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Author Topic: An AussieGuy Project - The Mechanical River (An easier aquifer power generator)  (Read 15205 times)

ThatAussieGuy

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I just want to start off by saying this is another one of those things that I haven't seen mentioned or shown anywhere, so I don't know if this is an unknown or merely little-known design.  However, it should prove useful for those worried about FPS and being able to STOP their generators.


People have created various ways to draw power from running water - usually rivers, or 'churning' it with the typical Dwarven Water Reactor design.  The aquifer battery concept can produce a lot of power too, but it's limited in that it cannot be stopped once started and you're bound by building on the aquifer tiles.  This limitation can prove annoying.

So I came up with something new.  Simple, expandable and as easily controllable as the typical DWR - The Mechanical River. 

How does it work?  Easy!  Draw water out from an aquifer with screwpumps, pump it under the wheels, then drain it back into the aquifer.  The problem that may deter an interest in this idea is that the water wouldn't flow high enough to touch wheels along the latter half of the river due to the water draining into the absorbing row of aquifer tiles at the end.  How do we fix this?


This gives you a power generator you can expand as your needs grow with just a pickaxe some mechanisms and wood.

Spoiler:  As can be seen here (click to show/hide)

And above this, the heart of the river -

Spoiler:  The Wheelhouse (click to show/hide)


So now you have yet another option to enjoy when you need power to fill your dwarve's water source, or clense a cavern of all life with magma.  You can build it straight, or wrap it around as I have done (due to space limitations) in any way you like.  Enjoy!


(This project's admittedly half-finished, but I had enough done to show the proof-of-concept works and my current map doesn't have quite as many trees as I'd like)

Oaktree

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Interesting.  And looking back over my one fortress where I was experimenting with aquifer-generated power I see did something similar in general concept to build a self-powered mist generator/shower for my main entrance tunnel.

I also had aquifer-based generators that wouldn't shut-off unless you disassembled the water wheels.  All experimental work though since I had built a row of DWRs already deeper down to power a couple of magma pump stacks and a cyclical mist generator for the main dining room.

I need to write out that "shower" design since I want to use it again for a newer fortress with a convenient aquifer.  I like the mist generator in a main tunnel between the fort and trade depot due to the amount of traffic that will be misted and the cleaning effect it has on the hauling dwarves, fighters, and trade goods.  And all the dust and blood gets nicely washed through the grates and down into the aquifer drainage tiles.
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Di

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Not bad. It can be used to extend powerplants to aquifer-less parts of the map or on different levels.
But for what would you need so much power?
Also there's still water appearing and disappearing so it seems to me that zero-point reactors would be more fps-friendly.
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darkrider2

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That is pretty awesome. And here I was using actual rivers :P
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Scelly9

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Awesome.
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ThatAussieGuy

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Not bad. It can be used to extend powerplants to aquifer-less parts of the map or on different levels.
But for what would you need so much power?
Also there's still water appearing and disappearing so it seems to me that zero-point reactors would be more fps-friendly.

Actually, this one is probably the more FPS-friendly due to the water all traveling in a single uniform direction, rather that multiple squares creating/destroying water over and over.

Di

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Cant find it in relativity thread but there someone (be it you, davinchi, sphalerite or someone else) managed to mark tiles as flowing by draining cistern through map edge and refilling. There weren't any water tiles moving or disappearing at all. I'm inclined to believe that aquifer based reactors work the same way.
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imperium3

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Awesome. I've actually used this design myself, albeit on a much smaller scale. It does actually work with an equal number of pumps to drainage tiles (as my version consisted of single-tile channels from pump to drain, each separate from the next) and that gives you the moderate advantage that the reactor can be stopped and emptied much more quickly if needed (IE you accidentally caused a leak or have FPS issues) but on the other hand you need more aquifer tiles...

How can your reactor be stopped? I imagine you can close the power connection between the pumps and the wheels, but then how is it restarted? I wonder if only 1 pump operator could restart that, it does look feasible as the water spreads out and starts off the other pumps before it hits the drain.
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ThatAussieGuy

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How can your reactor be stopped? I imagine you can close the power connection between the pumps and the wheels, but then how is it restarted? I wonder if only 1 pump operator could restart that, it does look feasible as the water spreads out and starts off the other pumps before it hits the drain.

There's two levers on the upper level.  One isolates the first row of wheels from the others (and when I build more, it'll isolate just that first row of the first column).  This creates something of a starter motor by having someone pump till enough wheels are turning to power the pumps and then the rest of them are connected.  The second lever cuts the connection at the gearbox beside the pumps.  You have to wait for it to drain on it's own though.

Oaktree

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Combining a few items to make what I consider a useful and compact design for fortress high traffic areas. 
a. The artificial waterfall (see wiki)
b. Dwarf wash (I prefer shower to bathtub due to potential contamination issue)
c. Aquifer as water source and place to dump rinsed off contaminants
d. Self-powered using a waterwheel - design is sort of a hydrid half-DWR/aquifer deal

Top Level     Mid Level    Aq Level


   I            O           
   %x+         W% +         ^
   %           W%           ^
   O           WI            ^
 o x o        #   #        ^   ^
  ]x]        <hallway>           
 o   o        #   #        ^   ^


--------
x   - tunneled out and floored with road
o   - open pit to next level down
]   - floodgate
I   - Screw Pump Inlet (channel to lower level)
O   - Screw Pump Outlet
%%  - Screw Pump
WWW - Waterwheel
+   - Stairs for access
#   - Grate
^   - Channel into aquifer level

Basic implementation is two screw pumps to raise water a level and dump it back down (e.g. the artificial waterfall).  Water falls down through the hallway through the four holes (providing a wide mist bath) and through the grates down into the aquifer where dwarves won't track through the washed off contaminants.   The pumps draw water from a separate "fresh" tile that has been channeled.  And the adjacent waterwheel is over two more channels that drain to the pump source tile to fulfill the flow requirement to power the waterwheel.

Notes:
a. One drainage tile has 11 pages of blood and gunk that has been washed off
b. Floodgates are optional to shut-off half the unit for cleaning.  Hatch on I on Mid-Level will allow full shut-off.
c. Open spots should be floored or covered by road to prevent trees from growing and clogging the system.
d. The unit shown above was installed over a 3-wide hallway connecting the main fortress to the Trade Depot and main gate.   Haulers go through it to and from the depot and also picking up goblinite.  The army gets rinsed off after taking out invaders.
e. The waterwheel has about 50-60 excess power on top of running the two pumps that can be used for other purposes.

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Eric Blank

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Very interesting design, Aussie. And a hell of a lot of excess power. Never do much that requires power, but oh well. Good to know.
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Splint

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Taking all best, I bet he got at least 30 dwarves killed building this somehow.

Kar98

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What CPU are you running, how many dwarves and what is your FPS?
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terko

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Does it finally work with 7/7 water? Seems like I missed that fix.
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ThatAussieGuy

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Does it finally work with 7/7 water? Seems like I missed that fix.

First picture answers this question  :P

What CPU are you running, how many dwarves and what is your FPS?

I'm running an AMD Phenom II x6 1090T at 3.2GHz.  The river itself doesn't cause a dip in FPS (that I could tell)

Taking all best, I bet he got at least 30 dwarves killed building this somehow.

The only way I could kill dwarves with this thing is to deliberately lock them all in the river passage before starting the pumps. 
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