Having a buildcraft power grid is an incredibly useful investment. It allows you to quickly set up new projects, save resources with a central hub allowing you to finely control the amount of fuels used and power supplied.
Why make a power grid?Edit
There are many reasons to create a Power Grid, but first it is important to consider all of your options. Power grids can be extremely big and can be ugly, and if you have a slow computer they may cause more lag than a distributed power system.
Some of the reasons to make a power grid are:
- It is more energy efficient than over providing power to machines individually, as excess power can be sent to another machine.
- You have lots of machines that need small amounts of power, and you don't want to waste lots of resources building engines for each one.
- You need to test out lots of design ideas in creative mode, and you are tired of building a separate engine bank for each one.
- You have nothing better to do.
Do you need a power grid?Edit
The first thing to do if you want to build a power grid is to evaluate whether you actually need one. In the short and long term, power grids can actually be damaging to your resources if installed incorrectly. If you can't answer yes to all of these questions, then you would probably waste resources building a power grid.
- Are all your machines within about 150 blocks of where you want to put a generation facility.
- Are you willing to use huge amounts of gold or encounter large energy losses?
- Do you have all the fuel and resources to power the engines?
- Do your machines require a relatively constant amount of power?
Which design to choose?Edit
There are several different options to choose when choosing the design for a build craft power grid, but they can be separated into these broad catagories:
Small local power gridEdit
This might be used when you have lots of small to medium power machines in a reasonably small area. This type of design is the one that saves the most resources. You might have 3-4 combustion engines or 10-12 stirling engines that are manually fuelled outputting power through stone pipes (or gold if you can spare the resources) into nearby machines.
Large power gridEdit
This type of design uses large amounts of fuel to run and large amounts of resources to build. It can be useful for large creative servers or other things with large power use spread out over a large area. It might have several hundred combustion engines outputting power over gold pipes to machines large distances away. This design is not recommended unless you have massive amounts of resources and want to spend them making a huge power grid.
Small local power gridEdit
This is the recommended design for anyone apart from people who just want a huge power grid.
- Small space. (Depends on the exact design chosen)
- 3-4 Combustion Engines or 10-12 Stirling Engines (note: as of BC 3.2 red stone engines cannot be used to make a power grid)
- Oil and a refinery setup or large charcoal production.
- Water source and pump setup if using the combustion engines.
- Wooden Conductive Pipes. (one per engine)
- Stone or gold conductive pipes. (Enough to reach all the things you want to connect)
- Switch and redstone. (For turning off/on)
- System to prevent engine overheating. (Only used for combustion engines)
- Clear out an area for the main power station to go.
- Place down your engines. Don't worry if they are pointing in the wrong direction; you can fix that later.
- Place down some red stone wire between the engines, then put some pipes on top to connect all of the power together. You might also fuel the engines at this point. To correct the orientation of the engines, build a wrench and right click the engines with it until they face the wooden conductive pipes. You will, however, need to have the pipes up before you do this.
- Connect it up to the power users and turn it on. I have used a quarry in this demo, but it has enough power to run other machines as well as a quarry.