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The Solid Fueled Firebox
- Hobbyist's Steam Engine (10 Steam/tick)
- Commercial Steam Engine (20 Steam/tick)
- Industrial Steam Engine (40 Steam/tick)
- Steam Turbine (320 Steam/tick)
- Steam Oven (625 Steam/tick)
Steam Boilers come in different types and sizes:
- Liquid Fueled Firebox or Solid Fueled Firebox: determines the type of fuel the Steam Boiler accepts
- Low Pressure (LP) or High Pressure (HP) Boiler blocks: LP offers better fuel efficiency while HP offers more steam per volume.
- Boiler block size WxDxH: 1x1x1, 2x2x2, 2x2x3, 3x3x2, 3x3x3, 3x3x4. Each Boiler block generates 10 (LP) or 20 (HP) units of steam per tick. Larger boilers are more effective in fuel consumed for steam produced, but require more fuel for their longer heat ups. (There must be 1 block of space on all sides, e.g. a 2x2x2 boiler would need to be centered within a 4x4x4 space. This is excluding the piping/tesseracts/chests.) You can upgrade the boiler size in the middle of its operation without exploding, but it will NOT retain the heat value, so it will reset to zero and begin anew.
Water consumption for a 3x3 liquid firebox is a flat 5mB/tick (100mB/sec), independent from steam production (FTB Unleashed v1.1.3). A single Aqueous Accumulator can supply enough water for 5 maximum size boilers.
Warning: Adding water to a heated up Steam Boiler when its water tank is empty will cause a devastating explosion. Place the water supply within the same chunk as the boiler, or use chunk loaders, to prevent interruption of the water supply. To recover a dry boiler simply break a tank block then replace it to immediately cool and empty the tank.
Steam Boilers need a considerable amount of fuel and time to heat up. Fuel consumption is dramatically decreased during the heat up. For example: A maximum size high pressure Steam Boiler takes 5 real hours to heat up. Its fuel consumption at startup is about 2 coal per second, which is about 20 times its fuel consumption at maximum temperature.
Contrary to popular belief, High Pressure Boilers are not more efficient than their Low Pressure Counterparts if the volume of the boiler held constant. HP and LP Boilers produce the same efficiency of Steam/Fuel at maximum temperature. However, because the heatup time for HP boilers is 2x as long as for LP Boilers, they consume 4x the fuel during the heatup phase. As a result, the overall efficiency for HP boilers can be said to be lower than LP Boilers. It is worth noting, however, that HP boilers take up half as much space as LP Boilers (or, at the very least, produce twice as much steam for the same space requirements) and that HP boilers require half as much iron as LP boilers for the same quantity of steam. So the question of efficiency with Steam Boilers is not as simple as "Steam/Fuel".
Detailed operational information about Steam Boilers can be found here.
- Railcraft Boiler Calculator - A useful tool for finding the best type of boiler for you.