Your network will require energy to run. Networks have a pool of energy that devices directly pull from, and Vibration Chambers, Energy Acceptors (and ME Controllers) add to. You can see the energy statistics for a network by right-clicking anywhere on it with a Network Tool or by right-clicking the network's controller, if it has one. This network-wide storage and distribution means that there are no energy transfer rate limits, so devices can pull arbitrarily high amounts of energy and energy acceptors can intake at functionally unlimited speed, only limited by your energy storage.
AE2 does not use Forge Energy (on Forge) or TechReborn Energy (on Fabric) internally. Instead it converts them to its own unit, AE. This conversion is one-way. Energy can be converted by Energy Acceptors and ME Controllers, though controller faces are better used for more channels. It can also be generated by Vibration Chambers, but AE2 is designed to be used with other tech mods that have better energy generation.
All this means that it's best to consider an AE2 network as a single large multiblock machine when laying out your base's energy distribution infrastructure.
The ratios for conversion of Forge Energy and Techreborn Energy are
- 2 FE = 1 AE (Forge)
- 1 E = 2 AE (Fabric)
For relatively obvious reasons, a network cannot intake or consume more energy in a gametick than it can store. If a network can only store 800 AE, when its devices request energy, they will only be able to use up to 800 AE (assuming the storage is full) and an energy acceptor will only be able to insert up to 800 AE into the network (assuming the storage is empty).
This is a common cause for odd behavior, where one makes a small network with just an energy acceptor, drive, terminal, and some devices and tries to dump an inventory full of cobblestone from their inventory into the network. Inserting that cobble all at once in a single gametick requires more energy than the network has in storage, so not all of the cobble is inserted, the network runs out of energy, and thus reboots.
This can be solved by the addition of energy cells.
Networks have a built-in energy buffer of 25 AE per cable, machine or part.
ME Controllers have a small amount of internal energy storage, 8,000 AE
The Energy Cell can store 200k AE, and just one should be sufficient for most use cases, handling the power surges of normal network use with ease.
The Creative Energy Cell is a creative item for testing, providing UNLIMITED POWAHHHH or whatever.