Engine Room(s) on the TOS Enterprise (revisited)

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Henoch, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This was mostly answered by blssdwlf but I would clarify his answer by pointing out that all we know for sure is that when M5 goes rogue Spock says "M-5 appears to be drawing power directly from the warp engines, tapping the matter-antimatter reserves"; and so all the rest about Daystrom originally wanting to go through the energizer/crystal converter assembly is pure speculation.
    No, the ship always uses two nacelles when at warp because they contain the space warp field generator mechanisms, regardless of how many reactors are being used to supply the power at any given time; and in any case, in this model the additional reactors are not "redundancies", but more like "overdrive".
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  2. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That's correct, the dialogue states power directly from the warp engines which IMHO can only come from the main energizer/converter assembly. I'm not aware of any instances where the Enterprise was able to utilize warp power without going through that system.

    I had read your thinking originally as the warp reactor in secondary hull generates a space warp and as more speed and power is needed, the other reactors come online (adding more to the space warp) as a multistage booster system. :) Is there any reason why the other two reactors are in the nacelles rather than down in the secondary hull?
     
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  3. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    The layout of M/AM reactors is a favorite discussion item for me. As I stated in past posts, I see three M/AM reactors on the TOS ship. One in each nacelle which are large and non-regulated by dilithium crystals, and the third reactor in the Engineering Hull which is small and regulated by dilithium crystals.

    The two nacelle M/AM reactors react matter plasma in a large intermix chamber in each nacelle with a small stream of antimatter plasma which produces "fully ionized matter plasma" (aka. warp plasma). The warp plasma is circulated into the warp engines to produce the warp field. The warp plasma is de-energized by the engines and recirculated back into the matter plasma supply.

    The third reactor is a completed different design. First, it cannot operate on it own, rather, it is dependent on the supply of warp plasma from the nacelle M/AM reactors for operation. The third reactor includes the main energizers that produces power for the ship including power to run the secondary systems in the nacelles. It takes a portion of the fully ionized matter plasma (aka. warp plasma) from the nacelle M/AM reactors, reacts it again with antimatter in small intermix reaction chamber and directs the intermixed plasma onto a dilithium crystal surface. The dilithium crystal extracts the electrical charge off the warp plasma and transfers it to the main energizers which in turn charges the ship's EPS grid. The dilithium crystal converter assembly holds four crystals which can be independently removed from the operating system. The process keeps the dilithium crystals energized such that it generates antimatter fuel from the excess matter in the intermixed plasma. Schematic of third M/AM reactor in the Engineering Hull:

    [​IMG]

    Over time, matter reserves are depleted. The ship refuels its matter reserves from space gas collection. Antimatter reserves are used and constantly refueled; a relatively small quantity of antimatter is kept in storage pods for engine restart and sprint uses. When the three reactors are balanced and running at steady-state, Scotty is smiling.
     
  4. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

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    OK. That could work. What I particularly like is that it means 1 and 3 nacelle-d ships could exist without bending that rule to much.

    I see. It is not that M5 is drawing power form the warp engines themselves that was the problem it is WHEN this is said that created the issue from a technical standpoint.

    First of all, this is a great diagram. I take the two cylinders are the ones on the floor, which gives them a purpose. I'm still having trouble accepting the pipe stricture as just a fancy distributor and not a main reactor or generator, though. It would mean that, in TOS, unlike all else, this huge distribution structure is needed for channeling the reactor power, whereas in all other versions it is not part of a set we see onscreen. (The deflector crystal in the refit might be something similar, but the show never built that set that we know of).

    ADDED: If the NX-01 had put the reactor in its original planned location of being where the symmetrical warp governor is, that would really help support the theories you are all proposing. Then the reactor would be directly near a power distribution center and also be able to balance the output of the two nacelles. Even though they did not want the NX-01 to be able to eject its warp core, they perhaps could have just put the engine in that aft pod and just done it anyway, with some excuse on why it could not be ejected except in special circumstances.
     
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  5. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    I'm trying to develop the engineering system without delving too much into TNG or Enterprise. I think the 23rd century systems should be pretty similar in general function, but I think the TNG era could have had a tech revolution in the warp drive systems making them very different. They used a different warp scale after all. From the dialog, I think the deflection crystal in late 23rd century ships is just a different version of a system that, from the dialog, the TOS ship has - something that feeds plasma from the M/AM reactor into the impulse engines. Just in TOS, those systems are hidden behind walls and in TMP they are out in the open.

    I don't think that in the TOS/TMP system that the dilithium cyrstals play any role in the M/AM reaction. I think they are only used for power conversion. This fits with the dialog and visuals in TOS and the movies. The TNG system with the crystal controlling the M/AM reaction doesn't fit what we see in TOS or TMP. The crystals, when seen, are always connected to main power, not the actual M/AM reaction. Even in TWOK, Spock manually aligns the crystals (at least that is what I assume him to be doing) in a location that isn't connected to the warp core but is a location that would make sense for a power converter mechanism. The way I see it is that the warp engines (regardless of whether they have separate M/AM reactors inside them or not) require a great deal of power from the main power system to function (to operate the control systems, cooling systems, etc.). So while not directly in the M/AM system, the dilithium crystals are crucial to warp drive.
     
  6. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not sure where everyone is getting the energizer system from . There are only two references to energizer in the series proper. The first is in "The Doomsday Machine" when there is a "power failure in main energisers". The second is in "The Alternative Factor where we learn that the energizer seems to be part of the system that recharges the dilithium crystals.

    The only references that seem to relate to the main power system come from The Wrath of Khan.
     
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  7. Phaser Two

    Phaser Two Commodore Premium Member

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    I was just about to ask the same thing. The use of "energize" in the original classic series seems to be mostly limited to the operation of the transporter, with the exceptions noted by uniderth above. Is there non-canon source material that says otherwise? I always thought it was interesting that in TWOK, we were all suddenly supposed to know what the "main energizers" were and understand that they were key components of the propulsion system.
     
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  8. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    In TOS a lot of the parts and functions of the ship's power and drive system are referred to by a variety of names making clear understanding difficult. Some are never even named. So we are trying to apply the few names we do have to the various sytems. There is no consensus on what the Energizers are, only that the term is used in TOS so it should apply to something on the ship. The only thing I've gathered from the dialog is that the Engergizer(s) has something to do with converting the power of the matter/anti-matter reaction into usable power for the ship.
     
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  9. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When there was a power failure in the "Main Energizer" mentioned in the "TDM" Spock knows right away that they have lost warp power, so the implication is that the two are closely connected.

    The energizer mentioned in "TAF" might be the auxiliary energizer, if there is such a thing, since it was not prefixed with "main"?

    Also, in "WNMHGB" Kelso said the "main" (warp drive) engines needed to be "re-energized", and the same term is used by Scotty in "TIY" as a necessary step before the warp engines could be "re-fired".
     
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  10. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I didn't realize that the term "main energizer" was only used once; it seems so common a term after reading the many posts on this site. Also, The Doomsday Machine reference to main energizers was on Deck 7 which either it was in the saucer engine room or it has nothing to do with the engine room. Based on the situation, it does seem to indicate that it is tied to loss of the warp drive, but from Deck 7 and not somewhere in the Engineering Hull? The energizer in The Alternative Factor was associated to recharging the dilithium crystals in a separate station. Now, I don't know what to do with it in my power diagram...then again, I have an EPS grid for the ship at this is never mentioned in TOS...?
     
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  11. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Lots of varying Engineering jargon for the same hardware?
     
  12. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    I wouldn't worry about it. I would bet you already have a better power diagram than the ones I've seen out there already.
     
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  13. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

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    Here's how I see this part of that episode to work:

    There is a power transfer conduit or something similar connecting the saucer and secondary hulls energy flow. The ship took a hit on deck 7, near the impulse engines, but it hit this power transfer conduit (or overloaded the impulse drive and caused feedback into the power transfer conduit). That hit, or the feedback involved, shut down the main energizer, even though it was in the secondary hull because it disrupted the energy flow.

    This is why I think that the TOS system could look at little more like TMP. I suspect that "main energizer," "intermix chamber" and "matter-antimatter reactor" are basically synonyms for "warp core." I know that might be perfectly accurate for some people's interpeation, but please understand, I mean it like this: a car has an engine block, cylinders and camshafts, etc., but the average person calls all those things together an "engine" or "motor." I am saying that the term "warp core" from later on is like the word "engine," whereas some of these terms from TOS are the more proper names for the parts. We learn in Voyager from B'Elllana even more precise names of parts, especially because efforts were made to adapt Voygaer to use other means of faster than light travel. But that is a later system that might work somewhat differently. Most of what all of you have said does preclude the idea that the TOS ship has a "warp core," it's just never called that because the plot was either more specific or just called it the "engines."
     
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  14. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is very close to my current thinking as well. And I suspect that the "EPS" system in TOS is the "energizer" system.

    Regarding the deck seven reference in "TDM", this doesn't necessarily mean the energizers are on deck seven, or that this is the point of failure, just that deck seven is a possible engineering location for monitoring and reporting such things.
     
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  15. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Echoing TIN_MAN, the "main energisers" are from "The Doomsday Machine" and their failure impacted warp drive. In "The Alternative Factor" we saw an energiser holding 4 crystal paddles. Based on Kirk's dialogue after the first pair of crystals are stolen:
    Not only have two of my crewmen been attacked, two of our dilithium crystals are missing, and without them the Enterprise cannot operate at full power. They must be found.​

    It would appear that it is more than a separate recharging station as the remaining last two crystals are stolen from the same energiser when we know Kirk is still operating the ship with them. The energiser is most likely a two way system that can recharge and discharge the crystals in the same way a laptop or phone battery can be recharging while discharging to power things downstream.

    In the same vein, the "converter assembly" is mentioned twice ("Mudd's Women" and "Elaan of Troyus") although it is specifically the "dilithium crystal converter assembly" in "Elaan of Troyus" while in "Mudd's Women" it is inferred.

    So in my mind I tied the crystal circuits into the crystal converter assembly into the (main) energiser to power the ship and warp engines.

    As to Deck 7, it could be a monitoring station as suggested by TIN_MAN, or the system spans multiple decks. In a more unusual possibility, perhaps the Enterprise only has 14 decks since I'm not aware of any dialogue of a deck with a higher number? Of course, YMMV :)
     
  16. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    So, what do the M/AM reactors do? What's powering the crystals? We also know the warp engines cannot operate without the crystals, and vice versa, the crystals cannot operate without the warp engines. In your model, the warp engines look like another ship system to power, so, loss of the warp engines shouldn't affect the crystal's power distribution to the ship; but we know this is not true.

    I several cases, the warp engines (or better yet the M/AM reactors in the engines) are powering ship systems (via the lithium or dilithium crystal circuits). I think it more likely that the warp engines feed "power" from their M/AM reactors through the crystals for "usable" main ship power (energy?) with some sort of loop back to the warp engines. If the loop is a power dependence, then maybe main power from the crystals are providing power to the primary engine systems like the warp field generators and to the secondary engine systems like plasma injectors, heating elements, magnetic fields, cooling systems, matter collection, etc. Impulse and battery power systems cannot achieve the power threshold level necessary for warp field generators, etc.

    In MW, it is clearly stated that the engines pass power through the crystals to power ship systems, and not powered only by the crystals:
    FARRELL: He's had it, unless we put our deflector screen around him.
    SCOTT: Captain, if we try, we'll overload our own engines. He's too far away.
    KIRK: Cover him with our deflector screen, Mister Farrell. Scotty, Spock, stand by in the transporter room.
    SCOTT: Aye, sir. (they leave)
    FARRELL: We're protecting him, sir. We won't be able to hold it long.
    SULU: We're overloading, Captain. Engine temperatures climbing.
    CREWMAN [OC]: This is the Engine room. Temperatures are passing the danger line.
    FARRELL Our deflector screen's weakening, sir. We can't protect them much longer. (lights flicker)
    SULU: That was one of our lithium crystal circuits, sir.
    [and later...]
    SPOCK: The entire ship's power is feeding through one lithium crystal.
    KIRK: Well, switch to by-pass circuits.
    SCOTT: We burned them all out when we super-heated...
    SPOCK: And that crystal won't hold up, not pulling all our power through it...
    SCOTT: Our last crystal, sir. It's gone.​
    The above example shows that the engines were overloading to generate power for the deflector screen, and that power passed through the crystals damaging them. Even though the engines super-heated, they were still functional, but the crystal converter assembly took a beating with three crystals burned out and its last crystal with a hairline split at the base.

    A similar situation occurred in The Corbomite Maneuver where the engines were run well past their temperature limits, but the difference here was than the engines were directly providing thrust/propulsion. Here, the danger was blowing up the engines themselves, and not stressing or burning out lithium circuits by feeding power through them to other ship systems. Based on this analysis, the concept of a power dependence back to the warp engines doesn't hold up, or in this last case, the lithium crystals would have been popping like popcorn long before the engines would blow up due to overheating, and the overheating seemed much worse here than in Mudd's Women. Another situation was in That Which Survives where the engines were running wild. They were worried that the ship/engines were going to blow up, but no one seemed concerned about the dilithium crystals (or maybe the improved dilithium crystals don't burn out with engine overloading.) Of course, YMMV. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  17. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    It's more likely that Deck 7 is the bottom deck in the rim of the saucer and/or the location of the saucer's main engine room. If the engine room in the engineering hull was hit in the attack, disabled and unable to report its condition, the engine room in the saucer would report its condition, i.e. Deck 7 (engine room) reports the main energizer is out.
     
  18. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    As I've repeatedly said, the engine room set we see will not fit along the rim. The set clearly has a flat deck leading to it and that is impossible with the curve of the underside of the saucer hull. There is room for a monitoring station or a much shorter engine room, but not the set we see.
     
  19. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is there any reason the saucer's Engine Room has to be on the rim? Plenty of space closer to the centre, even on a mere 947' long ship.
     
  20. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Because, 'muh Franz Joseph!
     
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