Electrical Cables are used to transport electricity from electrical sources to electrical devices. There are four different types of cables capable of transmitting electricity, each with their own electrical properties. Due to this there is no 'best' cable, rather a combination of each needs to be used to transmit power effectively.
Low Voltage Cable
Medium Voltage Cable
High Voltage Cable
Very High Voltage Cable
Simply place the cable on any side of an opaque block. That's right, any side. Cables can even be placed upside-down on ceilings. Any two cables placed on block faces that share a border will automatically connect, unless that border is being shared by a block (similar to redstone placement mechanics). Cables can be forced to not connect by either painting them with a colored brush or using a hub. Cables can be covered by certain blocks by holding C and right-clicking the cable with a block in hand. If you get a message about wire color care while trying to do this it means the block you are trying to cover the cable with is unsupported. Players can move in a 1x2 passage surrounded by cables as they do not take up a block space.
Nominals and Maximums
All cables have both a nominal and a maximum voltage. Nominal voltage is general voltage at which the cable is expected to operate. This can vary, however, due to line losses and other factors. In the real world a 110V outlet does not always provide 110V, rather it can vary up to +/-10%. This means that there's a maximum voltage that can be run on the cable. Exceeding this value is dangerous, and doing so in Electrical Age will result in exploding cables.
In addition to voltage maximums, cables have a nominal and maximum amount of current they can carry. Exceeding the maximum current will also result in explosions. Both of these events can be prevented through the use of an electrical breaker.
Low Voltage Cable=50V,20A
Medium Voltage Cable=200V,10A
High Voltage Cable=800V,6.25A
Very High Voltage Cable=3200V,4.69A
Low Voltage Cable=60V,24A
Medium Voltage Cable=240V,12A
High Voltage Cable=1000V,7.5A
Very High Voltage Cable=4200V,5A
All four variants of cables provide the basic function of transmitting electricity; however, each does this differently due to their internal resistance. The internal resistance of a cable causes a voltage drop between any two points in a cable. The exact value can be calculated by the equation V=IR, where V equals the voltage difference between two points in a cable, I equals the current flowing between these two points, and R equals the resistance between the two points. The resistance is the product of the cable's resistance times the number of cables between the two points. If multiple cables run from one point to another the net resistance is equal to 1/(1/R1 + 1/R2 ...+ 1/Rn), where Rn equals the resistance of cable route n. Note that this means two or more cables running from point A to point B will have less net resistance than a single cable and thus have less of a voltage drop. This is good, as it means less electricity is lost in the transfer. Similarly, the power lost due to the voltage drop can be calculated using the equation P=IV, where P equals the power lost to the wire due to a voltage drop V with a current I. In general, higher power transfers result in higher current and larger losses to cable resistance. Combining the equations results in the form P=I2R, which shows us that the power lost in a cable is minimized when resistance and current are at a minimum. This makes Very High Voltage Cables the most efficient way to transfer power over long distances. As an added bonus, they can be hooked up to a power line to transform the voltage even higher, allowing for even more efficient transfer, and without the cost associated with placing hundreds of Very High Voltage cables!
For those wishing to draw an extremely large load through a wire should consider setting up power lines. Not only do they have a much higher nominal voltage(at 12,800V) than the other wires, but they also run nominally at 6.25 amps which allows for them to transfer up to 80,000 watts in nominal circumstances. This is enough to run just under 6 fully loaded Extreme Voltage cables. Its maximums are 16,800 Volts at 7.5 Amps for a total power of 126,000 watts. Running a power line at or near maximum is a very bad idea since a failure can be catastrophic; especially on large networks.
Due to the higher voltages (or rather, due to the lower currents) the power lines will have very little loss over distance. This makes them extremely useful for transmitting power over a long distance, even across tens of thousands of blocks, without significant power reduction.
To set up a power line, simply place a pole transformer. This will act as both an entry point and an exit point for your power lines and will also step your voltage up and down respectively by 4 allowing for optimal transfer. To connect poles, simply use High Voltage wires and click on the two poles you would like to connect. There is a limit to how far each pole may connect, though. Use regular poles to extend how far your pole transformers can connect.Power line safety should be practiced since one small error could result in the entire grid being destroyed. In most circumstances, a breaker set to an appropriate voltage on every entry or exit point should be enough as long as none of the wires short to the ground without resistance.