Electricity

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TL;DR

  • If you have X generators of Tier Y, use cables that can handle X Amperes of Tier Y.

Voltage and Amperage

GregTech uses the terms Voltage (V) and Amperage (A) to describe its power system - GT Enet API (Enet). One "Amp" is roughly the same as one EU Packet from IC2, and "Voltage" is the size of that packet. EU stands for "Energy Unit".

EU/t is the total EU received. For example, if a machine receives one 32V packet and another 24V packet, the total EU/t received is 32 + 24 = 56 EU/t.

Unlike the IC2 energy system, all GregTech energy-interacting blocks have limits on both the Voltage and the Amperage they can interact with. Enet power is compatible with GregTech, IC2 and Redstone Flux (RF) consumers. The EU to RF conversion rate is 1 EU = 3.6 RF. This is a one-way conversion; RF generators cannot connect to Enet systems.

Different machine blocks accept and emit different Amperages.

  • GregTech Transformers will input 4A and output 1A if used to step-up Voltages; they will input 1A and output 4A if used to step-down.
  • Battery Buffers input 2A per Battery and output 1A per Battery.
  • Battery Chargers input 8A per Battery and output 4A per Battery.
  • Chest Buffers and Super Buffers accept 2A.
  • Energy Hatches accept 2A input.
  • Mass Fabricators accept 10A input.
  • Microwave Energy Transmitters accept 3A input.
  • Monster Repellators, Pumps, and Teleporters accept 2A input.
  • All other EU accepting machine blocks accept at least 1A, depending on recipe: The amperage is equal to twice the recipe's EU usage, divided by the machine's voltage input, rounded down and added to 1.
    • An LV Centrifuge performing a 5 EU recipe accepts 1A
    • An LV Chemical Reactor performing a 30EU recipe accepts 2A
    • An LV Arc Furnace performing a 96EU recipe accepts 7A
  • Generators output 1A.

You do need to be careful when trying to power machines:

  • Machines that get a higher Voltage than they can handle, explode. Machines will not receive voltage until they need it, so the machine may not actually explode until it begins working!
  • Excess Amperes fed into machines have no effect as long as the voltage is below the machines' limit. A machine will not draw current unless it needs power, and it will not draw fractions of an ampere. This makes machines self-regulating with regards to power.

Machines and recipes each have voltage tiers. The tier of a Multiblock Machine is determined by its Energy Hatches. Machine and recipe tiers do interact, and must be paid attention to.

  • If a recipe has a minimum required voltage within a higher tier than that of the machine, the recipe cannot be carried out.
  • If a recipe has a minimum required voltage within the same tier as the machine, the recipe functions normally.
  • If a recipe has a minimum required voltage within a lower tier than that of the machine, the recipe is overclocked. Overclocked recipes are carried out at double normal speed, double normal total energy, and thus quadruple normal energy per tick.

Recipes will be overclocked once per Voltage Tier difference between the machine's supplied Voltage Tier and the recipe's required one. If a recipe requiring 30 EU/t (LV tier) for 20 seconds is performed in an HV machine, the difference of 2 tiers will cause the recipe to use 480 EU/t for 5 seconds.

GregTech: New Horizons has 9 finished Voltage Tiers as of version 2.0.2.5, it also has 3 Voltage Tier partial finished voltage levels(*) and 4 not reachable voltage levels(**).

Note: ULV Tier counts as Tier 0.

Short Full Maximum Voltage
ULV Ultra Low Voltage 8
LV Low Voltage 32
MV Medium Voltage 128
HV High Voltage 512
EV Extreme Voltage 2048
IV Insane Voltage 8192
LuV Ludicrous Voltage 32768
ZPM ZPM Voltage 131072
UV Ultimate Voltage 524288
UHV* Highly Ultimate Voltage 2097152
UEV* Extremely Ultimate Voltage 8388608
UIV* Insanely Ultimate Voltage 33554432
UMV** Mega Ultimate Voltage 134217728
UXV** Extended Mega Ultimate Voltage 536870912
MAX** Maximum Voltage 2147483647

Cables and Loss

Given that GregTech has its own power system now, you'll need to use GT cables for powering GT machines. Do note that the only machine capable of accepting IC2 EU in GT is the Transformer (Not to be confused with the IC2 Transformer).

All GT Cables have a max Voltage, max Amperage and a Loss:

  • Cables that get packets higher than their maximum Voltage will catch fire and melt.
  • Cables that have more Amperes travelling through them than their maximum Amperage limit will catch fire and melt.
    Do note that machines can request more Amperage than strictly required by their active recipe when their energy buffer is empty.
  • The loss of a cable is per Block a EU package travels.
    For example a 32V package sent trough a Tin Cable which has a loss of 1EU per block to a machine 8 blocks away.
    After 8 blocks of cables the 32V Package is reduced to 24V by the time it arrives at the machine. Should the machine need for example 30EU/t to operate. A second package sent in the same tick is needed every 4 Ticks. Thus a 2A supply is needed for the machine with this setup.
    Cable losses are applied to each EU Package, netting you a 2x power loss.

Each Material has 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x 12x and 16x uninsulated Wires and most of them 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 12x and 16x Insulated Cables.

Do note that Uninsulated Wires have 2x the loss as Insulated Cables.

Here is an example:

  • A 1x Tin Cable can handle 1A and 32V at a loss of 1V/m. This means that the EU packet can travel 32 blocks before it dies.
  • A 1x Tin Wire can handle 1A and 32V at a loss of 2V/m. In this case, the EU can travel 16 blocks only.

Below is a table of the current properties of various types of cables in GregTech:


Material Max Voltage 1x Insulated Cable Max Amp Loss/m/amp/tick in EU Efficiency compared to Tin Wire Length until 0 Power Most efficient number of Cables between Batteries
Tin 32 1 1 1.00 32 5.906
Cobalt 32 2 2 0.50 16 0
Lead 32 2 2 0.50 16 0
Zinc 32 1 1 1.00 32 5.906
Soldering Alloy 32 1 1 1.00 32 5.906
Iron 128 2 3 1.33 43 3.970
Nickel 128 3 3 1.33 43 3.970
Cupronickel 128 2 3 1.33 43 3.970
Copper 128 1 2 2.00 64 9.151
Annealed Copper 128 1 1 4.00 128 23.12
Kanthal 512 4 3 5.33 171 20.81
Gold 512 3 2 8.00 256 34.48
Electrum 512 2 2 8.00 256 34.48
Silver 512 1 1 16.00 512 74.96
Blue Alloy 512 2 1 16.00 512 74.96
Nichrome 2048 3 4 16.00 512 50.63
Steel 2048 2 2 32.00 1024 109.8
Tungstensteel 2048 3 2 32.00 1024 109.8
Tungsten 2048 4 2 32.00 1024 109.8
Aluminium 2048 1 1 64.00 2048 227.8
Graphene* 8192 1 1 256.00 8192 671.7
Osmium 8192 4 2 128.00 4096 330.2
Platinum 8192 2 1 256.00 8192 671.7
Naquadah 32768 4 1 1,024.00 32768 1948.8
Niobium-Titanium 32768 4 2 512.00 16384 966.5
Vanadium-Gallium 32768 4 2 512.00 16384 966.5
Yttrium Barium Cuprate 32768 4 4 256.00 8192 475.2
Red Alloy 8 1 0 inf. inf. inf.
Redstone Alloy 32 1 0 inf. inf. inf.
X Tier Superconductor** * Tier Voltage** Varies*** 0 inf. inf. inf.

(*No insulated version)

(**Start from MV)

(***Varies for each tier variant of a superconductor)


Any GT Block or Battery outputting Energy has an energy loss on output. This means there is no such thing as lossless power transfer in GregTech. In general terms it's not something the player has to think about, as generators make enough EU to output their listed amperage/power tier in full.

A power outputting machine will take EU from its storage and output only EU. The energy lost is therefore . ULV, being the lowest tier possible, is a bit special. It has the same loss value as LV, i.e. 1 EU.

An example:
Say a turbine is supposed to output 32V.
.
Solving for Tier gives you 1. The energy loss will then be . In this case it is 1.

So the turbine takes 33 EU from its storage, voids 1 EU per packet and then outputs 32 EU.

Here is a table documenting some of the cable properties in GregTech:

Tier Output Loss Loss in % Energy used
ULV 8 1 12.5 9
LV 32 1 3.0303 33
MV 128 2 1.5384 130
HV 512 4 0.77519 516
EV 2048 8 0.38911 2056
IV 8192 16 0.19493 8208
LuV 32768 32 0.097561 32800
ZPMV 131072 64 0.048804 131136
UV 524288 128 0.024408 524416

Optimal Cable length between Batteries for maximum efficiency.

The EU loss of GregTech Cables and Batteries scales linearly with the number of sequential Cables and the number of Batteries, but since voltage is topped up at every battery there will be a loss that is increasing exponentially for every identical segment of a Battery and x-number of Cable links. This exponential loss from more batteries also reduces the impact of the linear loss, but this ofc comes at the cost of more exponential loss. This means that there must exist a sweet spot, because with short segments the extra exponential loss of more segments will be more detrimental to the efficiency than the linear loss from making each segment longer, for long segments this will be reversed. So let's do the math!

Let's first define our terms, a segment is the length of a Battery plus a number of sequential Cables. The efficiency of such a segment will be . T is the tier (LV is tier 1, MV is tier 2, and so on). L is the loss of the cable in voltage/meter/ampere. D is the distance of the segment, so the length of the Cables plus the battery.

But this is no good since we want to figure out the optimal length when there is an element of exponential decline that we haven't accounted for. We do this by making an expression of how much efficiency we get in each single block if there was a uniform exponential decline over the whole segment. This turns out to be .

We now take the derivative of that expression with respect to D to get how the efficiency changes when we change the length of the segments, when we do this we get such a ghastly monstrosity that not even WolframAlpha can deal with it algebraically. But this won't stop us on our quest for efficiency! Lets solve it numerically!

Step 1: go to http://www.wolframalpha.com/ because we are lazy. Step 2: Enter "(d/dD) ((8 * 4^T - (D - 1)L) / (8 * 4^T + 2^(T - 1)))^(1 / D) = 0, T=<Insert tier here>, L=<Insert Cable loss here>". It will solve the problem numerically for each separate case. So if you want to know the optimal length of Annealed Copper Cable between your MV Batteries, you enter T=2, L=1 and it will give you the optimal length of each segment (This includes the battery!). In the case of Annealed Copper Cable this turns out to be about 14.7876, so 14 cables between each battery is optimal. For more information on other cables, see the table above.

Transformers

Transformers convert GregTech energy (EU) between voltage tiers. After building the Electric Blast Furnace and starting MV, it's possible to produce 128V with more powerful MV generators. MV power must be converted into LV power for use with existing LV machines. Supplying any higher tier of power to a lower tier machine will make it explode. It's safe to give a machine a lower tier of power than it expects (LV power -> MV machine is fine), but this may cause it to stall if the recipe requires more than the supplied voltage. The solution to both of these problems are transformers, which come in multiple capacities at every tier.

Picture of a Transformer in default mode transferring 1 amp of HV into 4 amps of MV.

By default a Transformer is taking 1A (amp) of higher voltage and transforms it into 4A of lower voltage, its own tier. This is also called Step-Down mode. A chat message will display “Machine Active” when toggling to this mode. Right click with a Soft Mallet to switch between Step Up and Step Down. In Inverted mode (Step-Up /“Machine Inactive”), the Transformer will take 4A of lower Voltage and transform it into 1A of Higher voltage. The tiers are listed in the transformer's tooltip.

The big hollow circle is the high voltage side and is the front face, while the five smaller circles are the lower voltage sides. Regardless of mode, the big dot is *always* for the higher voltage. That means in Step Up mode, transformers have one output, five inputs, and in Step Down mode, they have five outputs, one input.

Like all power emitters, transformers lose some power when converting voltages, equal to . At LV that's 3%, MV 1.5%, and halved again for every higher tier.

Never change modes on a transformer that is in-use. Always disconnect cables before switching transformer modes or they will explode, potentially taking out nearby machines and/or cables. This causes lots of Pollution.

Power Transformer and Hi-Amp Transformer

The Power Transformer and the Hi-Amp Transformer work like an ordinary transformer with one exception:

The Hi-Amp Transformer will accept 4 amps of higher voltage and turn it into 16 amps of lower voltage in its default mode. In inverted mode it will transform 16amps lower voltage to 4 amps of higher voltage.

The Power Transformer will accept 16 amps of higher voltage and turn it into 64 amps of lower voltage in its default mode. In inverted mode it will transform 64 amps lower voltage to 16 amps of higher voltage.

Machine explosions and cables burning

Using GregTech machines without thought and care can be fairly unsafe. If a machine gets contact with rain on any of the 6 sides of the block, it can catch fire. If a machine gets lit on fire, it can explode. If a wire exceeds its current rating, it will catch on fire.

When using battery buffers, be sure to watch the output and input amps. Be careful when distributing power from one battery buff to another battery buff further away. The destination battery buff will pull 2A per battery. If the source battery buff has more batteries than the power cable can handle, the cable will catch fire. One way to prevent excessive current from a battery buffer output is to limit the number of batteries in the buffer to the amperage of the cable. 1 batt can output 1A. If you need to store more power, you place a large, x16 battery buff next to smaller battery buff, such as a x4, that is connected to your distribution cable. This will let you store 20 batts of power and safely output 4A of power. You can expand power storage by placing additional x16 batt buffs against the x4. Just remember, if you need to place a wire between them, it needs to be at least an 8 A wire!

Energy conversions

GregTech energy and IC2 energy are not the same. So GregTech energy systems cannot automatically use IC2 energy, and thus need to be converted, and vise versa.

To convert IC2 EU into GT EU, connect (directly adjacent) a GT Transformer's input face to an IC2 Energy Source's output face. This means connecting the output dot of a IC2 transformer/storage block to the input dot of a GT Transformer.

To convert GT EU into IC2 EU, connect GT cables to IC2 blocks

Energy storage management

More advanced GregTech power options such as nuclear reactors or large turbines run constantly whether or not the EU they are generating is being used. It can be advantageous to create a system that turns the power generation on when your battery is empty, and turns it off when your battery is full. This is particularly important for things like boilers and turbines that have a low-efficiency "warm up" time that needs to be minimized.

A compact latch system that can be set up in the LV era is shown to the right. Two energy detector covers are attached to a battery buffer, one on either side. Both are in 'Normal Electrical Storage (including batteries)' mode, though the one on the left is inverted. The mode of the covers can be toggled using a screwdriver.

The energy detector cover on the right sends a max strength signal when the battery is full; the one on the left sends a max strength signal when it is empty. In the compact latch system, the wire on the right (shown as on in the image) comes from the non-inverted energy detector cover. It connects to a vanilla redstone comparator, and then into a RS latch. The wire on the left comes from the inverted energy detector cover, and also connects to a separate comparator and into the other side of the RS latch. In between the redstone comparators is a potentiometer (set to level 14) that tells the system only to pass the redstone signal through to the latch if it is near maximum strength.

In this example the latch sends out the resulting redstone signal to a wireless transmitter, though conventional redstone wires can also be used. The redstone signal sent by the latch must be connected to a machine control cover to control large turbines, or can be directly connected to an IC2 nuclear reactor.

Even more compact systems are possible by utilizing dense red crystals instead of potentiometers and comparators, though this requires some investment in magical research.

Trivia

Since version 5.0 (for Minecraft 1.7.2) GregTech has its own Energy System since GregoriusT wasn't satisfied with IC2 Experimental's Energy System.

The reasons of why I removed compatibility to the IC² Enet are that Cable Loss doesn't work, that the Network doesn't have Packets anymore and that it switched from Integer to Double (what is horrible for larger Energy Storages). Not to mention that it is very hard to have control over Energy flow without constantly registering and unregistering TileEntities.

— GregoriusT

See Also