Many Mods add their own Power Systems to Minecraft. This article covers the basics on generation and storage for each, conversion between them, and where each of them comes from. It is not attempting to list every mod or item that uses it, nor is it trying to be an exhaustive resource for the best practices when using each of them.
List of Energy Types
- Charge - Factorization
- Charge is produced and used only by Factorization. As such, the only ways to obtain it are either via Solar Turbines (prior to Factorization v0.7.15) or Steam Turbines with Reflective Mirrors (in v0.7.15 and onwards) or via a Caliometric Burner. It is stored in Battery Blocks or Leyden Jars and can be used only by Factorization's own machines.
- Energy Units (EU) - IndustrialCraft2
- EU is used by IndustrialCraft and its many addons, and is common enough that many modifications provide at least limited support for it. It has a complicated energy network, featuring packets (analogous to voltage in the real world) and packets per tick (analogous to current), and featuring different wires of various resistances over distance, forcing a player to compromise between different aspects. It has multiple storage blocks (e.g. MFE, MFSU), with more added by other mods (e.g. GregTech 4). Power generation is varied, and support is present for nearly all forms of power, either directly, or indirectly (e.g. food can be processed to Methane Cells to be used in a Gas Turbine). As it uses a tiered system, objects may often require high tiers to charge, but can discharge into objects of lower tiers (e.g. to charge an Energy Crystal, you will need a Tier 3 block such as an MFE, but could discharge it into a tier 1 or 2 block, such as a CESU or a BatBox). Tiers are usually represented by the amount of EU per packet required for input/output.
- Galacticraft Joules (gJ) - Galacticraft
- Galacticraft Joules are only used inside Galacticraft and its submods. Galacticraft automatically converts these internal units into RF, EU, MJ or Mekanism Joules when interfacing with any wire, machine or chargeable item from the RF mods, IndustrialCraft2, Buildcraft or Mekanism. Galacticraft wires and energy storage can therefore be used as an easy way to convert EU into RF or MJ or Mekanism Joules, without any conversion mod being needed. Galacticraft's energy system is optimised for server performance, so that large builds (100+ wires and energy tiles connected in a single base) can re-wire with Galacticraft wires to improve the server tick rate.
- Joules (J) - Mekanism
- Mekanism Joules are only really used inside Mekanism, as all power from Universal Cables is converted into the power used by the network it is connecting to, however exact ratios should be known for easy conversion between mods.
- Minecraft Joules (MJ) - BuildCraft
- MJ is used by Buildcraft and its many addons, and is common enough that many other modifications provide some support for it (although this is predominantly now through RF -> MJ conversion provided by several "core" mods such as Thermal Expansion or Mekanism). Regardless, generators exist for a wide variety of fuels, although focus is put on obtaining power either from Oil and Fuel or from Steam through Railcraft. Energy is transferred through Kinesis Pipes (in Buildcraft 4 and later) or through Conductive Pipes (Buildcraft 3 and earlier). Kinesis Pipes are "smart" and engines providing power through them will typically lower their production as power goes unneeded. Historically, Conductive Pipes would explode if power went unused, but this trait is no longer present in modern Kinesis Pipes. As Kinesis Pipes work with Buildcraft Gates, a simple system can be set up where an engine will only turn on if there is power required - reducing the total running cost of most networks significantly.
- Redstone Flux (RF) - Thermal Expansion 3
- RF is used by Thermal Expansion 3, but is also used in many other modifications, not relying upon TE3 as their base. Due to its ease of implementation, it is now a popular power system for Mod Developers to use, and is relatively simple in nature. Energy transport is provided primarily by Energy Conduits and energy storage primarily through Energy Cells. Many other mods add their own storage/transport mechanisms (e.g. EnderIO's Energy Conduits and its Capacitor Bank), and power generation is incredibly varied, with a wide variety of early-/mid-/late-game generation possibilities, including those added by Big Reactors. It also features Dynamos to create power from most basic energy sources, and as its Conduits automatically output power into MJ if the machine will not accept RF, it is very compatible with other mods. RF based mods are the preferred power system in the core Feed the Beast packs of 1.7 and onwards, due to their ubiquity.
- Shaft Power (W) - RotaryCraft
- Shaft Power is split into Torque and Rotational Speed, and is carried along Shafts and transformed using Gearboxes. It is supposed to be focused on realism, taking real machine values, and featuring elements like heat dissipation. RotaryCraft also has a sistermod - ReactorCraft, which ties in nuclear components. At the moment, it is a relatively insular mod, but does provide conversions into/from other power sources (e.g. the Magnetostatic Engine to convert RF into Shaft Power).
20 RF = 2 MJ = 5 EU = 50 J.
Each Power System has at least one form of power transport. Below, the different methods are outlined for each Power System:
Lead Wire can transmit an unlimited amount of charge across any distance with no losses. It is simple to place, and is made purely out of lead, making it relatively cheap to produce. No special tools are required for its use.
IndustrialCraft operates a tiered energy system of cables, each with different maximum loads and resistances, available either insulated and uninsulated.
- Superconductor Wire is capable of transmitting packets up to 2 Billion EU - of a larger size than anything can emit. If carrying voltages of over 1,000,000,000 EU/p, it will instantly kill a player, regardless of the armour he or she is wearing. Due to its incredible price, it struggles to find a use in most builds.
Cables may be painted with a Painter, allowing to separate multiple systems in close proximity, and may be surrounded in Construction Foam placed by a CF Sprayer to hide them, which may then be disguised using an Obscurator.
IC2 Cables have a maximum EU/ p rating that may not be exceeded, e.g. Copper Cable, maximum throughput 128 EU/ p in MC 1.6+ can have hundreds of machines connected, each emitting 128EU packets, and not burn out, but if a single machine was connected with 129EU/p or greater, the cable would burn.
- Tin Cable is the lowest tier cable in IndustrialCraft. Prior to 1.6, it was listed as Ultra-Low-Current Cable, and was not able to be insulated. After 1.6, its name has changed, and it may now be insulated. Prior to 1.6, it had a maximum EU/p of 8, and an energy loss of 1 EU/p per 40 blocks. In MC 1.6+ it may now carry 32EU/p.
- Copper Cable is the next lowest tier cable in IC2. Prior to 1.6 it could carry 32EU/p (low voltage), but has since been moved up to 128EU/p (medium voltage).
- Gold Cable was capable of carrying 128EU/p in MC 1.5 and earlier. In MC 1.6 and onwards, it is now capable of carrying high voltage (512EU/p).
- HV Cable formed from iron and requiring a lot of insulation, HV Cable can carry 2048EU/p (Extreme Voltage) in all versions of IC2.
- Glass Fibre Cable. In earlier versions of IC2, it was capable of carrying 512EU/p with a low level of loss. Since 1.6+, it may now carry 8192 EU/p, but is more demanding to craft.
Of special note here are that most forms of RF Power Transport will also automatically convert/output to MJ, and some variants will also convert/output to other energy systems too.
Energy Conduit (Thermal Expansion)
Energy Conduit (EnderIO)
The Tesseract is a teleporting block added by Thermal Expansion that can be used to link two remote points to transfer RF, items or liquids. To use one, the Player need to first set a frequency and enable transmission or reception of energy, items and/ or liquids. The Tesseract can also be set to public or private mode, preventing other Players from interacting with it. In Thermal Expansion 2, only the Energy Tesseract could transmit energy, transmitting MJ instead of EU. In Thermal Expansion 3, the Tesseract is lossless and can transmit an infinite amount of RF per tick; limited only by the amount of energy supplied (e.g. six Energy Conduits).
The Dimensional Transceiver is added by EnderIO and is capable of teleporting energy, much like a Tesseract. It can send power at the rate of 1,000 RF/t and has an internal storage buffer of 250,000 RF.