Energy

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Most Galacticraft machines require energy to operate, in the form of electricity. Galacticraft has a complete electrical system comprising generators, wires and storage units. Alternatively, generators and wires from other mods (for example, IndustrialCraft 2 (IC2)) can be used.

Energy Units

In Galacticraft 3, the energy system has been re-balanced and a new energy unit, the Galacticraft Joule (gJ) is used. A typical basic machine uses 600 gJ every second - less for low power machines like the Oxygen Sealer, more for high power machines like the Electric Furnace. A machine's energy usage is shown on a tooltip if you have the machine in your inventory. An Energy Storage Module stores 500,000 gJ, enough to operate one basic machine continuously for around 13 minutes.

In Galacticraft 3, the player can use the /gcenergyunits command to switch in-game displays for Galacticraft machines to any different energy units preferred. The available list includes:

  • MJ from Buildcraft
  • EU from IC2
  • Joules (J) from Mekanism
  • Redstone Flux (RF).

Galacticraft 3 is a 100% RF-compatible mod, and has been compatible with RF since the beta phase of Galacticraft 3 finished. What does this mean? Although the inner workings of Galacticraft do not use RF, Galacticraft will use RF when connecting its machines or wires to any of the CoFH mods or any other RF mod. Note: RF and CoFH mods can sometimes be pretty difficult to install and set up, due to coremod and API updates between their different versions and not much in the way of documentation. Whatever, Galacticraft works with all of them without any problem!!! But because of these setup issues, it's worth bearing in mind that Galacticraft does not need RF mods and there are alternative power systems, for example Mekanism.

Because Galacticraft is compatible with everything, some players use Aluminum Wire to convert power between IC2 / Mekanism / RF. That's OK with us.

Galacticraft 2 and previous versions

In original Galacticraft and Galacticraft 2, the energy units are kiloWatts (kW) and kiloJoules (kJ). A typical basic machine uses 4 kW to operate, that's 4 kJ every second. An Energy Storage Module stores 2.5 MJ, that's 2500 kJ, enough to operate one basic machine continuously for around 10 minutes. Those kW and kJ units were the equivalent of the Watts and Joules units used in Mekanism and in the Universal Electricity mods, so 1 kJ in Galacticraft was 1000 J in Mekanism.

Early versions of Galacticraft 1 were part of the Universal Electricity system. That was a neat idea to have a lot of different mods by different authors all use one energy system. Sadly good intentions do not always work out due to people having differences of opinion. By the time of Galacticraft 2, Galacticraft left the Universal Electricity stable and created its own internal energy system. That started out being fairly similar to Universal Electricity, but was developed and improved through Galacticraft 2 updates. Major performance improvements were made at that time.

Galacticraft 3 uses an updated system which is more compatible, more stable, higher performance, and also offers 2 tiers of electrical machinery and the ability to transmit electricity using beams.

Components

Types of generator:

Types of energy storage:

Types of wire:

In Galacticraft 3, instead of wires, Beam Receivers can be used to transmit energy without wires.

Energy Tiers

In Galacticraft 3 every energy component is considered to be either Tier 1 or Tier 2. The Coal Generator, Aluminum Wire, and all other basic, early-game components are Tier 1.

Tier 2 components are:

Tier 2 Machines will operate more efficiently if powered using a Tier 2 power grid - they receive a noticeable speed buff, usually between 25% and 33%.

A Tier 2 power grid is defined as:

Galacticraft tiers and IC2

If you are playing Galacticraft together with IC2, then IC2 components emitting at over 120 volts (or over 120 EU per packet) are counted as Tier 2 components in Galacticraft, anything less than that is Tier 1. (Galacticraft power grids will always provide 120 volts, or up to 120 EU per packet, into IC2.)

IC2 items can be charged in Galacticraft machines (and can power Galacticraft machines). Galacticraft machines (for example, Energy Storage Module) can charge all IC2 Tier 1 or Tier 2 energy items (for example, RE-Battery or Advanced RE-Battery). Galacticraft Tier 2 machines (for example, Energy Storage Cluster) can additionally charge all IC2 Tier 3 energy items (for example, Energy Crystal). IC2 Tier 4 energy items (for example, Lapotron Crystal) are too powerful and cannot be charged in any Galacticraft machine, you would have to use an MFSU for that.

Conversion Ratios

Default energy conversion ratios in Galacticraft 3 are:

  • 1 MJ from Buildcraft is 16.0 gJ  : 1 gJ is 0.0625 MJ
  • 1 EU from IC2 is 6.557 gJ : 1 gJ is 0.1525 EU
  • 1 J from Mekanism is 0.655 gJ : 1 gJ is 1.525 J
  • 1 RF is 1.6 gJ  : 1 gJ is 0.625 RF

These values are considered to offer the best overall balancing between these different mods power systems. They are consistent with the convention that 1 MJ = 2.44 EU. (Some other mod authors round that to 1 MJ = 2.5 EU.)

This note is included in Galacticraft's source code:

Note on energy equivalence:

In BuildCraft, 1 lump of coal produces 1600 MJ (Minecraft Joules) in a Stirling Engine. This is by design: coal has 1600 ticks burn time in a vanilla Furnace, which corresponds with 1600 MJ in BuildCraft.

In Galacticraft, 1 lump of coal produces 38,400 gJ in a coal generator operating at 100% hull heat (less efficient at lower hull heats).

If 1600 MJ = 38,400 gJ then strictly 1 MJ = 24 gJ. But, that feels imbalanced - for example redstone engines make too much gJ if the ratio is 24. So, the BC conversion ratio is set at 16. Think of it as the Galacticraft coal generator at full heat turning coal into electrical energy 50% more efficiently than BuildCraft's Stirling Engine can.

If a modpack or server sets different conversion ratios in Galacticraft's config, then, depending also on other mods installed and how those are configured, it might allow players to construct 'free energy' loops using three different mods. For example, if an IC2 MFE with a gold cable, feeds into a Galacticraft Energy Storage Module, which feeds into a Mekanism Energy Cube using Aluminum Wire, which is in turn connected to the MFE using Mekanism Universal Cable. If the default configs are changed so that 1 EU from IC2 makes 10 gJ, then those 10 gJ make 15.25 Mekanism Joules, and if Mekanism converts that back back into EU (1.525 EU), that loop would make 1.525 EU starting from 1 EU initially.

Optional lossy conversion

From Galacticraft version 3.0.8.265, a config option in power-gc3.conf:

    I:"Loss factor when converting energy as a percentage (100 = no loss, 90 = 10% loss ...)"=100

allows players, server owners and modpack makers to add in some lossiness in the energy conversions, to help deal with any possible infinite energy loop. If your power conversion ratios in Galacticraft are default, then a loss factor of around 95 should be plenty enough to stop loops. If the power ratios are changed from the defaults then you might need to set the loss factor to a lower figure: in the example above where 1EU makes 10gJ, a loss factor of around 80 should fix the problem.