The Pipe Balancer is a transport with 8 Pipe [II • III] ports. Its serves two different but important roles: To allow you to pick priority Input(s) and Output(s) of the balancer and to allow for the (strict) evening out of the resources between multiple inputs, multiple outputs, or both.
The Pipe Balancer works as a balancer, without any options toggeled - it will balance any inputs and outputs (with the same level of priority), effectivly acting as an (double) OR Gate. The Pipe Connector has the same effect, thus being the preferred option for this use case (since the patch v0.4.13).
The player can open the balancer's UI by clicking on the transport.
Two toggles are available under "Even I/O ratios":
- Enforce strictly even inputs
- Enforce strictly even outputs
Under "Prioritization" each port can be prioritized and it also dislpays whether it's an input or output port. It is possible to prioritize none, one, two, ... , or even all of the ports simultaneously, depending on the desired use case.
On the right side of the UI is "Priority", which sets the power/manpower/maintenance priority for this building. It is advised to keep this fairly high for any of the balancers, as they will severely damage any resource chains when out of order and they do not actually consume any of manpower nor maintenance, only 5 KW of power.
Strictly Even inputs or outputs
If both the first and the second toggles are activated, the transport will only pull equally from connected input ports and push equally to connected output ports, effectivly acting as an (double) AND Gate.
Which means that if one of the output ports is full (blocked) then any resources won't be sent through any other output ports either.
Similiarily when an input port is lacking resources, no resources are brought in from any other input ports.
Enforcing strictly even inputs/outputs resets any priorities set for the ports.
Priority input or output
Any prioritized port is prioritized over a nonprioritized port. All nonprioritized ports are equal, all prioritized ports are equal.
Example use cases
- Priority input: to ensure that a Fluid Storage is emptied before accepting stock from a main pipeline
- Priority output: to ensure that a storage or machine receives as much input as it can handle and any excess is flared or dumped
- Balancing inputs: to ensure that two or three dock Fluid Modules are pulled from equally
- Balancing outputs: to ensure that High-pressure Turbines receive equal amounts of steam from a Nuclear Reactor