Introduction There used to be an introduction here, but then, once upon an edit, the forum helpfully reminded me that I can only have 10,000 characters in a single post. For your benefit, the introduction has been sacked. Blutricity 101 1.) Blutricity is modeled after real electricity, though it is not a 100% exact representation. Still, it is a lot more complex than the energy networks of many other mods, especially those of Buildcraft and Industrialcraft, with which most players are familiar. 2.) Blutricity is a low power system. Its machines and components make do with very small amounts of power compared to many other mods. 3.) All blutricity blocks are conductors. That means you don't need to hook everything up with wiring. So long as a blutricity block is touching another one that is already powered, it will also be powered. For example, you can have an entire line of bluletric furnaces and connect a cable to only one of them, but all of them will still receive power. This allows for some extremely compact builds with barely any wiring. 4.) Keep in mind the distinction between "energy" and "power"; contrary to popular belief, the terms are not the same, and in fact have very specific definitions. If you think of Buildcraft, energy is MJ; in other words, the absolute quantity. Whereas power is MJ/t; namely, the rate of energy over time. 5.) Your unit of blulectric energy is the Joule. Your unit of power is the Watt, which is equal to Joules per second (not per tick). Power is calculated by multiplying voltage with current (amperage). 6.) As a result, there is no such thing as "Watt per tick". Watt is a unit of power, not energy, and already includes time by definition. 1 W = 1 J/s = 0.05 J/t. 7.) One kilowatt (1 kW, or 1,000 W) converts into 1 MJ/t (20 MJ/s) worth of Buildcraft power, using the blulectric engine. Therefore, 50 J equal 1 MJ. 8.) Voltage equals the charge status of the energy network. If a machine shows its energy meter filled to 50%, it will be at 50V. If it is full, it will be at 100V. Same goes for cables and other blulectric things, which store small amounts of energy themselves due to a phenomenon called self-capacitance. 9.) When adding or removing components to/from a blulectric energy network, voltage will fluctuate and swing back and forth significantly in the beginning. Pay it no mind; after a minute or so it will have stabilized. 10.) High voltage cabling needs a long time and a lot of energy to get going due to the aforementioned self-capacitance. You will have to wait a good while before significant energy flow will occur, but after that initial chargeup, it will work normally. 11.) Blulectric devices will never explode due to voltage. High voltage cabling will simply not connect to low voltage devices. 12.) Machines will begin operating at roughly 60 V. A battery box begins discharging itself at roughly 80 V, and it will begin charging itself at roughly 90 V. Machine working speed and battery box charging/discharging rate increase or decrease with voltage, as applicable. A battery box most often stabilizes around 91 V or 79 V when charging/discharging under common loads. 13.) The higher voltage an energy generating device possesses, the faster it generates energy. Using buffer storage between generators and consumers to keep the voltage up is a good idea if you regularly have a high energy demand. 14.) Every blutricity block has a certain electrical resistance (see 23. below). Resistance causes current to have greater difficulties moving through a conductor the longer it is, the higher the individual resistance of each piece is, and the more amperes there are. In order to overcome the resistance, voltage is lost while amperage remains constant. The amount of voltage required is called the electric potential difference, or voltage differential, as in 'the difference in voltage between the beginning and the end', and the more resistance there is, the higher the differential will need to be to move the full current over the full distance. If there is less voltage available to spend than would be required, then not all the current can be moved at once, and thus the energy transfer is getting slowed down. This has the following implications: 15.) Power loss over distance: since power is volts * amperes, and voltage decreases over distance as you are expending it to move the current, power decreases over distance as well. That means that at the end of a long cable, you're getting out less than you put in on the other side. This energy loss scales with distance, and the amount of current: very low power transfers of only a couple dozen watts (less than 1 A) are close to lossless, but a wind turbine spinning in a thunderstorm may force more than 40 A into the energy network, and that cable is going to be crying for mommy. Only a huge voltage differential can move that kind of current over more than just a couple of blocks, and therefore there's going to be a lot of loss (if the current can even be moved at all, see 'electric choke' below). 16.) Electric choke: In some cases, you are limited in how much voltage you can expend to move current. For example, a battery box typically sits at 91 V while being charged, and a wind turbine will stop producing power at 100 V because this equals maximum charge. Thus, the maximum voltage differential possible between these two components is somewhere around 8 V (91 V at battery box -> 99 V at wind turbine). But, what happens if the wind turbine is outputting so much current and/or the cable is so long that a differential of 8 V is not enough to move it? What is you need 10 V, 11 V, 15 V? In this case, you have built a choke. It is called that because you are 'choking' your wind turbine with resistance. If only 8 volts is available for spending, then that much will be spent and a matching amount of current will be moved. Any extra current generated by the wind turbine that cannot be moved is simply wasted, and will never reach the battery box. The effect is even visible to the player directly: since a wind turbine will engage the brakes when there is nowhere for the power to go in order to preserve durability, a choked turbine will stutter back and forth every couple seconds between spinning fast and slow, fast and slow. 17.) Practical example: Using blue alloy wire with its resistivity of 0.02 Ω, how long can your wire be without the resistance getting so high that a voltage differential of 8 V won't be enough to transfer all the current? Ohm's law says that resistance = voltage diff. / current. Now all we need to do is insert our 8 V, as well as the current we want to transfer, and divide the resulting resistance by 0.02 Ω to get the number of blue alloy wires. For a Thermopile (0.5 A), this results in 800 blocks; for three solar panels (6 A), 66 blocks; for a wind turbine going at full tilt (50 A), 8 blocks. That's right, after roughly 8 blocks, common blue alloy wire starts to have difficulties with wind turbines, and at a mere 16 blocks it will throttle the turbine down to half its maximum output, wasting the rest. You may want to find a better solution here. Note: in actual gameplay, you should always have a safety margin because voltages fluctuate and you don't want your generators to randomly stutter. From my testing, I'd say it's best if you take 10% off of the results you get with this formula. 18.) Countermeasures: The simplest way to lower resistance and avoid chokes is to make the wires shorter. If that is not possible, you can put a second cable next to the first if there's room. Fully separate or directly adjacent both work just fine, Redpower has no issues with loops and meshes. After all, if one cable can manage 20 A over the 10 V you have available, then two cables can manage 20 + 20 = 40 A over the same 10 V. Another option would be using something that has less resistance per block, but with the current options available only the voltage transformer qualifies, and that gets expensive really quickly (and looks extremely silly to boot). The final option is to use higher voltage cabling. Because these carry the same wattage at higher voltage, the result is a vastly reduced amperage. And with less current to move, resistance is much less of a problem. Numbers Reference 19.) Power output of generators: Thermopile, up to 50 W depending on setup; solar panel, up to 200 W during the day, 100 W average over day and night; horizontal windmill, up to 2500 W depending on wind; vertical wind turbine, up to 5000 W depending on wind. In Mystcraft storm ages, windmills and turbines have been observed to double their output. Voltage below 100V will reduce these numbers. 20.) Power draw of consumers: Furnace and alloy furnace, 1000 W and about 5000 J per operation; sorters/retrievers/managers, very small amounts depending on number of items handled, typically under 5 W; blulectric engine, 1000 W per MJ/t generated, up to ca. 25 kW; pump, around 815 W, moving one block of liquid for 1750 J. Frame motors have an energy requirement of 10 J per block moved per action, panels/covers count towards the frame they're installed in and don't cost extra. 21.) Power storage of buffers and batteries: Battery box, 300 kJ; BT battery, 75 kJ; charging bench, 150 kJ; sonic screwdriver, 20 kJ (good for 400 uses); internal buffer of machines, 25 kJ. 22.) Self-capacitance of conductors: Blue alloy wire, ca 1 kJ; voltage transformer, ca. 25 kJ; 10 kV wire, ca. 78 kJ. These are imprecise measurements and you should treat them as such. 23.) Specific resistivity of conductors: Blue alloy wire, 0.02 Ω; voltage transformer, 0.01 Ω; 10 kV wire, 2 Ω; other blulectric devices, 0.02 Ω.