Robert Comsol wrote:
"In "Mudd's Women", after the 3rd circuit blew out, they had to use battery power for the transport of the 3 women. During that time, they still had to maintain maneuvering and shields to protect Mudd's ship which in mind, lead to the cracking of the 4th crystal."
Or the shields were equally powered by this enigmatic "battery power":
FARRELL: We're clearing the asteroid belt now, Captain.
KIRK: Deflector screen down, Mister Farrell. Save the power.
Since Kirk was aware of the circuits burning out he could've just as well been referring to saving the 4th and last circuit from going out.
Robert Comsol wrote:
We do know from "Mudd's Women" that the Enterprise only had 4 dilithium circuits onboard, we have seen 4 dilithium circuits in "The Alternative Factor" and do not know the exact energy output of "battery power".
We also know that the battery power was brought on to make up for the loss of the 3 circuits, not that it was substituting for ALL power (the difference between "supplement" and "supplant").
SULU: Another lithium circuit. Now supplementing with battery power, sir.
Because it was supplementing the power system, it is far more likely that there was a fourth active circuit that was powering the warp engines and the shields that were projected forward onto Mudd's ship. This would explain why the crystal was cracked and not a pristine one that was brought out of storage.
In "The Alternative Factor" they lost all four crystals but unlike "Mudd's Women" and "Elaan of Troyius", they have a working crystal converter assembly and thus they can still activate the bypass. In this case, they were likely not on battery power at all.
So to recap, basically we have a few different theories:
- There are 3 active dilithium crystal circuits with a corresponding engine room. The 4th dilithium crystal circuit is a spare circuit. Does it have it's own engine room? When all 3 circuits go out, someone has to manually bring online the 4th one? Or install it?
- There are 3 active dilithium crystal circuits with a 4th "hot" standby circuit. I don't know if Timo is advocating separate engine rooms.
- There are 4 lithium/dilithium crystal circuits housed in a single crystal converter assembly. In Season 1, it was in the Main Energizer room. In Season 2 and later it was moved under one of the engine rooms in the engineering hull.
On the ones with separate engine rooms per crystal, how does a single crystal converter assembly work in the system?