cooldown. On the third tick, condition 1 will now round up to 374.0 and pass. If the LHE is now working again, condition 2 passes as well. However, condition 3 does not pass because the actual temperature 373.95 is still less than 374.0, and regular steam is created. This continues to occur indefinitely until, for whatever reason, 0.05C is added or removed from the boiler.


    try recycling the stuff from a mob farm that is 4 layers at 63x63. I can not only keep up, i can turn them into scrap boxes and over come the mass fab, even with a TF upgrade in it. This is using MOC to boost the mob loot types, but you get the point.
    lag ain't bad from it. use BC pipes to pick everything up. MFFS interdiction matrix to kill every thing. It is 1.6.4 but, one word. QUARRY. many mods add a strip mining quarry, BC included.

    Trust me, I'm more than capable of finding ways to obtain 8 scrap per second. I've done it all, from mob farms to quarries of every kind to arrays of Igneous Extruders with Factorization Routers. I don't want to anymore. I happen to enjoy caving and mining manually, and I already have excessive amounts of ore. If I were to start a quarry now, it would be for the sole purpose of getting scrap. I would be recycling everything from the quarry, except maybe diamonds. That seems kinda absurd and wasteful to me. The changes I'm looking for would allow me to have "useful" scrap at a small scale, without feeling obliged to make massive amounts of it.

    I'm hoping that by providing feedback, Player will take a moment to consider if the speed of the scrap system needs to be changed, since it has been the same since early IC2. Even if he decides to leave things as is, I'd be super happy if the Amplification values and the Bonus multiplier were put into the config file so anybody could tweak them. Or maybe take a page from Gregtech and allow certain kinds of dust to be used as super amplifier.

    UU matter feedback: Since IC2E started the EU cost of UU matter has increased overall, but is still kinda reasonable, especially considering the increased availability of EU with the new reactors. The scrap cost of UU matter has increased as well, but it hasn't become any easier to create. Right now I think the scrap-cost of uu matter is too high, and practically encourages players to make cobble-gen scrap farms that can cause lots of server lag.

    Firstly some background numbers, for those who don't already know:
    - Recycling a block has a 1-in-8 chance to produce scrap.
    - Without scrap, it costs 1 million EU per 1mB of UU. Expensive, but not absurd. IMO Not very many things are "worth" using UU for at this price
    - Each piece of scrap adds 5000 "amplifier". The amplifier buffer is consumed at the same rate as the EU input.
    - Each point of amplifier adds 5 "bonus" EU when consumed. Thus each piece of scrap adds 25000EU worth of progress.
    - Therefore to produce 1mB with scrap, it costs 166,666 EU and 166,666 points of amplifier, or ~34 scrap.
    - The combined progress is effectively 6 (1 + 5) times the default speed.
    - Using 512EU/t as a baseline (the default voltage of the mass fab, although I suspect most people use 2048EU/t), it takes only 16.2 seconds to produce 1 mB of UU with scrap.
    - So at 512EU/t, a piece of scrap will last a little less than 10 ticks (0.5 seconds). To put it another way, you have to recycle about 16 items per second to keep up. At 2048EU/t, that goes up to about a stack per second.

    Obviously, it's all but impossible for someone to actually mine at 16 blocks per second. You cannot keep a mass fab continuously fed with scrap by hand-mining alone. But what about stockpiling all that cobble you pick up and only running the fab periodically? Let's take Iridium for example.

    1 piece of iridium costs 120mB of UU. Therefore it costs 120M EU without scrap, but only 20M EU if you add in 4000 pieces of scrap. That's roughly 32,000 blocks put into a recycler. To put that in perspective, that's 500 stacks of 64, or about 9.1 double chests. The cheapest thing you can make with iridium takes 8 pieces. Nobody "naturally" comes by 74 doublechests worth of excess cobble. Just storing it all would be a nightmare.

    That amount of junk can only be feasibly acquired by quarries, auto-miners, cobble-gen farms, or wood-to-sticks autocrafters, etc.If I want to abstain from silly immersion-breaking lag-creating recycler contraptions, I basically have to pay full price for my UU, and there aren't many things that feel "worth" spending UU at full price. I know I could tweak the UU balance value in the IC2.ini config, but what I really want is to be able to enjoy the idea of using scrap. I want to set up a small recycler plant and feed it with "naturally" acquired junk. I want the scrap bonus speed to be slow enough that having an absurd amount of scrap isn't any more helpful than just a little.

    In summary, I want:
    1) scrap to last a lot longer. I'm thinking 10 or 20 times longer (ie 100,000 points of Amplifier each). At 2048EU/t this would still only last 2.5 seconds each.
    2) scrap to provide much less of a speedup. I'd be pleased with a "bonus" of 0.25 or 0.5 EU per Amplifier. Enough that the speed-up is definitely noticeable, but not necessary.
    The above two changes would yield about the same amount of overall EU per scrap in the end.

    Am I alone in feeling this way?

    I would love to know a bit more about how the UU matter recipe list is/was generated. FYI, you can find the list in the ic2 jar file under assets/ic2/config/uu_scan_values.ini. Mine says "created Mar 16, 2014 4:36:06 PM" The only post from player about this that I can see is about a page back in this thread.

    The UU-values are all just automatically generated right now, except iridium. When considering the overall average as if using a huge quarry, 2 clay balls are about as hard to get as a diamond. You can use the IC2 config to use whatever value you feel appropriate, iron is about 100.

    The EU cost is currently not being displayed.

    My assumption here is that Player has run some sort of analysis on a minecraft world to count up blocks and measure their relative rarity, using cobblestone as a basis. Is this correct? Would this process be able to occur ingame (at runtime) instead, so that blocks added by other mods would be included? How big of an area is "scanned" to generate these values? Does it exclude things like villages? It seems a bit unfair that iridium costs 120mB of UU, but a single carrot costs nearly 50,000!


    EDIT: I'm dense. You can run the scan yourself using "/ic2 uu-world-scan <small|medium|large>", as clearly written in the log file. Will uu-recipes defined in the ic2.ini config file override the world scan?

    Am I correct that the mechanics of the OD/OV scanner has changed, along with the new GUI?

    I was under the impression that the scanner used to look at all blocks below you, in a 5x5 or 9x9 square centered on you, and that the OD scanner reported quantity of ores, and the OV scanner reported value of ores.

    It appears that now both scanners behave in the same way, except with a different radius. The OD scanner will search a 13x13x13 cube centered on the player, and the OV scanner searches 25x25x25.

    Frankly, I find the OV scanner to be almost useless in its new form. Isn't the purpose of the scanner to help you locate valuable ores? Using it anywhere underground is likely to report so many ores from so far away, that it really isn't helping you find them at all. The OD scanner is more useful, because the scan range is small enough that at least you know the ores you've scanned are somewhat close. You can use it somewhat like TFC's prospector's pick, but it's still a lot of work.

    Is there something I'm missing?

    edit: I'm aware that using an OV scanner in a Miner is still a useful upgrade. I'm mostly interested in the hand-held usage.

    On the chance that this turns into a feedback/suggestion thread (;)) I'd like to see the OV scanner have adjustable range, or an ability to scan an area *in front* of the player, instead of all around you.

    As far as I can tell, the electric heat generator has not been nerfed. The infinite energy exploit with the steam kinetic generator was fixed by nerfing the kinetic output. If anything, the electric heat generator has seen a buff since it was first implemented, when it accidentally cost double the EU.

    What has changed lately, however, is the fermenter. It's balancing values are now part of the IC2.ini.

    It currently it takes 8000HU to produce a batch of 200mB of biogas. Burning 1000mB of biogas yields in a semifluid yields 32000EU. Yes, this is a deficit if you're using EU to produce HU.

    However using a fluid fueled heat generator will produce 64000HU per 1000mB of biogas. In a sense, the semifluid generator has an efficiency of 0.5EU per HU, same as the stirling generator.

    If you want to maximize biogas output, use a fluid heat generator to power the fermenter. You'll end up with a little excess biogas, which you can convert to power however you please, and you should be overall gaining about 12000EU per 1000mB of biogas.

    If that sounds somewhat underwhelming to you, you can always adjust the ini file. I would like to point out that using hotcoolant from a reactor is a nice way to heat your fermenter, since 40000HU -> 32000EU is actually better efficiency than a steam turbine right now.

    I'm a bit concerned about the balance of the blast furnace, even though it's WIP.

    After digging into the code, I've found that the blast furnace
    * heats up to about 50 000 before it can work, after which it has a very modest heat consumption of 1HU/t.
    * has a progress meter of 6000, which is filled at a rate of 1/tick assuming the furnace stays hot and has air. That's 5 minutes.

    I'm okay with a cost of 6000HU per ingot, that's entirely manageable, but I don't like how slow it is. There aren't many things that use refined iron, yet, but it's already a bit ridiculous.

    For example, a steam turbine will wear out after 86400 ticks of operation using superheated steam (It lasts half as long with regular steam). That's 72 minutes. It costs 27 refined iron, which would take 162 minutes to create. If I want to run a two-stage steam turbine setup, I would need to run seven blast furnaces constantly, just to keep supply enough refined iron to keep operations running smoothly.

    Fortunately, blast furnaces aren't terribly expensive, but I still think it's a little crazy how many of them I need.

    Is there a reason why the blast furnace runs so much slower than the other machines? Most of the basic machines only require 400 ticks, and can be overclocked.

    So far as I can tell, there is no use for coalfuel yet. The "new" fuel cells are probably ic2biogas, which can be used to fuel a jetpack

    What version are you running? I ask this because the steam system is brand new and has been changed frequently since its first implementation barely a month ago.

    First, you'll need a source of heat. If you are using the steam system to cool down a reactor (to get an extra 50% EU output... eventually), you'll first need to upgrade your reactor to the new 5x5 size with Pressure Vessel blocks. You'll need to fill your new reactor by putting IC2 Coolant into the reactor liquid port. IC2 Coolant is made from Water (or Distilled Water) and Lapis Dust, enriched in a Canning Machine. Now when you run your reactor, the internal heat vents will be converting IC2 Coolant into IC2 Hot Coolant rather than simply producing EU.

    Then you'll need to pump IC2 Hot Coolant into Liquid Heat Exchangers (LHE). You'll need to put those copper Heat Exchanger items into the LHE GUI, up to a maximum of 100 Heat Units per tick (HU/t). The LHE won't start working immediately. There is a face of the LHE with a orange square, which is the heat Output side. The side needs to be connected to another machine that will accept heat, such as a Steam Generator. Once there's a place for heat to go , the LHE will start converting IC2 Hot Coolant back into IC2 Coolant, which you can send back to the reactor.

    The Steam Generator (aka steam boiler, because it's generating steam from water) can be filled with Water or Distilled Water (more later). It accepts heat from any side, which can be provided by a Liquid Heat Exchanger or any of the other Heat Generators. Inside the boiler GUI, there are two controls: a pressure valve, and a water feed valve. The water feed should be kept very low, either 1 or 2 millibuckets per tick (mB/t).

    Based on the water feed rate and the input heat rate, you'll need to adjust the pressure valve to ensure a constant steady flow of steam. If the steam comes out in spurts, you'll need to adjust the pressure valve. Remember your basic fluid physics - the higher the pressure of the system, the hotter the water will need to be before it turns to steam. If the boiler gets hot enough (over 374°C) you'll start getting Superheated Steam instead of regular steam, which contains more energy and thus produces more power.

    Here's a cheat-sheet for the two "best" settings for the boiler:
    Heat input: 100HU/t, Water Feed: 1mB/t, Pressure: 0 bar => cheapest setup for 100mB/t of steam
    Heat input: 200HU/t, Water Feed: 1mB/t, Pressure: 220 bar => the cheapest setup for 100mB/t of Superheated Steam possible. Note that you will need two LHE's pointed at the boiler.
    note: these numbers will possibly change in the near future as the system undergoes balance passes

    Note that when using regular Water, the steam boiler will slowly become calcified. Speaking realistically, this is because when water is boiled it will leave any dissolved solids behind. Those deposits can build up and ruin your boiler. Currently there is no simple fix for a Calcified boiler, but I assume in the future you'll be able to replace its tubing or wrench it, or something.

    The steam boiler will try to output its steam automatically, so there's no need for a Fluid Ejector. You'll probably want to put the steam straight into a Steam Kinetic Generator (aka steam turbine). I suppose you could use the steam in another mod, assuming IC2 steam is Ore Dictionary compatible, but I'll stick to turbines.

    You can place the turbine block adjacent to your boiler and the steam will be transferred automatically. The turbine block will need a turbine rotor in it's GUI before it will function, and it will need somewhere to eject its "exhaust" steam.
    - if the steam is "regular" steam, the exhaust should go to a Steam Condenser (more later).
    - if the steam is Superheated, the exhaust should go to another turbine, where it will be treated as regular steam. Thus, this is a "two stage" turbine setup.

    If there is nowhere for the steam to exhaust to, the turbine will cause "heat explosions" which do not destroy blocks but will hurt nearby players. Once the steam turbine receives steam it will start producing Kinetic Units of power, again at the orange square on its side. As the turbine operates, some of the steam will condense to Distilled Water on the blades of the turbine, slowing it down. You'll want to use fluid ejectors or pipes to remove the water and keep the turbine running at full speed. To convert the turbine's KU output to EU you'll need a Kinetic Generator. These are pretty self explanatory.
    - 100mB/t of steam will normally produce 50EU/t.
    - 100mB/t of superheated steam will produce 100EU/t in the first stage and 50EU/t in the second stage (150 total).
    note: these numbers will possibly change in the near future as the system undergoes balance passes

    The condenser has a "passive" ability, but it probably won't be able to keep up. You'll need to add Heat Vents to its GUI and supply the condenser with EU for it to speed up. The Condenser converts steam to Distilled Water. Distilled Water has two uses:
    a) It takes less Lapis Dust to make IC2 Coolant
    b) It can be boiled in a steam boiler without causing calcification.
    The condenser can also accept steam directly from a boiler, if you want to produce distilled water with minimum hassle.

    I hope this answers your questions.

    To be honest, I've never used condensators. I tried to figure out how to manually recharge them by poking through the ic2 jar, looking through machine recipe lists and the shaped/shapeless recipes in the internal config files. I can find the recipe to create it just fine. I can find the class files that define how it gets used in a reactor, but I can't find a recipe for recharging it.

    I suspect the condensators are going to be removed as part of the new reactor system changes. They function somewhat similar to Coolant anyway.

    Fortunately, because it is a reactor component that stores heat, it will interact with Component Heat Vents and Heat Exchangers just like any of the other components. So there is still the option of cooling the condensator down inside a second reactor by putting Component Heat Vents around it. Don't bother with fuel in the reactor, just leave it "on" with a redstone signal and the condensator's damage value will slowly go down.

    There has been some balancing going on, so I'm not surprised our findings don't match exactly. Don't forget to delete your config file when updating. This is what I have as of build 564

    Running a Steam Generator with a single Liquid Heat Exchanger at 100HU/t, you can set the Steam Generator to 0 bar, 1mB/t water feed, and produce constant 100mb/t steam. The single turbine will produce 200KU/t, equating to 50EU/t. 0.5EU per HU

    Running a Steam Generator with two attached liquid heat exchangers for a total of 200HU/t, you can set the Steam Generator to 220 or 221 bar, 1mB/t water feed, and produce constant 100mb/t superheated steam. The first turbine will produce 400KU/t and pass its exhaust to the second turbine which will produce 200KU/t, equating to 150EU/t. 0.75EU per HU.

    Let's talk balance.

    Preamble: Some people dislike IC2's reactors because the component setup is entirely in-GUI, which is understandable given that Minecraft is particularly good about building structures. Just look at the Big Reactor's About page : "A reactor shouldn't be a series of toggles on a menu, or slots in an inventory!". And yet, I like IC2's reactors more than building-based Big Reactors, or the more realistic ReactorCraft. I think what draws me to IC2's reactors is that - despite the GUI - the component system offers real choices. Nobody can tell you what the "best" layout is, because it's up to you whether you want to aim for high efficiency, high power, low cost, high portability, uranium or MOX fuels, internal cooling or CRCS etc.

    I really like thunderdark's recent work on the reactors, both for the sake of realism and for the sake of building things. However it currently doesn't really add much fun, because it doesn't offer many choices.

    Let's say you have a reactor that would normally produce 100EU/t.

    The way I see it, there are 4 ways to set up a reactor's output, in order of increasing resource cost.
    A) Simple EU reactor - 100EU/t
    B) 5x5 reactor connected to Stirling Generators (0.5EU per HU) - 200Hu/t turns into 100EU/t
    C) 5x5 reactor connected to 2 Steam Boilers at 100hu/t each making regular steam (50EU/t per turbine) - 200Hu/t turns into 100EU/t
    D) 5x5 reactor connected to a Steam Boiler at 200hu/t making superheated steam (100EU/t for the first turbine, 50EU/t for the second stage)- 200Hu/t turns into 150EU/t

    The good:
    - The most expensive option produces the most EU
    - The most efficient option is produces less than 1EU per HU, avoiding any positive feedback loop exploits with the Electric Heat Generator (which is 1HU per EU)

    The bad:
    - Options B and C do not provide any benefit at all given their increased cost. Since they are inferior in every way, they aren't really a gameplay choice.
    - The only choice we're left with is A vs D, power vs cost.

    I would like to see these options differentiated a bit more, if possible, though I'm not sure how.

    The only suggestions I have are:
    1) Increase the HU output of the 5x5 reactor to 2.5 or something. Thus even a simple Stirling Generator setup would be better than the standard 3x3 reactor.
    2) Improve the efficiency of steam to 0.6EU per HU to give the single-turbine setup an edge over Stirling Generators. If the superheated steam factor remains 2.0, then a double-turbine setup would increase to 0.9EU per HU, which is still below the 1 to 1 practical limit.
    3) Give players a reason to choose single-stage turbines instead of a two-stage setup even though the two-stage is more powerful. Perhaps superheated steam damages rotors faster?