I am making this guide to help gamers deal with the very serious issues associated with trying to get semi-reliable, and then reliable, gas generator power. It is not easy to guess your way into, particularly for new players. It should be attainable after understanding this fairly basic guide.
Here's what you need to get started, at a minimum:
Gas Fuel Generator room:
- 1 gas sensor (from sensor kit).
- 1 volume pump.
- 1 active vent.
- 1 passive vent.
- 1 electric heater (if you need to preheat air - it needs to be above freezing by a few C in there to work).
- A bunch of cables.
- Some heavy cables.
- 10 frames (steel is best).
- 1 Gas Fuel Generator Kit.
- A bunch of pipes.
A fuel source (just building a fuel room is the safest choice)
I send huge amounts of ice via furnace (one type at a time on that or you will ignite it!) to any mixed gas that is NOT hot (again, it may ignite, depending on pressures and mixtures, or it may not--it's not worth the gamble though) and filter several canisters of both H2 and O2. You need basic filtration on a mixed gas to progress to this stage. If you are desperate, GFG is not really a good option in a life or death situation, since it takes a fair bit of time to build it out safely, test, and run it reliably, but you can get straight ice (that includes N2 in the game) into the fuel mix, although it will be a bit less efficient.
- 1 gas mixer.
- 2 radiators (minimum, 3 is optional).
- Some pipes.
- A bunch of cables.
- 9 logic i/o kits (to run the GFG manually at first).
- 2 pressure regulators (one for sending fuel to GFG at 1kpa [VERY IMPORTANT] to start with, and one for sending fuel mix to canister for welding fuel)
- 3 canister storage things.
- Several pipe meters (for safety).
I usually just use the atmo analyzer in the palm pilot computer to check temperatures. As long as the two lines are reasonably close in temp (10C or closer) you can send them through the mixer, going 66% H2, 34% O2. A perfect 2/1 mix is not possible in-game, so the O2 is a bit higher so you aren't sending fuel to a hot line ever (it would be a waste, at least, if not dangerous).
A power storage location (especially on Europa, you will want a room for your big batteries)
I am basing this guide on my stock Europa build at present, where I actually combined fuel and power in one room adjoined to the Gas Fuel Generator (also "engine") room. The only real requirement besides it working and preferably not being dangerous is try to keep it above freezing or at least get rid of the air if you don't want to do that (subzero atmo drains power, ruining your work!)
A gas in source (I tend to favor the bigger steel tanks, you can go with the smaller ones or the giant ones)
Your choice, but tanks / pipes / a pump or two, maybe some filtration.
A gas out destination (I personally send the gas from outside the engine in the room to the mixed gas (it's cool to warm) and the gas exhaust to my hot gas line for heating (it's very hot)).
Your choice, almost certainly pipes sealed and insulated and some pumps, also some filters on your mixed gas that goes in a gas filtration tutorial instead of here.
You will need ten frames for a minimal GFG room. I set two out side by side, then set the GFG on top of those straddling each of them. There will be two blocks of atmo inside the room in this build. Then you set frames on each end just above the floor level to make side walls on the long axis, then put two in the back, two in the front, and two on top. That's a ten frame build. Don't forget your pipes in the back. As you face the GFG, the fuel IN is on the left. Make sure to completely insulate the fuel line and I recommend insulating your gas out if you want to use the heat off the system later. I mounted the gas sensor near the passive vent which goes out (the volume pump goes on that line, it can be outside or in a frame--it doesn't matter). The active vent should go on the IN side. It doesn't really matter which side you want to be which. It really depends on your other buildings' layouts and whatever works easiest for you. Also, stick a heater in there somewhere if you are ever going to need to pre-heat it (it needs to be a few degrees above freezing to start).
The key is that creates air flow in the room when the system runs. That flow and managing it is the key to running a GFG in a stable and safe manner for reliable power. Make sure regular cables are connected to everything except the power out, which needs heavy cable. Also, I strongly recommend labelling everything so you can find it easily when programming the chips. When you're done, fully weld everything up, just so long as you have your pipes sticking out so you can work with them and have your heavy cable coming out and your regular cable going in off whatever circuit setup you want to control power, fuel, etc. I just stuck it all on one "GFG Room" circuit.
I prefer keeping some air in the fuel room and I have another heater in there, since it's also my power room. I also was a bit paranoid about the fuel line maybe heating up after a lot of running, but it seems like a fully insulated one doesn't heat at all, but actually just gets colder over time.
The chipsets and electronics are a bit simple (I added a couple of memory chips to remember pressures for each air source) but tedious. Suffice to say, you need a few blocks worth of wall in the fuel room and a decent chip layout so you can find things. You will want I/O switches for the on/off stuff, including the GFG itself. You will want the temperature AND pressure off the gas sensor in the GFG area. If you're pushing in really cold gas to cool it, try not to accidentally chill the room too much. Flip the volume pump out switch off first to stop using the GFG in this manner, then turn off your active vent in and your pressure regulator (fuel line in) off. Flick the GFG off and on again (you will do this a lot) to clear your fuel line.
The net effect of this is hanging on to a hot atmosphere in an insulated room, so the next time you run the GFG hopefully it isn't frozen up.
Upgrades and Full Automation
Going fully automated on anything is great, and even more so for the GFG. Computers can run things accurately and reliably while you're out building or mining and as long as they have power they never miss anything they're supposed to pay attention to. The first thing I would fully automate is a simple off/on repeater switch for the GFG so that once you set it up and start it manually it will continue running without further intervention until your batteries are full. This will make it a lot easier to work out that IC code so if you're relying on it (or mostly relying on it) for power, you will have less headaches trying to get it finished. You need:
- 1 ic chip.
- 1 ic housing.
- 1 computer.
- 1 motherboard (ic editor).
I'm just going to wire up the ic somewhere convenient on my data net in there and set the computer somewhere I can work (my room is no bigger than it needs to be LOL). Getting the repeater switch on there will be a few lines of defining at least the GFG as a device and turning it off and on, and probably a "wait 1" command in there (so it only runs every second) with a loop line back to where it switches. Upload that code and just turn the little light on anytime you are trying to run it and turn it off when not in use.
There are programs available on the workshop, and the device requirements are basically unchanging for this sort of thing, so you can probably put one of those right in and set your devices and it should work, however you should also monitor your AVERAGE power in your big battery array and have it run the GFG whenever you think it's a good threshold for lower total power.
One major thing to remember is to look at your gas pressures on your other tanks once in a while once you have this thing automated so that you don't have to personally supervise it anymore. That is actually a new danger, as always tends to be the case. Another thing to consider is maybe hooking your fuel and power room into a central climate control system and adding that pipe near all the other insulated pipes. I have a separate climate control ic program I custom built that's great, and it would be much easier to just run one climate routine for everything.