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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old October 25 2012, 03:53 PM   #1
rahullak
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Data's Energy source?

Not sure if we've had this discussion before, but as I was reading Immortal Coil by Jeffrey Lang in preparation for the upcoming Persistence of Memory by David Mack, it struck me that I had not come across any mention either in the books or in the onscreen canon of how Data gets his energy.

Sure, he can eat organic food, but he doesn't do so unless there's a social necessity. And we haven't seen or heard of him being plugged to a wall socket or have wireless energy beamed to him.

So where does Data get his energy?
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Old October 25 2012, 04:04 PM   #2
Trekker4747
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Re: Data's Energy source?

It's not too much of a stretch to assume Data has some-sort-of reactor in him, maybe a cold Fusion one. It's also possible he does run on "batteries" but the type of battery/powercell that phasers work on. Consider that phasers have the energy to cause beams or explosions that can utterly destroy things. It's suggested at one point and overloaded phaser has to potential to take out a deck of the ship, we've seen them destroy and heat rocks, and vaporize creatures in seconds (in of itself requiring enormous levels of energy.) So it's not too much of a stretch to think data has these power cells in him and they're able to run him quite well. Any "recharging" needed could be done by "food" he ingests, mechanical recharging as he moves, or the absorption of energy as he exposed to things like light and forms of radiation.
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Old October 25 2012, 11:27 PM   #3
Pavonis
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Re: Data's Energy source?

Wouldn't mechanical recharging make him a perpetual-motion machine? It was mentioned that he does recharge by moving, in "Birthright" IIRC, but that would just increase the efficiency of his power usage. His primary power source wasn't discussed in the canon.

I thought maybe he was wirelessly connected to the ship's power grid, and had batteries for use off ship, or away from any external power grid. I wonder how long that could last, though. How long was he stranded on that medieval planet in "Thine Own Self"?
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Old October 25 2012, 11:43 PM   #4
Trekker4747
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Re: Data's Energy source?

Perpetual motion isn't possible. Any "recharging" he gets from moving would have to augment some other power source. Unless it IS possible to have "perpetual motion" in the future through subspace fields or whatever.
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Old October 26 2012, 09:38 AM   #5
Drago-Kazov
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Re: Data's Energy source?

He has a technobable device that solves that.
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Old October 26 2012, 11:04 AM   #6
Timo
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Re: Data's Energy source?

In Insurrection, Data says "My power cells continually recharge themselves"; that would seem to be the full extent of dialogue on the issue anywhere. Perhaps he's simply plugged into a wireless power network whenever aboard a starship or walking on the streets of a Federation settlement?

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Old October 27 2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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Re: Data's Energy source?

He says "cells", so it's safe to assume that he has more than one. What if he is powered by one while the other is programmed to go into charge mode? It's possible if you think of it that way.
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Old October 28 2012, 05:01 AM   #8
rahullak
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Re: Data's Energy source?

All good points made by everyone. Perhaps the issue could be officially settled by addressing it in an upcoming novel. Perhaps the upcoming Mack trilogy does address it. We shall have to wait and see.
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Old October 29 2012, 08:40 AM   #9
FreddyE
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Re: Data's Energy source?

I would seem quite like Soong to have Data be able to recharchge from various sources. I can see him drawing energy from various energy, subspace and "whatever" fields surrounding him. He should be able to convert foot to energy (even if not techically nessecary, why waste the potential energy?), and since we have seen his head-interface be pretty versatile..I suspect you could charge him that way if nessecary.


But may be he runs on energizer batteries? "Your android with regular batteries....and here with energizer..he runs, and runs, and runs, and runs, and runs....." ;-)) ROFL


Last edited by FreddyE; October 29 2012 at 08:51 AM.
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Old October 29 2012, 10:18 PM   #10
John Mason
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Re: Data's Energy source?

He is one with the Force
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Old October 30 2012, 02:09 AM   #11
Worf'sParmach
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Re: Data's Energy source?

I think giving Data some type of recharging/regenerating requirement could have made for some good storylines. After all, humanoids can't go forever, we have to eat and sleep. So having Data need to recharge himself every so often would have been logical. Kind of like Odo needing to regenerate periodically.
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Old October 30 2012, 08:02 AM   #12
Timo
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Re: Data's Energy source?

We haven't seen a mechanism or device that would keep PADDs or tricorders or phasers charged (and while the first two might consume so little power that they recharge from user movements or minuscule heat gradients in the environment, the latter are high output power devices). Perhaps such a mechanism is invisible? The idea of Data hooking up to it like any other toaster would appear natural enough.

Building a recharging mechanism into his cabin chair or Ops chair would also appear logical, but it wouldn't meet the criterion of him recharging "continually". If he recharged while aboard the ship (sitting, walking) but not while he performed away missions, this might still qualify as "continual" for the purposes of a discussion with a kid, as in ST:INS.

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Old October 31 2012, 12:33 PM   #13
The_Baron
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Re: Data's Energy source?

It's obvious. He charges via USB whenever he syncs with iTunes.

..that, or Geordi pulls a cord on his back every morning.
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Old November 3 2012, 04:52 AM   #14
Gil T.Azell
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Re: Data's Energy source?

A ZPM?

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Old November 3 2012, 07:11 PM   #15
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Re: Data's Energy source?

Data obviously recharges himself from the latent UST present whenever Beverly and Jean-Luc are within ten kilometers of each other.
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