WARNING This tutorial is currently being updated to IC2 and may contain incorrect information.
Forum post about IC2 Wiring by Alblaka: forum.industrial-craft.net
Firstly, Cables do not act like redstone; you cannot place them diagonally to travel in a stair formation. They must be placed like stairs.
Most machines will accept power from a wire on all 6 sides, but you (usually) only need one input.
Starting simple this is the most basic set up without omitting a BatBox. The max insulated cable length for copper is achieved here. The cable is 4 blocks long.
You lose EU if the current in the cable travels for too long, losing 1 EU upon reaching the 4th block, then another 1 EU for every 3 blocks after that. but if you use the most advanced wire, "Glass Fibre Cable," you can achieve a length of 50 blocks. Does not apply to latest versions of IC2 Experimental (v2.2.x)
This setup will not work as the BatBox is not a splitter and it doesn't have two outputs, it will accept input from 5 sides at the same time but will only output on the output face marked with dot.
This is a simple buffer, it can be used to store EU for use without running the generator
This is a simple 2x solar flower setup with a loop. This will enable you to spread EU around your Factory and not have it bottleneck in any particular spot. Take note the BatBox connecting the generators to the loop. that way the EU will be evenly distributed around the area. In the center of the solar flower there is a wire, a normal,average wire.(because of advances in the programing of the wires they now allow to be connected up to 6 sides simultaneously opposed to the 3 side max in IC.)
Now for something more advanced, the MFE. This is an example of an improper setup of an MFE before I turn off the redstone as shown in the second picture
and after I placed the 2 wires above the MFE will output one 128 EU packet and everything crispifies. (Latest IC2 Experimental versions do not do this)
this caused a loop of power to be sent from the top of the MFE(output) back into the batBox hence killing the setup.(and wasting the wire because it couldnt handle the power and just melted) To properly use a MFE, you need to use a Low Voltage Transformer and gold or better wire. the MFE is used to scale the voltage up and the Low voltage transformer to scale it back down. Quite similar to real life and your local power grid.doing this increases the range of the power but needs a better Cable. The energy loss is less because you are sending less packets that are larger, they still lose EU over the cable but you lose less.
Next is series of machines, and current splitting. You can have your machines in a row and power them from one MFE the excess is sent back to the MFE and stored. In this setup I have the maximum cable length without loss (to prevent continuous loss of power) and the measurements listed are from right to left and the last one receiving 0 EU. the Eu splits evenly between each machine as it acts like a cable end.
and this is with an MFE output of 128EUs
as you can see it is useless to make lines of machines any longer than 5 and 4 would be optimal as the last 2 would receive 8/2 = 4 EU each, which will power most common machines easily. You could use the 50 EU output if you wanted to power say 4 crystal chargers in a row.
You can then save space and stack your machines in a feasible 3x4 array like so.
and the back to power them
Next up is Miners and making them do what you want them to. In the first setup I have a solar flower powering a MFE => HVT => HVT => Miner. This is a one way operation, but the miner can only accept so much EU at a time therefore the 2000 EU sent towards the miner will sometimes be rejected and get sent back. causing loss each way. This can happen as often as once each frame causing massive power loss.
A better way to do it is using Switch Cables. these accept input on all sides but the bottom, (which is the output). However if you apply Redstone current it will make the top output and the bottom input. This can be used as a switch before sending Eu from the MFE =>HVT. This way you can shut the whole operation down and let the MFEs charge up.
The miner can be set up to automate with water streams as well. however I use Feanorith's Mine Factory Mod that lets you build a conveyor. This is easier then digging trenches and placing water buckets. It also can travel ridiculously long lengths, and never have to dig one block down. This is similar to water running on iceblocks (if you can craft em)
Take note that I have all but one of the 5 available sides of the miner covered as to direct the item toward the conveyor, and a small 3 long wall to stop the items from being shot over the conveyor.