If you want to use Electricraft extensively to transfer Rotarycraft power to different parts of your base, you’re going to want to use Superconducting Wire, especially for that critical place where you transfer electricity from batteries to Induction Motors. As I’ve shown before, the slight power lossage from that one-block bit of cable (Induction Motors cannot receive power from the bottom, and Electricraft’s batteries can output only from the top) can greatly complicate builds. But Superconducting Wire is a perfect conductor, having no lossage to current whatsoever over any distance.
The problem is that while Superconducting Wire is relatively easy to craft and only moderately expensive, you have to fill it with coolant before you can use it. Furthermore, the process for filling Superconducting Wire with coolant is not very obvious. There is no in-game manual for Electricraft, the in-game manual for Rotarycraft assumes, to an extent, that you already know what you need, and NEI doesn’t really fill in the gaps completely. Briefly, you need to make liquid nitrogen from ice and fill the Superconducting Wires with it. What you’re going to need in order to do this are three machines from Rotarycraft: 1) the Fluid Crystallizer, 2) the Refrigeration Unit, and 3) the Filling Station. Here’s what you need to do to use them.
Using the Fluid Crystallizer to Make Ice
The second machine, the Refrigeration Unit, is the most critical step, but it requires ice to make. If you live in a snowy biome, you can always get ice the labor-intensive way by going outside with a pickaxe enchanted with Silk Touch and manually harvesting a lake’s worth of ice. But who wants to do that when you can automate the production of ice? A Fluid Crystallizer can do just that (along with a number of other things that are not important for the task at hand). But a Fluid Crystallizer needs three things: power, a water supply, and a cold temperature.
The power is easy. It only requires 2,048 Watts at a speed of 1,024 rad/s. The easiest way to do this (that is, without using gearboxes), is to power one or two Fluid Crystallizers with a single Wind Turbine (whose output is 4,096 Watts at 1,024 rad/s). If you don’t already have an easily accessible water line, you can use half of the Wind Turbine’s power to run a Pump and the other half to run the Fluid Crystallizer.
The most difficult part of the Fluid Crystallizer (and it isn’t very difficult) is getting its temperature low enough to make ice: it has to be at -8 Celsius. Once again, do yourself a favor and install WAILA, without which you won’t have any idea what the temperature of the Fluid Crystallizer is. I think a thermometer tool (made using steel, glass panes, and redstone, perhaps?) would be extremely helpful so that someone playing with Rotarycraft doesn’t absolutely have to have WAILA installed. I have nothing against WAILA, I just don’t like installing it being an unofficial requirement.
Getting the Fluid Crystallizer to -8 Celsius is a piece of cake in a snowy biome, but not everybody’s base is in a snowy biome. Fortunately, with a little bit of work it is possible to get a Fluid Crystallizer working, at least at night, even in a desert. One setup that has worked for me is: power connected to the back, water pumped in the top, hopper underneath (to automatically pull out the ice), an ice block on one of the remaining sides, and a water block on one of the remaining sides (this will leave one side unused). With this setup, the Fluid Crystallizer will get just cold enough even in a desert (after sunset). In a plains biome, this setup will make the Fluid Crystallizer plenty cold enough even outside at noon.
Now for some reason (and I can’t figure out why), when I was trying to get my Fluid Crystallizer to work in my survival world, I couldn’t keep my block of ice from melting. My base inside a cave in a forest biome, where the ambient temperature is somewhere around 25 Celsius – below the ambient temperature outside in a plains biome at noon. I do know that if you have a liquid pipe pumping water adjacent to an ice block, the ice block will melt (the liquid pipe’s temperature is going to be just under the ambient temperature). But that was not the case in my survival world.
So, in the process of learning about the Fluid Crystallizer while playing in my survival world, I decided to dig down to try and solve the problem. I know now that this wasn’t necessary, but that’s what I did, because I knew that, at least in a forest biome, the ambient temperature drops as you go down to around y-level 46 or 45 before rapidly climbing again as you go down to bedrock, where the ambient temperature is very high (even when surrounded by stone – which has a cooling effect – the ambient temperature at y-level 5 is 85 Celsius in a plains biome). My thought was that perhaps the ambient temperature was too high for ice to stay solid, so going down to y-level 45, where the temperature is more like 6 Celsius, might reduce the likelihood of my ice melting. I think, now, that something was else was awry in the spaces I was trying to use to situate my ice and Fluid Crystallizer. But that’s neither here nor there. In my current survival setup, I have used a dropper item elevator to instantaneously move the ice created by my Fluid Crystallizer 20 blocks upwards to a chest in my main storage area, and I have access to unlimited ice.
Using the Refrigeration Unit to Make Liquid Nitrogen
A Refrigeration Unit is the machine that actually makes the liquid nitrogen you need to fill superconducting wire (it also produces dry ice which can be placed into a Fluid Crystallizer to help lower its temperature). This machine takes 32,768 Watts of power at 2,048 Nm of torque. For this one, you’re going to have to use a gearbox or two. Two steam engines working together produce enough energy at 64 Nm torque, so you would need to use a 4:1 gearbox with an 8:1 gearbox (set to torque mode) or a 2:1 with a 16:1 (also set to torque mode) to produce the required torque. I used an AC Electric Engine with a 4:1 gearbox. This produces more than enough energy, but it can be turned on an off easily and is a great deal less noisy than steam engines.
When you place ice blocks in the space in the lower center of the Refrigeration Unit’s GUI and supply power, the Refrigeration Unit will begin to produce liquid nitrogen. It goes into an internal tank but will automatically eject to adjacent liquid pipe. In the image above, it is ejecting into liquid pipe that feeds directly into the side of a Filling Station.
Filling Superconducting Wire at a Filling Station
A Filling Station is a Rotarycraft machine that is used to fill items with various kinds of liquid (in this it is like Thermal Expansion’s Fluid Transposer machine, but Rotarycraft has a different machine for filling buckets, which the Fluid Transposer also does). The first one I made was for the purpose of filling my jetpack with ethanol (yes, Rotarycraft has an easily accessible jetpack that runs on ethanol, but beware: it appears to be flammable around machines with high temperatures). If a Filling Station has liquid nitrogen in its tank, you can put unfilled superconducting wire into it and voila!: usable Superconducting Wire comes out the other side. A Filling Station is easy to power, requiring only the power of a DC Electric Engine.
So that’s how you make Superconducting Wire. It’s not really that difficult, but I have found that locating a good explanation online for how to do it is time-consuming and frustrating. Hopefully, this post has clarified it.