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Just need a little help with my cables


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Please don't get angry at me for posting this as I know the information is already on the forum, and I have read it, I just want to verify what I have read, with you.

I was reading a very technical thread about all things power related in IndustrialCraft and found it very useful. I read all the answers to my questions but I want to ask you just to make sure I have understood correctly:

EU is distributed in packets by many different wires, and insulating these wires will prevent energy loss over a distance? Also, how does energy loss work? If a packet of 30 EU was sent out over a cable, would it work something like this: after 30 blocks, the packet of 30 EU will be reduced by x amount. Or is it more, every block, the packet loses 5% of its energy? If what I said first was correct, would this mean that I could put in an energy collector (like a batbox) after the cable reaches 29 blocks, and then just have the cable coming back off the energy collector, meaning I have lost 0 energy and the energy will continue to travel another 30 blocks without any losses. If the second thing I said was correct, I guess this would mean there's no way of completely overcoming energy loss, right? If it works differently to this, could you please explain to me exactly how it works?

Another question I have is that I have learnt in real life that if you reduce voltage and increase current using a transformer, you can send electricity more efficiently over long distances. Is this the same in Tekkit? If I had a HV solar array producing high-voltage EU, but needed the EU to travel quite a distance, would it be more efficient if I used transformers to lower the voltage, and then just step the voltage back up using transformers when it reaches the machine I needed to power?

And finally, are HV cables more efficient at carrying high-voltage EU or are glass fibre cables just the best at doing everything, even at low voltages? Thanks so much if you manage to answer my questions, I know they are messy and long-winded.

Erg Mod Edit: Don't.

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Each cable has an energy loss amount, which is rounded down. Insulated copper, for example, loses 1 EU/packet after the packet has gone through 5 cables. If you place an energy storage device every 5 blocks, then (with 4 cables in between), you lose nothing to cable losses. Glass fiber loses 1 EU/packet every 40 blocks' worth of cable.

Voltage transformation doesn't lose or gain you anything, other than the ability to not melt certain cables or blow up certain machines. Generally, storage devices transmit EV (more than 512 EU/packet), HV (128+ to 512), MV (32+ to 128), and LV (5+ to 32). ELV is under 5, and that's the only thing tin cable will carry without melting. However, tin cable is just as efficient as glass fiber with extra-low voltages.

So, HV cable can carry EV up to 2048 EU/packet (above that it's directly machine transfer only), glass fiber can carry up to 512 EU/packet, and so on down. The IndustrialCraft wiki is useful for general knowledge on such things. HV cable is extremely inefficient compared to glass fiber, but it's the only thing that can carry power out of a high-level nuclear reactor, for example. I personally will never use it, since it incurs such heavy losses, and you can just put an HV transformer directly next to the reactor.

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Each cable has an energy loss amount, which is rounded down. Insulated copper, for example, loses 1 EU/packet after the packet has gone through 5 cables. If you place an energy storage device every 5 blocks, then (with 4 cables in between), you lose nothing to cable losses. Glass fiber loses 1 EU/packet every 40 blocks' worth of cable.

Voltage transformation doesn't lose or gain you anything, other than the ability to not melt certain cables or blow up certain machines. Generally, storage devices transmit EV (more than 512 EU/packet), HV (128+ to 512), MV (32+ to 128), and LV (5+ to 32). ELV is under 5, and that's the only thing tin cable will carry without melting. However, tin cable is just as efficient as glass fiber with extra-low voltages.

So, HV cable can carry EV up to 2048 EU/packet (above that it's directly machine transfer only), glass fiber can carry up to 512 EU/packet, and so on down. The IndustrialCraft wiki is useful for general knowledge on such things. HV cable is extremely inefficient compared to glass fiber, but it's the only thing that can carry power out of a high-level nuclear reactor, for example. I personally will never use it, since it incurs such heavy losses, and you can just put an HV transformer directly next to the reactor.

Thanks so much for cleaning this up for me.

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Just to clarify, Extreme Voltage is not "anything higher than 512." It is 512-2048. This matters in some cases. For example, HV/EV cable will burn up if you pass more than 2048 EU/tick through it.

HV cable is extremely inefficient compared to glass fiber, but it's the only thing that can carry power out of a high-level nuclear reactor, for example. I personally will never use it, since it incurs such heavy losses, and you can just put an HV transformer directly next to the reactor.

Also, this is not really true.

If you step up power to extreme voltage (HV transformer with redstone signal will do it), then HV cable loses very very little power. It is for all practical purposes just about as good as glass fiber cable.

For example, if you have a pretty long 24 block long cable (you should very rarely have cables even that long), then:

glass fiber: You lose 0 out of 512 EUs that pass through. Overall transmission of power = 100%

HV cable stepped up to EV: You lose 10 out of 2048 EUs that pass through. Overall transmission of power = 98.8%

1.2% is virtually negligible, and it is by no means what I would call "extremely inefficient compares to glass fiber." I mean really, come on. When you take into account that the glass option requires 4-6 diamonds, the 1.2% cost seems even more negligible, especially...

AND if your input is higher than 512, like multiple HV solar arrays or a beefed up nuclear reactor, then HV cable gets better and better. Lets say youre outputting 1536 EU/t, you'd have to run 3 separate glass cables to hold all the power, and you'd have to physically separate them so they don't cross constantly, so now you're up to a cost of nearly 20 diamonds to move that same amount of power 24 blocks, compared to 6 iron and some rubber.

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...so now you're up to a cost of nearly 20 diamonds to move that same amount of power 24 blocks, compared to 6 iron and some rubber.

I did not consider the materials cost in the efficiency numbers, and yes, HV cable is quite reasonably efficient for fairly high voltages. Even at just over 512, that same 24-block run would be 98% efficient. Your EV calc up there is off, btw = 2038/2048 is 99.5% efficient.

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