While playing around with @Mullematsch questions yesterday on "Big Boy Power System Help," I stumbled on a way to create infinite power. A brief search in the forum bug reports did not reveal anything (I'll post a bug report after a discussion). Let's start with pictures.
What are you looking at?
The 6 small transformers are followed by a battery (smart or regular) that never gets any charge, and then a smart battery switch that disconnects the 1kw line from the 20kw line.
The left most 3 transformers take all the power sent to them and push it out to the 1kw line, which cycles back and fills the smart battery switch.
Every tick of the game, the power essentially doubles. Read on.
The key piece that makes this work is the empty battery between the transformers and the smart battery switch. Remove this battery (which supposedly does nothing as it never charges) and the build responds correctly, with power being consumed.
How does it work? Not sure. (Edit: My current hypothesis is explained, with a formula, here.) I am guessing that the transformers try to pull from both the smart battery switching section, as well as the empty battery, and somehow successfully draw full power with half drawn from each. The build above effectively outputs 3kw from the transformers, but only drains 1.5kw (doubling the power in the system). You can use the extra 1.5kw to power whatever you want. Swap out the 6 transformers above for 5 big transformers (20kw of cycling power), and you can power 10kw of whatever you want (already tested it out). All of this can be done before cycle 10. Coal power? Why? Just use a wheel to insert a tiny bit of power into this thing, and then watch the power double rapidly (put the smart battery switch sensor really low to see it expontially fill).
Crazy? Yep. Anyone know if this has been seen before? I know other bug reports are out there involving transformers pushing more power than they are supposed to push, but I don't recall them magically creating the power when trying to draw from an empty battery. Who needs infinte power from turbines anymore. Just use transformers and batteries. Haha. Have fun tinkering.
Well..., I'd go with 17.1428571428571428571428571...kW (a little less), minus the drain from the smart batteries (I'll neglect it - or just count it towards the power drain). Sounds like you understand the bug the same way I do, and this matches with my experiments. Basically, the bug just has transformers draw equal amounts of power from every battery type (dead or alive), provided at least one battery has stored power.
For those who want the formula, here's how we got this 17.2kW.
At all times, the 5 transformers draw power from 7 batteries (6 dead tiny batteries and 1 smart battery).
Of the drawn power (20kW), one battery needs to be filled at all times (assuming you are drawing max power), so 1/7 of the drawn power is required to refill the draining battery.
This leaves 6/7 of the 20kW (so 6/7*20=17.14kW) as usable power.
You could spike above this total in small bursts, without any problem, provided your average was under 17.14 kW. As long as your battery never actually empties, it will replenish itself. For this reason, I set my smart batteries at 80/50 instead of 80/20, just to deal with potential spikes in power usage, and add an extra smart battery on the charging side to deal with larger loads.
If you only have 1 dead battery, then you have a 10kW power plant. If you have 2 dead batteries, then you have 2/3*20 = 13.333kW power plant. With 3 dead batteries you get 3/4 *20 = 15kW power plant. With 9 dead batteries you get a 9/10*20=18kW power plant, etc.
@nakomaru, if you want to abuse this even more, then you can submerge the batteries in tiny amounts of liquid (a layer of 35-70g polluted water, topped by a layer of 35-75g water - basically anything under 1500g will trigger this bug though the smaller the better - vacuum on one layer of liquid works too, but not all vacuum), and completely neglect heat created by the batteries and transformer. Of course, with a homemade geyser constantly supplying 3C water, heat management can be ignored. I use this on my kilns to keep ceramic production at 100% uptime, never needing to worry about overheating.
Here's more info.